The Talk Radio Congress: Mainstreaming The Madness Of Conspiracy Theories

Once upon a time, the most outlandish fantasies of fringe political fabulists were confined to a narrow spectrum on the AM radio dial. They concocted delusional narratives that ranged from murderous first ladies to galactic alliances with Martians. It was an entertaining world of fiction and a guilty pleasure for some, even as the true believers were convinced of the frightening fate that was unfolding.

Today, however, the boundaries between rational political discourse and raving madness have been erased. The extremist peddlers of nightmare scenarios who were once thought to be charmingly eccentric at 1:00am are now advising elected representatives of the people to initiate investigations and draft bills addressing these non-existent threats. Congress today hosts members who are no more reliable (or sane) than the wooly denizens of Alex Jones-land or the lie factory of Fox Nation. Here are just a few of the urban legends that are now circulating in the halls of state and federal legislative bodies courtesy of the whack job broadcasting set.

The UN Arms Treaty That Threatens US Sovereignty
ButtheadsThe United Nations recently passed an initiative to address the proliferation of “illegal” arms trading amongst terrorists and rogue nations. As expected, the right-wing Chicken Little Brigade immediately began protesting that this was another attempt to dilute national sovereignty and bring about a one-world government. Of course, there is nothing in the proposal that would infringe on the rights of any nation to set their own standards for gun ownership. The actual resolution explicitly states that countries will “exclusively” maintain the right within their borders to, “regulate internal transfers of arms and national ownership, including through national constitutional protections on private ownerships.“

This perfectly reasonable attempt to disarm criminals and tyrants was opposed initially by Alex Jones and similar fringe broadcasters. But eventually their outrage bubbled up to singe Republicans in congress who managed to prevent the treaty’s ratification. The GOP opposition was notable for the fact that it concurred with the only three UN nations that also opposed it: Syria, Iran, and North Korea.

Communists Have infiltrated The US Government
This may seem like a throwback to the 1950’s and the Red Scare promulgated by Sen. Joseph McCarthy and others. But make no mistake, this is all too current. Commie hunters in the fringe media are still accusing all liberals of having pinko sympathies. And they have an ally in former representative Allen West, who is now hosting his own web cast. West told a group of supporters that “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party. It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.” West lost his seat last November, but it is important to note that the leadership in the House never rebuked him or dissociated themselves or the GOP from his remarks.

Muslims Have Infiltrated The US Government
This is a corollary to the commie conspiracy updated to smear a more contemporary foe. Originally this allegation was espoused by the infamous Islamophobe Pamela Geller. She latched unto the fact that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had a close aide with a Muslim-sounding name. Huma Abedin has worked for Clinton for more than a decade and is respected by all who know her. She was even defended by House Speaker John Boehner and Sen. John McCain. That didn’t stop a cabal of House members, led by Tea Party queen Michele Bachmann, to fire off a letter to the State Department demanding an investigation and alleging that Abedin had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

There was never any evidence provided to support these allegations. Nor is there any evidence accompanying the new accusations by Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, who told WorldNetDaily that Obama deliberately “bungled” the investigation of the Boston marathon bombing because “this administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence.”

Benghazi Is Obama’s Watergate
Fox Nation - BenghaziThe king of right-wing talk radio, Rush Limbaugh got the ball rolling with this one. He alleged on his program that Obama was deliberately blocking the investigation into the attack on the US facility in Libya. Limbaugh could not come up with an explanation for why Obama would want to stymie the inquiry, so the implication left hanging was that he had some connection to the attack that he wanted to cover up.

Numerous other media outlets jumped on this mini-bandwagon with Fox News assuming a prominent role. Every Fox program began banging the Benghazi drum, and integral to their publicity push was escalating the scandal to include congressional players to add Washington credibility (such as it is). Republicans like Lindsey Graham and John McCain were happy to comply.

The Most Important Story In History
Not one to be ignored, Glenn Beck joined the fray with what he considered to be the “most important story in history.” The plot involved a Saudi man who was briefly questioned following the Boston marathon bombing. It was quickly discovered that he was a victim, not a suspect, and he was released to recover from his injuries. Beck, however, would not let go of the story. He threatened the White House that if they were not forthcoming with the truth about this, he would reveal the evidence he had that would blow the roof off the White House.

Beck’s deadline came and went with no revelations of scandal. He merely repeated what he had previously alleged, which had already been debunked. Which makes it all the more curious that four members of congress are officially demanding answers from the Department of Homeland Security based on what they call “media reports,” but are really just Beck’s psychotic discharges.

The Government Is Stockpiling Ammunition To Kill Us All
Last year there was a flurry of panicky hand-wringing by notorious conspiracy mongers over reports that agencies of the federal government had purchased large caches of ammunition. In the minds of the nutcases on the right, that was evidence that the DHS is plotting a response to some impending disaster scenario wherein they will be forced to kill every person in America five times. That is precisely what Mark Levin, Sean Hannity’s replacement for Sarah Palin, is terrorizing his radio listeners with.

This phony horror story was summarily dismissed by the DHS with documentation and proof that nothing out of the ordinary was occurring. It was merely a purchase contract to lock in lower prices for ammunition used commonly by several law enforcement agencies for regular use and training. Nevertheless, congressional overreaction to the “news” has resulted in a General Accounting Office inquiry into the purchase request. That inquiry was spurred by GOP senator (and Levin listener) James Inhofe who has also drafted a bill to prohibit ammunition purchases in amounts larger than those of previous administrations. Presumably that’s to make sure that the black guy doesn’t get any ideas.

And Then There’s Agenda 21
Amongst the conspiracy theory elite there is only one supreme and all encompassing doctrine of apocalyptic disaster: Agenda 21. The furor over this initiative dates back to the John Birch Society. In reality it just a UN guide to sustainable environments that recommends some completely voluntary measures aimed at advancing smart growth and safer, more livable communities. It was adopted by 178 countries and signed for the U.S. by President George H.W. Bush. It was, however, never ratified by the senate.

Glenn Beck - Agenda 21Somehow this benign project was transformed in the minds of conservative mythmakers into a monstrously evil plot to steal the liberty of all mankind. Glenn Beck even wrote a book about it wherein he describes it as “centralized control over all of human life on planet earth.” But the panic doesn’t stop there. Multiple state resolutions banning its implementation with a foreboding tenor have been enacted. For example, Tennessee’s resolution condemned its “destructive and insidious nature” and began by saying…

“WHEREAS, the United Nations Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control that was initiated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development…”

That’s fairly typical of the numerous legislative measures aimed at defending America from a tyrannical, global, one-world government, orchestrated by despotic environmentalists and the liberal media. And we might as well throw in George Soros because that’s who freshman senator Ted Cruz of Texas believes is responsible for the whole affair. Cruz has promised that he will “…continue leading the fight, to stop Agenda 21 and any other globalist plan that tries to subvert the U.S. Constitution and the liberties we all cherish as Americans.”

These delusional and thoroughly discredited inventions from the paranoia factories of Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, etc., were once the province of the radio backwoods and militia ham operators. And as frightening as these grim fairy tales are, what’s truly scary is that this conspiratorial fiction is now being embraced by elected officials in Washington and state houses across the country.


10 thoughts on “The Talk Radio Congress: Mainstreaming The Madness Of Conspiracy Theories

  1. You are right – the conspiracy mill may be a bit out of control. On the flip side, your willingness to accept every single “story”, talking point, statistic, etc that comes out of the mouth of the state as “THE” truth is a giant laugh. You’ve got your head embedded so far up the ass of the state, I don’t believe the real truth can reach your ears anymore unless is has the presidential seal embedded on it and it’s being fed to you like the human centipede.

  2. @Steve in York – A “bit” out of control? Seriously?

    Pardon me if I am making an erroneous assumption but it appears that you are one of those lunatic conspiracist.

    The “state” doesn’t lie. Rather, some people lie! But it is possible to sustain a mass lie
    perpetrated by a large group of individuals. This and Occam’s Razor are two of the failings in logic that conspiracists never consider.

    So tell me, what are the current lies of the state…that you can back up with facts. BTW, if it came from Beck, Limbaugh, or Jones – they are NOT facts and therefore, do not count.

    • Ok, maybe more than a bit. On your categorizing the state as something can’t criticize because it can’t be seen as something having characteristics like a person – here is a way to explain it so you leftist can understand – I see the government the same way liberals see “the rich” – of course the rich isn’t one person, but you libs like to attack them as if they work as one. On the Lie evidence – here is one you get every month – the CPI rate is a giant lie that impacts everything negatively (for you and me) from social security to government and individual debt and our false prosperity (not a Barak Obama creation). Can you figure out the negative impact on us due to the false CPI reported by the government or shall I spell it out for you? It’s a lie that is required by the state to perpetuate virtually all aspects of government today

  3. “Today, however, the boundaries between rational political discourse and raving madness have been erased.”

    Ain’t that the truth. And we know who the idiots are(here’s looking at you Bachman, Gohmert, King, Braun, etc, etc.) And most people are able to discern the differences between batshit crazy and credible politicians. But folks like Ted Cruz are smarter than the average local yokel and realize that his base is easily manipulated. And because he’s saying it, they believe him. He wouldn’t mislead them would he? Of course not; he’s on TV. And although he’s not the sharpest pencil in the box, Inhofe plays that game well. He speaks their language and in that southern drawl that lets everyone know he’s a real American.

    So, as you say, when fox or AM hate radio floats the latest conspiracy theory, a simple wink or head nod from a couple politicians makes it ok to believe it regardless of its’ obvious ridiculousness.

    • “…when AM hate radio floats conspiracies…”

      You mean like when Randi “Kill Bush” Rhodes kept screaming that the 2004 election was stolen? Or when she proclaimed herself a 9/11 trther, as did Thom Hartmann? Then, of course, we have Bill Press, who said that the Gabby Giffords shooting was caused by Sarah Palin’s target map.

      These talking points were later repeated by Maxine Waters, Sheila Jackson Lee, Earl Blumenaeuer, etc.

      • I’ve never even heard of any of those people…

      • Another false equivalency. Because, you know, the left does it just as much, right? You really want to keep score? Cause you know, BENGHAZI!!!

        • “…the left does it just as much, right?…”

          Actually, they do it a lot more. The mainstream press just ignores them.

          • Let me help you Scott. The following is a list of all the credible media sources that agree with you…………………………

            • You have no idea what you’re talking about. THe unbelievable amount of hate speech from Bill Maher, Joy Behar, Randi Rhodes, Mike Malloy, Ed Schultz, Bill Press, Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Markos Moulitsas, and so on ad nauseum have been very well documented. The fact that the maintsream press usually ignores these incidents does not negate what I previously wrote.

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