Beck's latest conspiracy theory won't end well

The Fox News host starts passing on some of the paranoia about the swine flu vaccine

By Alex Koppelman

Published October 6, 2009 8:01PM (EDT)

One positive thing about Glenn Beck: The guy is dependable. You can almost set your watch by him -- if you spot some new conspiracy theory developing in the darker corners of the Internet, one that fits with his ideological bent, it won't be more than a couple months before he's on Fox News, broadcasting the theory to millions of people.

The latest theory to get the Beck treatment, apparently. will be one about the swine flu vaccine. This has been getting a lot of attention in the usual places on the Internet, with theories abounding about the vaccine being untested and deadly, not to mention about laws that would allow you to be sent to a quarantine camp if you refuse to take the shot. There are many, many others out there too -- when it comes to this sort of thing, there's almost no end to the creativity of the theorists. (Trust me on this. We get e-mails about it almost daily from varioius people concerned about the vaccine; their warnings of what's going to happen can get pretty wild.)

So on Thursday, as you can see in the video below (hat-tip to Jed Lewison on Daily Kos), Beck is going to be running an hour-long special. He claims both sides will get equal time, and that he won't be giving his opinion. In theory, that might be nice -- it'd be better if the anti-vaccination side had much of a leg to stand on, but there's only so much you can ask from Beck -- but it's hard to believe Beck's promise of balance, given his record. Hopefully he comes through; the consequences of stoking anti-vaccine hysteria can be, quite literally, deadly.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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Fox News Glenn Beck Swine Flu War Room