Reason Writers on Minnesota Public Radio: Matt Welch and Michael Shermer Talk Conspiracy Theories


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  1. You think we don’t know this is all part of the conspiracy?

  2. Unfortunately for Matt, calmer heads will not prevail in this discussion. There’s a conspiracy crisis despite any real evidence Matt produces.

  3. … and of course Hercules Decathlon Savignon posts in the thread below this one, rather than in the thread where his crazy is almost asked for.

    1. He’s actually quite willing to engage in discussion. I asked him if, since he indicated an imperial future, I had a chance at the Duchy of Florida. He told me that Florida wouldn’t be independent but would be part of some greater Caribbean province.

  4. I question the timing of this.

  5. Chemtrails?

  6. Neuroscience origin of conspiracy theorism? Are they going to start mandating medication?

  7. Snopes is better than NYT?!

    well… yeah. Obvy!

  8. I hate call-in shows. Everybody’s an idiot.

    1. You ever notice that the caller is rarely brilliant? I mean, more rarely than demographics would indicate? I think one universal trait among radio talk is their aversion to being humiliated on air. Even screening out obvious intellect doesn’t always save them, as we see particularly in sports talk.

      1. I dunno – I suspect that the act of calling into a radio show turns normal sensible people into raving madmen.

      2. Self-selection bias. Most people with nuanced opinions don’t listen to it, the ones that do don’t call in, the ones that call in are culled for the bombastic morons. Talk shows will always de-evolve into The Jersey Shore.

        1. Oh, sure, in part. But I’ve listened to enough during commutes to suspect excessive intelligence is on the screen-out filter list. Besides, smart people don’t necessarily equate to high ratings.


            1. Yes, that’s what happens when they get through by mistake and don’t agree with the host.

              1. My rage could drown stars!

                1. You have the plak tow.

            2. but only after you greet the host “Hi, how are you?”

              He’s answered that question 40 goddamn times in the last hour!

          2. You’re missing some things:

            1. The format does not lend itself to comprehensive expressions of ideas.

            2. Dialogue is a one-way street with the majority of talk masters.

            3. There is no “fairness doctrine” for callers who, in the timid view of the talk master, pose an intellectual threat to the host.

            1. I miss nothing. . .but your mother! [Hangs up on Libertymike.]

              1. Yes, that has happened, more or less, to me. I bet you have heard many variations on that theme as well.

                It happens a lot with sports talk. If you were to ever listen to WEEI, 850 AM, in Boston, you would be in for a treat. There is one notorious Yankee fan by the name of Frank from Gloucester. All of the station’s regular hosts make sport of him. They won’t let him complete a sentence before they pepper him with irrelevant interruptions.

    2. That’s because the Illuminati cull out the sensible callers so only the idiots can get through.

      They control The Phone Company Monopoly? after all.

      1. I was going to tell you that you had it backwards, but the Phone Cops are running up the stairs.

  9. Of course the death panels phrase bothers the crap out of Kerri, she’s an NPR anchorette.

  10. Perpetuate the crazy!

  11. People love to believe bullshit! Surprise!

  12. but! but! authority never lies!

  13. “We’re going to follow up this story on conspiracy theories with a discussion of the interconnectedness of this crazy ass weather”

    eh… so no lessons learned then.

    1. Yep, they’re going there.

      Climate change is making for bigger badder storms. But maybe fewer of them.

    2. A lot of “I don’t know” and “We don’t know how it works” but OF COURSE it’s all because of the man-caused climate change!

  14. Murricans have no excuse for believing bullshit because we have NPR.


  15. Pretty good job Matt. I think you were effective in sneakily sliding in the idea that all of are a better source than the “elite” of us.

    1. Thank you, and thanks for listening!

  16. So they follow up a segment on crappy journalism and conspiracy theories with a segment on global warming causing the tornadoes?

  17. Nice tie.

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