Rebroadcast of an interview that aired on June 8, 2011
The internet has been abuzz for some weeks now about a NASA coverup of a prediction that in 2012 the sun will erupt in a solar flare so dangerous, that it could destroy the Earth. While Solar astronomers have assured the public that our sun is a very stable star, incapable of generating a flare strong enough to engulf the earth, it has done little to assuage the online hysteria that such stories often generate. In fact, the internet has played a significant role in the past decade or so of helping to proliferate all manner of conspiracy theories about various incidents and events, chief among them the September 11th conspiracy, and the Obama birth certificate conspiracy. A new book by blogger and journalist Jonathan Kay, paints a complex, and deeply revealing portrait of today’s conspiracy movements, particularly the so-called “Truthers,” and “Birthers.” Jonathan Kay spent two years attending conventions, perusing chat rooms, websites, and Facebook groups, and interviewing key members of conspiracy movements. His book, “Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground,” makes the connection between the general distrust that a majority of Americans have of their government, and the real and documented crimes and coverups in history that provide fodder for conspiracies. Kay also takes issue with his own profession and the mainstream media’s failure to respond to accusations of pro-government bias. He approaches conspiracy theories connected to both ends of the political spectrum from his self-described position of political centrism.
GUEST: Jonathan Kay, author of Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground, managing editor, columnist, and blogger, at Canada’s National Post newspaper. His freelance articles have appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, the New York Times, Harpers Magazine, Commentary, Salon, Reader’s Digest, and Salon.