January 15, 2013

Crisis Actors in the Twilight Zone

In a post-fact world, all you have to do to stir up the rubes is suggest conspiracy. The conspiracy doesn’t have to make any sense at all; it simply needs to conform to ideology. It now appears that the rhetoric of conspiracy today demands a high level of pathetic outrageousness to get attention.

Take the whole “crisis actor” thing as an example. Gene Rosen is caught up in this now because many anti-government gun nuts so want the Sandy Hook massacre to be something other than what it actually is that they are willing to point fingers at parents and other residents. The claim: they are actors working for the government.

You can scratch your head until it bleeds. There’s no making any sense of that.

Here’s what would happen if the government actually tried to use actors to deal with the press: Even in the current sorry state of American reporting (stenography, actually), the press would find out and have a gleefully good time pointing it out after much huffing and puffing about being hoodwinked.

But, obviously, to the anti-government gun nuts, the press is a liberal tool of our socialist president. Nothing — not even a list of biases worse than partisan bias — will change fevered minds.

Crisis actors do exist, but they are far more likely to be employed by public relations firms than government. The case of Nayirah — a person acting as a young nurse giving testimony to the non-governmental Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990 — provides an excellent example.

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September 5, 2012

This Would Be Funny If

If it were not so indicative of our age of willful ignorance…

It didn’t take long for the Internet to start buzzing with conspiracy theories after the Social Security Administration posted a notice that it was purchasing 174,000 hollow-point bullets.

Why is the agency that provides benefits to retirees, disabled workers, widows and children stockpiling ammunition?

“It’s not outlandish to suggest that the Social Security Administration is purchasing the bullets as part of preparations for civil unrest,” the website Infowars.com said.

Another site, The Daily Caller, said the bullets must be for use against American citizens, “since the SSA has never been used overseas to help foreign countries maintain control of their citizens.”

A few years ago my first thought would have been: Why is this news?

Today one could make a beat out of covering the crazy.

On a cheery side note, as of this posting, no one has commented on the article, which means no one has given it a good ol’ “hell yeah!”

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