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Conspiracy Theories

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52:30

How the Republican Party came to embrace conspiracy theories and denialism

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank examines how the GOP got to where it is today, with some elected leaders and candidates still endorsing the lie that Trump won. His book is The Destructionists.

Interview
52:30

Sandy Hook ushered in new era of conspiracy and lies, author finds

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."

50:04

Area 51 'Uncensored': Was It UFOs Or The USSR?

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.

Interview
43:16

When Right-Wing Extremism Moves Mainstream

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.

Interview
41:55

Extremism, Conspiracy Theory And Murder

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.

Interview
13:41

A Satire Taken Seriously Turns Into a Popular Conspiracy Theory.

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.

Interview

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