Saturday, April 29, 2006

Conspiracy Theory

"The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one." ~ Adolf Hitler

A few weeks ago, A Commenter on my blog placed a link to a film in his comment. I linked to it, and found a well done professional quality film that enumerates several reasons why the filmmakers believe the 9/11 attacks were an elaborate government conspiracy.

If one were given to believe every crackpot theory that spreads like wildfire over the internet, this one would seem to be legitimate. At least of the surface. It depends on the fact that the average gullible American doesn't really know very much at all about the events that transpired on that fateful day in 2001.

In fact, at least one blogger that I read often linked to the same video over at his place. I don't necessarily believe that particular blogger believes the film is factual. In fact, since I respect the bloggers intelligence and honesty, I believe he was just linking to it to stir up some controversy.

But this is how these things grow legs, in my opinion. I don't think he really believes it. He is much too intelligent to buy a theory without doing extensive research. In fact, he usually does much more research than I do.

I brought that up so I could bring this up. AOL news this morning has reported on this very same video, which could bring the filmmakers a modicum of credibility. If you don't read the whole story. I have found that often people in general more or less skim the news sometimes and miss some very important information.

I, myself admit to skimming sometimes. I did it just the other day over at ER's place and missed part of the story he published that was a tip off to the fact that it was a satire and not a legitimate story. I did discover the deception, but later in the story then others did.

Read the story from AOL.

The article at first appears to promote the veracity of the video until 15 paragraphs into the story when we are told:

"Most of what the film alleges is refuted by the evidence at hand. Anything not answered definitively by the government is interpreted by the film as proof of a coverup.

Among the assertions in Loose Change is that a missile hit the Pentagon even though eyewitnesses saw the jet, numerous pieces of wreckage were found including the flight recorder, and those on the flight and in its path at the Pentagon are dead.

There is also the claim that because jet fuel burns at up to 1,500 degrees and steel melts at 2,750 degrees, the World Trade Center's infrastructure could not have been brought down by the airliners. However, as reported by the Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, steel loses 50% of its strength at 1,200 degrees, enough for a failure.

"The only thing they (the filmmakers) seem to have gotten right about the Sept. 11 attacks is the date when they occurred," says Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of American Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon.

"They aren't truth-tellers looking to save the world," she says. "They're con artists hoping to sucker conspiracy-theory paranoids or anti-government malcontents into shelling out their hard-earned dollars."

Then the article goes back to indicating that there is a legitimacy to the story.

This is how these crackpot conspiracy theories get the publicity they shouldn't. They rely on the ignorance and willingness of the rank and file Americans to confuse and cause division in this country.

And many gullible, uneducated people fall for it, hook, line, and sinker.


Erudite Redneck said...

I think it's appalling that AOL has that "story" up. That's the difference in journalism and infotainment.

AOL puts more and more BS up on it's welcome pages. I'm looking for a reason to drop AOL. This might be it.

Sadly, more and more people *don't* know the difference between researched and reported news, which does have its failings, and pure BS, which is pure BS.

tugboatcapn said...


I thought that your stance was that the New York Times equals the Washington Post equals Fox News equals the National Enquirer equals the Weekly World News...

I seem to remember you attempting to make the point recently that anyone was, and should be allowed to print anything that they wanted, regardless of whether it was factual or not, because of the First Amendment.

A point that I happen to agree with, with this caveot...

There is a price to be paid for abusing your right to be free. In all cases.

Loss of Journalistic Credibility is the price that the Media is paying for their attempt at becoming a Political Power in America.

Print whatever you want. I reserve the right to believe or not believe ANY of it.

Mark said...

I don't understand what, exactly, you are objecting to, ER. The fact that AOl publishes a story about a crackpot theory as a legitimate story, or the fact that AOL refutes the crackpot theory in the film.

Gayle said...

What I object to is that there are so many ignorant people out there who will believe this bs. And I don't know what to do about ignorant people. The problem with them is that they also vote.

Your point is well made, Mark. Many people will "skim" it. Many who already believe this stupid conspiracy theory, will simply say "Aha! More proof I've been right all along." This stuff does way more harm than good.

ELAshley said...

A&E aired a made for TV movie this evening... Flight 93. I thought it odd that on the very weekend "United 93" opened in theaters, A&E airs a movie released last year on the very same subject matter.

For Bush to have been involved with the "bombing" and collapse of the WTC, he would have to have been in Cahoots with the Allah Freaks who took over UAL 93. With the voice recordings from the cockpit just recently released, any foaming-at-the-mouth half-brained leftie should be able to see this was the work of terrorists. Which only means one thing... the idgits who cling to this half-baked conspiracy theory REALLY believe that Bush is a cold-blooded murderer.

Bush may be clueless on a few points, but he is not a murderer. Mind-rot has set into these folk'z heads.

I can't imagine why ANYONE would want AOL; it's not particularly user-friendly... At least, it wasn't when I was an AOL-er.

Lone Ranger said...

Stupid people make life interesting. If there were no idiots, there would be no cults, no Nigerian Internet scams, no Al Franken fans and no Democrats in elected office.

Mark said...

I think it should be noted that this story came from USA Today. Not AOL directly. I doubt sincerely that AOL has it's own staff of newsmen. Most of the stories that AOL publishes are from the AP and UPI.

So, it's not fair to lay the irresponsible journalism label at the feet of AOL.

Erudite Redneck said...

Tug, the press is to be totally effing free. Period. Period. Period. If I appeared to waffle on that, I certainly didn't intend to.

That doesn't mean that I, or you, can't change the channel, cancel the cable, cancle a subscription to any paper, magazine or online service, when we don't like the way they handle their freedom.

Tugger, your life would be easier in some ways if you didn't see *everything* in black and white, when *nothing* -- no thing -- is that simple. :-)

And that should answers Mark's question, too.

BTW, that's one thing that'd get me to take part in a shootin' war with fellow Americans: Don't jack with the First Amendment. Because I *will* use the Second Amendment to defend it. :-)