The news media has been using the term “conspiracy theories” to identify a number of outlandish, untrue and often convoluted claims such as that former President Bill Clinton and his wife are involved in child sex trafficking and that COVID-19 vaccines contain microchips with which to track people receiving the vaccines. I encourage the news media to use alternative labeling for such nonsense because conspiracies do occur and there are legitimate theories about them. Alternatively, there is nothing legitimate about these outlandish and often scurrilous assertions. One good alternative would be “crackpot theories,” since these fact- and logic-free speculations simply don’t hold water. Those who propound such hogwash can be appropriately identified as “crackpot theorists” when spinning these fanciful, if often vicious, tales.
In an era overflowing with misrepresentations, distortions and outright lies, such as that Donald Trump won the last presidential election, it undermines public dialogue when legitimate news sources provide an air of truth to claims with zero truth value. Suspected conspiracies can be investigated. Cracked pots are simply thrown away. Please do all of us interested in fact and logic-based discourse a favor and affirmatively label theories that hold no substance as the crackpot theories they, in fact, are.
Hank Robb, West Linn