This was reported today by Ryan Teague Beckwith of Bloomberg on MSN News:
A conspiracy theory that Biden plans to use a hidden earpiece during Tuesday night’s presidential debate is thriving on the internet, despite denials from the Democratic nominee’s campaign.
The rumor has gained thousands of shares on Facebook and Twitter and has been circulated by the right-wing conspiracy group, QAnon. It has also been discussed by right-media outlets, including Fox News and Breitbart News Network.
Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director, issued a statement Tuesday saying that Biden’s handlers had agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces, only to abruptly reverse themselves. The Biden campaign denied the allegations as little more than a “distraction.”
The conspiracy theory is part of a torrent of false claims as the presidential campaign nears its final month.
Note the use of the term “conspiracy theory” in this report, and the linkage to the “right-wing conspiracy group, QAnon,” in order to totally discredit any possibility of Joe Biden lying or cheating to gain an advantage over President Trump in the debate. We all know how the Trump team and Q are peddlers of nothing but disinformation, easily debunked by accredited progressive fact-checkers, while Biden’s integrity and mental acuity are beyond reproach. It is laughable to think that Mr. Biden would need an earpiece to cheat against someone so poorly prepared for both the debate and four more years of the presidency as Mr.Trump. Who does Q think would be whispering to him in his ear? Would it be Dr. Jill, perhaps?
Conspiracy theory – an alternative, unproven, amateur explanation of a significant event or events which differs from the approved official version, and purports to expose the secret collusion of hidden players and their motives. Someone who expresses belief in a conspiracy theory is a conspiracy theorist.
The term conspiracy theory came into common usage in 1967 after the Clandestine Services (CS) unit of the CIA, in a dispatch to its section chiefs, suggested methods to discredit criticism of the Warren Report findings regarding the assassination of President Kennedy. Variations of the suggested methods are still used today. They include:
- claiming that it would be impossible for all the participants in a conspiracy to keep the secret;
- involving elite politicians and newspaper editors in the coverup;
- having the media refute the theories; claiming the theory is old news and that no significant new evidence has emerged;
- blaming Communist propaganda;
- using other propaganda assets to refute the theories;
- claiming that eyewitness testimony is unreliable; and
- accusing conspiracy theorists of being irresponsible and politically or financially motivated.
Conspiracy theorists inhabit both ends of the political spectrum. They tend to be highly motivated and some are at least as intelligent as accredited reporters, politicians, and bureaucrats. They are adept at accessing open-source information, including that obtained by whistleblowers and hackers. They typically attempt to explain so-called inconsistencies, anomalies, coincidences, synchronicities, and contradictions in the official versions of reported events.
Most conspiracy theories remain unproven. Because they usually involve an agency or agencies of the government, the facts that would prove or disprove them are protected from disclosure by the simple measure of classifying them as secret, or by the sealing of relevant court documents by a compliant judge. This has led to multiple theories for a single event, a single theory for a pattern of events, a single theory for a single event, a single theory for multiple events, multiple theories for a pattern of events, or multiple theories for multiple events. Among such a hodgepodge of theories, some will be plausible, and some will be absurd. By conflating the absurd with the plausible, it is possible to discredit all of them.
Note: Conspiracy theorist and the related term truther have become dismissive labels nearly as effective as racist or sexist in terminating a discussion. Overuse of this term, however, can result in dismissing the real conspiracies of the Deep State, the military-industrial complex, financial capitalism, and their neoconservative and neoliberal collaborators.