Brad Slager, On the weekend of the recent CPAC convention we saw the press acting out in a display typical of their contradictions, but in a uniquely blatant fashion. Pundits were assessing that many of the discussions and panels were centered around conspiracy theories, with the group Qanon invoked often as the inspiration. Now, unsurprisingly, these allegations were being leveled by those who were not in attendance, proven by the fact that these were not top-of-the-mind topics at all that weekend. [Disclosure: I was in attendance at CPAC this year.]
Here is where the revealing aspect comes into play. At the very same time the press was condemning the conspiracies supposedly employed, the very same press energetically reported that the stage in the main hall at the event was intentionally made to resemble an arcane Nazi symbol. The same people decrying crackpot theories were just fine unspooling the charge that an archaic rune appropriated by the SS was intentionally dropped into the conference.
What is not said enough is that this paradox in the press is actually all too common. The high-minded pundits love to intone their condescending opinion on conspiracy theories, but the truth is the members of the press love conspiracies, and they have a particular fondness for Qanon. It is all because of what that outlet provides for them. As proof that the journalists are not only tolerant but actively affectionate towards these theories I am currently running a series at RedState, laying out the dozens of conspiracies they are trotting out. The main difference; these are forwarded not by anonymous and random users on social media, they are being pushed and sold by the mainstream press.
It is specifically that anonymity and unfocused organizing that shields Qanon, but it also is what aids the media in their interest. While the adherents of the Q theories are largely those same anonymous and unknown adherents online, the press is intent on mainstreaming the outfit. Most people who are vested in following the news are not devoted followers of the Q theories; the press, however, is selling a completely different story. They desperately want to have it be believed that this is a prevailing mindset in the GOP and with conservatives.
Look at what transpired last week. On March 4, there was such a concern over a new attack on the nation’s capital that security was increased and Congress suspended its daily session. This was all rooted in the alleged Q theory that the date was intended to be when the true inauguration was slated to take place, with Donald Trump re-sworn in. I did not know a single person, nor did I read a single valid outlet believing in either the installation of Trump nor the attack. But somehow the Democrats and the press were all-in. It was the players on the left making this into a valid concern.
This has been the tactic in the press for years with Q. Almost every time I learn of an alleged Qanon plot or theory it is being delivered by the mainstream news outlets. They are vested in what derives from this source, and have taken it to another level in alleging any activity they disapprove of as being Q-inspired. In the same fashion that they have painted ALL conservatives as complicit in the attack on the Capitol, now they dub Qanon as a purely conservative movement and then feed that smear through a garden sprayer to allege that all conservatives are devotees of the conspiracy. Guilt by no association.
The very nature of Qanon makes this so easy for the press, and it allows them to attribute anything they choose to the conspiracy. The fact that Qanon has no discernible leadership nor a clearinghouse location for its intel allows for the press to accuse anything of its choosing to the movement. Once the unproven attachment is made the target of their scorn is dutifully smeared and discredited. There is no proof needed because of the hidden nature of the group, so anything can become a valid claim.
A prime example of this took place in South Florida ahead of the election. Last summer I had covered how the Florida Democrats had election offices in disarray. More than meager concerns, a 7-page letter detailing problems was signed by over 100 field workers across the state, explaining how they were losing the hispanic support due to neglect from the national party. About a month or so ahead of the election a poll was released showing the shocking support Trump was receiving from the Latino community.
This was quickly explained away; it was the result of Qanon infecting the Hispanic community. Supposedly the voters, especially in the Latin-heavy area of Miami-Dade County, were being unduly influenced by conspiracies and other doses of misinformation. This was done to explain away Trump’s support but, of course, in so doing it also meant they were painting these voters as uneducated dupes falling for a coordinated lie. This is the seduction Qanon presents to the press; it can become both an accusatory weapon as well as a fallback excuse for dire news.
The reason the press can do this is all due to the nature of Qanon as an amorphous and ambiguous entity. While this means that finding proof of a connection is mostly impossible, it also means that proof is not needed. Of course they have no firm evidence — they can state as their escape clause — because the group defies there being a direct connection. But as long as some touchstone parallels can be made to the conspiracy then that becomes ironclad proof.
The Miami Latino vote corruption will not have any direct ties to a Qanon agenda, of course. But if someone on a radio show offers a theory, or makes a post on social media that sounds similar to a conspiracy it then is attributed to Qanon. They just know this is the larger cabal thinking at work. Says one Poli-Sci professor from a South Florida university – “The problem in the U.S is that we have these conspiracy theories that came out of areas like QAnon then got picked up by talk radio, then by Fox News and the like, and then get translated into Spanish.”
So no direct connection is possible, yet that alone is allowed to stand as proof. The very fact that Qanon defies having evidence found means that the lack of a verifiable trail to them becomes itself the proof that it is them. This brings us to the very hilarious conclusion — the press is cooking up its own conspiracy in order to prove that conspiracy theories are being used in dire fashion.
Who needs proof when something as nefarious as a nationwide plot of anonymous conspiratorial operatives are threatening our very democracy?! The fact alone that it is playing out is all the evidence needed! And our journalism industry is on the case to root out these operatives — just take their word on the matter.