Conspiracy Theories: A Frontline Documentary and Coronavirus Disinformation | FREE WHITEWATER
FREE WHITEWATER

Conspiracy Theories: A Frontline Documentary and Coronavirus Disinformation

Of Alex Jones & Roger Stone, Frontline’s United States of Conspiracy describes how “trafficking in conspiracy theories went from the fringes of U.S. politics into the White House. [It’s an] investigation of the alliance among conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, longtime Trump associate Roger Stone and the president — and their role in the battle over truth and lies.” The full film is embedded below.

Of the coronavirus, Zeeshan Aleem writes Covid-19 conspiracy theories are being fed by institutions meant to inform the public (‘Sinclair Broadcast Group planned to allow a coronavirus conspiracy theory to air. It’s part of a worrying trend’):

Conspiracy theories about the origins of the coronavirus have swirled around discussion of the pandemic since it began. Such theories tend to proliferate during times of crisis, as people search for elusive explanations at a time of tremendous uncertainty. But there’s also something else that’s keeping them alive: Institutions in American life entrusted to inform the public have been amplifying them.

The latest example of this phenomenon was a controversial decision by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns one of America’s largest local television networks. The company planned to air a new interview with discredited researcher and conspiracy theorist Judy Mikovits, who suggests — despite all evidence and research stating otherwise — that one of the Trump administration’s top scientists, Dr. Anthony Fauci, may have created the coronavirus.

Sinclair was fiercely criticized for its decision to give Mikovits a platform on an episode of America This Week initially set to air on its local stations this weekend, and after facing pushback from progressive watchdogs like Media Matters and influential journalists, the company announced that it would delay broadcasting the episode so it can bring “together other viewpoints and provide additional context.”

As things stand, Sinclair may still air a newly edited version of the episode, giving Mikovits a broadcast platform. (Sinclair did not respond to a request for comment.) Even if the company ultimately decides to kill the episode, serious damage has already been done. The episode was placed on the show’s website, and the controversy alone has brought a new wave of attention to Mikovits’s bizarre and widely debunked conspiracy theories about the virus, giving her fearmongering about Covid-19 a broader audience.

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