While the Washington media still mocks anything smacking of "conspiracy theory," mass culture has gone from humoring political paranoids to coddling them: Observe the ideological arc stretching from JFK and The X-Files to Mel Gibson's all-encompassing Conspiracy Theory. It's an interesting cultural moment, when serious journalists and historians can get lumped together with black helicopter prophets and vice versa. Ergo Prevailing Winds, a crossover magazine packaged like a pop nutbag rag complete with computer-graphics cover and subhead proclaiming, "OK City Bombing Exposed."
Prevailing Winds uniquely tries in its content and style to co-opt the militia-minded, conspiratorial right. And since its "advisor board" includes Woody Harrelson, Oliver Stone, and reporter Peter Dale Scott, this entertaining periodical maps the ideological common ground between the Hollywood left and longtime investigative journalists. After letting both Harrelson and Stone spiel, the magazine examines the "gentlemen's agreement" between captured Nazis and the CIA, and re-exposes the Gulf War syndrome cover-up, the CIA-crack connection, and evidence of the feds' prior knowledge of Oklahoma City.
But what does this magazine have on Covert Action Quarterly or I.F. Magazine? Call it an accessible mixture of pop and populism for Art Bell fans: NutraSweet exposés and Che Guevara diary entries sharing the page, both in large fonts.