I would like to address a specific claim that was recently spewed by a far right member of congress. This idea isn’t new in the right wing extremists conspiracy world but she did come out aggressively and stand her ground on this conspiracy. Right wing extremist and members of QANON have been believing for years and spreading lies that the entire democratic party of politicians are pedophiles. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a republican member of Congress representing Georgia’s 14th congressional district. She recently did a 60 minute interview where she continually expressed her belief in this fact and said if all democrats aren’t pedophiles, they all at least support the grooming of children. She even included the President, Joe Biden in this statement.
Once someone reads this article or watches her interview, no matter what side politically they lean to, they need to stop and think about what she is saying. It’s especially harder because in the 60 minute interview, the interviewer doesn’t do a great job at giving her pushback against the crazy things she is saying, she just allows her to say them. It makes you understand the need for a difficult interview where there’s back and forth and fact checking instead of a puff piece. The easiest thing you can do to debunk this is to ‘read laterally’. This means to look up different information from what is being said. Even if you just google “are all democrats pedophiles?” you will find many articles from many different news organizations about her interview and how she is contributing to the conspiracy with no proof.
So, if we are following the SIFT model of evaluation, we have stopped to think about what she is saying. She is saying that EVERY SINGLE democratic politician agrees with harming children. That statement is outrageous. Then, we need to investigate the source. Any simple deep dive into Marjorie Taylor Green’s career and life will show you that she is not a reliable source. She is a former QANON believer who still pushes far right conspiracies.
Next, we would need to find better coverage. So in this instance, we would need to find better interviews from better journalists who will actually offer push back. There are so many other journalists out there who do deep dives into QANON members and what they believe and they offer facts and truth to these people spreading misinformation. CBS should be held accountable for their bad journalism in this case.
Next, we would want to ‘trace claims, quotes, and media to the original context’. This is hard to do in this situation because members of QANON have been spreading this misinformation for years so it’s hard to know where the original lie came from. You would have to understand that this lie comes from QANON, no other credible source, and that QANON simply cannot be reliable as they started as a “wide-ranging, completely unfounded theory that says that President Trump is waging a secret war against elite Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business and the media.”
Once you follow these steps you can easily see that these lies are coming from an unreliable source with unreliable information. There are a million red flags that this should set off in someone’s brain. The statement in itself is an outrageous statement. Saying that every single democratic politician is a pedophile or supports harming children is such an appalling and abhorrent generalization to put on every single democratic politician. This claim is extremely worthy of evaluation and it shouldn’t take long to debunk this kind of conspiracy.