The Gist

The QAnon Questions

Clint Watts on where to start with this crazy conspiracy.

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Episode Notes

On the Gist, Trump’s Nobel nomination.

In the interview, author and former FBI counter-terrorism staffer Clint Watts is here to talk about QAnon. He and Mike discuss the rise of the conspiracy theory and movement, why its belief structure is so murky, and the oddities of its marketing and merchandising arm. Watts will be back tomorrow for the second half of this conversation. His is the author of Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians, and Fake News.

In the spiel, Woodward’s words wouldn’t have mattered.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder, Margaret Kelley, and Lori Galarreta.


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  • Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.