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Daily Archives: May 14, 2017

Sunday blog: Why are conspiracy theories so popular?

The Lockness Monster created a stir that will not die.

Commentary by Robert Escandon, Sumner Newscow — Since President Trump started running for the White House, a new expression has come to the fore, and that expression is “Fake News.”  I think we all agree that even a particular slant or style of wording can generate fake perceptions —- I devoted an article to that very fact a few weeks back.

Robert Escandon

However, we are often willing participants in the whole fake-news deal.  Conspiracy theories are a version of fake news, as is belief in things for which evidence is weak at best, or non-existent, at worst.  I’ve wondered for a few years why we actually relish news that is borderline or even imaginary.

Take that favorite journal The National Enquirer.  Every week it haunts the checkout shelves at the supermarket announcing some gory news (often about a celebrity who is dying) or some useless bits of tittle-tattle.  Probably the “news” is sourced secondhand from some minor world-news source as if it is credible and then regurgitated as fact.

Some years ago, the editors excelled themselves.  There on the front cover, was a grainy black and white photo of a B52 bomber surrounded by gray rocks.  The headline read “B52 Bomber Found on far Side of the Moon!  Next week, the same picture was displayed, except the B52 wasn’t there anymore!

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