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How conspiracies feed on “about to be revealed” truths

by Greg Krehbiel on 23 January 2018

Have you noticed the way we’ve moved from news — actual stories about actual things that have happened — to hints and tips and innuendo about secret things that might be revealed later?

Here’s an example. Claim: Page and Strzok Referenced FBI ‘Secret Society’ that Met the Day After the Election. This is based on what some people are saying about documents the press hasn’t seen. They can’t check the facts, so the “story” is that people are “claiming” something.

There were lots of examples of this from the left as well. Remember when CNN reported what James Comey was going to testify about — and turned out to be wrong. Last year saw lots of false stories based on mysterious leaks and unconfirmed sources.

That’s what a lot of “news” is now. Stories based on shadowy sources about something that happened, or might happen.

The effect is to increase the belief in conspiracies. The partisan (on either side) becomes convinced of the secret, untold story from back channels, and then when it doesn’t turn out that way through official channels …. Ah. Obviously there’s a conspiracy to hide the truth, because we all know what was really going on.

2018-01-23  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 7

  1. William
    23 January 2018 @ 12:58 pm

    NPR had a story that was akin to your thoughts…

    Journalism Lessons Learned

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    23 January 2018 @ 1:02 pm

    Good article.

  3. William
    24 January 2018 @ 10:16 am

    What in the world do you do with this one?

    #Et tu?

  4. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    24 January 2018 @ 10:21 am

    What did he do? So he had an emotional attachment to a woman in the office and he hugged her. So what? Why is this an issue at all?

  5. pentamom
    24 January 2018 @ 10:51 am

    Apparently he confessed that he had thoughts that went beyond that. Clearly, you’re not allowed to have thoughts now, regardless of how you conduct yourself.

  6. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    24 January 2018 @ 10:57 am

    Wrong thinking will be punished.

  7. William
    24 January 2018 @ 3:42 pm

    I expect this is a very proud moment for the congressman’s wife and kids. I’d love to be a fly on the wall as he explained to his wife how he’s made national headlines because he felt he lost his “soulmate”. 😉

    In this case, the devil is in the details. As the expression goes, there’s three sides to every story…yours, mine and the truth. We only have his account. To determine if there was something “truly” wrong you’d need to get input from the alleged victim. Harassment becomes unlawful where 1) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment, or 2) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive. Therefore, even if he didn’t have a sexual relationship with her, if it can be verified that he interacted with her in a way that was intimidating and made her feel as if her job was in jeopardy (and she left his employ due to that), then the good congressman may very well be culpable. So, depending on the details, this one “might” or “might not” be a case for the thought police.

    That said, even if this turns out not to be illegal, it’s inappropriate. Ideally, someone in a supervisory capacity shouldn’t be expressing romantic sentiments to their employees (while they are in employer-employee status within the workplace). It’s a recipe for disaster and I’ve seen more than one case go sideways and not end well.

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