Latest Point of Inquiry: "Among the Truthers" — Jonathan Kay

By Chris Mooney | May 26, 2011 1:18 pm

I should have blogged this a day ago but I was too tied up at our communications training in Norman, OK. But the latest Point of Inquiry is up, and here’s the write-up:

From Birthers, to Truthers, to Deathers—to occasional Liars—America seems to be crawling right now with fevered conspiracy mongers. What’s up with that?

To find out, Point of Inquiry turns in this episode to Jonathan Kay, author of the new book Among the Truthers: A Journey into America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground. In it, Kay provides a fascinating look at some of our indigenous kooks, and why they seem to be thriving right now.

Jonathan Kay is the managing editor of Canada’s National Post newspaper and a weekly columnist for its op-ed page.

Kay’s writing covers a diversity of subjects, and he’s been published in a variety of outlets including Commentary, the New York PostReader’s Digest, and the New Yorker. In 2002, he was awarded Canada’s National Newspaper Award for Critical Writing, and in 2004 he won a National Newspaper Award for Editorial Writing.

Once again, you can listen to the show here and you can order Kay’s book here.

Comments (8)

  1. Leon

    The ‘truthers’ and other conspiracy addicts are indeed pathetic.

    However they are no different from those who believe a virgin gave birth to the son of God, or that an angel handed golden plates to Joseph Smith etc., etc..

    They are all nuts.

  2. M Burke

    … or that the universe spontaneously created itself… oh, wait… you believe that!

  3. This was another fascinating interview; right up there with the one you did recently with Dan Kahan (along with the one in which Ronald Lindsay interviewed you). Maybe it’s because I’m really intrigued at the moment by a lot of the same issues you appear to be intrigued by, and the people you’re talking to have really interesting things to say about those topics, but I’m really looking forward to whatever comes next.

    So, any clues about the book project this is all eventually going to turn into?

  4. vel

    funny, M Burke, that we have evidence for the BBT, and well, you have nothing to support any of that religious nonsense. Willful ignorance and lies sure doesn’t help your cause but sadly for you, that’s all you have left.

  5. Monroe reimers

    So which part of the CIA do you work for young Chris?

    Monroe Reimers

  6. dave chamberlin

    The 14 Amazon book reviews on this book really don’t recommend this book very highly, but it is a fascinating subject area. It is truly astounding the issues some of the Republican candidates are coming up with these days. I can’t think of any Republican candidates in past years that can compare to Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and Michele Bachmann for blatantly pandering to the Stoopid vote. This would seem to indicate there is a growing conspiracist movement, but I question exactly how underground it is when leading candidates for the republican party are representing them. I’m not very political, too many boring ideologues bringing down intelligent discussion for my taste, but something utterly fascinating is going on with within the Republican party. There seems to be a splintering going on within the party which may truly injure it in the 2012 elections.

  7. Just a thought…are there actually more conspiracy theorists today than in the past? Anyone know the data on this? Over the years, I recall many theories de jour, from the Illuminati (which according to my son has re-emerged in the hip-hop world…seriously) to the auto/oil companies squashing inventions of cars running on water, etc. Is this simply a slice of the human condition, now amplified by a more ubiquitous and multichanneled media?

  8. Chris Mooney

    @7 I don’t know how you could measure. It seems awfully prevalent now and the web surely has much to do with it.

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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