Getting to the Pit of the Bull: Bronwen Dickey on Canines and Conspiracies

Aug 28, 2016

August 23, 2016

Host: Lindsay Beyerstein

0024_2Bronwen Dickey is a contributing editor at The Oxford American, and author of Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon. Her writing can also be found in The New York Times, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Newsweek, Slate, The San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous other publications. For Dickey’s most recent piece, just published in Popular Mechanics, she embarks on the “Conspire-Sea Cruise,” giving us an inside look at what the world of a conspiracy theorist is like and what fuels the need to believe in vast, nefarious plots.

Dickey says she was inspired to report on the conspiracy cruise after working on Pit Bull, where she discovered just how strong the desire can be to ignore evidence and seek out junk science that supports one’s existing beliefs. In conversation with host Lindsay Beyerstein, Dickey looks at the paranoia that propels people towards conspiracy and compares it to the tireless fear mongering pit bull breeds are subjected to. Dickey gives a detailed account of the history and science behind pit bulls and offers a hardheaded overview of what we know about them as a breed and the contrasting ways everyday Americans view them.

Click here to listen to this episode of Point of Inquiry.


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2 comments on “Getting to the Pit of the Bull: Bronwen Dickey on Canines and Conspiracies

  • Surely no conspiracy-theorist worthy of the name would be foolish enough to go on a cruise for conspiracy theorists, for fear of being torpedoed? Or, more appropriately perhaps, having an iceberg secretly towed into their path while their radar was mysteriously on the blink.

    On the bright side, this could be the makings of an excellent TV series. Mid-cruise, the engines stop, radios cease to work, and a mysterious illness strikes all who [have/have not] been in the same room as the anti-vaccine campaigner….. [delete one].

    Only the plucky reporter from Popular Mechanics can solve the mystery and save the day….

    Comedy or horror? Or both? The Truth is definitely Out There. Somewhere, past the icebergs….



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  • Plus, being from Popular Mechanics, she’ll have lots of McGyver moments of brilliant improvisation using only the stuff one finds on a cruise ship, giving handy practical tips to younger viewers. Educational as well as Entertaining.

    Where do I send the pilot script?



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