Beck’s New Dishonest Conspiracy Theory

Glenn Beck now puts video of his morning staff meetings online, which is often quite amusing as his staff smiles and nods while he rants incoherently. Last Thursday he told them that the ATF has now switched the departments that lick stamps and do background checks for guns in order to gum up the works and delay gun licenses.

This is nonsense. It did not happen. You know how I know that? Because the ATF does not do the background checks for gun licenses, the FBI does. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is an FBI program, not ATF. But hey, there’s no need to let a pesky little fact get in the way of a perfectly good rant, is there?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • sundiver

    Since when has Beck been honest about anything ?

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    Umm…. Your headline implies that there is such a thing as an honest conspiracy theory.

  • eric

    It also stretches the imagination to think that the ATF would have a department for stamp-licking.

    Maybe he tapes his meetings because he hears a lot of sniggering every time he turns around, and he want to know who’s doing it. Everyone, Glenn, everyone.

  • http://adventuresinzymology.blogspot.com JJ831

    @Gregory,

    I’d argue that some (if not most) conspiracy theories/theorists aren’t dishonest. Wrong, absolutely, but I don’t how often conspiracy theories come from lies vs ignorance.

  • keithb

    The conspiracy theories swirling around Christie seem pretty “honest”.

    How much did Christie know?

    What exactly was the motive for the payback?

    It appears that we have a real conspiracy, with no hard answers, so people are floating theories.

  • Matt G

    In any headline with Beck, dishonesty is assumed. I’m a bit late to this party, aren’t i!

  • http://www.facebook.com/den.wilson d.c.wilson

    Gawd, you mean he babbles incoherently all the time or is he just extending the act to his staff meetings?

  • Michael Heath

    JJ831 writes:

    I’d argue that some (if not most) conspiracy theories/theorists aren’t dishonest. Wrong, absolutely, but I don’t how often conspiracy theories come from lies vs ignorance.

    I’d bet they’re almost all fundamentally dishonest. Conspiracy theorists typically rely on key premises that are not true where they’ve avoided or denied the veracity of those premises, while falsely acting as if they have done such verification.

    The reasonable thinking crowd still hasn’t caught on to the core defect of nearly all bad political arguments from the right. That those arguments rely on false premises where the proponent behaves as if those premises have been verified to be true. We can kill bad arguments way we before we even get to the conclusion, we just need to verify the key premises which again, are almost always demonstrably false.

  • Michael Heath

    keithb writes:

    It appears that we have a real conspiracy, with no hard answers, so people are floating theories.

    I would greatly appreciate it if all science proponents saved the word ‘theory’ for its definition when referring to science, rather than relying on the word’s definition outside of science. That would help distinguish the difference between the theory of evolution and a creationist defectively conflating theory with mere speculation.

    Speculation is what people are doing now when it comes to Gov. Christie’s involvement with the traffic jams though, some (Rachel Maddow), laudably reach the level of hypothesizing, i.e., a proposed explanation for an observed phenomenon.

  • keithb

    Michael:

    Then I suggest you start with Ed. 8^)

    However, “Conspiracy Theory” is such an ingrained idiom, that I don’t think you are going to make much headway in your quest.

  • freehand

    There is a clearly rational hypothesis asserting that fossil fuel industrial interests are funding much of the disinformation on global warming.

    Google

    evidence “fossil fuel” disinformation

    for links to scientists making this claim, investigative reporters following paper trails of influence and money, specific examples of blatant lying, etc.

    Other rational, if not necessarily well documented conspiracy hypotheses include:

    Police departments covering up police brutality.

    Gerrymandering and voter suppression to manipulate election outcomes.

    Gov. Christie and the Bridge.

    Well established [we need another word for the non-technical use of “theories”] include:

    Cigarette industry manipulating medical research about the effects of smoking.

  • Michael Heath

    Me earlier:

    I would greatly appreciate it if all science proponents saved the word ‘theory’ for its definition when referring to science, rather than relying on the word’s definition outside of science.

    keithb writes:

    Then I suggest you start with Ed. 8^)

    However, “Conspiracy Theory” is such an ingrained idiom, that I don’t think you are going to make much headway in your quest.

    Nice catch and valid point. From my perspective the two words together are used as a pejorative against all that promote the conspiracy, as Ed uses it here. So in this case, the word ‘theory’ amplifies the ridicule in reference to the idea and its proponents.

    So I concede there are uses where using word outside a scientific context is not only useful and not only doesn’t dilute its scientific meaning, but can implicitly promote thinking of the word theory as something more than mere speculation, as we see when people derisively refer to conspiracy theories and theorists.

  • http://www.facebook.com/QuantumSinger chrisbryant

    Where the hell does he get that the temperature hasn’t changed for the past 15 some odd years!? That is an outright lie. I mean, we have the data that the mean global temperature has been on the rise. It’s not exactly a secret…

    NOAA Annual Mean Temperature Deviation