How do we know what to believe today? How to distinguish facts from crazy conspiracy theories?

Well, what is a “conspiracy theory?” I personally believe large-scale harmful conspiracies exist. But the stories out there can’t all be true.

Here’s how I sort out the bogus from the true.

Conspiracies don’t just happen because some mysterious “they” wants them to. Real large scale conspiracies involve large scale money and power. If your suspected conspiracy is the work of poor, or even middle-class, people, you are on the wrong track. They don’t have the resources, the contacts, or the time.

Tiny mysterious sects exist, but they don’t accomplish much. Real conspiracies aren’t really secret; the conspirators just can’t be held accountable. We all know that military contractors make billions in unjustifiable profits. Yet there’s never enough proof (or political will) for Congress to stop this.

Research is critical, but don’t just read one favorite source.

Many of my liberal friends rely on the New York Times to spot “conspiracy theories.” But the New York Times accepted the lies of our national security elite, and uncritically supported President George W. Bush’s Iraq war — a war that is still causing harm to both nations.

Does this mean that the liberal media’s opposite number is right, and we should trust Fox News? In the 19th century, all US newspapers were like Fox News is today — loyal to their party, not to the truth. That’s why its Big Stories are constantly replaced by new contradictory Big Stories — whatever serves today’s political storyline.

In our globally connected world, there are many sources. There are left wing and right wing sources, Black-owned media, business-oriented media — media for every human viewpoint. None are 100% reliable. How to choose? It depends on what you want to know.

First, for anything controversial, never trust just one source. For any news story I wonder about, I always seek out more than one version if I can.

Then I think about what each source’s interests are. For stories I question, I often check a local newspaper source. The Winchester Star isn’t better journalistically than the Washington Post (though I do respect the Star reporters I know). But local papers have a reason to spell the local folks’ names right, and to get most facts right. Meanwhile, some distant tabloid can “improve” the story by telling us Joe Smith here in Winchester has two heads.

On the other hand, if Grandiose Corporation is putting toxic material from their plant on the roads in Local Yokel Town, the Local Yokel News-Tribune may be soft on Grandiose because of local interests.

We most reliably find the truth by being open to a diversity of people, especially people who are often disrespected. Real world conspiracies benefit the greedy and powerful, not some ethnic group or belief group. And your neighbors, especially the poorest and most despised, are the real victims, and the real experts. Together we can understand our world and rebuild it.

Larry Lamar Yates is a resident of Winchester.

(14) comments

Bernie Mac

Watching too much CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS will make you stupid. For four years, we have heard nothing but one anti-Trump conspiracy after another. So-called "game changers" they said would be the end of the trump Presidency. And they have all come to nothing. Anyone that regularly watches those networks has been brainwashed. They are the walking dead. The brain dead. The Democrats.

Spock Here

And your excuse is what?


He is afraid. We need to show him what integrity means. Claim your words.


What Charlie said. (Kathy)


And then there is CNN, MSNBC, CBS, and ABC that are ALL EXTREMELY loyal to the Liberals. Their stories are ALWAYS in favor of the leftist agenda, while spitting in the eyes of the Founding Fathers.


And yet there is Fox News, OAN, The Blaze, and Breitbart for conservatives, too. Isn't that what you also meant?

Spock Here

Yes, the far right yells and screeches, so they must be telling the truth, right?

Bernie Mac

Absolutely no comparison!

Doc Samson

Fox News is hardly conservative. So, that's three. Wow, how will you ever overcome that bias?

As for "yelling and screeching", please share examples! Also, have you seen any footage of your side's public or on screen behavior? Oh, wait, I forget that if it ain't censored by your pro-China DNC, you ain't interested... [lol]



Oh, right, I forgot. You are entitled to your own opinion and facts. Sorry to intrude, coward...

Doc Samson

Coward... because you don't like what I say? Because you certainly aren't calling Spock or ShinyHappy, et. al cowards are ya?

And facts? Well, yeah, I don't subscribe to gov't funded, bias science simply because it aligns with my narrative (for example, please to be explaining Sweden and their corona cases). [lol] I'm all for "truth" regardless of where it lies and don't dismiss something out of hand just because it doesn't sooth "muh feelz".

The current Left has picked up where the medieval Church left off, mocking and ridiculing (although it sure seems to be progressing beyond that) anyone that DARE go against the group think. So I won't say you're a coward, you're just a narrow minded, self righteous, smarmy jackhole.


Nah, you're a coward because you hide your name to separate your foolish banter from what reputation you believe to be protecting.

However, your real folly is being entitled to your own facts. Fox News is conservative news. If someone doubts that, they are kidding themselves.

Bernie Mac

We have all seen Bryan's type before. On the internet, he is a tough guy. In real life, he is a little weasel. Like the Antifa weasels that fall to the ground crying when confronted by their opposition. That is a Bryan. Don't be a Bryan.



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