Steve Smallpage

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The Paranoid Style in Sportswriting: Deflategate, Lynchghazi, and the Conspiracy Theories of Super Bowl XLIX

After the Super Bowl, I got in my rental car and cruised metro Phoenix. I switched on the radio. I was looking for some basic “how could Pete Carroll …

NFL

Conspiracy Weary

<i>(Optional Video Accompaniment To This Post)</i><p><b>We interrupt your regularly scheduled weekend with this special report.</b><p>The largely mythical beast known as Benghazi, Benghazi!, <i>BENGHAZI!</i> is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late scandal. It's a stiff. Bereft …

Read Stuff, You Should: Conspiracy Theories

Happy Birthday to Mitch McConnell, 73.<p>Right to the good stuff:<p>1. John Sides at the Monkey Cage talks to Eric Oliver about conspiracy theories and why …

Mitch McConnell

The US, IS and the conspiracy theory sweeping Lebanon

<b>Is America behind the creation of the Islamic State? The BBC's Suzanne Kianpour, in Beirut, looks at the latest conspiracy theory doing the rounds in Lebanon.</b><p>"In the Middle East, conspiracy theories are in our blood," one former Lebanese official said over lunch in a restaurant in central Beirut.<p>He …

IMF's Lagarde calls for end to 'conspiracy' against women | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nations should remove laws that prevent women from working in order to increase the female labour supply and boost their economies, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Monday.<p>International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde speaks at a forum …

Scientists Tried Trolling Conspiracy Theorists

What they found is that conspiracy theorists really get into sarcastic parodies of conspiracy theories.<p>​<p>For all those people claiming to "fucking love science" on the internet, there's a bunch more rallying around bullshit conspiracy theories. And research just published in ​​<i>PLOS ONE</i> reveals that …

Paranormal

The Psychology and Economy of Conspiracy Theories

Why do people believe in conspiracy theories, and who's profiting from the industry they've created?<p><i>This article originally appeared on VICE UK.</i><p>Within hours of the <i>Charlie Hebdo</i> massacre, internet forums were buzzing with alternative explanations for the attack. "The official story doesn't add up," …

‘The Unconscious of a Conservative’

In the liberal imagination, the conservative plays many parts, all of them villainous, the most flamboyant being that of the crank who combines …

When conspiracy theories enter the mainstream, it’s time to worry

There was a time when conspiracy theories were confined to the lunatic fringes of British politics. But like any form of erosion, they are making their way towards the centre – the grounded sanity of normal democratic politics is at increasing risk of subsidence.<p>Take a few examples. Alex Salmond …

When Does the First Amendment Protect Threats?

Many people don't know where courts draw the line on what constitutes free speech—or what they mean by a "true threat."<p>Not long ago, a dissatisfied reader emailed that he had enough guns to stop people like me. I emailed back to ask whether he was threatening me.<p>The reply: “I'm not stupid enough to …