Denying that the Sandy Hook mass shooting had occurred became "a highly symbolic thing," Elizabeth Williamson says, author of the book Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth. "People did this for reasons of ideology. They did it for, in Alex Jones' case, profit. They did it for psychological reasons. There was a tribalistic bonding that happened around this."
Now that former President Donald Trump has left office, the community of believers in the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory are left wondering what will happen next. Washington Post national technology reporter Craig Timberg has written about QAnon and related subjects in recent months.
Former Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper remembers a time, not so long ago, when he was barely aware of far-right media outlets like Alex Jones' Infowars and Breitbart News. That changed during the 2016 presidential race.
Area 51 is classified to the point that its very existence is denied by the U.S. government. Journalist Annie Jacobsen says it's not because of aliens or spaceships -- but because the government used the site for nuclear testing and weapons development.
The number of hate groups in the United States continues to rise, says Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Potok discusses how the rhetoric of hate groups has increasingly entered the mainstream in the wake of the nation's changing demographics and the election of President Obama.
Chip Berlet has studied extremism, conspiracy theories and hate groups for more than 25 years. He says that the recent murders of abortion provider Dr. George Tiller and Holocaust Museum guard Stephen T. Johns exemplify the potential for violence that often lurks within extremist groups.
Publisher of The Nation, Victor Navasky. He was one of a group of writers who in 1967 conceived of a literary hoax. The book "Report From Iron Mountain," was penned by Leonard Lewin and was a satire, supposedly written by a commission of eminent scholars about the problems that would arise in the United States if "permanent peace" should arrive. The book has been compared to Swift's "A Modest Proposal" and "Dr. Strangelove" for its social and political commentary. It wasn't until 1972 that Lewin admitted the hoax.