Deconstructing Anderson Cooper and his defense of the government


Adam Curry and John Dvorak, in their No Agenda podcast #478, deconstruct Anderson Cooper sliming those who question the official story at Sandy Hook as indicative of how, at crucial times, our mass media often closes ranks and defends the official line from DC.

Their primary point is that Cooper spent twenty minutes on what was essentially a non-story so he could by implication mock conspiracy theories in general and also those who question the government in any substantive way. Cooper appears to (pretend to) believe that there are no conspiracies and the government never deceives us. He also engaged in seriously sleazy Limbaugh-style attacks by saying  the college professor who questioned the Sandy Hook story works at a place that receives tax dollars, and isn’t that just too hideous for words.

After all, all those crazy conspiracy theories are just that, crazy, right? Just look at all the wacky things conspiracy nuts say about JFK’s assassination. Oh wait…

Robert Kennedy Jr.says the Warren Commission report was a “”shoddy piece of craftsmanship”, “the evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman”, and that organized crime was probably involved.

Why gosh, that’s just crazy conspiracy babble isn’t it? We await Anderson Cooper fearlessly attacking a target that can fight back, like Kennedy, rather than a college professor at a small university. I’m guessing he won’t.

(Adam Curry was an early MTV VJ and played a major role in the birth of podcasting. John Dvorak is a long-time tech journalist.)

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  • What Chip Berlet said:

    The current political environment is awash with seemingly absurd, but nonetheless influential, conspiracy theories, hyperbolic claims and demonized targets. The political right blames sinister plots on a vast conspiracy supposedly run by liberal secular humanists and Democrats, portrayed as running a covert network of subversives. Scratch the surface of these stories and commonly scapegoated groups emerge: Jewish bankers, Freemasons, civil rights activists, labor union leaders, community organizers.

    On the political left, conspiracy theories portray conservatives, neoconservatives, and Republicans as staging the terror attacks on 9/11 as part of an elaborate scheme to justify war in the Middle East and the erosion of civil liberties at home.

    These are not legitimate criticisms of public policy or the institutions of power in our society; they are populist anger and anxiety exploited by demagogues to undermine the democratic process. Democracy requires informed consent. When conspiracy theories enter public debates, they are toxic to democracy.

    Between Don’s Trutherism and your apparent budding Newtownism perhaps The Agonist should consider soliciting tinfoil manufacturers for official sponsorship. 😉

    (Then again, who am I to question the authority of FORMER MTV VJ!!1 Adam Curry, who, btw, apparently believes that the Moon program was a hoax. Yeah.)

  • The list of conspiracy theories is a long one. The list of conspiracy theories that turned out to be true is quite a lot shorter.

    That some conspiracy theories turned out to be true does not mean all of them are, but neither does it mean that just because it’s a conspiracy theory it is necessarily false. Governments sometime engage in nasty conspiracies, but that doesn’t mean all government is bad. People sometimes engage in nasty conspiracy theories to justify their own bigotries to themselves, but that doesn’t mean all people who hold conspiracy theories are nasty bigots. This is Logic 101, people.

    • The problem with conspiracy theories are that they aren’t actual arguments — you can neither prove nor disprove their veracity, thus limiting their utility as analytical tools (see also: The Bible). That conspiracies exist is unquestionable; but from my observation, conspiracy theories tend to reinforce the official line, rather than challenge it, by making any and all opposition seem irrational and unseemly by proxy (eg, 9/11 — Trutherism destroyed any chance of the truth ever emerging by drowning sensible skepticism in a deluge of outlandish tinfoil dipshittery).

    • The list is even shorter than billed. Near as I can tell, almost of those are conspiracies without the accompanying theorizing that is the hallmark. Without widespread public theorizing and exploration of “evidence”, it doesn’t matter whether a conspiracy is true or not, it’s simply out of scope.

  • Curry and Dvorak didn’t address the veracity of the professor’s claims. That wasn’t the point. Cooper’s rant against him and his absurdly claiming there really are no conspiracies, was their point. They deconstruct the MSM on their show, have fun doing it, and yes, are deliberately outrageous at times.

    As for conspiracy theories, people have been mocked for decades for saying the Warren Commission report was bullshit. Now we learn that RFK and RFK Jr agree with what used to be called loony conspiracy theories.

    BTW, Adam Curry and Dave Winer pretty much invented podcasting. This was after MTV and after Curry’s web dev company went public, got sold, and he semi-retired. Dvorak of course has had a PC Mag column forever, and participates in several major tech and investing podcasts too.

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