Episode

3/10 Why People Believe The Earth Is Flat w/ Kelly Weill

March 10, 2022

Sam hosts Kelly Weill, reporter at the Daily Beast, to discuss her recent book Off the Edge: Flat Earthers, Conspiracy Culture, and Why People Will Believe Anything. Kelly begins by situating her research into flat earthers as a case study in people’s inclination to faith and belief, separating the flat earth belief from other conspiracies in how – rather than fitting itself within established views of reality – it forces its believers to truly throw out all known information about our world. She and Sam then work to unpack the flat earth canon, walking through the enclosed disk surrounded by ice that is our “earth,” and how this view stemmed from the global construction itself. Next, Kelly dives into how, despite this being rather disprovable, flat earthers tend to not be dissuaded by contrary evidence, as she walks through different attempts to find this ice wall (both legitimate attempts and grifts), before she and Sam jump back to England in the 1840s, in the midst of a shift from religion to natural sciences, to look at Samuel Rowbotham’s foundational works on the flat earth and how they served to make sense of a rapidly changing view of our world. They then move to the 1900s in America, with the founding of the town of Zion, Illinois as a Christian fundamentalist, theocrat-ruled community that quickly was overtaken by a flat earth doctrine, and work through the malleability of this particular conspiracy in fitting alongside countless other beliefs. Moving into contemporary times, Sam and Kelly discuss the role of social media in giving flat earth the boost it needed to push it onto the fringes of the mainstream (oxymoron, sorry), as they dive into the artificial promotion on YouTube and Facebook before they look to the relationship between flat earthers and the other conspiracies flowing through the modern Right-wing, discussing how Q Anon and anti-vax believers are jumping on their overlap with other conspiracists to recruit even more to their side. They wrap up their interview by discussing the flat earth influencer hierarchy, and look into governments, Jews, and witches as the antagonists at the core of these theories. Sam also touches on Russia’s continued attacks on civilians and hospitals, and Trump’s appearance on an MMA pod to discuss his relationship with Putin and Ukraine.

And in the Fun Half: Sam is joined by Matt and Brandon as they dive into Ben Shapiro soft-pitching a new anti-environmentalist conspiracy theory, Fox News giving a voice to the voiceless CEOs of the petroleum industry, and the building bad-faith tension between Jen Psaki and Doocy Jr. They also hold an extensive conversation on the nationalization of the energy industry, Frank from Minneapolis discusses would-be watershed-moments, and Fox News hosts a discussion on false-flag bioweapons. Ben from Worcester gives his own flat earther insight, and Matt gets into Crypto dating scams, plus, your calls and IMs!

Purchase tickets for the live show in Brooklyn March 26th and Boston on May 15th HERE:

Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here:  https://madmimi.com/signups/170390/join

Join the Majority Report Discord! http://majoritydiscord.com/

Get all your MR merch at our store: https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/

Support the St. Vincent Nurses today! https://action.massnurses.org/we-stand-with-st-vincents-nurses/

Check out Matt’s show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/leftreckoning

Subscribe to Matt’s other show Literary Hangover on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/literaryhangover

Check out The Nomiki Show on YouTube. https://www.patreon.com/thenomikishow

Check out Matt Binder’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/mattbinder

Subscribe to Brandon’s show The Discourse on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/ExpandTheDiscourse

Check out The Letterhack’s upcoming Kickstarter project for his new graphic novel! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/milagrocomic/milagro-heroe-de-las-calles

Check out Jamie’s podcast, The Antifada. https://www.patreon.com/theantifada, on iTunes, or at https://www.twitch.tv/theantifada (streaming every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7pm ET!)

Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/

Subscribe to AM Quickie writer Corey Pein’s podcast News from Nowhere. https://www.patreon.com/newsfromnowhere 

Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter:

@SamSeder

@EmmaVigeland

@MattBinder

@MattLech

@BF1nn

@BradKAlsop

The Majority Report with Sam Seder – https://majorityreportradio.com/

Buy tickets to see Sam with Francesca Fiorentini at the Bell House in Brooklyn TONIGHT here: https://bitchuationroom.com/

Past Episodes

It's Casual Friday! Sam hosts Jamelle Bouie, opinion columnist at the New York Times and co-host of the Unclear and Present Danger podcast, to discuss his recent piece "The Gerontocracy of the Democratic Party Doesn’t Understand That We’re at the Brink." First, Sam dives right into the Supreme ...
Sam hosts Mike Konczal, director of macroeconomic analysis at the Roosevelt Institute, to discuss his recent paper "Prices, Profits, and Power" that he co-authored with Niko Lusiani. Then, Sam is joined by Amane Badhasso, candidate for Congress in Minnesota's 4th District, to give an update ...
Sam hosts Jaz Brisack of Starbucks Workers United to give us some updates from the unionization efforts on the ground. Then, Sam is joined by Michael Bronski, professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Harvard University, to discuss his recent piece in the Boston Review "Grooming and ...