In many respects, the modern world has lost its damn mind.
Conspiracy theories abound, over anything. Over everything. And it was unavoidable, we suppose, that some nutty conspiracy theory would emerge regarding Bills safety Damar Hamlin.
Our original plan was to ignore it. To give it no attention, no credence, no oxygen. Sometimes, however, it’s important for the rational to expose the irrational, so that some of the rational aren’t tempted to swallow the crazy-ass cheese.
As it relates to Hamlin, there’s actually a theory — completed unsupported by a shred of evidence — that Hamlin died from the COVID vaccine and that he has been replaced by a body double.
Think about that one. The person who attended Sunday’s game between the Bengals and Bills isn’t Damar Hamlin. It’s someone else, disguised as Damar Hamlin. And, presumably, his family and his teammates are in on it.
It made for an interesting premise in the movie Dave. It makes for an embarrassingly ridiculous suggestion in the real-life story of Damar.
And some in the media are presenting it as if it’s a subject of legitimate debate. Earlier this week, Josh Allen was actually asked — with a straight face — to respond to it.
Modern journalism often raises thorny questions of reporting facts versus expressing opinions. The specific facts the media chooses to report often carry strong implicit opinions. Simply by acknowledging a kooky conspiracy theory (without quickly calling it kooky), we’re essentially saying, “Many people are saying . . . .”
So if we in the media are going to mention something that we know or should know is wrong, we need to have the willingness to say, “Folks, this is wrong. People should know better. You should know better. Please, apply some common sense.”
Thus, to summarize: Folks, this is wrong. People should know better. You should know better. Please, apply some common sense.
How would that look in this case? Well, instead of presenting the subject to Allen as something that “mainstream media outlets” are “saying the fix is in, that was not Damar” and asking him to “debunk” it, the question would have gone something like this: “Josh, have you seen this crazy fucking story about Damar Hamlin dying from the COVID vaccine and being replaced by a body double? Can you believe someone would actually buy that bullshit?”