A huge story can set off alarm bells everywhere, but somehow, with ever increasing frequency, we note the silence of the mainstream media. Having avoided doing its job, it then protects its flank by denigrating those who call for inquiries.
This Is Your Brain On CT
A recent example is this Times article: "Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories." It is illustrated with a Victorian diagram of the brain, updated to show the conspiracy theorist's brain -- with a flying saucer inside. The message is unmistakable: if you believe in any conspiracy (i.e., organized but deliberately hidden effort or operation) at all, you also believe in flying saucers carrying little green men.
The article reinforces this implication.
Here's how it begins:
"In the days following the bombings at the Boston Marathon, speculation online regarding the identity and motive of the unknown perpetrator or perpetrators was rampant. And once the Tsarnaev brothers were identified and the manhunt came to a close, the speculation didn't cease. It took a new form. A sampling: Maybe the brothers Tsarnaev were just patsies, fall guys set up to take the heat for a mysterious Saudi with high-level connections; or maybe they were innocent, but instead of the Saudis, the actual bomber had acted on behalf of a rogue branch of our own government; or what if the Tsarnaevs were behind the attacks, but were secretly working for a larger organization?
"Crazy as these theories are"...
The essay, by Times magazine columnist Maggie Koerth-Baker, implicitly suggests the public should immediately halt speculation once law enforcement officials "leak" information intended to shape our perceptions. No matter that these leaks are not the same thing as evidence presented at trial, that the leaks themselves serve an agenda, and that law enforcement has a long history of attempting to persuade the public of false narratives. No matter that the latter is a practice repeatedly, if often belatedly, chronicled by the Times itself.
Science Orders You: Stop Thinking Rationally
The author goes on to say that "recent scientific research" tells us that people who believe there's more to a story may actually accept several competing theories as plausible. And because they are open to competing theories, they're basically wacky. Such an ecumenical orientation to mysteries, akin to tolerating various conflicting religious faiths, is supposed to show that there's something wrong with you.
However, another study might find that those who prefer pat explanations from the authorities are equally irrational.
For example, when the Tsarnaevs were first identified by the public from video footage released by the FBI, the Bureau told us the Tsarnaevs were previously unknown to it. Then the Bureau was forced by the Russians to admit it had known the brothers for quite some time. In fact, the Russians had briefed the Bureau on its concerns several years ago, and at that time, in response to the Russian information, the FBI had begun interacting with the Tsarnaev clan. This unexplained about-face was, according to establishmentarians, just fine. No questions, your honor.
Here's another doozy. We were initially told that MIT police officer Sean Collier was killed in an altercation April 18 with the Tsarnaevs -- perhaps at a convenience store. Later, the authorities said Collier was actually assassinated completely unaware -- shot point blank in the head while sitting in his patrol car -- at an odd spot in between buildings on the MIT campus -- and by unknown assailants. This switcheroo was also A-OK with outfits like The Times. Nothing to investigate, no reason to be suspicious.
On April 19, the authorities told us that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev shot it out in a long gun battle with police before being apprehended. Later we learned, from the same authorities, that the young man, lying seriously wounded inside a boat parked in a suburban driveway, actually did not even have a gun with him. In fact, he was nearly executed in a totally one-sided gun battle. This fabulous flip-flop also raised no red flag with the establishment media.
On May 22, the authorities told us the FBI had to kill Tsarnaev's acquaintance in Orlando, Florida, Ibragim Todashev, because he lunged with a knife and stabbed an agent several times. Later, it emerged that, well, maybe he didn't have a knife at all, but maybe at some time he brandished a broomstick, or, at article press time, something else. And that was OK too, by gosh, for the journalistic glitterati.
Let's face it: If a suspect in an interrogation room told this many contradictory stories, he or she would be locked up, and later probably prove eminently convictable by a jury. But a person who sees something sinister in such official confabulations gets lumped together with the people who see little green men from Mars floating in their soup.