This week on Middle Theory, in addition to a discussion about conspiracy theories, belief in them, and media manipulation, we focus on the unrest and controversy surrounding the Antifa groups and their counter-protest activities.
What is a “conspiracy theory”, and why do people believe them? Is there an element of “group-think” involved here, and how does media bias pay into this? We examine the roots of conspiracy theories on this week’s program, while also looking at whether there is some precedent to the idea that elements of the mainstream media is controlled, or at least influenced, by outside sources… most notably intelligence agencies.
Then shifting our attention to Antifa, the anti-fascist organization launching counter-protests against white nationalists and Neo-Nazi groups in recent weeks, we ask the pertinent question of whether they are actually helping by engaging in violent confrontations, or merely adding to the chaos? Even acclaimed political commentator Noam Chomsky has decried Antifa, which led to his dismissal by many liberal commentators as being “irrelevant.” However, similar contest to Antifa’s actions has come from the Southern Poverty Law Center, among others. At the end of the day, is Antifa doing more harm than good?
Special thanks goes out to those who sent along donations to the program this week:
- Robert Walshe IV
- Rick Dale
- Emilio Villalpando
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Finally, here are links to stories and other media featured on this week’s program:
- Amid mounting bipartisan concerns, debate over Trump’s mental health takes off
- Claim: The ANTIFA Manual – Found on the campus of The Evergreen State College
- Is This Antifa Manual Real? Images of a fake “antifa” manual circulated online in August 2017
- AUDIO: CNN’s Alisyn Camerota with Trump Supporter panel on Charlottesville
- Conspiracy: Did “Crowds on Demand” bus rioters into Charlottesville?
- The Rise of the Violent Left (The Atlantic)
- ‘Antifa’ radicals aren’t good because they fight Nazis
- Goldberg: Alt-right’s despicability doesn’t make ‘antifa’ the good guys
- MSNBC Analyst on Antifa: ‘Not a Bad Label’ to Be Against Fascism, Nazism
- Unmasking the leftist Antifa movement
- Rise of antifa after violence in Charlottesville alarms free-speech advocates
- Who are the antifa?
- Far-right smear campaign against Antifa exposed by Bellingcat
- 250K+ Sign Petition Urging White House to Label Antifa a Terrorist Organization
- Stephen Colbert, Media Bias, and ANTIFA (H/T: The Mouthy Buddha)
- Noam Chomsky faces backlash after denouncing Antifa