Thank you to everyone who helped me #TellTheTruthNov22. I’ll revive the hashtag campaign next November but for now I won’t push as hard to sell my film, Conspiracy Theorists Lie (2015). Don’t get me wrong, I’d still love for more people to watch it (at nomagicbullets.org, Amazon, or indieflix) and I hope the audience for it will continue to grow over time, but I need to do more with my life than just promote one documentary.
The experience of trying to sell my film, and myself, gives me a new appreciation of how easy it is to make media and put out messages today, while at the same time it has never been harder to be heard over the roar of the crowd in this media saturated environment. The kind and thankful emails, Facebook messages, etc. that I have received from fans of the film are helpful – they make the effort worthwhile – but the overall lack of notice can be discouraging. As one sympathetic YouTuber commented on the first episode of This must be the podcast:
Yes, Joe, I do got to get more publicly, but how? One guerrilla tactic I employed yesterday on Twitter was to reply to posts that mentioned JFK, Dealey Plaza, conspiracy, etc., with #TellTheTruthNov22 and relevant links. I got some of the usual haters and people accusing me of working for the government/conspiracy, along with some interest in the film, but the exchange that stood out the most was with Roger Stone.
Stone is a political hack whose greatest claim to fame is that he once worked for President Nixon. He wrote the book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, and received a lot of press back in 2013, the 50th anniversary of the assassination. He is also one of the conspiracy theorists that I specifically mention in my documentary, since we had an exchange on Twitter in 2013 where he tried to convince me to buy his book and only convinced me that he was a shameless liar. I show examples of him lying in Conspiracy Theorists Lie and I made up an ad for the film that repurposed an ad for his book:
Yesterday I saw that Stone was speaking in Dallas and I saw some other Tweets that mentioned him, so I replied to them and reiterated the truth about him and his work (e.g. all he has are a, “pack of lies,” he is, “Lying to suckers to make a buck,” he is, “so sad.”). In return I got some insults from his fans but most of it came from Stone himself [Warning: Childish Profanity follows]:
I engaged a little, noting that truth is not a popularity contest and explaining that my film addresses the single, or “magic,” bullet, which he loves to misrepresent, but I did not reduce myself to his level. Then, this morning, he decided to take it to another level:
I advised him that, “Threatening someone over social media is really stupid!” and I reported it to Twitter, because such behavior is never acceptable or defensible. You don’t threaten to hunt someone down or even suggest such a thing. He has removed that post but his other insults remain and he has added to them since then:
I could explain that I do not need to read Stone’s book anymore than I need to read a Holocaust denial book, because I have heard this crap over and over again. I use interview clips with Stone in my film and clearly demonstrate that he has nothing new or useful to offer anyone. I could also point out that Stone has accused President Johnson of being a psychotic murderer, who regularly killed people in his way; a charge that no serious historian would ever entertain. But I will not engage with this drivel. I finally blocked him on Twitter and decided to share the story here. People need to know just how pathetic this guy is and I’m happy to make the effort to inform them. This is one of the “heroes” of the conspiracy theorist community, who has made a lot of money selling lies and undermining our history. And this is his idea of reasonable, adult behavior. Sad.