Sunday, September 5, 2010

Journalism and black helicopters

Sometimes a person with an opposing view from your own can unintentionally make your case for you.

I wrote in the Post Register (and on this blog) recently about the difference between journalism and most of the dreck posing as reliable information. To borrow from the Post Register’s editorial page editor Corey Taule, a good share of the stuff on the Internet is about as credible as the entertaining but completely loony information you’ll hear on early-morning a.m. radio.

After my column ran today, I received a courteous note from someone whom I won’t name, simply because there’s a small hope that someday he’ll be embarrassed by what he wrote. Here’s a snippet:
“For example, the 9/11 Twin Tower disaster has been proved conclusively to be an inside job. The evidence is overwhelming.Yet when has the mainstream news investigated or reported this rather than to say that it is just a conspiracy theory? If you doubt it, I have the evidence to prove it.”
I cling to the hope that this belief still falls under the category of black-helicopter conspiracy, but it’s hard to say any more. I wonder what percentage of Americans believe this? As many as think the sun revolves around the Earth (19 percent)? My writer went on:
“The mainstream news maintains that “President” Obama is a natural-born citizen. Then why has he spent over a million dollars to prevent the release of his original birth certificate instead of the certificate of birth that he has posted on his website ?Why have numerous legal cases been brought against Obama to demand proof of natural birth which the courts have refused to hear? Are we to assume that the lawyers who bring these cases against Obama are idiots?”
Not being one to miss an opportunity to shoot fish in a barrel, I must say of the last sentence: "No, I have never seen any attorney ever file a frivolous lawsuit in my life." But I digress -- back to my letter-writer. Of course, if one is a birther, then one also must reject Obama’s claim to be a Christian. To wit:
“The mainstream news maintains that Obama is a Christian, yet we know that this is absolutely false because Obama has lied numerous times, and if you tell a lie, you are definitely not a Christian.(The same goes for George Bush.)”
Finally, however, he gets to the crux of my case:
“For the past twelve years the government has been involved in a massive spraying operation over the United States and thirteen other countries of the world -- called “chemtrails.” The purpose of the operation seems to be to prevent global warming by spraying aluminum and barium into the air. Yet when has the mainstream news investigated this? (Do a search on “chemtrails” on the Internet.)”
In other words, if you can Google something, it has been verified. And now, dear members of the jury, I rest my case.

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