Probing the Ebola Conspiracy Panic 1

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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Was Gary Webb Suicided to Kill New Book? 50

webbgaryjpg-0aec-c9be4Kill the Messenger, the new film on San Jose Mercury News investigative journalist Gary Webb, debuts in movie theaters across the United States this weekend. Questions still remain as to whether the Pulitzer Prize-winning newsman, who was betrayed by his colleagues for his brave investigative work, wasn’t “suicided” by the very forces whose crimes he endeavored to expose.-JFT

By Charlene Fassa

[This article originally appeared at Bellaciao.org in December 2004.]

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Florida Newspaper Touts “Smart Meters”, Ignores Scientific Data 36

SM_AnimationBy James F. Tracy

In a recent editorial, “Smart-Meter Phobia Sad, But Don’t Cut Power,” the Palm Beach Post hyped safety claims of Florida Power and Light / Next Era Energy accompanying the utility’s statewide “smart meter” deployment while condemning the roughly 6,000 Florida households that have declined such technology.

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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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9/11 Commission Forum Shows How DC “Works” 48

By Andrew KreigWorld Trade Center 9/11 via Creative Commons

Members of 9/11 Commission last week leveraged the 10th anniversary of their report to announce a dozen recommendations focused primarily on fanning fears of foreign terrorism. The former commissioners urged strong spending on counter-terrorism intelligence and far fewer congressional oversight committees.

News coverage arising from the announcement and related congressional testimony avoided mysteries and ongoing disputes.

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Journalism, Education, and The Matrix 34

rappoportJames is joined by independent journalist and author Jon Rappoport, one of the most thoughtful and prolific investigative reporters of our time. Jon has written articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. He ran as a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California, and has also delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences throughout the world.

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Chossudovsky on Challenging Media Disinformation & Manufactured Dissent 18

chossudovskyJames is joined by Michel Chossudovsky, award-winning author and editor of Global Research. Together they discuss the phenomenon of manufactured dissent, contemporary independent news media , and the prospects for challenging corporate media disinformation, American imperialism, and the New World Order.

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Corporate Media Complicity in State Crime 39

By Jim Garrison

In a country with advanced technology for news distribution, the removal of a nation’s leader by a coup d’etat will never be attempted unless those sponsoring the murder feel assured that they will have an effective degree of control over the dissemination of the news.  Government control must be at a high enough level to guarantee the subsequent distribution of official news releases encouraging the belief that, however tragic the incident, it was essentially meaningless and all is well.

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