This letter came in response to our commentary on Mark Elias’ 2022 election strategy of aggressively using litigation to decide who gets seated in Congress. That story is not from the realm of “conspiracy theory” but of fact, as Elias has tweeted to the world that he's planning to do this.
From Barry B:
Mike, I am an ardent fan of yours, but I am also frustrated by the lack of willingness on the part of you and others to "wander down the path of conspiracy theories." That is precisely why people like Elias get away with their conspiracies. If you were to wander down that path, the farther you went, the more filth and corruption you would find. Are you implying that there is [not] and has never been a conspiracy? If not, how is a conspiracy defined?
If people like you won't dare to look, who will?
Blessings to you and your family for the New Year!
From the Gov:
Thanks for writing, Barry. I bring up Elias precisely because I DON’T want him to get away with what he’s doing. If you think we don’t see the filth and corruption or that we meant to imply there “is not and has never been a conspiracy,” I can only surmise you're new to this newsletter. We don’t wander aimlessly, but facts often lead us down a particular road.
To call something a conspiracy theory is not to say it’s true or untrue, because some turn out to be true or very largely true and others are ridiculous hoaxes. To explain, the term “conspiracy theory” is neutral, kind of like “unidentified flying object.” A conspiracy theory hasn’t been proved, so it remains a theory. Similarly, a UFO hasn’t been identified, so it remains...unidentified. The answer in both of these situations is (pardon the pun) up in the air, until there’s proof one way or the other.
Every single so-called conspiracy theory we’ve reported on as worthy of being taken seriously has either been proven true or is currently gathering more and more evidence in its favor. For example, regarding the theory that links Hillary's campaign and certain government insiders with the “dossier” and the whole media-driven “Russia!” hoax, we eagerly look forward to every development in John Durham’s special counsel investigation and seeing it connect another dot.
On the other hand, the Russia hoax itself is an example of a conspiracy theory that did not deserve to be taken seriously. Nothing in the “dossier” was verified. Yet it obsessed most of the media and leftist bureaucrats throughout Trump’s presidency, long after the “dossier” had been debunked and Devin Nunes’ House Intelligence Committee had determined Hillary’s campaign had paid for it.
At the same time, there really is evidence to support investigation into other so-called conspiracy theories. For example, though we condemned the Capitol Hill breach from the first, we’ve made it clear that there is considerable reason to demand an investigation of the FBI’s involvement and also House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s curious refusal of National Guard troops to provide security. Merrick Garland’s “Justice” Department is too shamefully politicized to do this, but the next Republican-led Congress will no doubt open one of their own.
That can’t happen for another year –- and then only if Republicans take back the House, but at least that does seem likely. Meanwhile, Republicans in the minority --- including those Pelosi refused for her hand-picked “Special Committee” --- will have to ferret out what they can on their own, minus subpoena power. Thankfully, the fine reporting of such organizations as Revolver News will continue, and we'll keep bringing that and our commentary to you.
Another example: the stories from battleground states about coordinated election fraud constitute another conspiracy theory that must be thoroughly investigated. Over half the country has essentially no faith in the 2020 election; this cannot stand. We can’t say definitively that the election was stolen through, say, hacked machines, but there's enough question about this and other serious problems to warrant a full investigation of all the forces at play. Any time skeptics face draconian censorship or a lack of transparency regarding evidence, that’s a red flag saying, “Here’s a conspiracy theory that might very well pan out. Better dig into this!”
It’s easy to tell that the Democrats tailor their approach to facts to suit their immediate purposes, because they'll turn on a dime. For example, starting with George W. Bush’s win over Al Gore in 2000, the Democrats decided it was their patriotic duty to cry “Stolen!” and question every election they lost. That changed when Biden was declared the winner; suddenly it was “domestic terrorism” to question the outcome, even with ample reason to suspect fraud.
We do have to have some factual basis for taking conspiracy theories seriously. If we didn’t, we’d just be a right-leaning version of CNN or the DNC (same thing). You can trust us never to be like the news/opinion writers on the left who screamed “Russia Russia Russia!!” for years even after that conspiracy theory was revealed as hogwash. Look at how some reporters who spread false information about the “dossier” are STILL resisting putting out retractions.
Unless there’s been an update, Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News and David Corn of Mother Jones, who wrote a book together on the “dossier” called ‘RUSSIAN ROULETTE: The Inside Story of Putin’s War On America and the Election of Donald Trump,” have failed to retract significant mistakes, specifically about an alleged “dossier” source (who really wasn’t one) named Sergei Millian. They cited Millian, who supports Trump, as the source for that unsavory made-up story about Trump in a Moscow hotel, supposedly on video with Russian prostitutes. Durham’s indictment of Igor Danchenko suggests that the real source of the so-called “pee tape” story was former Hillary campaign adviser Charles Dolan.
What these two “journalists” were doing was furthering a conspiracy theory that is untrue. And still it seems they won’t give it up, though it’s been debunked so thoroughly it doesn't even qualify as a theory. Only a hoax.
We have confidence in our sources, and I would never, for example, discuss members of the Clinton-allied Brookings Institution being involved with the creation and spread of the “dossier” unless there were ample reason to suspect this. By reason, I don’t mean the kind of proof you’d need to make an airtight case in court, but simply enough evidence to warrant digging deeper.
You know the story of the boy who cried “Wolf!” He wasn't taken seriously when it really counted, so it would defeat our purpose to be like him. But rest assured we'll continue digging carefully into so-called conspiracy theories --- the ones that pass the smell test --- just as we always have done.
For example, in case you missed the latest on Hillary over the holidays, Durham is taking aim...