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10th Anniversary 9/11 Truth Hit Piece Roundup

chimps
September 12, 2011
Category: HIT PIECES

30+ 9/11 Truth Hit Pieces In 2 Weeks

For the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attack, the mainstream media has offered an unprecedented level of apparent bias against reasonable people invested in justice for the victims of 9/11. The majority of articles below imply that “truthers” are driven by a fear of chaos and uncertainty to draw comfort from misdirected rage. Most of the articles make sweeping generalization about those involved while others are outright insulting.


9/11 Truth Hit Piece #1 – CNN World

“Conspiracy theories are for losers”

The Author: Dr. Joseph Parent and Dr. Joseph Uscinski

The Setup: “The world is awash in conspiracy theories. ["9/11 “truther” beliefs"] […] The “birther” conspiracy theorists […] Obama is a secret Muslim intent on instituting Sharia Law […] the president blew up the Deepwater Horizon […] Osama bin Laden is not dead […] the Holocaust never happened […] the world is run by the Council on Foreign Relations, the Freemasons or the Federal Reserve. The list sprawls on.”

The Premise: “When Republicans are in power, right-leaning villains such as big business dominate conspiracy theorizing. When Democrats are in power, left-leaning villains such as socialists become the top peril.”

Misdirection: “Although conspiracy theories have anti-democratic aspects, in this respect they are very fair: All of us get to play the villain eventually.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #2 – AFP

“9/11 conspiracy theories thrive 10 years on”

The Author: Sebastian Smith

The Setup: “Defying countless official and non-governmental enquiries, media reporting, and often common sense, a significant number of people fervently disbelieve that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda sent 19 hijackers to execute the September 11, 2001 massacre. Instead, elements within George W. Bush’s administration — or perhaps Israeli agents — used pre-placed explosives and missiles to blow up the World Trade Center and Pentagon.”

The Premise: “The United States has long been fertile ground for conspiracy theories. In this parallel world, John F. Kennedy was assassinated by anyone ranging from the CIA to Cuban exiles. The Moon landing pictures were taken in a studio, while the US government is covering up evidence of UFOs. And American GIs are still held in bamboo cages in Vietnam.”

Misdirection: “The conspiracy theorists remain a minority and face the scorn of the counter-conspiracy movement on websites like [debunking911] and [ScrewLooseChange] which claims to prove wrong almost every statement made during the film.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #3 – BBC News Magazine

“9/11 conspiracy theories”

The Author: Staff

The Setup: “It may be 10 years since the attacks in the US on 11 September, but conspiracy theories have not faded over time…”

The Premise: “Here are five of the most prominent 9/11 conspiracy theories circulating in online communities.”

Misdirection: “Numerous official reports have been published since the Twin Towers fell, but just when a piece of evidence casts doubt on one theory, the focus then shifts to the next “unanswered question”.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #4 – Asian Pacific Post

“The Unrelenting Conspiracy Talk Behind The 9/11 Attacks”

The Author: Chris Melzer

The Setup: “[T]here is a serious war on the internet and in book stores over the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US, and no theory seems too absurd for its believers.”

The Premise: “Half-truths or plain lies allow one to hide the facts, at least at first glance, and to set up a plausible construct. And where one completely runs out of arguments, questions are asked that sound like fact.”

Misdirection: “Conspiracy theories like this […] are often anti-Semitic, almost always anti-American and in virtually all cases easy to refute.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #5 – Jerusalem Post

“ADL: Anti-Semitic 9/11 theories still strong 10 years on”

The Author: Staff

The Setup: “Report says that conspiracy theories about 9/11 have become “entrenched propaganda industry” bent on proving Zionist involvement.”

The Premise: “Several writers and publications have attempted to taint the history of the attacks, shifting blame from al-Qaida, who claimed responsibility for the event, onto Israel and the US itself.”

Misdirection: “So-called truth seekers tend to believe there is a reason that such potentially explosive facts have not permeated the public, which mostly stems from the Jewish control over mass media, and the flow of information.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #6 – Blogcritics

“Ron Paul is Not a Truther”

The Author: Dave Nalle

The Setup: “Ron Paul is in no way responsible for the beliefs and delusions of his followers […]”

The Premise: “Despite having every reason to whack [his 9/11 truth supporters] on the knuckles and send them to bed without dinner, he’s too tolerant and too nice a guy to be firm with them, even if it may well cost him the presidency again in 2012 as it did in 2008.”

Misdirection: “[T]he 9/11 “truth” movement, the tumultuous cabal of conspiracy fanatics who advocate an assortment of bizarre and contradictory theories about the attack on the World Trade Center, each one more implausible than the last.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #7 – NPR

“From JFK To Sept. 11, Conspiracy Theories Thrive”

The Author: Associated Press

The Setup: “In Dealey Plaza, with the white “X” painted on the spot where President Kennedy was assassinated, ask anyone about the grassy knoll and the second gunman.”

The Premise: “[I]t’s normal for people to seek out complicated and detailed explanations of big events.”

Misdirection: “Conspiracies can be a “security blanket” for explaining away the horrific.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #8 – The New Republic

“Why Is the Middle East Still in Thrall to 9/11 Conspiracy Theories?”

The Author: Eric Trager

The Setup: “[D]espite the billions of dollars spent policing Baghdad and protecting Benghazi, the unpopularity of the United States in the Arab world continues to be fueled by the belief that Islamist terrorists had nothing to do with 9/11, with many claiming the attacks were an American, Israeli, or joint American-Israeli conspiracy.”

The Premise: “The difficult task of fighting 9/11 revisionism thus falls to Washington, which must view the pervasiveness of Arab 9/11 conspiracy theories as a fundamental challenge to the legitimacy of our ongoing fight against terrorism.”

Misdirection: “Perhaps unsurprisingly, I found that 9/ll revisionism was particularly prominent among Islamists, for whom rewriting history is necessary for deflecting the accusation that their ideology motivates mass murder.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #9 – Newsroom Panama

“What The Papers Say: The 9/11 Conspiracy “truthers””

The Author: Staff

The Setup: “[D]espite the billions of dollars spent policing Baghdad and protecting Benghazi, the unpopularity of the United States in the Arab world continues to be fueled by the belief that Islamist terrorists had nothing to do with 9/11, with many claiming the attacks were an American, Israeli, or joint American-Israeli conspiracy.”

The Premise: “[A]cross those 10 years have the charges that it was an “inside job” – a favored phrase of the self-styled “truthers” – received any serious buttress?
The answer is No.”

Misdirection: “The conspiracists disdain the real world because they wanted to promote Bush, Cheney and the neo-cons to an elevated status as the arch demons of American history, instead of being just one more team running the American empire, a team of more than usual stupidity and incompetence […]”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #10 – The Telegraph

“Ten years after 9/11, the conspiracy theorist nutjobs are still telling lies”

The Author: Damian Thompson

The Setup: “Before we congratulate ourselves on standing shoulder to shoulder with America after 9/11, perhaps we ought to consider the following shameful statistic from a BBC poll: a quarter of young Britons believe that the attacks were carried out by the government of the United States.”

The Premise: “The events of September 11, 2001 inevitably threw up lots of supposed anomalies for conspiracy theorists to sink their unbrushed teeth into.”

Misdirection: “Today we’re told that if it feels good, believe it – particularly if you belong to a minority group that, by virtue of past suffering, is morally obliged to challenge the official (that is, fact-based) “narrative” of historical events. To quote an old Scientology slogan: “If it’s true for you, it’s true.” That’s not just a triumph for the forces of ignorance; it’s also, 10 years on, a little posthumous victory for Osama bin Laden.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #11 – The Telegraph

“9/11 conspiracy theorists ignore most important element: the facts”

The Author: Hubert Bauch

The Setup: “A decade removed from the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, one element at least has reaped a boon from the horror unleashed on America that infamous day. Not the depleted ranks of al-Qaida, but rather the swelling legions of conspiracy theorists.”

The Premise: “For many, however, the notion that there was a grander conspiracy behind 9/11 is more comforting than the thought of it being a mere combination of random factors, of prosaic systemic failures, banal incompetence and a plot executed by an upstart bunch of raggedy-ass fanatics operating out of caves in Afghanistan.”

Misdirection: “What distinguishes the leading conspiracy theories is that there is a preponderance of evidence to support the conventional version, which conspiracy theorists deny on the basis of slight inconsistencies and small gaps in the official knowledge.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #12 – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Sept. 11 conspiracy theories thrive, despite all the evidence”

The Author: Mackenzie Carpenter

The Setup: “Hours after the planes crashed on 9/11, they began to take shape: conspiracy theories, hundreds of them, most too convoluted and exotic to be recounted here.”

The Premise: “One unlikely media outlet has probably done more than any other to investigate the claims — Popular Mechanics, which has a large readership of engineers, metallurgists, aviators and other mechanically minded people. […] Needless to say, they found no scientific evidence backing up theories that 9/11 was an inside job, prompting plenty of backlash.”

Misdirection: “It’s a hobby for people, many of them middle-aged, who have not achieved great distinction in their lives. They’re not psychotic, there’s just an element of paranoid thinking involved. They tend to be intelligent, confident in their own judgement and don’t take anything on faith. And they can make a lot of money giving speeches, going to conferences, getting on television.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #13 – Slate

“You’re Not Paranoid if It’s True”

The Author: Jeremy Stahl

The Setup: “The man who created the single most influential piece of propaganda about the 9/11 conspiracy is now ambivalent about the movement he helped make popular.”

The Premise: “That’s the thing about conspiracy theories and the people who believe in them: One man’s poison pill is another’s smoking gun.”

Misdirection: “[C]onspiracy theorists can’t just have disagreements. If you disagree with a conspiracy theorist, then you probably belong to the conspiracy.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #14 – Slate

“The Theory vs. the Facts”

The Author: Jeremy Stahl

The Setup: “It’s difficult to pinpoint a precise moment when the popularity of the 9/11 conspiracy theory peaked, though it was probably sometime in 2006.”

The Premise: “Facts alone are insufficient to destroy a conspiracy theory, of course, and in many ways a theory’s appeal has more to do with the receptiveness of its audience than the accuracy of its details.”

Misdirection: “At a certain point, though, debating science and theory and ideas is an exercise in futility, because the hypotheses of conspiracy theorists are not grounded in any kind of a larger understanding of the real world.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #15 – Slate

“The Rise of ‘Truth’”

The Author: Jeremy Stahl

The Setup: “It’s hard to say whether widespread discontent and mistrust makes people more willing to listen to ideas they previously considered absurd. But it seems plausible.”

The Premise: “As popular as Jones is, and as much influence as he has had in spreading the 9/11 conspiracy theory, the 37-year-old Texan new-media provocateur is not the movement’s intellectual leader. That title belongs to the grandfatherly 72-year-old academic David Ray Griffin.”

Misdirection: “Although [The New Pearl Harbor] relies upon factual inaccuracies, leaps of logic, and selective quotations to create a complex web of conspiracy leading to the top of the Bush administration, Griffin’s work is still held up by 9/11 conspiracy theorists as a masterpiece of the genre.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #16 – Slate

“Where Were You When You First Heard?”

The Author: Jeremy Stahl

The Setup: “It’s hard to say whether widespread discontent and mistrust makes people more willing to listen to ideas they previously considered absurd. But it seems plausible.”

The Premise: “Mistrust in public institutions fuels conspiracy theories” (Title of same article published without credit on Business Daily Africa.)

Misdirection: “Conspiracy theories thrive by appealing to existing hatred, paranoia, and uncertainty. The hatred can wither. The paranoia can crack. And the uncertainty can disappear. But the conspiracy theory lives or dies, prospers or fades, for reasons almost entirely unrelated to its actual content.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #17 – Norwich Bulletin

“9/11 conspiracy stories are stranger than truth”

The Author: Matthew Casey

The Setup: “[The official] version of events is backed by mountains of forensic evidence, hundreds of local and international investigations, innumerable photographs and videos, thousands of eye-witness accounts and an admission of responsibility by Osama bin Laden himself.”

The Premise: “Conspiracy theories are deceptively seductive; they allow adherents the chance to believe in something they want to be true instead of what available evidence indicates is actually true. The confusion and mystery surrounding traumatic events can be unsettling and the delusion of knowing the “real” story may provide a measure of psychological comfort.”

Misdirection: “A widespread willingness to believe unverified claims carries a certain degree of danger. A society that is conditioned to accept unproven and unprovable assertions can be easily misled and manipulated into ignoring real problems or scapegoating others as long as they are told what they want to hear.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #18 – Huffington Post

“A Decade Later, 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Still Alive and Well”

The Author: Earl Ofari Hutchinson

The Setup: “The disbelief that 9/11 was the ghoulish handiwork of anti-American, hate-filled, foreign terrorists has been fed by a loud and pesky pack of professional conspiracy theorists who perennially see a sinister government hand behind any and every assassination, terror attack and even natural disaster.”

The Premise: “There are two other undeniable reasons that 9/11 conspiracy theories have so easily infected the popular imagination. Government agencies […] have often played fast and loose with the law and the rules of democracy. […] [And] the fury that many Americans had, and still have, toward Bush.”

Misdirection: “[E]ven if Bush had staged 9/11 to clamp a vise grip on power, it didn’t work.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #19 – Jewish Exponent

“Ten Years On, Conspiracy Theories About the Source of Attacks Persist”

The Author: Dan Klein

The Setup: “Ten years later, the physical legacies of the Sept. 11 attacks are fading into history. Yet the conspiracy theories about who “really” was behind the attacks seem to be growing.”

The Premise: “Like a drug-resistant virus, these fantasies have persisted, despite efforts to combat them, by mutating over time, taking new forms and finding new modes of transmission. Jews and Israel often are their targets, and they evoke centuries-old myths about Jewish power, allegiances and manipulation of social institutions. ”

Misdirection: “The theories have amounted to more than just pernicious talk. On June 10, 2009, one alleged 9/11 conspiracy theorist opened fire at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., killing a security guard.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #20 – Guardian

“September 11 conspiracy theories continue to abound”

The Author: Chris McGreal

The Setup: “[W]as [Barbara] Olson secretly abducted, the phone calls faked using voice morphing technology and her body dumped at sea after the Pentagon was really struck by a missile as part of a government plot to fabricate the September 11 attacks?”

The Premise: “As preposterous as the claim that the real September 11 conspiracy was not an al-Qaida plot but some convoluted Washington intrigue may appear, there are large numbers of people who believe it.”

Misdirection: “Among the most pervasive is that the twin towers of the World Trade Centre were brought down by controlled explosions; that the Israeli intelligence service knew the attacks were coming because, it is wrongly claimed, no Jews died; and that the planes that hit the towers were packed with explosive and flown by remote control.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #21 – Guardian

“9/11 conspiracy theories debunked”

The Author: Chris McGreal

The Setup: “For the past 10 years ‘truthers’ have claimed 9/11 was part of a bigger conspiracy – but does the evidence stack up?”

The Premise: List of seven “9/11 conspiracy theories” and the authors response.

Misdirection: “Some conspiracy theorists believe the passengers supposedly on board were either killed elsewhere and their bodies dumped at sea, or were part of the conspiracy and are now in hiding with new identities.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #22 – International Business Times

“An Inside Job? When Will the 9/11 Conspiracy Theories End?”

The Author: Thomas Costello

The Setup: “The most common conspiracy theory is the anti-Jewish theory born out of the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.”

The Premise: See above

Misdirection: See above

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #23 – Wired

“4-Color Conspiracies: There’s a 9/11 Truther Comic”

The Author: Spencer Ackerman

The Setup: “It’s enough to make you void your Comixology pullbox. Rick Veitch, a legend in the comic book industry, published The Big Lie on Wednesday, a sleazy 9/11 Truther screed in sequential-art form. Spoiler alert: pseudo-scientific hysteria married to paranoia about How Bush Knew isn’t any cuter when told by cartoon figures.”

The Premise: “It would appear the true controlled demolition concerns what Rick Veitch has done to his brain.”

Misdirection: “Veitch implicitly gives up the game — as Truthers tend to — when he has his Cassandra say, “Look at what was left out of the [9/11] Commission’s report,” the last recourse of those who believe the government covered up its role in the “conspiracy.” The horrible truth is that al-Qaida attacked the U.S. on 9/11.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #24 – Public Radio International

“The truth behind 9/11 conspiracy theorists, ‘Truthers’”

The Author: ‘Here And Now’ Staff

The Setup: “These so called “Truth Activists” cite evidence that they say points to an alternative, and much more sinister version of events, evidence that has been proved wrong countless times.”

The Premise: “Kay points to the Internet as a leading factor in the rise of conspiracy theories. He says that the web not only allows people to self publish (dodging the obstacle of editors and fact checkers), but also allows people to bypass mainstream media and only read conspiracy theory “news sites.””

Misdirection: “On September 11, 2001, two planes crashed into the Twin Towers in NYC, one plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and a final plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. But there’s a very vocal minority that doesn’t believe this story: Truthers.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #25 – ABC News

“911 Conspiracy: ‘Truthers’ Continue to Offer Alternate Claims About Sept. 11 Terror Attacks”

The Author: Joel Siegel

The Setup: “The conspiracy allegations began flying even as firefighters were dousing the smoldering remains at Ground Zero — and they endure a decade later despite investigations that have debunked them.”

The Premise: “Most truthers believe that elements inside the U.S. government planned the 9/11 attacks or allowed them to happen, to justify the invasion of Iraq. And this week they are trying to use the tenth anniversary of the attacks to convince more Americans to rally around their cause.”

Misdirection: “‘Debunking 9/11 Myths’ […] has been updated and reissued, for the tenth anniversary of 9/11, to reflect the always evolving conspiracy claims, said Popular Mechanics editor in chief, James Meigs.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #26 – IFpress

“9-11 and its conspiracies “

The Author: Kris Sims

The Setup: “Millions watched the events of 9/11 on television – David Long felt it in his bones and saw it with his own eyes. […] After coming back home to Canada, Long started to question the official story.”

The Premise: “Experts say it’s understandable why some people believe these things: reality is worse.”

Misdirection: “‘The human mind, for millennia, has been wrestling with the fundamental, existential question of ‘why bad things happen to good people’ and religion answers that,” said Jonathan Kay, author of the conspiracy theory book, Among the Truthers. “Conspiracy theories appeal to the same psychological hunger, they don’t supply a God, but they do supply a devil.’”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #27 – Evolution News

“Darwinism and 9/11 Conspiracy Theories: The Parallels”

The Author: David Klinghoffer

The Setup: “David Berlinski dismisses the bulk of professional scholars in the West as “a native conspiracy class. They’ll believe anything. And once they believe something the conspiracy is held very tenaciously.” He’s poking fun and exaggerating. Yet undeniably there’s a paranoiac inclination among many academics.”

The Premise: “Though Meigs cites Marxism and fundamentalist creationism as parallels, Darwinism offers one just as apt. Whatever nature brings forth can be squeezed to fit the effectively unfalsifiable Darwinian mold, which always turns out to predict, in retrospect, whatever is found.”

Misdirection: “There is a sealed-off quality to 9/11 conspiracy theorizing. The theory generates its own alternative reality, which it needs to do since the experience of living in the real world goes so much against it.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #28 – KRIV Houston

“Why do 9/11 Conspiracy Theories Persist?”

The Author: EndPlay Staff

The Setup: “[Brad Reagan] said that some speculators believe the attacks were ‘a right-wing plot to justify a war against Islam, others as a leftist campaign to further the reach of Big Government and still others as a vast Zionist conspiracy.’”

The Premise: “Tamara Lush , an Associated Press writer, recently asserted that many of these skeptics find consolation in their beliefs: “For many, conspiracy theories aren’t terrifying; they’re more comforting than the idea that an event as terrifying as Sept. 11 could be so – random,” she wrote.”

Misdirection: “Prof. Patrick Leman, who researches 9/11 conspiracy theories at the University of London, told Lush that some people who question the facts around the events use their disbelief as a “security blanket” because “it stops us from having to confront the unpredictability of life.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #29 – Village Voice

“Andreas von Bülow: The World’s Most Respectable 9/11 Conspiracy Nut”

The Author: Ward Harkavy

The Setup: “There are 9/11 conspiracy nuts who are nuts and then there’s German politician Andreas von Bülow, a member of the center-left Social Democrats who spent 25 years in the Bundestag and was Helmut Schmidt’s Minister for Research and Technology for a few years in the ’80s.”

The Premise: “In his view, the CIA didn’t screw up and allow 9/11 to happen. The spy agency actually did the bad deeds. As if the CIA could get it together enough to pull something like that off.”

Misdirection: “‘At its core, this is a trait typical of older men: a tendency to combine one’s own life experiences with a good measure of distance and supposed realism to form a kind of comfortable cynicism. The only difference in this case is the extreme to which the cynicism has been taken.’”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #30 – CBS News

“9/11 conspiracy theories won’t stop”

The Author: Joshua Norman

The Setup: “[A] loosely-knit group with the semi-official title of “truthers” has been born, and their theories – or conspiracies, depending on your bent – range from the barely plausible to the laughable.”

The Premise: “No matter how much evidence is presented here and elsewhere, it’s unlikely to dissuade most, if any, truthers, the psychological reasons for which will be explored in a bit.”

Misdirection: “Amid so much evidence to the contrary, and so much visible heartbreak from victims’ family members probably made worse by wallowing in conspiracy theories, why believe in them? The most immediate and obvious answer is greed. Books and DVD movies by 9/11 truthers have sold millions of copies worldwide.”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #31 – Denver Post

“Carroll: Delusions about 9/11 fading”

The Author: Vincent Carroll

The Setup: “Just a few years ago, many had nearly lost their grip. More than a third of the public embraced a cuckooland version of the terrorist attacks that suggested the onset of national psychosis.”

The Premise: “[T]he widespread embrace of 9/11 conspiracies is a sorry reflection on the gullibility of the public and its willingness to believe just about anything if it serves a larger agenda.”

Misdirection: “When conspiracy activist Charlie Veitch renounced his beliefs earlier this year, for example, he was ‘immediately flooded with hate mail and death threats.’”

9/11 Truth Hit Piece #32 – The Mark

“Tall Tales, Fading Away”

The Author: Jonathan Kay

The Setup: “As their movement withers, 9/11 conspiracy theorists are holding one last Toronto blowout.”

The Premise: “Like religions, conspiracy theories supply an explanation for evil (i.e. an answer to the age-old theological question of why bad things happen to good people). Unlike religions, they do not supply a god – but they do supply a demon. And for many people, that is more important.”

Misdirection: “9/11 conspiracy theories won’t disappear entirely. Rather, they will sink into the subterranean edifice of paranoia on which future conspiracy theories build their new fantasies – much in the way that many 9/11 Truthers based their own attitudes on conspiracy theories from the JFK era and the Cold War.”

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