Any time a mass casualty event has happened in the U.S. at least since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, an instant conspiracy thunderstorm forms on the horizon and slowly floats across the Internet, flinging wildly inaccurate droplets of information across humanity’s social networks much to the frustration of journalists everywhere.
The tragic events in Boston on Monday are no different, and a whole crop of new conspiracy seedlings have sprung up in the storm’s passing. Here are a few of the oddest new specimens…
5) North Korea definitely had something to do with it, maybe
What with North Korea spouting off lately, it’s natural that the U.S. military would be making preparations for a potential worst-case scenario. But if you get your news from conspiracy writer Steve Quayle, you might believe that the U.S. intelligence community knows something is coming, and it’s going to be connected to North Korea somehow.
Thanks to Twitter, that bit of unverifiable, unsubstantiated scaredropping is now connected to the Boston bombing, because Quayle said a “close associate” who knows stuff spoke to someone at Barksdale Air Force Base who said they’re beefing up security. “He then said that he heard ‘intelligence says there will be an attack on American soil.’” So, obviously… (Insert shocking event here.)
4) “Family Guy” creator Seth McFarlane is totally in on it
Plenty of folks are taking to Twitter now claiming that a recent episode of “Family Guy” is somehow “proof” the Boston bombings were a false flag attack. In the episode “Turban Cowboy,” which aired March 17, 2013, the bumbling dad character Peter befriends a Muslim man who involves Peter in a plot to blow up a bridge in the fictional town of Quahog, which he does by mistake at the end of the episode.
The episode has since been pulled offline and taken out of syndication. To make matters worse, the clip above, heavily cited by conspiracy-mill media, is a mash-up of two different episodes: “Turban Cowboy” and one in which Peter runs down a crowd of Boston marathoners with his car.
“The edited ‘Family Guy’ clip currently circulating is abhorrent,” MacFarlane said on Twitter. “The event was a crime and a tragedy, and my thoughts are with the victims.”
3) Boston police knew about the bombing in advance
Much like some of the earliest conspiracy theories about 9/11, this one is based on early media reports that were unclear or inaccurate. In the case of allegations that Boston police carried out “controlled explosions” near the marathon’s finish line, conspiracy talk show host Alex Jones misleadingly citedtweets by Boston.com and The Boston Globe staff reporting on police efforts to clear suspicious packages after the blasts, not before them.
Pat Robertson enunciated this one loud and clear Tuesday morning, going live with his prejudices against Muslims by describing the attacks, then muttering: “Don’t talk to me about religion of peace. No way.”
Robertson wasn’t the only one eager to find a Muslim to blame for the attack. Former Fox News conspiracy host Glenn Beck was similarly certain Tuesday that Muslims carried out the tax day bombing, explaining on his show that “no American citizen blows up random people; that’s a Middle Eastern scene, that’s not an American scene.” Of course, people like Timothy McVeigh and Ted Kaczynski, along with a long list of extremist, violent political groups, have operated in the U.S. throughout its entire history.
Taking it to an even more alarming extreme, frequent “Hannity” guest Erik Rush jumped on Twitter Monday night and sarcastically urged the government to “bring more Saudis in without screening them.” Confronted by a fellow Twitter user who expressed shock that Rush was already blaming Muslims, he replied: “Yes, they’re evil. Let’s kill them all.” Rush subsequently deleted that tweet.
No suspects have been named, and the motive for the attack is still unknown.
1) The tea party is being set up by the Federal Reserve to usher in a global currency
Rule #1 of American conspiracy culture is that (almost) all roads lead to the Federal Reserve, the grand poo-bah of conspiracy hatcheries. The Boston bombing is no different. With the price of gold plunging on Tuesday, former Fox News conspiracy host Glenn Beck was warning that now’s the time to get into shiny metals, lest the economy tank under the strain of so much fear in the market.
Of course, Beck specified that his comments about gold weren’t anything to do with the events in Boston, but fellow gold advertisement go-to-guy Alex Jones wasn’t afraid to fully occupy that space and flesh out the broader narrative. “You saw them stage Fast and Furious,” he said on his Internet show Monday. “Folks, they staged Aurora, they staged Sandy Hook. The evidence is just overwhelming. And that’s why I’m so desperate and freaked out. This is not fun, you know, getting up here and telling you this. Somebody’s got to tell you the truth.”
Jones is convinced that the shootings in Tucson, Newtown and Aurora are somehow linked to banking elites that may be involved in the LIBOR scandal. He explained on his show Monday that he’s almost certain the Boston bombing has something to do with their plans as well, although Jones produced no evidence. The whole thing somehow plugs into this master conspiracy that the Federal Reserve, operating on behalf of a shadowy group of global banking elite, is preparing to use the tea party and patriot movement as a scapegoat to initiate mass gun confiscations, collapse the U.S. economy, and ultimately usher in a global currency and one-world government. And North Korea is also involved in this, somehow.
[Ed. note: This piece was updated to clarify that the "Family Guy" clip in question is a mash-up, not original.]
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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