Friday, April 10, 2009


If you haven't yet seen the video of the guy at a Glenn Beck tea party ranting about (among other things) brainwashing by means of digital cable boxes, well, you will. Video below (via -- yes, really -- Little Green Footballs.)

Where would he get this screwy idea? My guess is from the source of many of the screwiest ideas in America -- Alex Jones (emphasis mine):

Private industry and eventually government is planning to use microphones in the computers of an estimated 150 million-plus Internet active Americans to spy on their lifestyle choices and build psychological profiles which will be used for surveillance and minority report style invasive advertising and data mining.

Digital cable TV boxes, such as Scientific Atlanta, have had secret in-built microphones inside them since their inception in the late 1990's....

The advent of digital video recording devices such as TiVo (Sky Plus in the UK) introduced the creation of psychological algorithm profiles -- databases on what programs you watched, how long you watched them for, which adverts you liked or didn't like...

Jones, of course, was a favorite source for Richard Poplawski, the whirte supremacist recently charged with murdering three cops in Pittsburgh.

The rant that includes the cable-box stuff starts at about 1:58. The gentleman adds the wrinkle that Obama delayed the complete conversion to digital until later this year in order to control our minds:

This is what you're stirring up, Fox News, Newt Gingrich, et al. I hope you're proud.


UPDATE: A commenter points out something I wasn't aware of -- that a hoax YouTube video by a guy named Adam Chronister has been responsible for spreading this notion. Thank you for that. According to the Wired story about the hoax video, it's been "popping up on tin-foil-hat sites everywhere." And gee, guess where in particular?

Last week Chronister's video was promoted on the website of the conspiracy-friendly Alex Jones radio show ...

We're told that

Alex Jones' website, and not his radio show, promoted the hoax as authentic. Readers report that Jones later disputed the video on the air

-- but I'd say the damage is done. And Jones did (see above) raise suspicions about DTV boxes years ago (the link I quote above is from 2006).

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