Name a wacky conspiracy theory (chemtrails, anti-vax, 9/11 trutherism) or a quack cure (juicing, homeopathy, metabolic therapy), and Mike Adams probably believes in it. Or says he does. That’s probably also true of some of the Facebook friends you have filtered out of your newsfeed. But your Facebook friends don’t run well-trafficked Web sites devoted to pushing pseudoscience into the mainstream. And they probably don’t say that people who disagree with them deserve to be killed.
On July 21, Adams posted a long, insensible screed in which he compared several journalists and the publications they write for to Nazi collaborators. Adams didn’t name any names in his diatribe, but another Web site that was discovered last week surely did. Monsantocollaborators.org (now offline, but archived here) bears a Swastika and provides what amounts to a hit list. Among the publications listed are Modern Farmer, Forbes, National Geographic, the Daily Caller, MIT Technology Review, and Discover. Among the humans listed is science writer Brooke Borel, who wrote one item about GMOs for Modern Farmer, but has written much more extensively (and, it should be noted, equally thoughtfully) on the subject for Popular Science, which, weirdly, was not listed.
And now, the cops are involved. Borel alerted the FBI. Jason Pontin, editor of MIT Technology Review, reported the threats to the MIT police, who he said made a formal report. Jon Entine, a hit-list target who edits the Genetic Literacy Project site, claimed that the FBI had “immediately launched an investigation of Adams and the site, with Adams facing possible felony charges of inciting violence.” Entine didn’t cite a source for that information, but told me via email that he learned of it “off the record through my connections with the FBI.” An FBI spokesperson said the bureau had no comment, which it almost never does in such cases.
If not for the threats, all of this would be supremely silly, of course, and Adams is a silly man. But at the same time, he represents — and in fact, is a leader of — a movement that doesn’t merely ignore science, but actively fights against it, even while strongly claiming that science is actually on its side, whatever actual mainstream scientists might say (if asked, they generally say that Natural News is the worst kind of quackery).
The popularity of Natural News mirrors a growing trend in American Electoral politics. The kinds of things that once considered niche-right-wing media are now part of the public conversation, enabled in part by the Internet. And people outside of such circles are being pulled into the fray, sometimes with disturbing results.
Read the full, original article: How Natural News compared us to pro-GMO Nazis and put us on a hit list