The conspiracies circulated in connection with Wikileaks were far more sensational and tabloid than the ones mentioned by Trent. In the 9th hour, on November 5th, the shock tweets were about the Clinton Foundation’s illegal sex trafficking, with ties to Epstein’s secret “orgy island” and campaign manager John Podesta’s involvement in some evil Satanic cult (“spirit cooking”). When we saw Wikileaked emails about pizza or pool parties, we were told “pizza” was secret code for… whatever, I forget, something awful. Anyway, twas all very dark and surreal, pitting NYPD versus FBI as to which was going to go public first.
The postmortem analysis will be to continue investigating how USers, middle Americans especially, were manipulated by shocking stories and to use this experience to strengthen our collective powers to distinguish rumor from truth (something we’ve been working on since 9-11, but I’m not sure we’ve come very far, judging from this election).