Talkin' Conspiracies—and Syria—with MSNBC

Last Saturday I went on the show MSNBC Live to discuss my book The United States of Paranoia. The host was especially interested in asking me about some of the conspiracy theories surrounding the situation in Syria. You can watch our conversation below:

While I'm at it: The BBC World Service interviewed me about conspiracies last week too. That program is here; my bit starts at 15:11.

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  • Trawn||

    You would think that, if libertarians were as "radical" as they say they are, if they were really a "threat to the establishment," the MSM would be ignoring them. Instead they give them exposure. Why? Because libertarians are just the establishment in different clothes.

  • creech||

    So, Trawn, just who consists of the anti-establishment?

  • mr simple||

    There is no real anti-establishment! It's a conspiracy!

  • Jesse Walker||

    just who consists of the anti-establishment?

    The followers of Enver Hoxha. Everyone else is a poseur.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    You seem familiar...did you write a book or something?

  • ||

    Trawn, you should change your name to Drool. Your post makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    The conspiracies surrounding the Syria blahblah, as outlined by the professional blowhard/host:

    -Accidental
    -The U.S. Government Did It
    -The Syrian Govt was Framed
    -Biblical Prophecy

    Two of these are notably not conspiracies. They aren't even vaguely conspiratorial--an accident involves no mens rea at all. Apparently the word conspiracy has been so abused (or deconstructed) that its popular meaning is now a vague suspicion of a popular or authoritative account.

    Where I'm from, we call that being skeptical and critically minded, but it's probably better politics to call us conspiracy nuts and encourage people to keep waving their tiny American flags.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Your assumptions about the intelligence or knowledge of the average American are precious.

  • Jesse Walker||

    an accident involves no mens rea at all

    The "accident" line struck me as odd too. But with just 3-5 minutes to talk, I decided not to get bogged down in debating that part.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    His asking about the first American conspiracies also showed he hadn't even skimmed the table of contents. Heck, I haven't got my copy yet and I know that one - witches and Indians.

    Unless it was who bogarted all the beer on the Mayflower that forced them to land in the cold north instead of further south. I wonder what that's not in the book. Or is it?

  • Jesse Walker||

    His asking about the first American conspiracies also showed he hadn't even skimmed the table of contents.

    I wouldn't assume that. Interviewers frequently ask questions that they already know the answers to, for the benefit of the audience at home.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Hey, that's pretty good! I'll use that as my excuse for asking my question :-)

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OMG, those paranoid Americans and their belief that the UN is a threat to US sovereignty!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    They'd certainly be a threat if they were halfway competent. Good thing that hasn't happened yet.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Don't forget starting a war under false pretenses. Everybody knows that just can't happen. Anybody who disagrees is a gotdam communist, or nazi, or something.

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