Tag Archives: The Daily Beast

What Do You Say to a Roanoke Truther?

By Ben Collins via The Daily Beast

Trolls told Chris Hurst that his grief over losing his girlfriend in the Roanoke murders was a lie. But I’ve known him for years. Maybe, I thought, I could get them to listen.

On August 26, 2015, reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were both shot and killed on live television.

On August 26, 2015, reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, were both shot and killed on live television.

Chris Hurst spent the last two weeks trying not to cry on television while telling the world how beautiful his life with his girlfriend was before she was murdered for no reason. Chris was the boyfriend of Alison Parker, who was shot and killed on live television in August by a mentally ill man who had an invented grudge and easy access to firearms.

Chris is a friend from college. Chris and I hosted a radio show together.

Or, according to millions of conspiracy theorists online, Chris Hurst is a part of my imagination.

In the minds—and YouTube videos—of some conspiracy theorists, Chris is not a news anchor at WDBJ in Virginia. Chris, the videos say, is a “crisis actor” invented less than a month ago by the United States government as part of a false flag operation that will eventually allow the New World Order to take away every American citizen’s guns and force them into a life of subjugation and tyranny.

Every day now, Chris wakes up to find strangers’ hate on his Facebook wall that he has to personally delete. Or he’ll Google Alison to find the people he has to thank for donating to her scholarships and he’ll see, instead, another conspiracy theory YouTube video, viewed 800,000 times over, that says Alison was in on it all along, and that she’s been given a new life and maybe plastic surgery by the government.

check ok note 30pxIn the conspiratorial world, “Crisis actors” are professional actors ostensibly deployed by government agencies and/or the mainstream media to delude the public with portrayals of trauma and suffering: specifically, to act as victims or witnesses in staged school shootings or hoax terrorist attacks. Needless to say, this sort of thing only actually goes on in the minds of denialists and conspiracy theorists. Continue Reading at RationalWiki. . .

“It happened again about an hour ago,” Chris says. “It’s hard for me to manage that because I hit land mines when I do. They have all these details I don’t want to know.

The most recent one says Alison was dating someone else and that she and Chris were never together at all. That person is really Alison’s ex-boyfriend, who conspiracists found by looking through her old Facebook photos.

Two weeks after he lost the love of his life in the most gruesome and devastating way imaginable, this is what he has to sit through when he turns on his computer each morning.

“The hoax theories have taken a toll for sure,” he says. “I’ve definitely felt it more than anyone. I’m the one with the Facebook and Twitter page.”

It is simply easier for some people to believe that the United States government has concocted a vast conspiracy to take away all of our guns than it is to believe that it is too easy for a mentally ill person to acquire one and shoot anyone they want.

And now those same people are taking it out on the families of the victims of gun violence after a tragedy.

The last decade has seen a boon for “crisis actor” conspiracies on the Web and—along with them—a new set of psychologists and philosophers are trying to understand how people get dragged so far away from reality.

Continue Reading . . .

Dear Moon Landing Deniers: Sorry I Called You Moon Landing Deniers

Olivia NuzziBy Olivia Nuzzi via The Daily Beast

Supporters of conspiracy peddler Alex Jones are FURIOUS that I dared to note his dismissal of the Apollo 11 mission. Talk about a lunatic fringe.

The worst thing about being a moon landing denier is, apparently, the part where reporters call you out for labeling Apollo 11 as some kind of false flag operation.When I wrote a story about Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s relationship with his father—and the impact it might have on his chances of getting the Republican presidential nomination—I expected some pushback. But not like this.

AlexJonesMoron_240pxMy characterization of radio host Alex Jones (a frequent promoter of the Pauls) sparked outrage among his devotees. Specifically, they got all rage-y because I referred to Jones as a “moon landing denier.” A weird thing to quibble about, considering he is a moon landing denier.

Alex Jones, I wrote, is “a noted conspiracy theorist who spreads his message on his syndicated radio show and on his website, Infowars.com. Jones is a moon landing denier who believes the government acted as a guiding hand for the September 11 attacks and the Oklahoma City bombing, buys into the New World Order—the theory that a group of so-called elites are conspiring to form a singular, totalitarian global government has accused American pop stars of being purveyors of Illuminati mind control.”

.@Olivianuzzi, in your hit piece, you label Alex Jones a “moon landing denier,” when he has repeatedly said the opposite….1/2

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) July 29, 2014

.@Olivianuzzi what makes you believe you can get away with such brazen dishonesty?

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) July 29, 2014

.@Olivianuzzi your job is to make up shit to smear people, I hope the Daily Beast pays you well to make up for the cost to your conscience.

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) July 29, 2014

@PrisonPlanet—aka Paul Joseph Watson—is editor-at-large of Infowars.com, Jones’ site. There is rich irony in having the editor of Infowars.com charge that your job is to “make up shit.” Infowars.com, for the uninitiated, is a very special place where ideas like the Super Bowl halftime show is an illuminati ritual, and that President Obama has called for a New World Order, are welcome. The website even sells iodine drops, called “Survival Shield,” at their official store.

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