Anna Merlan, journalist, author, "Republic of Lies"

Air Dates: August 3-5, 2019

“REPORT FROM SANTA FE”

THIS WEEK - ANNA MERLAN, Journalist & Author"Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power"

TOPICS:Upcoming Conspiracy Theories To Watch For In The 2020 ElectionsDeep-Fake VideosDisinformationVote-RiggingElection Interference

Both Right-Wing & Left-Wing Conspiracy TheoriesThe Role of Social Media In Promoting Conspiracy TheoriesTheir Effects on DemocracyWays We Can Protect Ourselves

July 31, 2019 -- This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Anna Merlan, journalist, and author of "Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power." "Republic of Lies" is described by Kirkus Reviews as an "Engrossing assessment of the profitable mainstreaming of conspiracy-mongering in civic and political life."

Merlan defines “conspiracy theories” and describes the roles they have played throughout American history. She explores some of America's most popular conspiracy theories such as UFOs, aliens, 9/11, Q, CIA/Gov't coverups, Russia, who killed JFK and MLK, Flat Earth, birtherism, Pizzagate, white supremacy, antivaxx, Lizard people, Sandy Hook hoaxers, and more. Merlan reveals the popularity of conspiracy theories on both ends of the political spectrum – both right-wing and left-wing.

Author Merlan explores the role of social media in promoting conspiracy theories and studies their effects on democracy. She offers ways we can protect ourselves and warns of upcoming conspiracy theories to watch for in the 2020 elections – Beware, she warns, of deep-fake videos, disinformation, vote-rigging, and election interference.

Anna Merlan is a New Mexico-born, New York/Los Angeles-based journalist, specializing in politics, crime, religion, subcultures, conspiracy theories, and women’s lives. She is currently a reporter at the Special Projects Desk, an investigative division within Gizmodo Media Group. She has previously worked as a senior reporter at Jezebel, and as a staff writer at the Village Voice and the Dallas Observer. Her work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, BBC Travel, Topic, and on the op-ed page of the New York Times. She has been accused of being both a lizard person and a CIA agent, but never at the same time.

QUOTES:"A frequently jaw-dropping, yet deeply sensitive and curious, journey through some of the most pervasive conspiracy theories in America today."-- Huffington Post

"The world of modern conspiracy theories is dizzying, but through exhaustive research, personal interviews, and a critical yet at times appropriately empathetic approach, writer Anna Merlan has written a captivating book that illuminates the landscape of conspiracy theories and what they might say about society as a whole."-- New York Magazine