“C” for Conspiracy – the new Scarlet Letter

Naomi WolfChris Hedges isn’t the only one catching flack for going against the grain, so to speak. Naomi Wolf was recently the subject of intense mainstream media criticism and scrutiny after she questioned the authenticity of ISIS beheading videos:

Naomi Wolf stirred controversy over the weekend, after she posted a series of comments on Facebook, in which she questioned the authenticity of the Isis beheading videos and suggested that they “had been staged by the US government”.

She went on to query whether Isis (also known as the Islamic State) “victims and their parents were actors”, while in a separate, deleted post, she asked a New York Times journalist to verify that the murder of Americans and two Britons had actually happened, political commentary site Vox.com reported.

In reporting the story, the Independent’s author tries hard to hide her own convictions by making extensive use of quotations, attributing everything that matters either to Naomi or the Vox News journalist who criticizes her:

Vox.com journalist Max Fisher branded her ideas “wild-eyed conspiracy theories” that could be harmful to an impressionable audience given her “record of respectability”.

“It is important for readers who may encounter Wolf’s ideas to understand the distinction between her earlier work, which rose on its merits, and her newer conspiracy theories, which are unhinged, damaging and dangerous,” he wrote.

But her choice of quotes, a less than flattering picture of Naomi with lipstick on her teeth, and her failure to contact Naomi herself for comment (choosing instead to lift quotes from her Facebook page), demonstrates her contempt for Naomi’s positions.

Like a long line of others, Naomi has joined the ranks of persona non-grata in the mainstream media – a growing cadre of high profile commentators who have earned the new Scarlet Letter – “C” for conspiracy.

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