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May 29, 2007

Compare And Contrast: MSM/NYT Very Big On Reporting Krazy Konspiracy Kookiness In 1995; Now, Not So Much

A 10,000 word article in the NYT Sunday Magazine mentioned the various conspiracy theories percolating on the John Bircher right.

NYT in 1995:

If today's conspiracy theories provoke a shiver in the night, some bedtime reading may help. A vast array of Cassandras echo through American history -- usually on the fringes of politics but occasionally accepted by the mainstream. Through the centuries the villains of the pieces have shifted -- from Masons to Catholics to Jews, for example -- but the alleged plots also have a lot in common: a foreign (or otherwise alien) connection, a tie to big money, a secret organization more powerful than any state.

Three decades ago, the historian Richard Hofstadter wrote the classic essay, "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," describing a tendency to see vast conspiracies as the key to history...

The post-World War II years, a time as confusing as now, saw a real adversary, Soviet Communism, became blurred in some minds with a wider conspiracy; in this view, the United Nations and foreign aid and integration were all part of a Communist plot. (The high-schoolish grammar is that of the Times writer - I haven't altered it. PG) Robert Welch, leader of the John Birch Society, published "The Politician" in 1963, in which he noted President Eisenhower's support for these and concluded that Eisenhower must be a Communist himself.

Here's what the NYT has to say about today's conspiracy theories regarding the President acting with a cabal of international criminals: .

Gee, I wonder what could possibly account for the differing levels of interest in quite-similar cases.

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posted by Ace at 02:46 PM

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