|Image courtesy of White House Flickr Stream|
You’ve heard them all before. Obama’s not American. Obama’s not human. Obama runs a secret balloon animal society with Bo. Okay, so I totally made that last one up, excuse the hyperbolic example but I think you’re getting the point.
The birther row is back. Election time is rife of rumours and speculation to provoke doubt in the voter’s mind, and with Donald Trump endorsing Obama’s rival, Mitt Romney, the birther row was bound to resurrect itself and strike the Obama campaign with Trump still questioning the true nationality of the President. The original obsession with Obama’s heritage led the President to release his birth certificate, the rehashing of old questions surrounding the President’s nationality can only hurt the Romney campaign. It may sit well with the unsettled Republicans, but for the Romney campaign to be associated with this type of negative strike will isolate swing voters through the assumption that they are uneducated enough to jump on the Birther Bandwagon, which in 2012, is old news.
The problem with conspiracy theories is not the speculation behind them, but the vision which clouds them. The information the alternative ‘truth seekers’ consume is just as biased as that of a media giant. If journalists are controlled by codes of conduct, employers and ideologies, then the alternative thinkers are controlled by the will to seek anti establishment theories, in such a way a child who refuses discipline rebels against it’s overbearing parent. Journalists are getting a reputation in which they are seen as puppets to release information to the public, this assumes that audiences are stupid enough to consume every piece of bias that gets printed in contemporary media. The problem is the sourcing, journalists are required to find the best sources to make their stories plausible, conspiracy theorists rely on their own imagination and websites which conform to their own ideologies- if you’re looking for some weird conspiracy drama to suit your agenda, chances are you’ll find one. The internet is not a place where you can find unbiased information- everything has an agenda, and if there are bigger meanings or reasons behind particular people, events or terrorist attacks, then the public will never know. Take 9/11, George Bush has apparently been criticised for saying he saw the planes hit the towers on the television. Maybe he did know beforehand it would happen, or maybe he didn’t. Bush continually walked into a minefield in which he would make mistakes and end up ridiculed, and this is the comment people choose to attack. Journalists get thrown to the wolves, accused of not serving their readers or serving their purpose to report the truth, journalists are not creating a smoke screen to distract from the control of the government, they are doing their jobs in responsible reporting- which in case you weren’t aware, does not include speculation. I heard a theory that President Obama is actually a reptile, pretty suave looking lizard if you ask me.
The Atlantic Wire have a great article on the Obama conspiracies which I recommend, if you’re like me and into that kind of thing.
Side Note: I’m all for freedom of information, freedom of speech, and freedom of thought and yes I am aware the internet is the place to catalogue this. Don’t throw things at me, and if you do throw things at me, make sure it’s something edible.
Originally posted on November 6th on June 1st 2012.