|You gotta spin it to win it|
|Stop the presses!|
|We want pictures|
A manufactroversy can be a form of denialism: pretending that a controversy exists over something which is, in fact, not in debate by anyone who has the slightest grasp of the facts, but which a number of people wish to deny for religious, political, or other reasons. The usual motive for this is to attempt to give the appearance that the facts are still up for debate, à la anti-environmentalism. Another kind is the manufactured "scandal": blowing a non-issue out of proportion.
This concept is also illustrated through what one editor would describe as "fill-in-the-blank outrage" by Christian fundamentalists in the United States. Examples of this include fundie leaders suddenly declaring things as diverse as environmentalism, feminism, gay rights, universal health care, etc. to be threats to Christianity, unscriptural, unholy, or some other version of "wahhh" when there is no indication that Christians as a whole considered these things threatening over the nearly 2000 years of the religion's existence. Until just now, of course.
 Common examples
 Most damaging
- Intelligent design and other aspects of the creation-evolution debates.
- Various claims of vaccines causing harm.
- Holocaust denial
- Truthers and the Ground Zero Mosque
- GMOs and Monsanto
 Half-assed stunts
- Obama citizenship denial
- Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky sex scandal
- The War on Christmas
- Wind Turbine Syndrome
- Non-issue yawners or other non-events being turned into the scandal of the week (see Ward Churchill, ACORN,
DickDuck Dynasty), particularly by 24-hour rolling news coverage needing to fill time when there's no real news from your locale and no desire to pay attention to the rest of the world.
- Any of many other moral panics, too numerous to list.
To take the first three examples, in order: evolution (together with common descent) is one of the best-tested and most successful scientific theories. There is no evidence that vaccines cause autism or any other harm, and overwhelming evidence that they save lives. Global warming is happening and can be measured, and the cause has consistently been proven to be human. However, how to mitigate it remains up for debate; interestingly, denialists tend to ignore this part.
 See also
- Mainstream media: The reason these "controversies" get so much attention to begin with.
- Andrew Breitbart: His stable of websites are one of the main purveyors of manufactroversies in the US.
- Drudge Report: Another main purveyor
- Molehill mountaineering
- Teach the controversy
- Moral panic
- ↑ Ceccarelli, Leah. "Manufactroversy, The Art of Creating Controversy Where None Existed", Science Progress. Spring/Summer 2008: 82-84.
- ↑ Peters, Mark. , GOOD. January 18, 2010.
- ↑ Were one cynical, one might posit that these fundies are being manipulated by their leaders and by political opportunists in order to further ideological goals or to sucker money out of the masses. But when has that ever been an issue?
- ↑ Swiftboating, Taegan Goddard's Political Dictionary
- ↑ Some examples
- ↑ The only scientific paper ever to be published to this effect was of very low quality and has since been retracted. Its author has been "struck off," i.e. prohibited from practising medicine.