Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Paul-Is-Dead Cover-Up Fools 95 Percent of America

Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste...Paul-Is-Dead Cover-Up Fools 95 Percent of America:
PPP has a new
poll
 out on the popularity of various conspiracy theories.
The firm's write-up highlights the differences between Democrats
and Republicans on these issues, which doesn't strike me as the
most enlightening information here. (Republicans are more likely
than Democrats to believe Barack Obama is the Antichrist! Who
could have predicted that?
) More interesting to me is how this
compares to past polls on the subject.
Take the JFK assassination. This is the most popular theory in
the survey, with 51 percent of the country believing a conspiracy
larger than Lee Harvey Oswald was behind the killing and just 25
percent saying he acted alone. (The other 24 percent aren't sure.)
That sounds pretty overwhelming, but 10 years ago an ABC News poll
showed many more Americans -- 70 percent -- blaming a conspiracy
for the president's death. Similarly, PPP shows 11 percent of the
country believing the U.S. government knowingly permitted the 9/11
attacks to happen, with 11 percent unsure. In 2006, by contrast, a
nationwide Scripps Howard survey had 36 percent of the people
polled believing it either "very" or "somewhat" likely that U.S.
leaders either allowed 9/11 to happen or actively plotted the
assaults.
Comparing polls is a tricky business, and it's possible that the
different numbers just reflect different methodologies. People
might, for example, be less inclined to embrace JFK and 9/11
theories when they are proposed alongside such obvious kook-bait
questions as "Do you believe Paul McCartney actually died in a car
crash in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a lookalike so The
Beatles could continue?" and "Do you believe that shape-shifting
reptilian people control our world by taking on human form and
gaining power to manipulate our societies?"*
But it's also possible that these changes reflect a greater
distance from the events being discussed. The number of JFK
conspiracy believers was even higher in 1983 -- 80 percent,
according to ABC -- so we may be seeing a steady decline in those
theories' popularity as the assassination recedes into the past.
And the anger that led many people to blame 9/11 on Washington may
have cooled somewhat since George W. Bush left office. I'm going to
go out on a limb and predict that in 2023, there will be far fewer
birthers, because there will be far fewer people who care whether
ex-President Obama was qualified to hold office.
Obligatory advertisement: Preorder my book

The United States of Paranoia
today!
Yes, Prime Minister.(*
In case you're curious: The Paul-is-dead theory is reportedly
embraced by 5 percent of the population -- far less, no doubt, than
believed it in 1968, though you might expect all those mediocre
solo albums to make the theory more popular rather than less. The
Icke/Slitheen thesis about reptilian overlords was endorsed by 4
percent of the country. I figure a bunch of those "yes" answers
were only trolling, but some of the "no" answers surely came from
people who just DIDN'T WANT THE LIZARD MEN TO KNOW THEY WERE ONTO
THEM, so let's call it a wash.)