Sunday, May 22, 2011

Natural News and Infowars' Hilariously Bad Fearmongering

We all know the running joke of 9/11 deniers decrying the “doublespeak” and fear-mongering they see in “the media” and coming from “the government” (whoever they are). 9/11 deniers are extremely intolerant of dissenting views and contrary evidence; they stifle criticism, attack their critics personally rather than intellectually and, of course, thrive on bogus scare tactics and dishonest use of fear.

Consider by way of example a post on Infowars that insinuates Bill Gates want to kill a billion people:

…Gates has given conflicting information concerning the agenda behind his vaccination push. In his most recent speech, he claims vaccines will save lives. But in a speech he gave at a TED conference last year, Gates clearly stated that vaccines and health care were part of an equation to reduce the world’s population by 15 percent (…).
“The world today has 6.8 billion people … that’s headed up to about nine billion,” he said to his audience. “Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps ten or 15 percent.”
You can watch the actual clip of Gates saying this at the following link:…

I decided to keep their horrible internal citation formatting (does no one over at Infowars know how to use href?) to demonstrate the point. They talk about Bill Gates. They talk about a TED talk. They cite an equally bad piece on the website of serial bullshit peddler Mike Adams, instead, one with the headline, “Bill Gates says vaccines can help reduce world population.” Is that true? Of course not. You can watch the video here. Gates was presenting an equation for global CO2 output where, basically, the equation could theoretically be balanced by a lower human population. Nothing was said about vaccine’s role in that uninteresting theoretical aside. Basically, Bill Gates was saying that CO2 output is a problem, and that new energy technology needs to be developed to face that problem – from there, 9/11 deniers decided he actually said, “let’s use medicine to kill a billion people.”

You might’ve had to reread that sentence a couple of times. Let me clarify: Infowars has lied to you.

You know right away that something’s up when you go to watch the clip and see that the supposed quote ("The world today has 6.8 billion people. That's heading up to about nine billion. Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent!" – which no one ever says at any point in this video) arises in a three-minute long video. Usually when Infowars needs to make a point, it shaves things down to the second. No, Infowars wants you to watch. It doesn’t doctor or graft text over the video in any way. It simply rolls a three-minute clip of a thirty-minute talk, without commentary. In fact, there is no story attached to the video clip to begin with. There is simply no story.

A fictive quote has been grafted onto a truncated video unrelated to the claim the author wants to make so that his own worldview can profit. This is the definition of being a “shill.” An absurd claim about a vaccine proponent – not about vaccines themselves, science, medicine, or facts of any kind – is being grafted onto an unrelated speech in a laughably dishonest fashion. Meet Infowars and Natural News – liars for profit who want you to be afraid. Funny, that’s exactly how they describe their skeptical detractors.

Idiots like Mike Adams and the author of the Infowars piece Jon Benson (who officially works for Adams, of course) want you to be afraid because they have an agenda to push. That much is mundane. What’s particularly troublesome about this piece is that it proves Adams and Benson want you to be as stupid as they are, too. They want you to click through the echo chamber of Infowars and NaturalNews rather than actually get the quote, the context and the truth. They want you to read and live in a tiny bubble where bad ideas and absurd lies get shouted at each other without a moment to stop and think or seek confirming evidence for those beliefs.


briarbrow said...

you should in fact listen to the TED talk by Gates again as the IW quote is quite accurate ie Gates does say that exactly

Yakova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janice Plante said...

911 was a conspiracy... just not by 19 Islamists. 911 was definitely an inside job. At this point it is not a conspiracy theory, it is a conspiracy TRUTH - just not the one the gov't tried to sell, that's another conspiracy all on its own.