When ‘Fact Checking’ Fails, There’s Always Conspiracy Theories and Misinformation

CASA Director Adam Turner’s op-ed at Townhall

The media likes to lecture Americans about the increasing threat to democracy posed by ‘conspiracy theories.’ The term, historically relegated to UFOs and the JFK assassination, has picked up steam in recent years as it seems to have obtained some political usefulness. Early examples include the Hillary Clinton private email server, spying on the Trump 2016 Presidential campaign, and the contention that Trump-Russia collusion was a product of the Clinton campaign’s opposition research. In each of these instances, dismissing allegations of wrongdoing as conspiracy theories proved more useful than trying to dispute what later turned out to be reality.

The response proved so effective for politicians and campaigns that now mainstream media and technology companies have adopted it as a key tactic to suppress politically damaging stories. But what happens when these conspiracy theories turn out to be true? It seems to be happening more often and consistently in one ideological direction. 

Read the rest at Townhall