I honestly love a good conspiracy theory. They can challenge our critical thinking, and be the catalyst for historical-critical investigation.
I’m a historian, however, and as the classic work The Historian As Detective writes, the first question we ask ourselves in historiography is “Why is this bastard lying to me?”
Often incorrectly attributed to Jeremy Paxman, the maxim in fact originated with Louis Philip Heren (1909-1995) who penned the words: “When a politician tells you something in confidence, always ask yourself: ‘Why is this lying bastard lying to me?'”
This applies equally to politicians, sources purporting to document history, or even conspiracy theorists for that matter.
Thus, when I began seeing Alt-Righters propagating the “Pizza Gate” conspiracy theory as a “smoking gun” against Hillary Clinton – just before the election – I asked myself “why are these bastards lying to me?”
I heart them out, as I always do with any conspiracy theory. Some I give a bit of credence to. Many people have documented encounters with “Unidentified” Flying Objects. But that does not mean that every wild leap made on History Channel shows, by guys with fake tans and bad hairspray jobs is “proof that humans couldn’t have built the pyramids.”
In any event, the evidence for PizzaGate seemed lacking at best, and at worst – and at times – disjointed, disconnected, and seemingly the byproduct of magical thinking.
Reddit recently banned a forum on PizzaGate. To the True Believers, this was evidence of a vast conspiracy that even the popular website was now sold out to. From Reddit’s perspective, it was a baseless theory making slanderous allegations about a small business owner and an array of individuals who have never been convicted or even formally accused of a crime. For Reddit it was simply not good practice, nor even legal, for them to allow their site to be used as a forum for what was clearly little more than slander and libel.
One of the key elements of the conspiracy was that the Podesta brothers are pedophiles.
Hell, maybe they are. Perhaps like most conspiracy theories, there is some kernel of truth once you get past the hardened, bullshit-covered, outer shell.
I simply don’t know. But PizzaGate far from proved the case to me.
The Podesta brothers do seem to look like guys in police sketches of a little girl’s abduction. But they also might not be. As well, even if this one element of the conspiracy theory were to be presumed true, this in no way made the case for the seemingly schizoidal damning of Comet Pizza Parlor as some Satanic cabal network of ritual pedophiles.
As well, if various folks central to this conspiracy theory are damned for their connection to pedophile Jeffery Epstein, then why aren’t they even more focused on Donald Trump, who was documented raping no less than two children at his parties, and who has called the child rapist a “great man”?
For some reason Trump was off their radar, but they were locked on to Hillary who was not even alleged to have had any pedophiliac contact in the PizzaGate narrative… Suddenly, I could see why these bastards were lying to me.
To go through each of the now thousands of claims made by the PizzaGate crowd would take nothing short of a book. For now, I would like to turn your attention to two of the best responses debunking this conspiracy theory
The YouTube channel for The Alternative News & Info Report writes the following about one of the recent claims that the founder of Alt-Right, White Supremacist website Breitbart, was assassinated by Hillary Clinton’s minions (or do they mean: minyans?) because he “knew too much” about PizzaGate.
This video is in response to the news circulating today about a Tweet from Andrew Brietbart on February 4, 2011 that mentions John Podesta and sex slave operations. It turns out that Breitbart was actually referring to John Podesta’s attempts at covering up the ACORN scandal from when James O’Keefe pretended to be a pimp and went to ACORN asking for help on how to get away with running a sex slave operation. Here’s a quote from Breitbart talking about this scandal, and how John Podesta was actively involved in covering it up, which was published 3 days after he wrote the tweet about Podesta being a “sex slave op cover-upperer”:
“Team Podesta, including Media Matters and Planned Parenthood itself, are coordinating and applying the same tactics they used in the ACORN scandal to grant the mainstream media excuses not to report on a video expose that would be front page news if it were against a politically incorrect group associated with the right. Can you imagine how media would react if pimp and prostitute undercover video implicated a mega-church, GOP congressmen or the NRA? Need it be argued that it would be everywhere?…. Good luck, Eric Boehlert and John Podesta, trying to suppress the truth in the name of covering up for unspeakably grotesque and immoral behavior. ”
So there you have it. I don’t think Breitbart was trying to imply that Podesta was a pedo, and was personally trafficking sex slaves for his own personal gain. Instead, he was putting him on blast for covering up a fake attempt by O’Keefe to get ACORN to help him create a sex slave operation. Big difference!
Watch the video and see for yourself…
Clearly, this was not only not a “smoking gun” it just highlights how so many conspiracy theorists base entire conspiracies off of nothing more than an ignorance of historical context of comments.
But this is only one point. A thorough debunking of the dozens of conspiratorial claims made by proponents of the PizzaGate conspiracy is needed beyond that.
Well here it is. Point by point, the following video goes through the bold claims of the conspiracy theory… and explains each point with a very reasonable, logical and actually pretty boring explanation.
What do you think?
Have the screws totally come off in the brains of Alt-Right conspiracy theorists? Or maybe that’s just what “they” (“we”?) want you to think!
Let us know and help SPREAD THE WORD!
(Article by M. David)