4 Baseless Conspiracy Theories The Media Continues To Report As Fact
ByBen JohnsonJun 14, 2021 DailyWire.comFacebookTwitterMailMANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
If there’s one thing the legacy media believe separates them from the unwashed masses who keep voting Republican, it’s the latter’s support for “conspiracy theories.” The media have made refuting such theories a major part of their job, not only to defend the truth, but to safeguard the nation from more riots and insurrections.
As long ago as 2017, NBC News asked, “Are Conspiracy Theories a Threat to Democracy?” More recently, CNN warned that conspiracy theories could “turn to political violence, like what happened on January 6.”
But the legacy media may want to correct their own coverage, since the most prestigious outlets continue to propound baseless and discredited allegations, nearly all of which happen to favor Democrats.
Trump cleared Square for a ‘photo op’
As Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists staged violent riots nationwide, the media saw an opportunity to flip the narrative by claiming that President Trump had ordered “peaceful” protesters gassed so that he could stage a photo op of himself holding a Bible in front of a besieged Episcopal church. MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace alone has mentioned the “photo op” story 43 times over the last year, according to Grabien media founder Tom Elliott.
Imagine the media’s disappointment when a reporter from the Interior Department’s inspector general issued a report saying that the president’s visit had nothing to do with the decision to use tear gas: The rioters’ violence did.
Rather than consider the government report as authoritative as, say, an international agency’s guesstimate about the long-term impacts of climate change, the media immediately tried to save their original narrative.
“Joe, I don’t even know what to say,” said MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, before Joe Scarborough called the idea that the IG report exonerates the administration “laughable.” CNN’s Jim Acosta responded by assaulting the integrity of the author. “It sounded as if this inspector general was auditioning to become the inspector general at Mar-A-Lago,” he said, calling the report “almost a whitewash of what occurred on June 1.”
Thankfully, a few reporters adhered to the facts. MSNBC’s Ken Dilanian admitted, “The narrative we thought we knew was not the reality.” Chuck Todd then asserted, “They’re saying the Park Police decision wasn’t based on having the photo-op happen, but it does sound like the Park Police accelerated their efforts when they found out the president was coming.”
“The report doesn’t say they accelerated their efforts,” Dilanian responded.
Yet somehow, the media have decided that they want to believe President Trump was let off the hook… by the Biden administration.
On no issue have the legacy media shredded their credibility more than the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. CNN assured its viewers daily that Robert Mueller’s official investigation would reveal details of an impeachable, possibly treasonous, offense any day. The actual report disappointed, and decimated, its audience.
Yet some media figures now apparently believe they can ride the Russian hyperbole back to ratings gold. During a retrospective on the Trump administration on the eve of Biden’s inauguration, MSNBC’s Joy Reid said that no other American president “was elected with the help of a foreign power — none of them — let alone a hostile foreign power like Russia.” More recently, winks and nods about Trump’s special relationship with Putin dominated the media’s coverage of Biden’s European trip. Despite a thorough refutation of the claim by the chief investigator himself, the media continue to cling to the narrative in which they so long invested.
Someone ‘leaked’ the text of the Green New Deal
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) came to Washington with “ambitious” plans to socialize the entire economy. The media and the Democratic Party vested more credibility and sagacity in her than perhaps anyone since Barack Obama, so they had to come to the former bartender’s defense when her environmentalist manifesto, the “Green New Deal,” read like … a policy manifesto written by a former bartender. A FAQ of the bill said the GND would phase out all air travel, eliminate “farting cows,” and furnish economic security to those “unwilling to work.”
Her office responded to backlash by running in every direction at once. The congresswoman personally blamedshadowy GOP operatives for creating “doctored” versions of her plan — which somehow got uploaded onto her website and triumphantly released to NPR. Her counselor, Robert Hockett, lied to Tucker Carlson that the summary Carlson accurately quoted was a forgery. Meanwhile, her spokesman, Corbin Trent, told The Washington Post that the FAQ was accurate, but Americans are too stupid to understand it, because any embarrassing provision is “literally — clearly — irony.” Eventually, her office settled on the story that “[a]n early draft of a FAQ that was clearly unfinished and that doesn’t represent the GND resolution got published to the website by mistake.”
And the legacy media carried her water. “Ocasio-Cortez Team Flubs a Green New Deal Summary, and Republicans Pounce,” wrote the New York Times. The Washington Post wrote, “Ocasio-Cortez retracts erroneous information about Green New Deal backed by 2020 Democratic candidates.” The Washington Post fact-checker graciously awarded the socialist congresswoman zero Pinocchios, since “Ocasio-Cortez has now disowned the FAQs.”
The media proved remarkably incurious about the tangled web of tales emanating from everyone associated with Ocasio-Cortez’s office, including the congresswoman herself. Who was this mysterious staffer who wrote this summary? How did it get released everywhere, by her office, and retracted only when it earned the mockery of everyone who read it? We still don’t know, although the media now accept it as fact.
Republicans in Congress aided the ‘insurrection’
Members of Congress regularly have staffers lead tourist groups through the Capitol. After January 6, the media amplified Democratic conspiracy theories that Republicans actually used these routing tours to smuggle insurrectionists into the cathedral of our democracy.
The allegations began when Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) claimed that “members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on January 5” actually led insurrectionists in a mission “for reconnaissance for the next day.” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) toldMSNBC that he, too, had heard about the tours from other congressmen — and that second-hand rumor was good enough for MSNBC to run with it. Politico called these apparently baseless claims “startling allegations.”
Eventually, at least one name surfaced, to the media’s chagrin. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) told CNN that his office had seen “Congressman [Lauren] Boebert [R-CO] taking a group of people for a tour sometime,” possibly on January third, although he admitted, “I don’t remember the date.” Boebert immediately batted back the charge in a letter. “I have never given a tour of the U.S. Capitol to any outside group,” she wrote. “The only people I have ever had in the Capitol with me during the 117th Congress are my young children, husband, mom, aunt and uncle.” Although Democrats have yet to provide a shred of evidence for their incendiary claims, fact-free notions of perfidious Republican recon continue to crop up in the media.
This is far from a comprehensive list of the media’s conspiratorial worldview, but you may notice all of the media’s conspiracy theories have one thing in common: They present conservatives as a unique threat to the peace, stability — indeed, the survival — of our nation. You might even describe the media’s view of conservatism as conspiratorial, the one meta-conspiracy that explains all the others reporters bitterly cling to without evidence.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.