One of the reasons I do this blog is in an attempt to understand the psychology behind people casting aside authoritative information from mainstream sources, and embracing rumors and long-ago debunked information from Internet blogs by anonymous people with no track record of credibility.*
I don’t understand why people think this way, and I don’t understand why they haven’t gotten tired and gone home. That said, the communication potential of the Internet has allowed a much smaller “critical mass” to have sparked a movement, and generated a remarkable amount of publicity, perhaps second only to theories about the JFK assassination.
Whatever the case, mainstream news coverage has picked up over the last week, and traffic here at Obama Conspiracy Theories has doubled over what it was a month ago. The news coverage is not flattering to the conspiracy theorists, exemplified by the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams program this evening (July 22, 2009), but for a conspiracy theory any publicity helps you reach susceptible targets who don’t believe the media on the first place. If you missed the NBC News segment, I strongly recommend that you catch it now.
* Of course you are reading an Internet blog by an anonymous person right now, but I never asked you to trust me, only my citations and sources.