‘Plandemic’ Asks Questions—But Won’t Answer Them
May 21, 2020

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Earlier this month, a YouTube video for an (apparently) upcoming documentary titled Plandemic was released by Mikki Willis (credited onscreen as “father/filmaker” [sic]). The video features a lengthy interview with virologist Judy Mikovits, who offers scattershot conspiracy-laden assertions about the “truth” behind the COVID-19 pandemic, prefaced by claims of having been framed for a crime …

COVID-19 Pseudoauthorities
May 13, 2020


This is the fifth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, which was created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does …

El Cine Chupacabra! The Hispanic Vampire in Film
May 6, 2020


Of all the world’s cryptozoological curiosities I like the chupacabra the most. I’ve researched Bigfoot, Champ (the lake monster in Lake Champlain), along with Mothman, Lizard Man, the Kraken, and myriad monsters over my career. But the chupacabra is my favorite; I spent five years investigating and writing a book on the beast (Tracking the …

The COVID-19 ‘Empty Hospital’ Conspiracies
April 29, 2020


This is the fourth in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  There are countless coronavirus conspiracy claims circulating, ranging from …

Data Divisions: Projections, Uncertainty, and Unknowns
April 15, 2020


This is the third in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  There’s nothing quite like an international emergency—say, a global …

COVID-19 Fears: Overreaction, Underreaction, and Unity
April 6, 2020


This is the second in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its Coronavirus Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information. There have been many pandemics throughout history, but none …

Fear Itself: COVID-19, Media Literacy, and Social Media Distancing
March 25, 2020


This is the first in a series of original articles on the COVID-19 pandemic by the Center for Inquiry as part of its COVID-19 Resource Center, created to help the public address the crisis with evidence-based information. Please check back periodically for updates and new information.  There’s a natural—almost Pavlovian—tendency to follow the news closely, …

Sylvia Browne’s Bogus Coronavirus Prophecies
March 24, 2020


In recent weeks there’s been many rumors, myths, and misinformation about the current coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19. One of the most curious is the recent resurrection of a posthumous prediction by psychic Sylvia Browne. In her 2008 book End of Days, Browne predicted that “In around 2020 a severe pneumonia-like illness will spread throughout the globe, …

Sylvia Browne’s Non-Psychic, Non-Coronavirus Prediction
March 12, 2020


In recent weeks there’s been plenty of rumors, myths, and misinformation about the newest coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19. I’ve written several pieces on the topic, tackling both intentional and accidental bogus information. Some of the most pernicious, of course, involves misinformation about healthcare decisions (such as fake cures), but there are others. One of the most …

‘Birds of Prey’ Misogyny: When Clickbait Harms Women
March 9, 2020


Recently a headline widely shared on social media decried poor reviews of the new film Birds of Prey and blamed it on male film critics hating the film for real or perceived feminist messages (and/or skewed expectations; it’s not clear). The article, by Sergio Pereira, was headlined “Birds of Prey: Most of the Negative Reviews …