Spreading rumors

Chip Berlet cberlet at igc.org
Mon Oct 2 10:36:15 PDT 2000


Back from the Christian Coalition meeting, where rumors and conspiracy theory are part of the package. Robertson's speech Saturday night claimed the usual conspiracy from modernism, to John Dewey, to the secular humanist homosexual abortionists.

Rumor and conspiracy theory are interesting areas of study, but do people REALLY want to blur the line between attempts at factual reporting, and fantastic claims with no basis in anything that can be independently documented?

Maybe sometimes I sound like a grinch, but I have watched the left wander down the dead-end canyons of rumor and conspiracism all too often in recent years.

Danny Sheehan destroyed the Christic LaPenca lawsuit by weaving in fascist claims from the LaRouchites and Liberty Lobby.

The October Surprise sucked energy out of the left, even after some of the original reporters on the story retracted their earlier claims and exposed some of their sources as hucksters.

How many people in the anti-globalist movement think the Bilderbergers or the Trilateralists run the world? You might be surprised to see some of the discussions on so-called "left" lists.

How about claims that the police used nerve gas against anti-globalization activists in Seattle? When that turned out to be a false rumor, the actual police misconduct was easier to sweep under the rug.

OK, I apologize for being cranky on this subject, but I look to LBO for a higher level of discussion.

-Chip Berlet

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