disinformation reader (and frequent commenter) 5by5 tipped us off to the article below by Jack Blum. 5by5 wrote to us saying:
It’s not your standard take on the idea, and it references something that Raymond and Joe covered when they interviewed Adam Parfey — namely, the blurb in “Apocalypse Culture II” by Jonathan Vankin about how the media marginalizes any thought outside the commonly accepted narrative as if it were a virus because conspiracy theory is inherently confrontational.
Ironically, the article I’m linking to comes not from a writer, but from a Republican government investigator who’s run into the phenomenon first-hand for the past 45 years, looking into very real corruption schemes like Bush’s bank, BCCI.
The elite he speaks of are studied in the book “Shadow Elite” by Janine Wedel (whom I think it would be fascinating for Raymond & Joe to interview for the podcast as well).
I found this part really revealing:
“Despite the desperate need for such an investigative approach, throughout my career I have been constantly perplexed by the reception to it. A frequent response by newspaper columnists and pundits was to dub me a ‘conspiracy nut.’ Another common response was to call my evidence ‘anecdotal,’ a word uttered with a dismissive sneer. ‘Shadow Elite’ identifies players who perform overlapping, mutually influencing, and not fully revealed, roles across government, business, think tanks, and national borders in pursuit of their own policy agendas (“flexians,” she calls them, and flex-nets”–such players who work together in a network) as an important key to understanding how influence is wielded and why policy decisions are made. Wedel tracks how elite multipurpose networks function in clear-eyed–not conspiratorial–fashion. Far from mere anecdotes, today’s top power brokers operate according to a modus operandi with specific features that she charts.”
What cracks me up about that is that he himself doesn’t understand why he gets marginalized with the conspiracy nut tag by some in the media, yet turns around and characterizes other conspiratorial research as somehow not “clear-eyed”. As if other’s work is necessarily any different from his own.
Perhaps what needs to be cleared up is the fact that not all conspiracy theory is created equal, and by characterizing it as though it is, throws the baby out with the bath water. Some are in the Land of the Tin Foil Hat, and others are exposing very real, very detrimental acts being conducted in the shadows.
Here’s the beginning of Blum’s article at Huffington Post:
When I came to Washington 45 years ago to work as an investigator for the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, a senior investigator with years of experience told me that the beginning of any good investigation was a clear understanding of the players. “Everyone you will look at has a history,” he explained. “They will have mentors and sponsors. They will have networks of political and business connections. They will play many roles. If you understand those, everything else will fall into place.”
The advice was sound and has served me well in years of investigations of corporate wrongdoing, organized crime, money laundering, and securities fraud. My career highlights include serving as Special Counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and before that as Assistant Counsel to the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee followed by work as a private lawyer representing victims of financial crime and financial institutions on compliance matters.
Despite the desperate need for such an investigative approach, throughout my career I have been constantly perplexed by the reception to it. A frequent response by newspaper columnists and pundits was to dub me a “conspiracy nut.” Another common response was to call my evidence “anecdotal,” a word uttered with a dismissive sneer.
Janine Wedel’s breakthrough “Shadow Elite” shows why “anecdotal” evidence is essential to grasping what is really going on…
[continues at Huffington Post]