Transcript: COVID-19: A Gift to Conspiracy Theorists? | May 13, 2020

Steve sits in a room with white walls, a low slanted ceiling and several framed pictures on the walls including one of George Drew and one of Walter Kronkite. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a white shirt and a spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "COVID-19: A gift to conspiracy theorists? @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says FEELINGS OF ANXIETY, UNCERTAINTY, AND POWERLESSNESS ARE WIDESPREAD DURING A PANDEMIC. THEY ALSO HAPPEN TO BE THE KINDS OF EMOTIONS THAT DRIVE PEOPLE INTO BELIEVING IN CONSPIRACY THEORIES ACCORDING TO OUR NEXT GUEST. SO JOSEPH USCINSKI. AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MIME AND AUTHOR OF "CONSPIRACY THEORIES: A PRIMER..."

Joseph is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short dark hair. He's wearing a black suit, gray shirt and spotted black tie.
A picture of the book appears briefly on screen. The cover is designed to look like a stack of notes, with the title in handwritten black marker.

Steve continues AND HE JOINS US NOW FROM MIAMI IN THE SUNSHINE STATE. WHICH IS A WONDERFUL PLACE TO BE RIGHT NOW. I KNOW YOU CAN'T GET OUTSIDE TOO MUCH. BUT YOUR 80 degrees HAS GOT TO BE BETTER THAN OUR ZERO CELSIUS HERE. COME ON, ADMIT IT.

Joseph says I GREW UP IN THE COLD WEATHER UP IN THE NORTH SO I WILL TAKE THIS OVER THAT ANY DAY. OF COURSE IT WOULD BE BETTER IF I COULD GO OUTSIDE MORE. BUT I AM NOT UNHAPPY.

Steve says GOD WILLING THAT DAY WILL COME SOON ENOUGH. YOU HAVE WRITTEN THAT COVID-19 HAS CREATED THE KIND OF PERFECT STORM FOR CONSPIRACY THEORISTS. HOW COME?

The caption changes to "Joseph Uscinski. University of Miami. Author, 'Conspiracy theories.'"

Joseph says SO IF I WANTED TO DO A LABORATORY EXPERIMENT WHERE I TOOK PEOPLE INTO A ROOM AND TRIED TO DO THINGS TO THEM TO GET THEM TO BELIEVE IN CONSPIRACY THEORIES, I COULDN'T DO BETTER THAN WHAT NATURE IS DOING RIGHT NOW. SO EVERYONE IS FOCUSING ON THE SAME THING AT THE SAME TIME. AND THEY'RE FACING ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY, THEY'RE AFRAID OF A VIRUS THAT COULD POTENTIALLY KILL THEM. AND THERE ARE FEELINGS OF POWERLESSNESS AND A LACK OF CONTROL THAT HAS TAKEN OVER EVERYONE EVERYWHERE ON THE ENTIRE WORLD RIGHT NOW. SO PSYCHOLOGISTS WHO DO EXPERIMENTS WITH THESE SORTS OF THINGS COULD NOT DO IT BETTER THAN WHAT MOTHER NATURE HAS DONE HERE.

Steve says WELL, FOLLOW UP ON THAT. PSYCHOLOGICALLY, WHAT DO CONSPIRACY THEORIES OFFER PEOPLE?

Joseph says SO WHAT THEY OFFER IS A WAY TO UNDERSTAND THINGS THAT WE DON'T FULLY UNDERSTAND ON OUR OWN. NOW, IT'S SORT OF STRANGE IN THE SENSE THAT WE COULD REACH OR AN EXPLANATION LIKE I DON'T FULLY UNDERSTAND COVID-19 AND PERHAPS A CONSPIRACY THEORY MIGHT HELP US UNDERSTAND IT BETTER. LIKE IT ESCAPED FROM A CHINESE LABORATORY OR MAYBE SOME NEFARIOUS GROUP RELEASED IT TO KILL US ALL. THE PROBLEM IS THAT IT MIGHT GIVE US SOME SENSE OF CERTAINTY OVER AN EXPLANATION. BUT MOST PEOPLE AREN'T GOING TO SLEEP BETTER AT NIGHT KNOWING THAT THERE'S SOME POWERFUL GROUP OUT THERE THAT WANTS TO KILL THEM.

Steve says THE ALLEGATION THAT THIS VIRUS WAS SOME HOW DEVELOPED IN A LAB IN CHINA THERE'S NO PROOF OF THAT. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF THAT. IT IS, QUOTE-UNQUOTE, "OUT THERE." BUT THAT'S NOT THE WACKIEST CONSPIRACY THEORY I'VE HEARD. I WON'T SHARE MINE BUT DO YOU WANT TO SHARE ONE OF YOURS?

Joseph says SO THERE ARE A LOT OF WACKY ONES OUT THERE. PERHAPS THE STRANGEST TIFF' HEARD IS THAT THE AUTHORITIES KNEW ABOUT IT FOR DECADES BECAUSE DEAN KUNTZ, THE MYSTERY NOVELIST WROTE ABOUT IT IN A BOOK THAT CAME OUT 40 YEARS AGO. AND IN THAT THERE'S A VIRUS THAT GETS RELEASED AND STARTS KILLING PEOPLE CALLED THE WUHAN400. SO PEOPLE TOOK THIS TO MEAN THAT SOME HOW THE GOVERNMENT SPEAKING THROUGH DEAN KUNTZ KNEW ABOUT THIS AND NOW JUST FINALLY ESCAPED. BUT THERE'S NO EVIDENCE FOR THAT AT ALL. IN FACT WHAT DEAN KUNTZ WAS WRITING ABOUT WAS VERY DIFFERENT THAN THIS CORONAVIRUS NOW.

Steve says TRUE OR FALSE: ANTHONY FAUCI WANTS EVERYONE TO GET THE VIRUS BECAUSE HE HAS THE PATENT ON THE VACCINATION AND WANTS TO MAKE 1 BILLION dollars FOR PEOPLE TO GET INOCULATED.

Joseph says WHAT'S INTERESTING IS THESE CONSPIRACY THEORIES SEEM NEW AND WACKY AND OUT THERE BUT THEY'RE THE SAME THINGS WE'VE HEARD OVER AND OVER AGAIN FOR AN ENTIRE LIFE TIME. SO THE ONLY THING THAT REALLY CHANGES IS THE NOUNS AND THE NAMES. SO PEOPLE THOUGHT THAT THE BIRD FLU WAS SOME SORT OF PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANY SCAM. THEY THOUGHT A.I.D.S. WAS A TRICK TO KILL OFF PARTS OF THE POPULATION THAT RICH PEOPLE DIDN'T LIKE. ALL OF THESE THINGS HAVE BEEN OUT THERE. AND THE IDEA THAT PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES OR DOCTORS WANT TO GET RICH OFF MAKING US SICK AND THEN SELLING US FAKE CURES HAS BEEN AROUND FOR TIME IMMEMORIAL. SO THERE'S NOTHING NEW. IT'S JUST PEOPLE ARE APPLYING THESE OLD IDEAS TO THIS NEW SITUATION.

Steve says THE ONE I JUST MENTIONED CAME FROM... I USE THIS TERM ADVISEDLY A "DOCUMENTARY" WHICH IS NOW MAKING ITS WAY ON SOCIAL MEDIA CALLED PLAN-DEMIC AND IT'S GOT A NUMBER OF COMPLETELY UNVERIFIABLE CLAIM THAT IS ARE MADE IN PLAN-DEMIC. BUT I WANT TO KNOW HOW BELIEF IN THE PLAN-DEMIC OFFERS RELIEF TO THE ANXIETY OF THOSE WHO TEND TO WANT TO BELIEVE THAT STUFF. HOW DOES THAT WORK?

Joseph says BECAUSE THEY'RE LATCHING ON TO SOMETHING THAT TELLS THEM WHAT THEY WANT TO BELIEVE. THEY'RE LATCHING ON TO SOMETHING THAT MATCHES THEIR EXISTING WORLD VIEW. AND IT'S IMPORTANT TO THESE PEOPLE TO DO THAT RIGHT NOW. BECAUSE OF THE ANXIETY IN THE UNCERTAINTY THAT THEY'RE FACING THIS. SO IT'S SERVING AS SORT OF A SALVE FOR THE INJURIES THAT THIS PANDEMIC IS CAUSING. AND IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY OCCUR TO THEM BECAUSE WHAT THESE VIDEOS ARE SAYING MATCHES SOME OF THE IDEAS THEY ALREADY HAVE. IT DOESN'T OCCUR TO THEM TO THINK ABOUT, GEE, ARE ANY OF THESE IDEAS REALLY RATIONAL? SO IN THAT VIDEO THERE ARE CLAIMS LIKE WALKING AROUND ON THE BEACH SAND IS GOING TO CURE YOU OF A DISEASE. AND THAT STUFF IS JUST NONSENSE. AND NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE THAT IF WE WEREN'T IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC. THOSE ARE REALLY EXTREME IDEAS TO LATCH ON TO.

Steve says I WONDER IF PART OF THE APPEAL FOR CONSPIRACY THEORIES AS WELL IS THE NOTION THAT THERE'S USUALLY SOMETHING, YOU KNOW, KIND OF CLEVER/SINISTER/INTELLECTUALLY BASED THAT SUGGESTS THAT I GET THIS. I HAVE DONE THE MENTAL GYMNASTICS AND I UNDERSTAND THIS AND YOU, POOR SOD, YOU DON'T. THEREFORE, I'M SMART. IS THAT PART OF THE EQUATION?

Joseph says SURE, FOR SOME PEOPLE THERE IS A DESIRE TO FEEL UNIQUE. AND CONSPIRACY THEORISTS CAN ADOPT THAT BECAUSE IF YOU ARE ADOPTING FRINGE IDEAS HE OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM, YOU CAN SAY I KNOW THE INSIDE DOPE, WHAT'S REALLY GOING ON AND EVERYONE ELSE IS A SUCKER OR WHAT THEY MIGHT CALL THE "SHEEPLE" BUT THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT IS REAL AND THAT CAN MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES ADOPTING THIS WHETHER IT'S TRUE OR NOT.

Steve says YOU ARE FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE ORIGINALLY AND YOU KNOW WHERE THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC IS. I'M ABOUT TO CITE SOME RESEARCH FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF SHERBROOKE IN QUEBEC. IN IS SOME PRELIMINARY RESEARCH THERE...

A slate appears on screen, with the title "Conspiracy theories in Canada."

Steve reads data from the slate and says
38 percent OF CANADIAN RESPONDENTS BELIEVE THEIR GOVERNMENT IS HIDING IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS. THIS IS CANADIANS. A THIRD SAID THEY BELIEVE COVID-19 WAS CREATED IN A LAB. WE TALKED ABOUT THAT ONE ALREADY. 15 percent OF RESPONDENTS BELIEVE THAT THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY IS INVOLVED IN THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. AND JUST OVER 10 percent LINKED THE VIRUS WITH THE 5G WIRELESS NETWORK TECHNOLOGY. NOW, THOSE AREN'T FRINGE NUMBERS. THOSE ARE ACTUALLY FAIRLY SIZABLE NUMBERS MUCH OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACCESS ALLEGEDLY TO REPUTABLE SOURCES OF INFORMATION ON A TIMELY, REGULAR BASIS. DO THOSE NUMBERS WORRY YOU?

Joseph says A LITTLE BIT. I MEAN I GUESS THE GOOD NEWS IS THEY COULD BE HIGHER. AND IN THE UNITED STATES, THOSE NUMBERS ARE VERY SIMILAR. SO WE GET ABOUT 29 percent BELIEVING THAT THE VIRUS IS BEING EXAGGERATED TO HURT PRESIDENT TRUMP AND 31 percent THINKING IT WAS CREATED AND SPREAD ON PURPOSE. SO AGAIN, BETWEEN THE U.S. AND CANADA ABOUT A THIRD BUYING INTO THOSE IDEAS. YOU WOULD THINK THAT THOSE NUMBERS WOULD BE HIGHER GIVEN THAT EVERYONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS. EVERYONE HAS THEIR FOCUS ON THIS ONE PARTICULAR THING. AND THAT THIS VIRUS HAS CAUSED SO MUCH UNCERTAINTY AND UPHEAVAL IN PEOPLE'S LIVES. ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE SEEMED TO BE SOME NATURAL BARRIERS TO PEOPLE BELIEVING IN CONSPIRACY THEORIES WHERE SOME PEOPLE JUST AREN'T GOING TO BUY IN AND IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LOT OF EVIDENCE TO REALLY CONVINCE SOME PEOPLE. AND IN THIS CASE, IT'S GOING TO TAKE A LOT MORE EVIDENCE TO CONVINCE 60 OR 70 percent OF THE POPULATION OF THESE IDEAS.

Steve says IS THERE A PARTICULAR DEMOGRAPHIC OR GROUP THAT TENDS TO WANT TO BUY INTO CONSPIRACY THEORIES MORE THAN OTHERS?

Joseph says WELL, YOU WOULD THINK. I MEAN, WHEN I ASK PEOPLE, IMAGINE THAT PROTOTYPICAL CONSPIRACY THEORIST. IF THEY CLOSE THEIR EYES THEY'LL IMAGINE A MIDDLE-AGED WHITE GUY WITH SLIGHTLY CONSERVATIVE VIEWS, SOMEBODY WHO LOOKS LIKE ME. PERHAPS FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE, PROBABLY. AND THEY'LL SAY THAT'S THE GUY WHO'S LIVING IN HIS MOTHER'S BASEMENT WITH A HAMM RADIO AND A TINFOIL HAT. BUT THE POLLS TELL A VERY DIFFERENT STORY. AND WHAT WE FIND IS THAT MEN AND WOMEN ARE EQUAL, CONSPIRACY THEORIES ARE BELIEVED ACROSS DIFFERENT RACES. AND ACROSS POLITICAL PARTIES. EQUALLY, TOO. AND PEOPLE ARE OFTEN SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT. BUT EVERYONE CAN FALL VICTIM FROM TIME TO TIME. AND NO MATTER WHAT GROUP THEY BELONG TO.

Steve says I GUESS THE ONE THING THAT'S PARTICULARLY TROUBLING ABOUT IT IS THAT THESE GROUPS OF PEOPLE TEND TO BE ABSOLUTELY IMPERVIOUS TO EMPIRICALLY PROVEABLE FACTS. BUT LET'S TAKE A RUN AT THIS ANY WAY. LET'S ASSUME SOMEBODY WATCHING THIS RIGHT NOW BELIEVES ONE OF THE CONSPIRACY THEORIES THAT WE'VE TALKED ABOUT ALREADY. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM TO TRY TO CONVINCE THEM OF THE ERROR OF THEIR WAYS?

Joseph says WELL, THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET TO GET PEOPLE TO CHANGE THEIR MIND ESPECIALLY IF THEY HAVE THEIR FEET DUG IN. SO FOR THOSE PEOPLE, I WISH THEM A GOOD DAY AND, YOU KNOW, SEND THEM ALONG BECAUSE THERE ISN'T GOING TO BE MUCH TO DISCUSS. BUT FOR PEOPLE WHO AREN'T SURE OR WHO ARE OPEN TO NEGOTIATION AND EVIDENCE, THEN MAYBE THE FIRST QUESTION I WOULD ASK IS, YOU KNOW, WHAT IS YOUR SOURCE FOR THIS? AND THAT WILL DO TWO THINGS. IT WILL, ONE, TELL THEM THAT SOURCES ARE IMPORTANT. IT WOULD MAKE THEM THINK ABOUT WHERE THEY'RE GETTING THEIR INFORMATION FROM AND IT MIGHT CAUSE THEM TO HAVE TO SAY OUT LOUD AND SORT OF TAKE STOCK OF WHERE THEY GOT THIS INFORMATION FROM. SO IF THEY HAVE TO SAY WELL, I GOT THIS CONSPIRACY THEORY FROM CONSERVATIVE EAGLE NEWS PUNCH.COM, IT MIGHT RING TO THEM IN THEIR MIND THAT MAYBE THAT'S NOT THE BEST SOURCE OF NEWS AND PERHAPS THEY ONLY BOUGHT INTO IT BECAUSE IT MADE THEM FEEL GOOD OR IT MATCHED WHAT THEY ALREADY BELIEVE. BUT IT'S NOT THE BEST SOURCE OF INFORMATION.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says CAN I ASSUME THAT SAYING TO THEM: HOW COULD YOU BE SO STUPID IS NOT A GOOD APPROACH TO TAKE?

Joseph says NO, BECAUSE ON THE ONE HAPPENED, IT MIGHT SAY MORE ABOUT YOU TO THEM. SO THEY'LL BE THINKING WELL, I KNOW THE INSIDE DOPE AND IT ONLY SHOWS HOW BRAIN WASHED THIS GUY IS.

Steve says NOW EARLY IN THIS PANDEMIC,PRESIDENT TRUMP DID REFER TO THE VIRUS AS THE DEMOCRATS, NEW HOAKS. HOW DOES ONE COMBAT CONSPIRACY THEORIES WHEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. FROM TIME TO TIME.. SEEMS TO BE LENDING SO MUCH CREADANCE TO THEM?

Joseph says WELL, FROM TIME TO TIME IS OFTEN TIMES DOWN HERE THIS IS A COMMON TOOLTHAT THEPRESIDENT USES IT DID NOT HELP MATTERS,THAT HE STARTED OFF SAYING THAT THIS WAS THE DEMOCRATICS NEW HOAKS THAT GAVE RISE TO A LOT OFREPUBLICANS, PARTICULARY PEOPLE WHO REALLY LIKE TRUMP AND PAY ATTENTION TO POLITICS. IT GAVE RISE TO THEM BELIEVING THAT AND NOW ARE TAKING PART IN PROTESTS, AREN'T USING SOCIALDISTANCING MEASURES, OR WASHING THEIR HANDS,SO IT ISVERY DANGEROUS RHEDERIC. EVEN THOUGH HE CHANGED HIS TUNE A LITTLE BIT, HE HASN'T FULLY DISAVOWED THOSEIDEAS. IT'S DIFFICULT TO REFUTE THINGS WHEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. HE 'S GOT THE BULLY PULPIT.

Steve says FROM YOUR VANTAGE POINT, MORE REPUBLICANS OR MORE DEMOCRATS WHO BUY INTO CONSPIRACY THEORIES?

Joseph says EQUAL. AND EACH SIDE LIKES TO THINK THAT THEY'RE THE RATIONAL ONES AND IT'S THE OTHER SIDE THAT'S BELIEVING IN ALL THE KOOKY STUFF. BUT WHEN WE DO POLLS WE FIND BOTH ARE EQUALLY LIKELY TO BUY IN IT'S JUST THAT THEY'RE GOING TO BELIEVE IN DIFFERENT CONSPIRACY THEORIES. BY THAT I MEAN THEY LIKE TO BELIEVE IN THEORIES THAT POINT THE FINGER AT THE OTHER SIDE.

Steve says THAT'S INTERESTING. LET ME FOLLOW UP ON THAT. A HAPPY CONSPIRACY THEORY FOR A DEMOCRAT WOULD BE DIFFERENT FROM ONE FOR A REPUBLICAN BECAUSE HOW, HOW WOULD THEY BE DIFFERENT?

Joseph says SO, FOR EXAMPLE, REPUBLICANS WILL BUY INTO IDEAS ABOUT OBAMA FAKING HIS BIRTH CERTIFICATE. SO DEMOCRATS AREN'T GOING TO BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE THEY LIKE OBAMA. WHEREAS DEMOCRATS MIGHT BUY INTO RHETORIC SUCH AS THE 1 percent CONTROLS EVERYTHING. OR BUSH BLEW UP THE TWIN TOWERS. SO THOSE ARE THINGS THAT ARE MORE POPULAR ON THEIR SIDE THAN ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE.

Steve says IT IS INTERESTING. BEFORE YOU AND I WERE BORN, DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER LEFT OFFICE COMPLAINING OF A MILITARY COMPLEX WHICH UNDER... AS IT TURNED OUT HE WAS RIGHT. BUT, YOU KNOW, YOU COULD ALSO SAY THAT THOSE... YOU COULD ACCUSE HIM OF SORT OF ENGAGING IN THIS KIND OF CONSPIRACY THEORY TALK THAT YOU AND I ARE DISCUSSING RIGHT NOW. IS THERE A FINE LINE SOMETIMES BETWEEN CONSPIRACY THEORY AND SOMETHING THAT IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME TURNS OUT TO BE TRUE?

Joseph says ABSOLUTELY. AND IN SOME CONSPIRACY THEORIES WILL TURN OUT TO BE TRUE. WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN WERE HUNDREDING DOWN A CONSPIRACY THEORY UNTIL THEY FOUND OUT THAT RICHARD NIXON AND HIS ADMINISTRATION REALLY DID VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION IN MANY, MANY WAYS AND DID CONSPIRE TO COVER UP THOSE CRIMES. SO I DON'T USE THE TERM "CONSPIRE THEORY" TO MEAN "FALSE." BUT I WOULD USE IT TO MEAN "NOT YET PROVEN TRUE."

Steve says HMM, OKAY. I GUESS ONE OF THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WHAT WAS GOING ON IN 1972 TO '74 WITH WATER GATE AND NIXON AND WOODWARD AND BERNSTEIN AND TODAY IS THAT THERE WAS NO FOX NEWS BACK THEN AND THERE WAS NO SOCIAL MEDIA BACK THEN. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW THOSE TWO SIGNIFICANT INSTITUTIONS ARE CHANGED THE WHOLE STATE OF PLAY TODAY?

Joseph says SO THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT CABLE NEWS IS CATERING TO AT LEAST IN MY COUNTRY, TO PARTISANSHIP. SO THEY'RE GOING TO GIVE THEIR AUDIENCES WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR. SO IF YOU FLIP BACK AND FORTH LIKE I DO FROM TIME TO TIME, IT'S AS IF YOU'RE GOING FROM ONE DIMENSION OF BEING TO ANOTHER COMPLETELY DIFFERENT DIMENSION. YOU'RE IN DIFFERENT UNIVERSES. AND THAT CAN GIVE RISE TO PEOPLE BELIEVING IN CONSPIRACY THEORIES BECAUSE THOSE CABLE CHANNELS... INCLUDING FOX, ARE OFTEN TEETERING ON THE EDGE OF JUST PUSHING THOSE IDEAS BLATANTLY. BUT I DO WANT TO BRING A LITTLE BIT OF CAUTION HERE. IN THE 1960s, WHEN KENNEDY WAS AS IS ASSASSINATED IT ONLY TOOK A FEW YEARS FOR AMERICANS TO BUY INTO A CONSPIRACY THEORY REGARDING THE ASSASSINATION. AND THERE WAS NO INTERNET OR TWITTER NEEDED FOR THAT. SO PEOPLE CAN DO THIS ON THEIR OWN. SO OFTEN TIMES WHEN WE'RE TRYING TO BLAME CONSPIRACY THEORIES ON THE NEW THING WE'RE JUST TRYING TO BLAME THE NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR WHAT IS REALLY AN OLD HUMAN PROBLEM.

Steve says THAT'S A GREAT POINT. LET'S FINISH UP ON THIS PROFESSOR. YOU'VE BEEN RESEARCHING CONSPIRACY THEORIES FOR MANY YEARS NOW. DO YOU THINK WE'RE ENTERING A NEW PHASE OF CONSPIRACY THEORIES?

Joseph says IT'S HARD TO TELL. YOU KNOW, IF YOU READ BACK IN THE NEWSPAPERS OF THE LAST FEW DECADES, MANY JOURNALISTS ALWAYS THINK WE'RE ENTERING INTO THE NEW AGE OR THE GOLDEN AGE OR THIS IS THE APEX OF CONSPIRACY THEORIZING. I THINK MANY OF THE THEORIES REMEMBER TALKING NOW ABOUT COVID-19 YOU CHANGE ONE OR TWO WORDS AND THAT CONSPIRACY THEORY WAS POPULAR LAST YEAR OR A FEW YEARS AGO WITH THE LAST DISEASE. SO UNFORTUNATELY CONSPEARCY THEORISTS JUST AREN'T THAT CREATIVE AND THERE'S NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN.

The caption changes to "Producer: Eric Bombicino, @ebombicino."

Steve says THAT IS TRUE. AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH. WELL, IT'S GOOD OF YOU TO JOIN US ON TVO TONIGHT. YOU WERE CERTAINLY NEW UNDER OUR SUN AND WE'RE GRATEFUL THAT YOU COULD SPARE SOME TIME FOR US.

Joseph says WELL, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Watch: COVID-19: A Gift to Conspiracy Theorists?