In newspapering, in which your scribe slaved for many years, great weight was placed on factuality. The rule was verify, verify, verify. (“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”) The reasons were several, such as integrity, avoiding embarrassment, and fear of libel suits, which can result in judgements of millions of dollars. A reporter costing his paper such sums experienced a sharp reduction of job security. We learned early on: Check it out. Then check it out again.
This attitude sets poorly with conspiracy theorists. I have discovered to my sorrow that insistence on substantiation infuriates them. Today, though, a couple of such theories may actually influence events, so perhaps they deserve a glance. Let us start with electoral fraud. Such fraud can occur, has occurred, and may have occurred again. It has certainly been essayed, notably with the attempt of Mr. Trump to get Georgia’s Secretary of State to lie about vote counts.
Over and over comes the assertion: “The Dems stole the election.” Well, all right, but the newspaper habit kicks in. OK, the Dems did it, but…all of the Dems? No? Only some of them? Which ones? Names, phone numbers, job titles? How do you know? Are you sure it wasn’t the Communists? Or the Girl Scouts? Substance?
If you tell me that Joe Smith, the high-school principal in Farmville, Virginia, supplied fraudulent ballots while being an observer at the voting station, I could check it out. So could Smith’s libel lawyer. But “the Dems” seems lacking in specificity, narrowing the accusation down to perhaps eighty million people. Vague assertions are fine for conspiracy afficionados, but these do not have to face a gimlet-eyed desk editor.
I have read many times that at some voting station observers were prevented from observing, with cardboard being taped over windows when the observers endeavored to look inside. OK, perhaps it happened. I don’t know. I wasn’t there. But which observers? Names? Phone numbers? In an age in which everybody is a videographer, I would expect there to be video of the event. Is there? How do I find it? Who reported this misfeasance? Name and phone?
Supposedly cars drove up to vote-count locations at night, delivering large packets of fraudulent ballots, all for Biden. Maybe so. I wasn’t there. But who, specifically, reported this? Can I talk to him? The only people who would know that the large bloc of ballots were for Biden would be those tallying votes. Which of these divulged the homogeneity? Name?
The voting machines are said to have been hacked. Said by whom? Name? Evidence? To the conspiracy theorists I would say, either you know who did the hacking, a criminal charge, or you have the technical knowledge and the access to the machines to prove hacking. Do you? For example, are the machines Unix boxes? What software do they run? Are they reprogrammable by Internet? Do they have email addresses to which you could send malware? A URL? Voting machines would have security measures built in. Can you describe these measures? Have you done the minimum journalistic requirement of talking to Dominion, who makes the machines? In short, do you have the slightest freaking idea what you are talking about? Do you care?
Like so many conspiracy theories, including Covid below, this one would require collusion of a great many people managed by some controlling entity with a means of communicating secretly with a few thousand trusted agents. Sure. Any day now.
Then there are the Covid theories. These come in many flavors. The virus was an attack by china against the US, and by the US against China, and it escaped from laboratories in both countries, and its purpose is to depopulate the earth or allow imposition of dictatorship and to make money by Big Pharma.
Let’s pick a theory at random: The death count is being greatly exaggerated because we have reached herd immunity and Big Pharma needs to make it appear that people are still dying of Covid so they can sell vaccines. See, if people knew they were immune, they wouldn’t buy the vaccine. So deaths caused by other things are being attributed to Covid.
How would that work?
To begin, a whole lot of doctors and hospitals would have to be falsifying death certificates for it to make a statistical difference. Falsifying a death cert is a crime and can lead to loss of medical license. I haven’t seen a death certificate, but presumably it involves the patient’s name, date and cause of death, over the doctor’s name and signature. This would seem to constitute a paper trail. Why would a doctor document his criminality?
So when his patient dies after three months on the cancer ward, he puts Covid on the certificate. Precisely why would he do this? You would think the family would wonder why the cert says Covid when Uncle Rolfe had cancer, but maybe families aren’t too alert. The doctor might get away with this once, though I doubt it, but soon the nurses who took care of Uncle Rolfe would notice, and so would the hospital administration. These would therefore have to be part of the conspiracy.
Why would a doctor spontaneously falsify a death certificate? Slow day? He’s bored, and figures it would be a hoot? Obviously Big Pharma would have to persuade a lot of doctors to do this. How? Mass emailings? Or is there a telephone boiler room of people calling doctors to solicit a criminal act? “Dr. Jones, this is Big Pharma. Yeh, God, the Big One. We want you to risk your ticket by lying about….” Mightn’t this also leave a trail? This is making more and more sense.
And of course, most doctors wouldn’t do it, and some would call the FBI, which must be part of the conspiracy since it seems to have done nothing about all of this.
If the alleged number of Covid deaths aren’t really happening, then the actual deaths are about the number occurring every year. Thus the constant stories in the news about ICUs overflowing or being about to must be false. This would require the hospital personnel to be part of the conspiracy, since they would know whether their ICUs were overflowing.
Then there are the stories I have seen from at least a couple of cities reporting refrigerated eighteen wheelers being used as overflow morgues to handle surges in deaths. Now, I grant that these trucks may be full of furniture and that the hospitals, which are part of the conspiracy, and probably the reporters, who also are part of the conspiracy, are lying because, well, they are part of the conspiracy. See? Isn’t this reasonable?
The figures for deaths come from Johns Hopkins, which must be part of the conspiracy or else extremely gullible about medical matters. Governments have been crippling the economy with lockdowns, devastating many of the public and perhaps eventually threatening the military budget. It presumably is doing this for the benefit of Big Pharma. Airlines are in screaming desperation because of lack of passengers, yet do not complain of the fraud. Clearly they are part of the conspiracy. This shows the power of the vaccine industry.
A yet further demonstration of the influence of the Pharma lobby is that most of the countries of the world, to include Russia, are feloniously reporting high rates of death. This can only happen if all of these governments are part of the conspiracy. See? Vladimir Putin is an agent of Pfizer. Or something.
A more plausible explanation is that someone invented a selective hallucinogen that affects only Republicans and put it in the drinking water. I figure China did it. Crafty, squinty-eyed rascals, they are.
The exclamation point is to give you a sense of feverish urgency. Buy several copies before the thought police show up. Amazon will mail them in a plain brown rapper marked “Kinky sex books” so you will appear to be within the limits of acceptable culture.
Write Fred at [email protected]. Put the letters pdq anywhere in the subject line to avoid heartless autodeletion. All read, reply not guaranteed due to volume.