If you’ve ever watched local newscasts (which I admit I no longer do, myself) you have seen how, when there is a rare report of a UFO sighting, the ‘news’ anchors snicker and jeer at the report, dismissing it with knowing looks at the camera, and lame jokes. How humiliating for the people who saw and reported a UFO.
And how dishonest. It’s all too obvious that the so-called news media are not merely reporting events objectively, but pushing a point of view. Whose point of view? That of the powers-that-be, which is evident because the coverage is the same no matter where you are in the U.S. If the coverage were honest, and if it were up to the local news people, there would be more variation and more evidence of the input of individual minds with ideas of their own.
But then we know that no such freedom of thought or expression exists in our news media these days. And what little there is left amongst individual people is being eroded as people are increasingly exposed to that single, received point of view pushed by a monolithic media.
Now, in mentioning UFOs, my intent is not to argue for acceptance of the ‘flying saucer’ or ‘alien abduction’ theories; I’m merely using an example of the kind of dishonest and slanted manipulation exercised by the media when they report the news, whether in print, online, or on your local TV channel. In sneering and ridiculing certain ideas, they shame people into agreeing with the official narrative, because a great many Americans don’t want to be outside the consensus or the dictated popular opinion. Hence, people who think there are unidentified craft seen in the skies occasionally have to develop thick skins to cope with the ridicule dealt out to those who are simply open-minded about such possibilities.
The same applies to people who believe there is more to, say, the JFK assassination or the events of 9/11/2001 — or the existence of any sort of conspiracy or cover-up. The respectables among us wouldn’t be caught dead espousing any belief that is sneered at by the opinion-dictators.
Bruce Charlton, an always interesting and thought-provoking blogger has written several pieces on the topic of conspiracy theories.
His latest one is here. In it he explains why it is necessary to the System, as they seem to see it, to suppress such speculations or beliefs, and his explanation is convincing.
Even on the right, where we consider ourselves realists, more open-minded than the dogmatic and totalitarian left, the attitude of ridicule and condescension acts to stifle some of the discussion of such matters, and often there is a kind of posturing as superior on the part of those on the right who dismiss conspiracy theories. Even the very idea of any individual conspiracy is thus seen as evidence of stupidity or ‘paranoia’, resorting to the left’s favorite tactic of psychologizing unpopular points-of-view, labeling them as some kind of disorder or ‘mental illness.’ Thus certain ideas are beyond the pale, preventing any sort of rational and open discussion of the possible facts.
It’s true that some people carry ‘conspiracy theorizing’ too far, finding some dark plot at the heart of any mysterious or unexplainable set of facts. However it’s also nonetheless true that in a theoretically free society there should be room for open discussion, unhindered by sneering and ridicule directed at the people who simply want answers, or at least, free exchange of ideas.
Would those on the right support official suppression of conspiracy theorizing?
Should we be ‘protected’ from ‘dangerous ideas’ or simply ideas deemed deranged, like ‘hollow earth’ or flat-earth theories? Who has the power to declare certain ideas off-limits, to proscribe them? To create penalties and punishments for ‘wrong-think’? Who would hold the power to determine which ideas are crazy or dangerous? Is it crazy or should it be illegal to believe that the moon landing was staged, fake? Is it morally desirable for anyone in authority to infiltrate online discussions in order to discredit or stop conspiracy theories, as per the information in the link above?
And who would decide what constitutes a ”conspiracy theory”? Would the belief have to be definitively proven false before being labeled as such? Or would such labeling, as now, be completely arbitrary?
These days, the idea of climate manipulation in the form of aerosol spraying from aircraft is derided as a conspiracy theory by those who consider themselves arbiters of what is a ‘wacko conspiracy theory’. But yet information about such plans was discussed in Congress years ago, more than once, though not much publicized. Still the very idea is still laughed at by the respectable arbiters of fact vs. ‘paranoia.’
It’s possible to be too credulous, but erring in the opposite direction is even worse in some ways, leaving us to be manipulated by those with an agenda who think they must not only monitor but dictate what we must believe, or more likely, disbelieve.