During the May 1, 2022 episode of 60 Minutes, correspondent and host Sharyn Alfonsi sat down with Peter McIndoe, the founder of the satirical conspiracy theory “Birds Aren’t Real”. McIndoe quite believably stayed in character for the first several minutes of the interview, further espousing the group’s beliefs. It was only when he cracked a smile that the real McIndoe came through. Here’s the full interview.
This week on 60 Minutes, Sharyn Alfonsi meets the mind behind the Birds Aren’t Real movement, the fictional conspiracy theory making fun of other conspiracy theories. …Peter McIndoe, the 24-year-old college dropout behind Birds Aren’t Real, is, fortunately, nothing like the megaphone-carrying, cowboy hat-wearing character he portrays.
McIndoe explained how he and three friends – Claire Chronis, Connor Gaydos, and Cameron Kasky (a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting) – created this bizarre conspiracy in order to “fight lunacy with lunacy”.
So it’s taking this concept of misinformation and almost building a little safe space to come together within it and laugh at it, rather than be scared by it. And accept the lunacy of it all and be a bird truther for a moment in time when everything’s so crazy.
The friends reiterated that this was not meant to add to the ubiquitous political noise, but instead to make it funny.
I think our generation wants to laugh to make fun, to kind of be like look here’s like a laundry list of things that haven’t come true. You’ve been lying to us so we’re gonna lie to you back and we’re gonna do it in a way that really is funny … We want to make sure we’re not using language that actually harmful and hateful. …
Here are several examples of “Birds Aren’t Real” parody protests.