Probing the Ebola Conspiracy Panic 9

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]

The idea is useful when observing how over the past several weeks mainstream media outlets have busied themselves decrying various critiques of the US government’s response to the Ebola phenomenon, the government’s potential intentions concerning the predicament, and speculations on the disease’s uncertain origins and means of diagnosis as a similarly dangerous “strain of contagion”: “the Ebola conspiracy theories.”[2]

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New Interview Program on Truth Frequency Radio 94

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 61

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 32

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! 19

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 81

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 97

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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Anatomy of a Media Frenzy 87

By James F. Tracy

One year ago a national media frenzy ensued over my analysis and observations of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre event of December 14, 2012. Evidence that has since emerged since, including the State of Connecticut’s curiously expurgated official report released December 27, has overall tended to confirm such observations. My initial series of articles was circulated widely in alternative news outlets in late December 2012 and early January 2013. Yet not until the South Florida Sun-Sentinel interviewed me and published a rather inflammatory story on January 7 did a select set of my remarks subsequently “go viral” in major news media via the Drudge Report.

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The Sandy Hook School Massacre: A Compendium of Research and Analysis 64

Beginning in the late 1960s Operation Gladio and its corollary maneuvers proceeded throughout Europe, spanning over two decades. Researchers and even the testimony of public officials have since proven that the series of seemingly random orchestrated bombings and shootings was intended to cultivate the necessary degree of anxiety and “tension” that would keep the populace tethered to police state authority and supportive of the right wing regimes preferred by Western powers.

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Jeremy Scahill Attacks Alex Jones, Defends “Real Journalism” 108

By James F. Tracy

Progressive-left media icon Jeremy Scahill told a caller to C-SPAN’s Book TV that Austin Texas talk show host Alex Jones is a “lunatic” and a significant detriment to “real journalism that journalists are doing.”

Scahill was asked who he thought represented “the most legimate … form of journalism”–Jones or Amy Goodman. “[I have] to be very careful about choosing my words here,” Scahill cautioned. The writer then proceeded to call Jones an “absolute, die-hard lunatic, and to even mention him in the same sentence as Amy Goodman is an incredible insult to Amy Goodman.”

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