Keller @ Large: Conspiracy Theories Devalue Search For Truth
BOSTON (CBS) — As we move through this month of commemoration of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, you will be hearing quite a bit about the many theories that the crime was the product of a conspiracy, not the work of a lone gunman.
The proponents of these theories are so legion and so thoroughly convinced of their position that you may find yourself believing one or more of them.
Polls show up to 75-percent of Americans already do.
And that’s far from the only conspiracy theory swallowed by large numbers of us.
Listen to Jon’s commentary:
According to polls, millions of Americans believe that Hillary Clinton planned the murder of a colleague, that 9-11 was staged by the Bush administration, and most recently, that President Obama is secretly plotting to tear up the constitution and serve a third term.
None of that is true, of course, not that truth has anything to do with it.
Up to a point, it’s human nature to seek out the comfort and camaraderie of conspiracy theories when confronted with events that are frightening, complicated, or hard to understand. The occasional conspiracy that turns out to be real, like the Watergate cover-up, validates our instinctive suspicion of “official” accounts.
And the Internet is a potent conspiracy-theory enabler.
But I don’t like conspiracy theories, and have a hard time understanding those who spread them.
They are an easy, cheap way out of understanding a complex world. They insult the integrity of their targets and devalue the search for truth, a crucial obligation of enlightened citizenship.
I’m looking forward to reading Vincent Bugliosi’s new book debunking all the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. It’s called “Reclaiming History.”
And that’s a goal well worth pursuing.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.