All the news that's fit to entertain

For some time now, I have noticed Drudge's regular linking of notorious conspiracy monger Alex Jones. I have been too cynical to bother with complaining in blog posts, as I figure WTF, who cares, after all, etc. These things are all about traffic. "News" becomes relative when it comes to entertaining people and getting hits. Knowing that Drudge is an entertainer who likes to titillate his readership might engender more skepticism on my part, but what good is complaining? Besides, who cares what I think about a major influencer like Drudge? 

Anyway today I was a bit startled to see that Glenn Reynolds has not only noticed the same thing, but spoke up:

....I see that Drudge is linking an item on Alex Jones' PrisonPlanet site about fallout reaching the West Coast I can't tell what it says because the Drudge link has killed the server, but I'd approach anything from that conspiracist site with skepticism, and I'm disappointed to see Drudge linking it.

Good for Glenn.

Pumping conspiracy theories is one thing (I often find entertainment value in them myself), but they really shouldn't be passed off as straight news, and as Drudge has a reputation as a major legitimate news site, his links to something carry with them the clear implication that they are news and not crackpot nonsense. 

Perhaps when someone of Glenn's stature complains, Drudge will notice.

Or perhaps not.

Anyway, I thought it merited a post, because I have noticed this too, and now I am wondering whether I was wrong in thinking it would have been a waste of time to complain. Perhaps integrity matters. 

Does it?

If not, I guess "reporting" like this might as well be considered news.

Have to admit, that's entertainment. For me, at least. I happen to think it's hilarious, and I linked it in one of my innumerable posts about conspiracy mongering. 

But -- and this is what I hate to contemplate as a libertarian individualist -- what about the people who would see the above and believe it? Is it irresponsible to deliberately pander to them and stoke their fears? Or is it just their problem?

Not long ago, I said this:

...I hate the way Post-Modernist liberals (as well as some conservatives) claim that people's thoughts are not really theirs, and whenever I see evidence which tends to confirm it, I want to run away screaming. For I want to give people credit or blame for thinking what they think, whatever it is.

I think thoughts should be the fault of the people who think them.

How might that apply to people who see a conspiracy video and are immediately convinced it must be God's honest truth? If some harebrained idiot sees a "story" linked at Drudge and isn't savvy enough to be skeptical, whose fault is that? His? Or Drudge's?

By insisting that harebrained people are responsible for the thoughts that they vapidly allow others to place in their emtpy heads, am I just running around with blinders on? Maybe so, but the idea of a duty on the part of smarter people towards their dumber brethren strikes me as elitist, and trying to enforce it smacks of communitarianism. So I tend to blame the harebrained followers instead of their smarter leaders.

There's nothing wrong with expressing disappointment though. While it shouldn't be illegal to do it, it isn't right for smarter people like Drudge to mislead dumber readers who can't tell the difference between a news story and a conspiracy theory.

Freedom is dangerous. Let the buyer beware.

Especially the dumber buyer.

posted by Eric on 03.14.11 at 01:28 PM










Comments

Hmmm - I don't think I'd link a conspiracy site - except in a post about conspiracy theories. But, I kind of consider Drudge a tabloid rather than a news site. So, I'm not surprised that he does.

Kathy Kinsley   ·  March 14, 2011 3:48 PM

I'd say Drudge himself is doing a good bit of fear-mongering, after wandering over to take a look.
And meanwhile, Reuter's headline reads: Japan nuclear disaster risk seen receding fast.

Kathy Kinsley   ·  March 14, 2011 3:52 PM

Listen.

Alex was reporting that it was melting down on friday.

I'm sorry if that fact is beyond you.

The TSA story is because of Alex and drudge linking it.

for over a year now major stories that first appear on infowars with sources and such have been linked to drudge and other main news sites when they have fallen into that realm. Alex's sites get more hits than most msm media sites and he has the number 1 radio show on the internet.

listen for 1 month.
Understand that there is an entire narrative in all this.

I suggest you watch The Obama Deception, the whole thing not just cause you don't like alex don't watch it. Take notes about claims then go over the news stories for the past 2 years and you will notice that the narrative put forth in that movie has loosely come to be. Much more than pulitzer prize winning publications can claim.

Its about you. Not Alex.

And keep posting about Alex thats how i found you come to our forums for all the proof for a good number of the theories you like to be entertained about.

Chrisfrmchi   ·  March 14, 2011 5:14 PM

If the Infowars link is the one I think it was with the fallout chart showing 750 rads on the west coast then it totally bogus.

The chart is a hoax. Even Chernobyl, the bombs dropped in WWII, and all the nuclear testing hasn't created a fallout even close to that.

Also, Snopes has it: http://www.snopes.com/photos/technology/fallout.asp

PromptCritical   ·  March 14, 2011 9:46 PM

I'm a big believer in conspiracies.

Why? Well some one seems to have changed the commenting software without notice.

The tab key now works properly and we shall soon see if it remembers me.

If I'm one of the first to know does that make me part of the Conspiracy? Since when did I become an unpaid member of Bohemian Grove? Of course they aren't asking me for dues either. Unless you count the homage I have paid them by mentioning their name.

M. Simon   ·  March 15, 2011 8:24 AM

It remembers!

M. Simon   ·  March 15, 2011 8:26 AM

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