Usage of "Conspiracy Theorist" as Ad Hominem Attack
Usage of "Conspiracy Theorist" as Ad Hominem Attack
By Russ Baker/Skeptiko.com / skeptiko.com
May 23, 2014

"I like to call it a dysphemism. A dysphemism is a euphemism for something else that has a negative connotation. And it is beautiful. It is one of the best propaganda terms ever invented because the second you say, ‘Yeah, I don’t know he is a bit of a conspiracy theorist,’ for most people it sends out signals meaning the person is a little bit off base. You may want to have nothing to do with them as they could make you look bad. And so it is incredibly effective. There aren’t that many other terms you could use that easily beyond sort of saying that somebody smells. If we’re having a dinner party should I invite him to the dinner party? Well you know, she smells, he’s a conspiracy theorist. There aren’t that many other things you could say. I mean, if you are saying, ‘Hey, invite him to the dinner party,’ and somebody else says, ‘Well, they work for the council on foreign relations,’ that’s much more nuance. You have to discuss what that is and is it good or bad and so forth. So this term is a very, very powerful and deliberate term designed to shut down conversation."  

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Usage of "Conspiracy Theorist" as Ad Hominem Attack