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Crackpot Chronicles: Van Jones, Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, Rorschach, the Truthers, And Me – Part II

Posted on October 5 2009 12:00 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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glenn beck

Is this guy a crackpot conspiracy theorist? Only someone who knows nothing about conspiracy theorists could suggest it.

We cannot confront the fallacies of conspiracy thinking in our political culture if we do not understand it. In recent weeks Van Jones, the President’s Green Jobs Czar, lost his job because of his embrace of conspiracy thinking. More recently popular talker Glenn Beck has been smeared by his opponents as a conspiracy nut. We can only decipher these issues and win these intellectual fights if we know just what kind of thinking needs to be isolated from political life.

Click here for Part I

When we last left off our 9/11 Truther Crackpot was suggesting that surely his conspiracy theory was at least worth looking into. I had to explain why it was not:

dave small

“Surely one must look at all the evidence, if one would conclude any degree of probabilty. Arguments aside, there seems to be certain reasonable evidence that is available for inspection.”

Not really. Must I look at all the evidence presented by those who who deny the Holocaust… or promote the moon landing conspiracy… or that Obama wasn’t born in the US… or that Hitler survived WWII and now has a base on the moon… or that the Clintons murdered their political opponents… or that Islam is true and we need to wage Jihad against the US… or that Noam Chomsky’s propaganda model is accurate… or Santa Claus flies around the world delivering presents… or that David Icke’s Lizard People control the planet… or that corporations are out to enslave and imprison us… do I need to go on? Because if your conspiracy is worthy of my time then so are all the other ones.

Maybe if life was infinite I might be persuaded to invest some of my time into chasing 9/11 conspiracy theories. But alas, I’ve got more interesting things to do.



I guess it would depend on what the implications of any available evidence would mean to those persons most effected. What does the evidence in question suggest? Does the evidence imply an isolated malfunction that needs to be corrected? Does a correction mitigate the probability that any adverse or negative impact of the subject incident in question will continue? Does any evidence imply a system malfunction that would need to be corrected, in orderthat the system work as desired? Is truth more desirable than fiction? Is justice a noble cause? Is human life valuable? Or are only the lives of people we happen to know and like important. Are we ultimately responsable for holding our government to certain standards of conduct? Do we get the government we deserve? If we ignore evidence, will “it” happen here?

Would the holocaust have happened if people had paid attention? Is such an attrocity less interesting than other pursuits?

Even nazi germany started out as a small thing..

This is when you can really start to tell that you’re talking with a True Believer conspiracy nut. (Or really a True Believer of any stripe.) If they don’t even bother to really respond to your arguments and just continue speaking THE TRUTH.

dave small

See, I’m trying to dialogue. Like most conspiracy theorists you’re only interested in monologue. You’ve got the Truth and are trying to spread it. You’ve ignored my point — that your 9/11 conspiracy theory is no different than any other conspiracy theory. The only difference is that you’ve been suckered into believing in it and are thus going to evangelize it to others.

What other conspiracy theories do you embrace? Any from my list?



The subject at hand are the circumstances surrounding the 9/11 incidents, not conspiracies generally. One will lose sight of the subject if one generalizes. If we were dealing with “theories” I would not need to say anything. Theories are a proven hypothesis. What you mean to say is “conspiracy hypothesises”. I am not certain of what nthe truth actually is. I only know that certain evidence I’ve seen seems to be at odds with what appears to be common belief, and the “facts” that have been promulgated by the authorities. Why are you so certain of your position? What evidence leads you to your conclusion? I would like to think that our government is without fault and all is as advertized. Can someone explain to me why there is this disparity? There are other official explainations of certain events that I take issue with. One thing at a time.

It was time to cut to the chase. I needed to cut through the Truther’s diarrhea of the email and confront him on the key issue.

In Part III of “Crackpot Chronicles: Van Jones, Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, Rorschach,  the Truthers, And Me” it’s time to force the Truther to commit to the absurdity of his position.

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