What QAnon documentaries reveal about how conspiracies flourish

By | April 18, 2021

Derek Robertson writes:

A media suddenly bereft of the eye-popping right-wing extremism once peddled daily by the 45th president has found its methadone: a seemingly endless stream of QAnon-centric documentaries, books and essays.

There’s Vice’s “The Search for Q” series; CNN’s “Inside the QAnon Conspiracy”; Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer’s announcement of his forthcoming book based on the topic; and the buzziest of them all: “Q: Into the Storm,” HBO’s six-episode documentary miniseries produced by Adam McKay, the Oscar-winning auteur of ripped-from-the-headlines cinema.

It’s been three months since the nearly four-year-old conspiracy theory reached its violent climax, with QAnon believers joining forces with militia members, white nationalists, and just generally crazed Trump supporters to storm the Capitol in an attempt to flip the election for their preferred candidate. In the aftermath, cable networks and publishers are doubling down on Americans’ potential interest in how such a sprawling, byzantine online community could so thoroughly distort both personal lives and national politics. Central to QAnon’s mystique is the lingering mystery about the identity of the “Q” himself — the anonymous web forum poster whose cryptic missives about “deep state” pedophilia opposed by a heroic Trump galvanized a complete subcultural ecosystem of fear, apocalyptic interpretation, and dogged amateur sleuthing from supporters and critics alike. [Continue reading…]

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