Tag Archives: conspiracy theory

Probing the Ebola Conspiracy Panic

ebola-is-realBy James F. Tracy

In 2008 media studies scholar Jack Bratich introduced the concept of conspiracy panics to interpret powerful government and media reactions to the “collective intelligence” activities enacted by laypersons and evident within broader forms of popular culture.[1]

[Image Credit: USA Today]

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New Interview Program on Truth Frequency Radio

TFFOn August 13 James Tracy’s new program, Real Politik, debuted on the Truth Frequency Radio network. The hour-long interview show will be broadcast each Wednesday at 6:00PM Eastern Standard Time, and mp3 files of the program may be downloaded at TFR’s Real Politik page here following its initial airing.

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Publicity of the Unspeakable

Spirit_of_SiberiaBy James F. Tracy

An infirmity once characterizing the past century’s most severe totalitarian regimes has now taken root in Western public discourse and practice, a process akin to Orwellian “double think” acting as a form of de facto censorship preempting consideration of major issues and events. This mindset is obliquely shared by a majority of professional journalists, academics, and public office holders—in short, those who represent and lead public opinion. Their collective publicity of the unsaid preserves and perpetuates existing belief systems and power relations. To be sure, there are self-evident injunctions for those straying from such unspoken protocols, including expulsion from this professional class.

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The Ceaseless Torment of a Vigilant Public

Dees_Mind_MeltBy Jaime Ortega and James Tracy

I was recently interviewed by Jaime Ortega of The Daily Journalist to address the topic of conspiracy theories and their impact on public discourse for the site’s forum, The Expert. Ortega states in an introductory email that he contacted me not only because of my academic background, but also given the fact that major media have bestowed on me “the reputation of a conspiracy theorist”(!) Mr. Ortega produced a thoughtful set of questions to contemplate in the exchange which appears below.-JFT

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Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!

HenryBy Patrick Henry

St. John’s Church, Richmond, Virginia
March 23, 1775.

To avoid interference from Lieutenant-Governor Dunmore and his Royal Marines, the Second Virginia Convention met March 20, 1775 inland at Richmond–in what is now called St. John’s Church–instead of the Capitol in Williamsburg.

On March 23rd Delegate Patrick Henry presented a proposal to organize a volunteer company of cavalry or infantry in every Virginia county. By custom, Henry addressed himself to the Convention’s president, Peyton Randolph of Williamsburg. Henry’s words were not transcribed, but no one who heard them forgot their eloquence, or Henry’s closing words: “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

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Cracking “Conspiracy Theory’s” Psycholinguistic Code

By James F. Tracy

A new crusade appears to be underway to target independent research and analysis available via alternative news media. This March saw the release of “cognitive infiltration” advocate Cass Sunstein’s new book, Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas. In April, the confirmed federal intelligence-gathering arm, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), released a new report, “Agenda 21: The UN, Sustainability, and Right Wing Conspiracy Theory.” Most recently, Newsweek magazine carried a cover story, titled, “The Plots to Destroy America: Conspiracy Theories Are a Clear and Present Danger.”

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Cognitive Infiltration For the Masses

By James F. Tracy

On March 18, 2014 Cass Sunstein released his latest collection of essays, Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas.[1] Like his other works geared toward a mainstream readership, the prominent Harvard law professor, former Obama administration regulatory czar, and NSA advisor [2] points to numerous alleged dangers posed by even “rational people” who are susceptible to adopting “crippled epistemologies.” What Sunstein fails to explain throughout his most recent medley of gentle authoritarianism is how the “conspiracy theory” term has received vigorous promotion from the editorial practices of certain major corporate news media.

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