Cooper reported on Tracey on Friday and said that he rarely acknowledged such outrageous conspiracy theories, but did so because Tracey is a tenured professor at a public university. "These claims by him and others online have begun to cause deep distress to victims' families," Cooper said."
I should give a bit more attention to 911 Truthers. I was one of the people who signed the original 911 truth document, along with some pretty heavy hitters, like Van Jones, Thom Hartmann and many more. At the time, we were fresh off the 911 Commission report. That report was really bad-- incomplete, shrouded in secrecy, many unasked and unanswered questions. I still feel that to be true. That's why we, the signatories of that document signed on. Then, the Truther movement evolved. It went in places that most of the signatories never considered or supported. People started selling books, making money off the conspiracy theory. Truthers went further and further away from the original questions. They used the 911 attack as a reason to support all kinds of other biases and beliefs, like anti-Semites and the dancing Mossad spies who celebrated the attack. I recently had a conversation with Jon Gold, the guy who coined the term "truther." I found that I agreed with pretty much all of what he had to say in a talk" and then I discovered that he is now reviled by the mainstream Truther movement because he doesn't buy their crazy theories.
Bottom line, we live in a crazy world with a lot of real evil. We must remain vigilant because there are forces of evil that operate within government, within the military, on behalf of corporations and on behalf of nations and religions. Almost anything is possible. But it is also essential that we keep our eyes on the balls, not on the ghost balls, not on the mystical fantasy conspiracy balls.
it is challenging to keep open to questions about potential new nefarious underlying explanations and narratives for big news cases that are presented by the mainstream media with what seem to be obvious causes. The challenge is, if you allow speculation then you risk being treated as a conspiracy site. That reduces your credibility for covering non-edgy, non- questionable stories. Aaron Swartz is dead. He was being pressured by the DOJ and MIT. Those are facts. When writers speculate, without any evidence, that he was actually, not metaphorically, murdered, are they engaging in responsible journalism? That is a question that may seem easy to answer to some. It's not for me. I, frankly, don't think that there's anything to the conjecture. But I do think that there are enough examples of cases where suspicion is warranted that we need to allow people to raise the questions. Even if the theories and questions about Swartz are total nonsense, they are emerging because there are a lot of people believe that the CIA, the FBI, even Obama, who now decides who to kill with drones, with no judicial consideration, all have the potential to do such bad things.- Advertisement -
I realize that writing this, I've made it clear how I stand on some of the conspiracy theories. I know that some people say that the simple use of the term "conspiracy theory" was initiated to marginalize and weaken arguments for certain theories, like the JFK assassination theories. Now we know that even RFK did not trust the conclusions of the Warren Report on JFK's assassination, even though, before his death he publicly said he did.
This is dicey stuff. I've had editors threaten to resign from their association with my website if certain topics are entertained. And I've banned some writers from the site because they submitted articles and comments promoting theories that our editorial staff had decided we didn't want to give oxygen to. I've been accused of censorship even though only governments do censorship. Publishers do curation and set editorial policies. Again, I'll say. It is challenging to attempt to maintain a responsible, credible, trusted open forum that allows and supports discussion of concerns about abuses by shadowy forces that we all know exist. Well, maybe not everyone knows. There are some who would attempt to attack those who question whether the government tortures, whether there have ever been false flag events. There are media who don't report on those truths. It's a sticky wicket that it's easier to deal with by avoiding the terrain altogether, safer to just report on the latest polls.
I am fortunate and cursed to not doing what I do alone. I say cursed because sometimes, there is not a consensus. Sometimes some of my advisors passionately believe one thing and others believe another. Sometimes, I disagree with them and there are more of them. And there are always people on both sides to accuse me of doing it wrong. It basically comes down to me making a decision. That flies in the face of my deeply held beliefs that bottom up approaches are the way to go. I tend to lean towards keeping the conversation as open as possible. We need places where people can express their concerns, even if they are crazy. I've been told I'm crazy, that things I've done could never be done. Many visionaries and inventors and leaders have been told they were crazy or criminal-- look at Mandela, at Galileo. So I will err on the side of openness, but sometimes make a call that some things are irresponsible or wrong-headed. Fortunately, the internet is big enough so if I make a call, or listen to and abide by my advisory team and make a group decision, there are other places for the people whose ideas I no longer choose to give a forum to.- Advertisement -
I realize this is going to really upset some readers. My response is that you have every right to believe what you want. But it is the role of every publisher to curate content, to make decisions on what to cover and what not to cover. Only governments censor. Here at Opednews we will continue to struggle daily with what we choose to cover. I can assure you that it is not something that just gets set as an edict. Even as I write this article, there is lively discussion among the members of the OEN senior team.