Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Media Conspiracies

Earlier today a story was released regarding a group of liberal journalists who plotted to protect Obama  from the Rev. Wright scandal (see story). Is it really so surprising? The media has done an excellent job marginalizing anyone who uses the word conspiracy. Today anyone using the "c" word is branded a nut job, conspiracy theorist, ... and immediately discredited. If I were involved in conspiracies I would think that a great first step to protecting them would be to create an environment where anyone making claims of one would be considered a fool.
 
In reality, we live in a world filled with conspiracies and to disbelieve that they exist is almost equivalent to saying that there is no sun. We are all aware of them and may have participated in some. I can think of several times in my childhood where I conspired to hide things from my parents or deflect blame to someone else. At work people conspire to advance in their careers, sometimes by sabotaging co-workers, who they perceive to be a threat. In politics people seeking office often disparage their competitors in ways that most would feel are unethical. We regularly see people prosecuted for Ponzi schemes that rob the innocent and trusting. Wherever the opportunity exists to gain money, power, or prestige is found there will invariably be those conspiring to attain them using unethical or illegal means. Read "Mao, the Unknown Story" and you'll be appalled at the conspiracies he was involved in and how he was able to rewrite history to cover some of them.
 
We would be foolish to think that today's politicians and journalists have any higher moral character than those in business, who are regularly pilloried by the press and current office holders.
 
In reading the story about the Rev Wright conspiracy which, as of now, has been run by only one major news outlet (is that a surprise), I am reminded of Allen Drury's great political fiction series (published between 1959  & 1975): "Advise and Consent", "A Shade of Difference", "Capable of Honor", "Preserve & Protect", "Come Nineveh, Come Tyre", and the alternate ending "The Promise of Joy". These are great books that are relevant today and contain hidden truths about how politics works and the media operates. They are on my recommended reading list. Over the years I've given several sets to friends. While they are not in print today you can readily find used copies.
 
Update:
You might also enjoy reading this post from on a website entitled “The Mind Unleashed”  which discusses a 2013 study “What about building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories.”

2 comments:

  1. I love "Advise and Consent," and a ragged copy sits on my shelf. I've not seen or read the others, though I think I'll need to find a copy somewhere. Any recommendations where they can be found?

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  2. You have an excellent taste in books :) I used to find copies at libraries where they sell books. I haven't seen them for a while (but I haven't really been looking either). One of my favorite sites to buy books online is half.com (www.half.ebay.com) which eBay bought a number of years ago. I just checked and there are hard and/or softback version of the entire Advise & Consent series available. I love the alternate endings he produced. Both need to be read. I feel his portrayal of the press throughout is an accurate reflection of reality.

    Taylor Caldwell's novel "Captains and Kings" is another book that is an interesting read for those open to the idea of conspiracies. You've probably read that as well.

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