Thursday, August 17, 2006


Deadly Distractions

In his essay Post 9/11 Conspiracism Chip Berlet observes, "The tendency to explain all major world events as primarily the product of a secret conspiracy is called conspiracism." He goes on to note that, "conspiracism impedes attempts to build a social movement for real social justice, economic fairness, equality, peace, and democracy."

Discussing left wing radio complicity in promoting conspiracism as opposed to critical, more productive social engagement, Berlet remarks, "I oppose censorship, but editorial judgment by radio station editors is not censorship."

As media analyst Norman Solomon warned KPFA Berkeley about the dangers of their investigative news magazine host Dennis Bernstein repeatedly featuring reckless promoters of conspiracism:

“...such programming, when it is successful, encourages people to fixate on the specter of a diabolical few plotters rather than on the profoundly harmful realities of ongoing structural, institutional, systemic factors. When logic becomes secondary to flashy claims, and when assertions unsupported by evidence become touted as hard-edged fact, any temporary sizzle hardly compensates for the longer-term damage done to the station's standards. A key question remains: Aren't the well-documented crimes of the U.S. government and huge corporations enough to merit our ongoing outrage, focused attention and activism?”


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