The point at which the person you were having an intelligent conversation with says, “Shut up conspiracy theorist!” (to quote James Corbett!)
Lately I’ve been feeling like I bet Mike Tyson felt in prison: everyone’s trying to pick a fight with me. I don’t have much hope for people who are still defending the mainstream media with the argument, “So EVERYBODY in the media is conspiring to hide the truth?” It doesn’t have to work that way and anyone with even the slightest imagination can imagine how it might work. (For example: “Hmm, my boss likes our stories to conform to the newswires. That’s great cause that’s the easiest for me anyway!”) Or, “They’re just after ratings because they’re greedy.” (Even if they are greedy, how do you know ratings is the best estimate of how they make money? Maybe they are trying to sway the market or foreign policy to promote interests that are larger than their media holdings.)
The fact is, a regular job, your kids’ school and many of the other things we’ve all worked hard to get right depend on us getting along with the other people in those circles. Fair enough. The problem arises when one is not honest enough with oneself to admit this go-along-to-get-along life choice and needs to shut you up for having the courage to speak though it invites censure. There’s nothing wrong with self-preservation but self-righteous self-delusion is more than I can take these days.