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May 11, 2020

Chris Hayes: Why Yes, I Suppose There Is a Conspiratorial Subculture On the Left That Blames Everything on Russia, and I Suppose I've Been a Leader of That Conspiratorial Subculture.
But You Know Who's Really to Blame Here? Russia

Interesting!

[Q:] I donít want to put MSNBC in the same category as certain other cable-news networks at all, but do you think that cable news generally and MSNBC included have played some role in fostering a climate where paranoia about the other side, or hyper-partisanship, or conspiracy theorizing, can find a common ground?

I think it's actually fairly endemic, and part of human-information processing at all times. I don't know. I think tha'ís often the way that we make sense of the world. If you go back and you look at cointelpro stuff, and essentially the kind of combination of dirty tricks and surveillance that the F.B.I. was using on Black Panthers and others, one of the effects was that it drove them nuts. They all started going a little crazy and getting super paranoid, but that was part of the point of it. So I also don't want to take the agency away from the actual actor here, which is the Russian government doing these things in 2016 that really had very profound, tangible effects, and have produced some amount of craziness and paranoia. I don't want to lose sight of their agency in producing that state of affairs. I think that, in some ways, was the seed that has flowered into whatever weíre dealing with now.


But thereís also a certain brand of #ResistanceDemocrat who, from watching MSNBC, or from certain things on Twitter, can get into a more conspiratorial mindset.

There is absolutely a subculture of conspiratorial thinking among Democrats, or the broad anti-Trump coalition. I would a hundred per cent concede that. That is borne of a lot of things. I think, again, I do think--I'm just speaking for myself--and this is . . . I don't know. The world's confusing, and I don't feel like I know all the answers. What I try to do, to the best of my ability--I know that I fail all the time--is to try to maintain the best habits of mind, if that makes sense.

Notice that when the Priestly Caste detects a conspiracy theory pushed by people they disapprove of, there is no nuance about whether conspiracy theories are bad or signs of stupidity. They're in full Finger Wagging Mode.

But whenever the left starts pushing conspiracy theories -- which is most of the time, actually, from 9/11 Truthers to Russia Truthers -- suddenly people like Chris Hayes say that such thinking is "endemic" to the human condition, just a fundamental part of our information-processing functions, really, and that he doesn't want to judge because "the world is a confusing place and I'm not sure I have all the answers," and also, most of all, It's Russia's Fault Anyway.


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posted by Ace at 03:09 PM

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