WATCH ON BBC SELECT: THE CONSPIRACY DROP
The Conspiracy Drop was live between Thursday 29th April – Wednesday 5th May, check out Select More every other week to be the first to explore the latest Drop.
Every other week, BBC Select brings you a curated collection of three thought-provoking programmes and an exclusive Take on a subject that touches us all. We explore a culturally relevant theme and examine it in depth, offering you fresh perspectives on the things that matter in life, from love and war, parenthood and consumerism, to revolution and race.
This week’s Drop delves deep into the world of conspiracy theories as journalist Jamelle Bouie asks: what leads ordinary people to believe them? The myths surrounding a modern tragedy are exposed in 9/11: Truth, Lies and Conspiracies, a common conspiracy theory target is explored in George Soros: The Billionaire Global Mastermind? and the fears and failures of an infamous American President are exposed in Nixon in the Den.
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JAMELLE BOUIE ON CONSPIRACIES
The Drop on BBC Select brings you the thoughts of writers, filmmakers and more. This week, we wonder if the truth really is out there as we mull over conspiracy theories. New York Times opinion columnist Jamelle Bouie has some probing questions on the matter too. The respected political commentator and outspoken Trump critic wants to know: Why on earth do thousands of people believe the QAnon conspiracy theory? Is there really a global cabal of pedophiles and Satanist’s trading children in a mass human trafficking operation? And is there something uniquely American about the appeal of conspiracy theories?
Watch Jamelle Bouie in Takes, filmed exclusively for BBC Select.
9/11: TRUTH, LIES AND CONSPIRACIES
9/11 is a date etched into US consciousness, with its vivid reports of terror, destruction and catastrophic loss of life broadcast worldwide to a horrified audience. Yet around half of the American population still believe they haven’t been told the whole story about this infamous day in history. Whilst we’ve all heard the detailed conspiracy theories, it seems astonishing that such large numbers of people believe counter truths and alternative versions of events so vehemently. But why do these conspiracy theories continue to grip Americans so tightly? In this thought-provoking exploration of one of the USA’s greatest tragedies, a senior politician, intelligence agency insiders and the families of 9/11’s victims discuss their unshakeable belief that there’s much more to this story than we have been told.
GEORGE SOROS: THE BILLIONAIRE GLOBAL MASTERMIND?
Philanthropist, activist and survivor of the Nazi occupation of Hungary in World War II, George Soros is the man Forbes magazine called the ‘most generous giver’. All of these mantles suggest that the financier, one of the world’s richest people, should be widely feted for his achievements. But the Budapest-born multi-billionaire hedge fund supremo has instead become a bogeyman around the world, castigated by everyone from bloggers to presidents for his extensive funding of political and educational causes. Soros is the focus of innumerable conspiracy theories, cast as the puppet master behind everything from control of the global economy to US gun control activism. But behind these wild claims lurks the possibility of a darker reason for his vilification: that allegations against Soros are the product of a worrying resurgence of anti-Semitism.
NIXON IN THE DEN
Historian David Reynolds scrutinizes the controversial career of the 37th President of the United States, Richard Milhous Nixon. Nixon was driven by the dual demons of ruthless ambition and an inferiority complex borne out of a loveless, impoverished childhood in Southern California. While he made a genuine impact as a world statesman, hastening the end of the cold war by making historic, peace-making visits to communist Soviet Union and China, Nixon couldn’t replicate this success on home soil, descending into infamy via Watergate as the only US president forced to resign from office. With access to Nixon’s own memos, audio tapes and home movie footage, Reynolds presents an intimate psychological profile of a tortured man and reconstructs Nixon’s ‘den’, a secret office opposite the White House where ‘Tricky Dick’ lived out a presidency defined by secrecy, deception and paranoia.
Every other week, we will be exploring new topics and issues with thought-provoking takes from global thinkers. Be sure to stay up to date with the latest Takes and Drops on Select More.