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Nutty Professor Suggests Newtown Shootings Never Happened

A nutty professor from Florida Atlantic University who has apparently never seen a conspiracy theory he didn’t swallow whole says that the Newtown shootings may never have happened, instead being staged — you know, like the moon landing — by the government and the media.

A media professor at Florida Atlantic University who is questioning the Sandy Hook massacre has caused controversy with his conspiracy claims.

James Tracy, who writes a personal blog about conspiracy theories, believes the events that unfolded at Sandy Hook did not happen as reported.

The professor writes on his blog, Memory Hole, “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place—at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.” He suggests that there were multiple shooters and that the number of dead is incorrect. The blog post was published on the Global Research site, where it caught the attention of the Web.

The academic, who is known for his conspiracy theories on 9/11 and the Oklahoma bombing, believes—as he claims on his blog and recently stated on a radio show—that trained “crisis actors” may have been employed by the Obama administration to shape public opinion on gun control.

But the best part of the story is this comment, which one of my friends spotted:

conspiracycomment

Comments

  1. says

    I accurately predicted the death of 5 people in 2012, including my ex-husband.

    Uh, hello, police? I think we have a new suspect on that homicide case.

  2. Pierce R. Butler says

    $500K to take out a major federal building in the heartland?!?

    I’d turn that down too.

    Getting involved with penny-ante amateurs always turns into a messy fiasco.

  3. dingojack says

    Spot the difference:

    Nutty Professor Suggests Newtown Shootings Never Happened

    A media professor at Florida Atlantic University who is questioning the Sandy Hook massacre has caused controversy with his conspiracy claims.
    James Tracy, who writes a personal blog about conspiracy theories, believes the events that unfolded at Sandy Hook did not happen as reported.
    The professor writes on his blog, Memory Hole, “While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place—at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.” He suggests that there were multiple shooters and that the number of dead is incorrect. The blog post was published on the Global Research site, where it caught the attention of the Web [Emphasis mine].

    Exactly the same you say….?

    Dingo
    ——–
    Allow me to parse that for you:
    I’m a skeptic, you’re a conspiracy nut’.

  4. lclane2 says

    Considering what’s actually happening with gun sales a more plausible conspiracy theory is that the shootings were sponsored by the NRA.

  5. anubisprime says

    What is this dumbfuck professor doing professing?
    And who out of their tiny minds gave him, and presumably keep him, as a professor despite the fact he is bugshit loony?
    What a wonderful advertisement for a University…

    Ashamed ?… they should be stricken to the core and given compassionate extended leave !

    As for Miz Masters…I hope the FBI are taking note because being aware of a intended criminal act and not reporting it to the authorities or revealing the identity of all those involved is a federal offence…and if not it damn well should be!

  6. says

    He suggests that there were multiple shooters and that the number of dead is incorrect.

    This boggles me in a way unlike other conspiracy theories. I can’t quite articulate all of what I’m thinking, but I can try.

    It’s easier for me to understand a twoofer disbelieving in the deaths of the passengers from the planes used in the 9/11 attacks. Presumably they had little in common, aside from being travelers on the same flights. Aside from the common destination, they’re likely dispersed around the world, so looking up all the connections they had would be a daunting task while faking a phantom’s existence would presumably be easier since you don’t have to form a coherent picture of how those passengers relate to one another. The thinness of the relationships means there’s less chance of self-contradiction if they make up a person or fake a real person’s death.

    Opposite that, we’re talking about children in a public school, which generally indicates that they have a relationship with other people: Their parents or other legal guardians at the very least. They’re also geographically related, since they live in the same school district. This means there’s going to be a dense web of relationships, so I’d expect phantom children who didn’t really exist would be easy to spot by the lack of connections. Children who are still alive but reported dead would show up and be seen by the community unless you want to add kidnapping to the conspiracy, which brings up the question of why the conspirators chose to do that instead of just killing them.

    It won’t surprise me if one of the particularly loony conspiracy nuts tries to counter this argument by claiming that the entire community is made of actors who are in on it.

  7. LightningRose says

    I like to tell the nutcases that income tax is voluntary and they really don’t have to pay it.

  8. dingojack says

    anubisprime asked: “What is this dumbfuck professor doing professing?”

    He teaches a course in media and conspiracy theories. The blog (before anyone gets the urge to go for the ‘how dare the university promote this stuff‘ gambit) is his own personal blog and is not endorsed or connected to the university in any way.

    Dingo
    ——-
    To answer the question posed in my earlier post: he never claimed for second that the mass shooting didn’t happen. NOT. FOR. A. SECOND.. Sometimes it helps to read beyond the headline (of course it would be good if the headline was even vaguely accurate…)

  9. BinJabreel says

    FFS, Dingo:

    Even if I give this guy the benefit of the doubt, he’s claiming that trained actors were employed to shape public opinion on this tragedy. That would imply that, for example, the crying parents you see on television aren’t real.

    Even if I take his claims at face value, he’s STILL a fucking idiot, and it’s still a travesty to think that this moron teaches children.

  10. Sastra says

    Psychologists have examined people with a “conspiracy-prone mindset,” and say that those who are strongly attracted to such theories tend to place a strong personal emphasis on having a sense of control. They feel unsettled by the idea that bad things can just happen. It’s easier to believe that there’s always some evil person or persons behind events, tying them together into a single, cohesive cause.

  11. dingojack says

    BinJabreel – Firstly, can you quote where he suggested that ‘trained actors’ (ie performers) were involved? If I described those involved in a business deal as ‘principals’, does that mean they manage teaching organisations for children? @@
    Secondly, University students might be dumb and childish, but they are generally (young) adults.
    Dingo

  12. anubisprime says

    dingojack @ 11

    He teaches a course in media and conspiracy theories.

    Accepted but is it not taking passion for the subject to a new high by actually promoting elements of a conspiracy theory?

    The academic, who is known for his conspiracy theories on 9/11 and the Oklahoma bombing, believes—as he claims on his blog and recently stated on a radio show—that trained “crisis actors” may have been employed by the Obama administration to shape public opinion on gun control.

    That is not an academic assertion for the sake of expanding the educational point in his subject…it his ‘belief!’

    And because it is on his own blog means zilch apparently… Natalie Munroe, the Pennsylvania high school teacher who blogged about her students was fired and it seems little to do with poor performance as the board claimed but the uproar her opinion caused!

    Are there actually doctorates in Conspiracy theory?

  13. dingojack says

    No but there are, apparently, doctorates in Media Studies, including ‘how the media shapes conspiracy theories’.

    Ms Monroe was, if I recall correctly, hired to implement LGBT-friendly policies then blogged how evil gay people are and how god hates them. This guy was hired to teach how the media shapes conspiracy theories then blogged on the subject. OMG exactly the same!

    DIngo

  14. says

    dingojack:

    Have you been to this asshole’s blog?

    He’s either a Poe or a fucking loon.

    His latest post’s header:

    “Does Anderson Cooper Want James Tracy and/or His Family Members Harmed?”

    is sensationalist crap, the fruit apparently falling close to the tree. What a self-aggrandzing piece of shit.

    His supporters on the comment threads are cut from the same cloth as the truthers, birthers and other whackjob conspiracy theorists. What do we call this batch, “The Hookers”?

  15. dingojack says

    Is that headline similar to : “Nutty Professor Suggests Newtown Shootings Never Happened“?
    What do you call the people who hang out on this blog? *
    Dingo
    ——–
    * ‘hypocrite’ comes to mind.

  16. says

    “They feel unsettled by the idea that bad things can just happen. It’s easier to believe that there’s always some evil person or persons behind events, tying them together into a single, cohesive cause.”

    Which is curious when you look at the 9/11 truthers. There was a conspiracy behind 9/11 – among the members of Al Qaeda. But apparently, that wasn’t enought.

  17. says

    “Is that headline similar to : “Nutty Professor Suggests Newtown Shootings Never Happened“?”

    In what way? Do you mean is it sensationalist? If so, the answer is “Not really.”. If you’ve been to his blog and you still think that he’s doing some sort of legitimate research re: Sandy Hook, you’re not reading hard enough. He’s an attention whore. Ed’s making fun of him.

    ” What do you call the people who hang out on this blog? *
    Dingo
    ——–
    * ‘hypocrite’ comes to mind

    Are you including yourself in that assessment?

    I admit to being a bit puzzled about your take on this.

    James Tracy is entitled to say wtf he wants to say (as he seems to be doing). Other people are entitled to make fun of his substanceless ranting and say he’s fucking nuts. Were I related to or friendly with one of the people killed at Sandy Hook I would be calling his employer and telling them what I think of the asshole. He’s a ghoul whose sole aim, from my perspective, is to stir the shit.

    It’s a free country and freedom of speech works both ways; fuck Tracy.

  18. Austin Travis says

    Ed,

    I’ve got to agree with Dingo’s point that your headline misrepresents what the article (at least the part you quoted in your post) says.

    This prof may be the bugnuttiest bugnut, but, I thought you were trying to create a space here to strive for rationalism and truth. The fact is, your headline clearly implies that Tracy said the shootings “never happened,” while the article you quote has him saying the shootings happened differently than the media reported. Those two things are not equal, and I expected better from you than this kind of cheap sensationalism.

    The only way your headline is truthful is if you stop reading Tracy’s quote at the dash, taking it completely out of context. I believe you have chastised others for doing just this very thing.

    There’s enough nuttery to report on accurately. Why do you have to discredit yourself by making false accusations in your headlines? Haven’t you mocked others for doing just the same thing?

  19. says

    To answer the question posed in my earlier post: he never claimed for second that the mass shooting didn’t happen. NOT. FOR. A. SECOND..

    No, of course not. He’s just saying that the “official story” cannot be correct, that there are “inconsistencies” with the reporting and eyewitness accounts, and he’s “just asking questions”. He’s not saying it didn’t happen, he’s just saying that it didn’t happen the way we’ve been told it happened, a claim so broad and meaningless it includes almost any possibility.

    Look, these assholes all operate in the same way. They don’t actually put forth a hypothesis about what really did happen, or if they do, they won’t stick to any one story. That’s because their beliefs are preposterous and indefensible. So instead they spend their time looking for anomalies and declaring that there must be “something wrong” with the public narrative. It’s silly to defend this jerk just because he hasn’t explicitly stated that the shooting didn’t happen. He’s an obscurantist; his job is to foment doubt without being letting himself get pinned down on anything. That’s actually worse.

  20. jnorris says

    I don’t care a lick about Ed’s headline. What I do care about is the Nutty professor’s explanation for the number of children killed. If less than 20 kids were murdered, where are the missing kids? Did the media or the school board make up X number of children biographies with actor portraying the grieving parents AND force the real parents to not call out the fakes?

    Why yes they did, that’s why its called a conspiracy.

  21. martinc says

    The bizarre thing about Tracy’s ideas is not that he questioned the official version of the facts but that he seems to imply that keeping an open mind means you should automatically dismiss the official version of the facts. In the article democommie @ 23 linked to, he references Pearl Harbor, the sinking of the USS Maine, the Lusitania and 9/11 as “events viewed through prisms of patriotism, affection and partisanship” (quote from article not directly from Tracy), implying – correctly – that later reporting presented a more dispassionate picture.

    But the point he doesn’t seem to mention is that the reason later reporting was better is that it involved actually researching the facts, not merely presenting an alternate and entirely unevidenced theory based solely on the syllogism “sometimes passion and immediacy affects the accuracy of initial reports of harrowing events … therefore we should assume the opposite of those reports is true”.

    The funny thing is that Tracy rather ruefully portrays himself as being an acolyte of thinking critically, which he clearly failed to do himself in presenting his absurd alternate theory, as the article states. There’s a huge difference between encouraging students to think critically about what is reported, and just making rubbish up and saying ‘this is equally likely’.

    Re the accuracy of Ed’s headline, the Yahoo article he linked to stated clearly that the blog was “suggesting that it was a training exercise in which actually nobody was killed.” However reading the blog itself, it doesn’t go quite as far as baldly stating no-one was killed, nor does it reference a training exercise as far as I can see. It does downplay the scale of the evacuation, imply that medical personnel acted differently to how they would have acted if dozens died, and suggest that Obama might have planned it as a political exercise to ‘get the guns’ (which of course has been suggested by other wingnuts) … but it doesn’t seem to me to come right out and say no-one died.

  22. dingojack says

    A little OT I suppose but does anyone remember this?

    A little before 10:20 pm (local time) 17 July 1996 TWA Flight 800 finally took off from JFK, bound for a stop over in Paris before flying on to Rome. Twelve minutes later all that remained to mark the 230 people who died was a slick and some floating debris. The plane was seen the breaking into several fiery pieces before slamming in the the Atlantic Ocean. Some claimed they saw a flash from the ground, others reported military aircraft in the vicinity, yet others claimed the plane broke apart suddenly as if a bomb had gone off.
    The media was on the case, reporting that a terrorist bomb or a surface to air missile (or a weapons launch from the Navy jets nearby, whether accidental or deliberate) was responsible for the jet crashing.
    Well of course that must be true ’cause that nice Tom Tucker on the Channel Six Morning Show said so.
    No need to ask any further questions. No need to get the NTSB (and the like) involved, everyone already knows what really happened, right?
    [The media never resorts to spin to get people to read their stories (by completely misrepresenting the subject's position in a headline, say), oh no never! Heaven forfend!] @@

    Dingo
    ——–
    It was a electrical fault that detonated the vapour in the ‘empty’ centre fuel tank.

  23. says

    dingojack:

    TWA 800 was at an altitude of 16,000 ft+/- when it blew up. According to an eyewitness account by a pilot flying nearby, he did not see the plane explode but saw a fireball which descended to the ocean below.

    The various reports by “eyewitnesses” were proven to be wrong, as near as can be determined by an exhaustive NTSB investigation. there was no immediate comment by the NTSB or any other governmental agency or TWA as to the specifics of the disaster.That a number of news reports were wildly speculative was not then and is not now, surprising. News organizations (and that is a generous interpretation of many of their “missions”) are always going to put the news out as quickly as possible. If they’re wrong they will–the reputable ones, at least–issue a retraction or clarification re: previously issued erroneous reports.

    In the case of the Sandy Hook Massacere there was a press conference @ 1:41 PM (approximately 3-1/2 hours after the shootings were over) and CT State Police spokespersons gave out information that they felt would help to inform both local and other news agencies about the extent of the attack. They were as forthcoming as was possible in the circumstances.

    The comparison of the two situations is inapt.

    FWIW, Alex Jones, a complete fucking nutjob is all over this. He has Tracy’s stuff on his blog and the loon-o-sphere is in full throat.

    Tracy’s blogpost was intemperate to say the least. He’s an idiot and deserves condemnation for his grandstanding. He’s not a victim.

  24. bradleybetts says

    “I accurately rpedicted the death of 5 people in 2012, including my ex-husband”.

    As far as I’m concerned, that’s grounds for a visit from the police.

  25. says

    “I accurately rpedicted the death of 5 people in 2012, including my ex-husband”.

    But she couldn’t accurately predict that she’d marry somebody with whom she was incompatible?

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