Potemkin wrote:...Manson seemed to come out of the hippy counter-culture (though in fact he didn't - he was a product of the prison-industrial complex of the 1940s and 50s, who happened to latch onto the hippy movement in the 60s), and was therefore seized on by conservative commentators as embodying all that was wrong and corrupt about that counter-culture. ...
Yes, and all the sick plotting, racist overtones, and murder that Manson represented in mass media created a wonderful and useful counterpoint (distraction) to all the sick plotting, racist overtones, and mass murder that the conservative forces of American politics were indulging in during this period in Korea, Vietnam, Latin America, and dozens of other helpless countries that weren't as telegenic as Sharon Tate.
If you were starting to think that conservative, traditional America "dropped experimental chemicals on poor people and gave toxic drugs to soldiers," you could always balance this by pointing to that hippy freak who killed perfectly nice
In the end, this propaganda distraction was intended to push Americans toward supporting the devil they knew.
"You're laughing now but it'll all end in tribes." (Ibn Khaldun in 10 words or less)