Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Salon reports on Gene Rosen, a retired psychologist in Newtown, Connecticut, who shielded six children at his house during the Sandy Hook school shooting after their teacher was killed -- and is now being harassed by Sandy Hook truthers:
"I don't know what to do," sighed Gene Rosen. "I'm getting hang up calls, I'm getting some calls, I'm getting emails with, not direct threats, but accusations that I'm lying, that I'm a crisis actor, 'how much am I being paid?'" Someone posted a photo of his house online. There have been phony Google+ and YouTube accounts created in his name, messages on white supremacist message boards ridiculing the "emotional Jewish guy," and dozens of blog posts and videos "exposing" him as a fraud. One email purporting to be a business inquiry taunted: "How are all those little students doing? You know, the ones that showed up at your house after the 'shooting'. What is the going rate for getting involved in a gov't sponsored hoax anyway?"
I wrote about Sandy Hook trutherism last week, specifically about a Florida professor named James Tracy who says the established Sandy Hook narrative is questionable, thus giving aid and comfort to right-wing paranoiacs who believe the evil liberal-fascist president would fake a massacre in order to come for their guns, as well as Alex Jonesians who think all U.S. governments, regardless of party, are coming for their guns.

The Salon story mentions Professor Tracy. It also links to a related Salon story about Ben Swann, a reporter for the (non-Fox-owned) Fox affiliate in Cincinnati, who's another Sandy Hook truther.

In fact, he's a truther regarding a lot of recent mass shootings. Here's part of a description of a report he did on a Web series he hosts, "Full Disclosure":
Swann starts off the segment by mentioning the three mass shootings that have received widespread media attention this year: The Aurora, Colo., theater shooting; the Sikh Temple massacre in Oak Ridge Ridge, Wis., and the Sandy Hook spree. "Earlier this year, I told you that there are major problems with the theory that the Colorado theater shooting was a lone wolf attack, is that true of these other two shootings as well? This subject deserves Full Disclosure," he says....

"The official story from police: This was a lone wolf attack involving just one shooter, James Holmes. Police, of course, were not there during the attack. Witnesses who were say it was not one shooter, it was two," he continued....

He moved on to the Sikh Temple shooting. While police say it was a lone gunman, "again, according to eyewitnesses, that was not the case." He plays a few clips from interviews with eyewitnesses saying they saw multiple shooters. "In that case, eyewitnesses said ... they were four well-trained people who seemed to know what they were doing and had a plan."

As for Sandy Hook, Swann said it sounds like a similar situation. Noting the "official narrative" says that alleged shooter Adam Lanza acted alone, "That is what police have said, but again, there is evidence beginning to emerge that that wasn't [the case]." He shows footage from a helicopter that has been circulated widely among conspiracy theorists allegedly showing two shooters running into the woods behind the school (media accounts say the man was a parent who ran from the school after hearing gunshots).
I don't have time to debunk all of this, but if you look, for instance, at the two widely cited interviews about the Sikh temple shooting in Swann's report, you'll see that at least one "eyewitness" interviewee appears not to have witnessed the shooting at all, and it's not clear whether the other did. So this is the sort of evidence Swann is marshaling, in support of the notion that several massive cover-ups are in place.

Will it surprise you to learn that Swann has been "criticized by the Washington Post's Erik Wemple for being too friendly to Ron Paul and 'allow[ing] his affection for constitutionalist politics to corrupt his judgment'"? Or that one of his videos has the Paul-esque title "The Fiat Dollar is the Real Reason for High Gas Prices"? Or that he's attacked Piers Morgan on Alex Jones's show, using, among other things, a wildly misleading apples-and-oranges comparison of violent crime in the U.S. and Britain?

Up until a few months ago, I thought that, for better or (mostly) worse, Ayn Rand, in death, was going to have an outsize influence on 21st-century politics (at least in America) comparable to Karl Marx's influence after his death on 20th-century global politics. But now I think Randism isn't the ascendant political philosophy in this country -- we've sunk even lower and our top political "philosophers" are Paul and Jones.

God help us.


wvng said...

It's time to turn this tactic around on the monsters who are doing this. It's time to publish their names, their addresses, their phone numbers and emails, start calling them at all hours, start picketing in front of their homes and businesses.

Victor said...

So many Americans - nuttier than a Planters canning plant!

You can't live with them...
You can easily live without them...

Kathy said...

I'm kinda surprised they think the Sandy Hook shooting is a hoax. I was sure they'd claim Obama had been behind the very real shooting of very real children. So at least there's that, right?