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Professor Lance deHaven-Smith of Florida State University talks about his book, Conspiracy Theory in America, and how the negative implications of the label "conspiracy theorists" are used to shut down thinking and expression about obvious conspiracies involving governments and elites. Film reviewer Gary Chew returns to tell us about Jeremy Renner's new movie, Kill The Messenger.
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deHaven-Smith is a professor in the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy at Florida State University in Tallahassee and his important book, Conspiracy Theory in America was edited by Mark Crispin Miller of New York University.
We open the discussion with a reference to the 1967 CIA memo 1035-960, which introduces the idea of conspiracy theories as undefined viruses that should be shunned by right-thinking people, without actually thinking about the evidence before them. Moving quickly to the present, deHaven-Smith slams Harvard professor and Obama advisor Cass Sunstein for his call to disrupt the free speech of those who challenge official government narratives--from the JFK assassination to 9/11. deHaven-Smith coined the term "state crimes against democracy" (SCADs) in an effort to properly define the issues that "conspiracy theorists" focus on, and his book details America's rich history of conspiracy and the deep skepticism of founding fathers.
We touch on many cases that look like SCADs, from the anthrax attacks of 2001 to the 9/11 Commission's whitewash, and your humble host chides him for not including the massive COINTELPRO operation and related FBI crimes. deHaven-Smith also notes that SCADs often come in clusters, but are treated by leaders and media as distinct, unconnected events.
Find out more about deHaven-Smith and his paintings here.
Just past the 60-minute mark, Gary Chew reviews Kill The Messenger.