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Thursday, June 01, 2006
Yet Moron Bobby Kennedy, Jr.

I've been working on debunking the absolutely moronic 9-11 conspiracy video, Loose Change lately, and as a result, I've become a little more in tune with the world of conspiracy theorists. Here are what I see as several signs of a nutty conspiracy theory:

1. "Experts" working out of their field. In the 9-11 "Truth" movement there is a particularly insidious group known as "Scholars for 9-11 Truth". They like to flash their PhD's at folks , but when you look closely you realize it's mostly philosophy professors, mixed in English profs and theologians. They've got one physicist, but he's trying to lecture on structural engineering, a significantly different field.

So we find with Bobby Kennedy's conspiracy theory.

According to Steven F. Freeman, a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in research methodology....

In fact, he's in the "Organizational Dynamics" department at Penn, which is about "the art and science of the organization", and in fact if you look at his Penn page, that is the sort of stuff that is featured. There's no mention of his moonbat research in political science that has now earned him a scholarly citation in Rolling Stone--maybe they sense that's a little out of his area of expertise?

There is the inevitable griping that they're considered nuts for seeking the "truth". Bobby Kennedy:

Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush's victory as nut cases in ''tinfoil hats,'' while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election.

Yeah, the media is always in on the conspiracy:

The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as ''conspiracy theories,''(1) and The New York Times declared that ''there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale.''(2)

Mystification is always expressed that neither of the two political parties seems interested in the conspiracy (which, by definition makes it a fringe issue--as in lunatic fringe).

So it is with Kennedy (quoting Freeman):

"....All these are strong indicators of fraud -- and yet this supposition has been utterly ignored by the press and, oddly, by the Democratic Party."

Evidence presented is either innuendo:

In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.

Or poorly sourced. For example, consider this claim:

And that doesn?t even take into account the troubling evidence of outright fraud, which indicates that upwards of 80,000 votes for Kerry were counted instead for Bush. That alone is a swing of more than 160,000 votes -- enough to have put John Kerry in the White House.(15)

Well, I mean, that's a pretty troubling claim, so let's look at footnote 15:

15) See ''VIII. Rural Counties.''

Okay, so that foots to a later part of the article, where he goes on and on about the suspicious voting in 12 rural counties (I'll put up another post on that subject a little later), but fails to come anywhere near proving the 80,000 votes claim.

So it's just another conspiracy theory. Time to get out one of my favorite toys, the Screw Loose Change Nutbar-o-Meter. Bobby rings the bell:

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