Got an e-mail from one of my friends asking for my thoughts on a really weird idea that seems to be making its way around the digital realm...
What if Nick Berg's death was faked?
The e-mail had a couple of links that I didn't bother to visit, partly because I just found the idea too preposterous to consider.
Nicholas Berg's body is being buried as I type this. I wouldn't even want to consider the idea that this was staged.
The Internet is full of conspiracy theories. Some of them are true, some are pure speculation (see my column on "Bush Vs. Viacom"), and others are just rumors given a life all their own.
Remember the destruction of TWA flight 800 over the Atlantic? The Internet fueled the rumors that it was shot down by US forces, and it sounded so credible that even Pierre Salinger, the former press secretary to JFK, thought it was real.
Or the rumors that Princess Diana was really assassinated instead of simply being the victim of a drunk driver running away from the rabid papparazi. Given the fact that the media was following Di all the way to her violent death, I seriously doubt that rumor.
Or more recently, the rumors of Senator John Kerry's "intern problem". Turned out it was just a wild rumor.
Look, I can probably go on and on about conspiracy theories... and I even cranked out a few of my own, so I'm just as guilty as the next guy in lending some weight to them, but there are some things that are just too d@mned sick and disturbing to believe it is anything less than the real deal. This, unfortunately, is one of them.
The only way this rumor could be true is if someone produces the late Mr. Berg live and on TV... with his head and body still attached.