Conspiracy Theories at Boing! Boing!

What always amazes me about partisans of any political stripe is the sort of cognitive dissonance that allows any given behavior to be justified or condemned based on who is carrying it out rather than what is actually being done. So the Republicans who until a few months ago were defending pretty much unlimited power for Bush are suddenly concerned about the concentration of executive power in the Obama administration.

Mark Frauenfelder at Boing! Boing! provides an excellent example of this in posting about Fox News’ Glenn Beck claiming that FEMA is building camps that are intended to house American dissidents. The headline at BB reads, “Fox’s Glenn Beck says Obama is building concentration camps for Republicans,” even though Beck never says the alleged camps are exclusively for Republicans.

Frauenfelder rightly dismisses this nonsense, writing,

Swiping material from the X-Files, Fox’s Glenn Beck warns that Obama is setting up FEMA concentration camps to warehouse the nation’s neocons, fundies, wingnuts, and dittoheads.

Of course the FEMA story has persisted through a number of presidencies. Back in the mid-1990s, it was Clinton who supposedly was going to round up conservatives for the camps, and then for most of this decade it was Bush who was preparing to incarcerate potentially millions of American dissidents in FEMA camps.

Absurd. No one would believe this, stuff, right? Hmmm…lets rewind to May 19, 2008, when Frauenfelder decided to post to Boing! Boing! a link to an article on that scholarly publication, Radar Online, that alleged the government was compiling a list of millions of American dissidents to track and possibly even detain. Frauenfelder, swiping material from the X-Files, wrote,

A feature in the most recent issue of RADAR is about a possible government program that tracks citizens’ behavior (online and otherwise) to compile a list of people to detain in case of martial law.

Now that’s cognitive dissonance.

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