Media 9/11 Strategy

highlight hoaxes, ignore best evidence

ABC, BBC, CNN, Common Dreams, Counterpunch, C-Span, Democracy Now!, Dissident Voice, Fox, Front Page Magazine, In These Times, National Public Radio, New York Times, Parade magazine, Popular Mechanics, Rolling Stone, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Village Voice, The Nation, The Washington Post and the Utne Reader all follow the official State Department strategy of highlighting hoaxes and speculations about 9/11 while ignoring evidence proven beyond reasonable doubt.

People who promote the "no plane" nonsense get mentioned in these media outlets, those who point out that claim is a hoax and stress the suppressed warnings, wargames and other solid evidence are ignored.

Fox TV selects Bush II administration veteran Morgan Reynolds
as representative of the 9/11 truth movement despite
(or because of) his promotion of "no planes anywhere" nonsense.

The media generally ignored the 9/11 "truth" movement until a few months before the 2004 election, when the movement began to get traction. Now they love to focus on the "truth" movement -- as long as they can promote the "no plane(s)" claims, stress demolition theories as the key to the conspiracy theories and promote Loose Change / Pentagon Strike / In Plane Site as representative of the best evidence from the skeptics. The media do not dare mention the Complete 9/11 Timeline (since it's a compilation of over 1,000 mainstream media articles that prove that the attacks were not a surprise) or Crossing the Rubicon (the best analysis of how and why 9/11 was allowed to happen and given technical assistance to ensure it happened).

Any claim of complicity that avoids the NORAD and National Reconnaissance Office war games is not looking at the best evidence.

Any effort to defend the official story that ignores the 9/11 war games and deliberate obstruction of efforts before 9/11 to prevent the attacks is a narrow effort to avoid best evidence of complicity.

If you say ten smart things and one dumb thing to a reporter, which do you think will be on the television news?

March 30, 2006 (OilEmpire blog)

A meal of Fine Food mixed with Dog Turds:
Charlie Sheen, Loose Change and why the media focus on hoaxes.

The 9/11 "truth movement" peaked two years ago this week at the International Inquiry in San Francisco. Shortly after that excellent event, the flood of disinformation and hoax claims on 9/11 accelerated (probably a response to the success of the Inquiry). A few months later, the mass media started efforts to discredit 9/11 truth by focusing on the fake claims. It's an old, old tactic.

If there's any hope for the loose confederation called the 9/11 truth movement, it would require a shared understanding that the "no plane hit Pentagon" claim is a hoax designed to discredit us. Fortunately, the best investigators into 9/11 understand that "no plane" is not true -- a list of some of them is at Most people who are interested in these issues but unfamiliar with the details can easily be shown that the "small hole" claim is fake, that photos of the crash site show plane parts, and that hundreds of people saw the plane.

There's been some excitement at some websites over the fact that actor Charlie Sheen has stated he thinks the Bush regime was involved in 9/11. Sheen was even invited onto a CNN show to talk about this, which has caused some to think this is a major media breakthrough.

However, this is unlikely to be the outcome. Sheen stated that he didn't think a plane hit the Pentagon, which in his case is probably an honest mistake (he obviously did not check the facts). A follow-up show on CNN with actor Ed Asner and 9/11 author Sander Hicks was abruptly canceled (it's worth noting that Sander's book "The Big Wedding" mentions how the "no plane" claims are not true). The media leaders are not dumb - they know that any 9/11 "truth" coverage should focus on the fake claims and ignore the real ones.

CNN's latest focus on so-called "9/11 truth" is similar to other media efforts over the past two years. The media would prefer to ignore 9/11 conspiracy claims, but they have gotten enough traction (and support) so they cover the story by ensuring that the "no plane" hoax is at the center of the claims. CNN, Parade, Democracy Now, The Washington Post, Popular Mechanics, Scientific American and others have trashed 9/11 activists, focusing on the hoaxes while largely ignoring the real evidence.

A Greenpeace media guru gave this writer excellent advice a long time ago: if you are being interviewed and say ten smart things and one dumb thing, the dumb thing will be on TV. That is the modus operandi of the media.

It's been sad to watch a number of well-meaning "9/11 activists" promote the disinformation film "Loose Change" despite knowing that much of what's in that pseudo-documentary is nonsense. Loose Change is merely a recycling of the previous hoax production "In Plane Site," a 2004 campaign to distract and discredit 9/11 skeptics before the Kerry/Bush stolen election. The cover of the Plane Site DVD contained a subtle admission that it was just a bad joke hidden in plain sight. The main difference between Loose Change and In Plane Site is the newer production includes a few more pieces of truth, since the signal-to-noise ratio in IPS was so poor that many people understand it was a fake film.

Those who push "Loose Change" ignore the real documentaries that are high quality: Denial Stops Here, The Truth and Lies of 9/11, The Great Conspiracy, and the footage from the 9/11 Citizens Commission hearing in New York City on September 9, 2004. Links to these and other films are at Some of those who suggest that we should promote the fake films do so because they are free, although there are some real clips on-line that are free (particularly the 9/11 Citizens Commission hearing), although they don't have fancy graphics or a rock music soundtrack. The fake film promoters who are sincere seem to assume that while 9/11 was a false flag operation, everyone promoting "truth" is sincere even if they advocate claims that are absurd and without evidence.

One political tactic that would be needed for positive change is for people to learn to "vote with their money" for products made by people doing good work. Mike Ruppert and Barrie Zwicker have done good work to produce documentaries on 9/11, and they deserve to make back their costs for these efforts.

While no one is likely to be 100% correct in their writings on these topics, the "no plane" stuff has been debunked for so many years that anyone still promoting this claim is either uninformed, unwilling to admit a mistake, or lying.

Mike Ruppert has an excellent commentary that is must reading for everyone concerned with the ebbing of the 9/11 truth movement:
There Are Good Reasons Why 9/11 is Having Its 15 Minutes of Fame Now – Look at Who’s In the Spotlight
by Michael C. Ruppert

A new website - - has an excellent commentary on "Loose Change"

i hate sort of beating-up on certain segments of the collective of people who are skeptical about the official version of happened on 9/11... but here i go again: scholars for 9/11 truth: another just provocative web site. how can you tell? among other things, on their home page, they promote the 9/11 music video called 'loose change' that offers up every crack pot pod missile theory in the book. 'loose change' is out there just to provoke people emotionally. its substance is in its appeal to teens and twentysomethings. so why are the 'scholars for 9/11 truth' aligning themselves with a tin hat munching 9/11 music video? why are the 'scholars for 9/11 truth' also promoting the no 757 theory? answer: the web site is just provocative. it's using the blanket (AKA 'big tent'; throwing enough shit at the wall) approach to attract more people to the concept that 9/11 was an inside job. then by magic, one of these new people will uncover the proof we need to hang the true conspirators.
what's wrong with this 'scholarly' approach? anyone? anyone ? bueler? bueler?
once bush & co reach the end of their reign - that's the finish line, they win. once those powers-that-be are out of power, people lose interest. we need to get 'em for 9//11 while they're in office if we're going to end this endless war on terrorism.
so the problem with the scholars for 9/11 truth's throw-enough-shit-at-the-wall approach is that they're spinning a new generation of 9/11 skeptics into 9/11 goofballs who are going to spend the next 2 1/2 years looking at the same old pictures of the pentagon going, 'gee, that IS a small hole...' and who will spend endless hours replaying the WTC video trying to see the missile pods.
what does it gain the 9/11 truth movement if everyone is a member - but we're all full of shit reciting misinformation?
the purpose of the 9/11 truth movement isn't to have more members - it's to end the war on terrorism while it's still possible. and time is really running out.
Brian Salter, February 28, 2005
I think those who feel that "no 757 hit the Pentagon" is an unsupported claim that has done more harm than good to the cause of 9/11 truth, as I have decided over recent months, should be quite assertive in making this view known, in order to apply a corrective to the public's already skewed view of 9/11 skepticism. ... it is the 9/11 Truth Movement as a whole which is taking the brunt of abuse from the media that has been invited by too many sketchy and unwarranted "theories" which hand easily targeted straw men to the professional debunkers.
License to Spin
This is something to be remembered by 9/11 truthseekers who are ready to settle instead for heroes, and uncritically embrace longtime intelligence veterans as sudden "converts" and spokespersons. Like 28-year CIA analyst William Christison, whose "Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11" was widely astroturfed last month. His leading points, that an "airliner almost certainly did not hit The Pentagon" and "controlled demolition" brought down the towers, are the most contentious and speculative and least profitable arguments that can be made for 9/11 complicity. As with "former Bush insider" Morgan Reynolds' triple-dog-dare-ya that there were no planes at the World Trade Center either, more sensible observers need to ask why certain people with certain backgrounds are advancing certain positions, rather than be gratified that persons of a certain stature are saying something, anything, even when it's wrong or uncertain or foolish.


a chronological list of some media attacks
the pattern is easy to see


Utne Reader
January - February 2008

Towers of Babble
by Paul Constant, from the Stranger
Reprinted from the Stranger (Sept. 6, 2007)

An article focused on the quirky "truth" movement in Seattle, but no effort is made to determine if any of the claims for complicity have merit, or if there is a difference between accurate claims and false claims. It is another human interest story that provides zero understanding. Utne reprints articles from other publications "The Stranger" is a weekly magazine in Seattle. Articles such as this ensure that 9/11 "truth" has been relegated to a fringe subculture, partly due to the ridiculous assertions inserted into the movement, partly due to media highlighting of the quirky aspects of the movement instead of the best evidence of complicity.



9/11: The Conspiracy Files
Sunday 18 February 2007, 9pm


Racist Parties on the Rise on College Campuses?; Obesity Report Cards
Aired January 30, 2007 - 20:00 ET
Here are some of the stories we're bringing out in the open tonight.
Wait until you see what was happening over the Martin Luther King holiday. We're just getting new reports of a racist party thrown by white students at a major Southern college.
Plus, the death of a black man in Tennessee raises a very disturbing question: Why weren't black families warned that their water could kill them?
And why so many Americans believe Jews are responsible for 9/11.

We have all heard some absolutely incredible 9/11 conspiracy theories. The web of course is full of them. But tonight we're bringing one out that feeds on racism out in the open. We were absolutely shocked by one recent poll that found out that one in every three Americans believe the terror attacks were not the work of America's enemies, but some sort of inside job. And Deborah Feyerick found a smaller percentage who believe an even uglier theory.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This 9/11 attack was not by 19 Arabs. It was not by Muslims.
DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They talk about a Jewish plot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everywhere you look you find a Zionist agent.
FEYERICK: A conspiracy by Zionist Israeli intelligence or by Zionist moles in the Bush administration allegedly calling the shots in the Middle East. Websites, magazines, documentaries, radio programs, dozens of them disputing the fact that al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 attacks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was done by a group of Zionists.
FEYERICK: Are you suggesting that al Qaeda had nothing to do with it, that this was all part of a large conspiracy, Zionist or otherwise?
CHRISTOPHER BOLLYN, WRITER: Al Qaeda is in my opinion -- has been exploited. I question whether such a group even exists.
FEYERICK: Chicago writer Christopher Bollyn is one of the conspiracy theorists.
BOLLYN: I believe that there are Israeli elements that are connected to the Mossad, that are involved in this attack. ....

VOICE OF ERIC HUFSCHMID: This is a big plot to take control of us, to start war.

BOLLYN: No, I'm not an anti-Semite. This is the main charge that's leveled against me and has been for years, even before 9/11, because I am a critic of Zionist policies.

[note: Bollyn has been a repeated guest on KKK leader David Duke's radio show. The American Free Press, which he wrote many 9/11 stories for, is the largest Holocaust denial publication in the United States. And Mr. Hufschmid boasts on his website that he supports Holocaust denial - this is probably why CNN chose to focus on these folks, and not serious journalists and investigators who have done quality work.]


The Nation
Published on Friday, December 8, 2006 by The Nation
9/11: The Roots of Paranoia
by Christopher Hayes

Psychobabble masquerading as informed opinion.

"But the real danger posed by the Truth Movement isn't paranoia. Rather, the danger is that it will discredit and deform the salutary skepticism Americans increasingly show toward their leaders."
"Still, the persistent appeal of paranoid theories reflects a cynicism that the credulous media have failed to address, because they posit a world of good intentions and face-value pronouncements, one in which the suggestion that a government would mislead or abuse its citizens for its own gains or the gains of its benefactors is on its face absurd. The danger is that the more this government's cynicism and deception are laid bare, the more people--on the left in particular and among the public in general--will be drawn down the rabbit hole of delusion of the 9/11 Truth Movement."


Front Page Magazine (leading neo-conservative publication)

Heroes of the 9/11 Conspiracy Movement
By Michael Lopez-Calderon | December 8, 2006

Yet another screed that points to no plane hoaxes and demolition theories while ignoring best evidence, the only links to "truth" sites it includes are to Loose Change and the Scholars for 9/11 Truth group, which promote the standard mix of real and fake.
Published on Sunday, December 3, 2006 by
The Surreal Politics of Premeditated War
by R.W. Behan

A decent summary that states 9/11 was arranged to get the pretext to attack Iraq. It is the first time there has been a positive mention of Michael Ruppert's work on Common Dreams. Unfortunately, it is sandwiched in between some misleading claims (whether intentional or not, it does fit the pattern).

The controversies rage on yet today about the events of September 11, 2001. No steel building has ever collapsed from fire alone. Buildings falling precisely into their footprints are the marks of deliberate (and expert) demolition. The faulty construction/foreshortened lifespan/insurance angle. The collapse of a third building that was not hit at all. The short-selling of airline stock in previous days. The Pentagon hit by a missile, not a civilian airliner. Michael Rupert’s book “Crossing the Rubicon” lays the blame for 9/11 directly at Dick Cheney’s feet. Senator Robert Dole’s former chief of staff, Mr. Stanley Hilton, claims he can prove George Bush signed an order authorizing the attacks. Half the people polled in New York city believed the Bush Administration had prior knowledge of the attack, and “consciously failed” to act. Et cetera.

Note: the WTC did not collapse from "fire alone" -- there was also substantial damage from the 500 mph impact of 100 tons of airplane smashing the support columns. Whether that was sufficient to cause the collapse or not, it is grossly inaccurate to say that the official story is "fire alone" as the reason for the collapses. Plus, the towers did not "fall precisely into their footprints," since nearby structures received considerable damage from pieces of the falling towers. And Mr. Hilton's lawsuit against Bush contained such ridiculous points of alleged law that it is difficult to imagine it was merely the result of incompetence.


November 28, 2006

CounterPunch Special Report: Debunking the Myths of 9/11

Alexander Cockburn here assembles his two prime commentaries in a final, expanded essay, "The 9/11 Conspiracists and the Decline of the Left."

Manuel Garcia Jr, physicist and engineer, presents his three separate reports, undertaken for CounterPunch.

Part One is his report on the Physics of 9/11.
Part Two (published here for the first time) is his report on the Thermodynamics of 9/11.
Part Three, "Dark Fire", is his report on the collapse of the World Trade Center's Building 7.

JoAnn Wypijewski wrote her essay "Conversations at Ground Zero" after a day spent with people at the site on 9/11/2006.

Note: Counterpunch's Cockburn highlights the no plane nonsense and demolition theories, but studiously ignores the war games, suppressed warnings and other solid evidence. One of the many interesting omissions is from Counterpunch itself, which shortly after 9/11 wrote

"CounterPunch has also learned that an internal memo was sent around Goldman Sachs in Tokyo on September 10 advising all employees of a possible terrorist attack. It recommended all employees to avoid any American government buildings."
September 14, 2001 Aftershocks

This information would be more interesting to follow-up on than pointing out that Flight 77 really did hit the (nearly empty part of the) Pentagon.


Rolling Stone
October 1, 2006

I, Left Gatekeeper
Why the "9/11 Truth" movement makes the "Left Behind" sci-fi series read
like Shakespeare
by Matt Tabbi

An extremely sarcastic article that fits the tried and tested pattern.
It is archived at


Friday, September 22, 2006
Too Much Monkey Business

Story: Skeptic Magazine debunks 9/11 conspiracy theories, in which Phil Molé expends 7,154 words affirming the gullible assumptions of those who wear the false crown of skepticism.
159 words are devoted to the few millions of "put options," ignoring the billions worth in insider trading (including one $5 billion transation); the sudden resignation on Sept 12, 2001, "effective immediately" and without reason given, of Mayo Shattuck III, head of the Alex Brown unit of Deutsche Bank, which was the principal institution involved in the trades; and the more than $100 million in suspicious transactions on WTC computers during the attacks, and the subsequent supression of their data recovery.
247 words are taken to debunk the "FEMA arrived early" story, ignoring Giuliani's unpublished testimony before the 9/11 commission which confirmed that hundreds of FEMA employees were already on site with equipment for a scheduled bioweapons drill.
334 words are used to say that Flight 93 didn't land at Cleveland. It didn't.
351 words are spent on "stand down," when it's properly understood as a failure to "stand up," since on June 1 2001 discretion to shoot down was taken away from field command and entrusted solely to the Secretary of Defense. An order rescinded shortly after the attacks. The article mentions none of this.
535 words are given to a history lesson in Middle East terror, ignoring the role of the CIA and its regional proxies in funding and training and "stirring up" Muslim extremists.
816 words are spent on the fallacious Pentagon missile strike theory.
1,117 words are devoted to the shallow psychobabble that conspiracy theories are "comforting."
And 3,595 words - half of the total - are spent on demolition theory, attention to which, I've repeatedly said, is a waste of our energies.
But undoubtedly it's mission accomplished for Phil Molé, and Skeptic readers can pride themselves again on their steadfast conventional wisdom. Neither are likely to read Daniel Hopsicker's September 15 report on Wolfgang Bohringer, one of Atta's German "brothers" during his mobbed-up Florida days. They'll never have heard of Bohringer, wouldn't accept as a source something called "Mad Cow Morning News" ("Oh, pleeeease," I can hear their syrupy cry), and so they will never really know Atta.


Common Dreams and The Progressive
Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 by The Progressive
Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracies, Already
by Matthew Rothschild

An emotional rant focused on "no plane" nonsense and demolition theories that ignores the proven reality of suppressed warnings and the 9/11 wargames. It's sad for a publication that used to be at the forefront of political understanding to publish this sort of distraction. A nice review of it is at


Democracy Now!
September 11, 2006 debate between representatives from Popular Mechanics (Hearst corporation defending the official story) and Loose Change (disinformation film promoting "no planes" and worse stuff).


Telegraph (London, England)

The CIA couldn't have organised this...
(Filed: September 8, 2006)
The geopolitical blunders that have followed 9/11 are the best evidence yet that there was no government conspiracy, says Michael Shelden

Jones is convinced, for example, that Jesus was wandering through ancient Mexico around AD 600, paying calls on various Mayan villagers. He has published "evidence" that the Mayans were well aware of the "resurrected Lord" centuries before the Spanish priests crossed the Atlantic and gave them the Good News.

note: of course, whatever Professor Jones believes about Mormon theology is irrelevant to the evidence surrounding suppressed warnings and wargames (most flavors of theology is similarly ridiculous unless understood as metaphor and allegory), but it is good "disinfotainment" for the readers who are encouraged to disbelieve anything that follows this wackiness by association


Washington Post
The Disbelievers
9/11 Conspiracy Theorists Are Building Their Case Against the Government From Ground Zero
By Michael Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 8, 2006; C01

Yet another focus on kooky no plane theories while ignoring the real evidence.


The Guardian
Who really blew up the twin towers?
As the fifth anniversary of 9/11 nears, Christina Asquith finds academics querying the official version of events
Tuesday September 5, 2006
The Guardian,,1864657,00.html

However, a study of the full extent of their claims is a journey into the increasingly absurd: Flight 93 did not crash in Pennsylvania but landed safely in Cleveland; desperate phone calls received by relatives on the ground from passengers were actually computer-generated voices from a laboratory in California. The Pentagon was not hit by American Airlines Flight 77, but by a smaller, remote-controlled A-3 Sky Warrior, which shot a missile into the building before crashing into it.


Time magazine
September 3, 2006
Why The 9/11 Conspiracies Won't Go Away,9171,1531304,00.html
another profile of Loose Change that ignores best evidence,8599,1531250,00.html
Web Guide: 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, posted September 2, 2006
Time "sandwiches" the Center for Cooperative Research "Complete 9/11 Timeline" in between four websites pushing "no planes" and a few defending the official story.


Dissident Voice
Stop Belittling the Theories About September 11
by Bill Christison August 14, 2006
ex CIA agent says most important evidence is the allegedly too small hole at the Pentagon and the demolition claims, urges readers to watch Loose Change, ignores the CIA's "plane into building" exercise during 9/11, the military war games and the suppressed warnings. has a good review of this strategy.


National Public Radio Morning Edition
August 9, 2006
profiles Loose Change plus a professional anti-conspiracist, NPR's website links to Loose Change, the State Department and Popular Mechanics - no mention that some 9/11 truth activists understand that most of Loose Change is not real.


Village Voice
August 7th, 2006
Fakes on a Plane: Conspiracy buffs craft their own online WTC movies
by Ed Halter


August 6, 2006
Associated Press article profiles "Scholars for Truth," focuses on demolition speculation, no mention of wargames, suppressed warnings, etc.


In These Times
JULY 11, 2006
The 9/11 Faith Movement
Many Americans beleive 9/11 was a conspiracy by the U.S. government

An article stating that Americans want to believe in conspiracies, ignores evidence of warnings and wargames, highlights Alex Jones focusing on the bogus "pull it" bait and Steven Jones's theories of demolition. Ironically, the author formerly worked for Covert Action Quarterly (previously Covert Action Information Bulletin), a publication focused on exposing covert operations.

New York Times
profiles's Chicago conference
June 5, 2006 has a review


USA Today
April 29, 2006
a profile of Loose Change from a publication with several reporters who saw Flight 77 crash into the Pentagon while driving to work
USA Today has not profiled the Complete 9/11 Timeline or Crossing the Rubicon


San Francisco Chronicle
"hip" columnist Mark Morford promotes Loose Change, no mention of 9/11 truth sites that understand "no plane" is not real. Ironically, the Chronicle published an article on September 12, 2001 that stated then SF Mayor Willie Brown had been warned on September 10 to reconsider his security situation about his imminent flight to New York City. The Chronicle also reprinted a wire service article in 2002 about the "plane into building" exercise conducted by the CIA and National Reconnaissance Office at the same time as actual events. In other words, they have published clues to the truth, but no analysis that shows how the dots are connected.
Critique of the San Francisco Chronicle's
'Long Live The 9/11 Conspiracy! Anyone still care about the heap of disturbing, unsolved questions surrounding Our Great Tragedy?'
March 29, 2006
This article was published in both print and electronic versions of the San Francisco Chronicle on March 29, 2006. That was one day before David Ray Griffin, one of the foremost critics of the official account of 9/11, addressed an audience of hundreds at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, across the bay from San Francisco. ... Morford promotes Loose Change, a video that mixes real evidence of official complicity in the attacks with hoaxes that effectively discredit that evidence by association.


Village Voice
profiles 9/11 Truth Movement
February 2006


Boulder Weekly
promotes Morgan Reynolds (Bush administration official claiming all four plane crashes were faked)
October 2005


Scientific American
an attack on demolition theories, no mention of wargames or suppressed warnings


Popular Mechanics
March 2005 "9/11 Lies" coverstory mixes real and fake claims together, uses a 9/11 truth website to debunk two of the hoaxes (pod plane, windowless plane)


Washington Post
October 7, 2004
CIA-connected newspaper reviews "New Pearl Harbor" and Pentagon Strike - the book review was "sandwiched" in between a profile of people who claim to talk to alien beings in other dimensions, no mention that "New Pearl Harbor" says other things than "no plane"


The Nation
September 13, 2004
CIA agent Robert Baer reviews David Ray Griffin's "New Pearl Harbor" and focuses on "no plane" claim


September 4, 2004
On October 12, 2001, Parade interviewed US War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - he mentioned that a "missile" hit the Pentagon. On September 4, 2004, once the missile meme was dominant in the 9/11 truth movement literature, Parade then told an audience of millions that this alleged "transcription error" (still on the Department of Defense website in 2006) was the sole reason for the no plane claims. In reality, this "misquote" was merely bait for the 9/11 conspiracy movement, and Parade snapped the trap just before the 2004 election (since the Republicans needed the results to be narrow enough to alter the outcome in their favor via rigged voting machines and other dirty tricks).


Democracy Now!
May 26, 2004
Amy Goodman interview of David Ray Griffin and Chip Berlet


Jim Hoffman's review of media coverage
Mainstream Press Attacks

An Opening For Attackers

Before 2004, the mainstream and alternative media were virtually free of any mention of the existence of a community of skeptics challenging the core tenets of official story of '9/11'. While there were numerous reports of warnings of the attacks, there was only minimal coverage of the spectacular failures of the air defense network, and there was virtually no mention of the physical evidence of the demolition of Building 7 and the Twin Towers. That changed on May 26, 2004, when Amy Goodman interviewed David Ray Griffin on Democracy Now about his book The New Pearl Harbor on the show The New Pearl Harbor: A Debate On A New Book That Alleges The Bush Administration Was Behind The 9/11 Attacks. Although Griffin mentions an array of compelling evidence that the attack was an inside job, the majority of the interview revolves around the issue of what hit the Pentagon, as Chip Berlet, whom Goodman invited on the program to debate Griffin, zeroes in on the weakest part of The New Pearl Harbor. As a result, almost no time is spent discussing the much stronger parts of Griffin's argument.

On September 13, The Nation magazine published Executive Secrecy: Conspiracy or Failure? by CIA agent Robert Baer. Baer ridicules "conspiracy theories" that 9/11/01 was an inside job, suggesting that this "monstrous proposition" and Griffin's choice to "recycle some of the wilder conspiracy theories" is driven by the evasions and lies of the Bush administration. First on Baer's list of these wilder theories is "that the Pentagon was hit by a missile rather than by American Airlines Flight 77."

On October 7, The Washington Post published Conspiracy Theories Flourish on the Internet, which describes Pentagon Strike and its popularization in some detail, and then uses it to deride 9/11 "conspiracy theories." The article makes no mention of other areas of research by skeptics of the official story. Instead, it implies that the idea that "something other than a commercial airliner hit the Pentagon" is the only proposition advanced by skeptics to challenge the official story.

On November 8, The New York Times published A Hidden Story Behind Sept. 11? One Man's Ad Campaign Says So, to describe the campaign of millionaire Jimmy Walter to publicize skepticism about the official story of '9/11'. The second sentence of the article introduces Walter's suggestion that "no plane flew into the Pentagon," and the third sentence that Building 7 was "detonated from within." While the striking similarity of the implosion of Building 7 to other building implosions produced by controlled demolition is one of the most compelling pieces of physical evidence that the 9/11/01 attack was an inside job, the juxtaposition of the idea that Building 7 was detonated next to the idea that no plane crashed into the Pentagon is an effective tool for discrediting the former. The New York Times article provides no links to the video evidence of the demolition of Building 7, such as that on, but it gives an explanation for the collapse by fire science professor Glenn P. Corbett -- an explanation that people who have not seen the videos are likely to accept.

On November 10, Air America broadcast a segment featuring David Von Kleist, producer of In Plane Site, which promoted the two central memes of his video: the Pentagon no-757-crash idea and the South Tower pod-plane idea. Because the no-757-crash idea is taken seriously by a substantial portion of serious 9/11 researchers -- an acceptance not shared by the pod-plane idea -- disinformationists can use the Pentagon no-jetliner idea to leverage the more ridiculous WTC crash theories, such as pod-planes, missile attacks, holograms, etc.

With these and other articles and broadcasts, millions of people are being introduced to the idea that the attack was an inside job via theories that have no support in evidence, sound ludicrous, and are easily discredited. Unfortunately, first impressions are difficult to reverse.

How the Issue Plays

I frequently encounter the opinion that, regardless of the errors underlying the Pentagon no-757-crash theory, its recent popularization and press attention can only be helpful to the cause of truth exposure because it gets more people to question the official story and explore evidence contradicting other facets of that story. Indeed, many active skeptics were introduced to the issue through material on the Pentagon crash.

However, it is more likely that the prominence of the no-757-crash theory will damage the cause, particularly as it reaches a wider audience less inclined to research the issue. People introduced to 9/11 skepticism through the no-757-crash theory will either be stimulated to examine evidence that the attack was an inside job, or will continue to ignore such ideas as the delusions of conspiracy theorists. The vast majority of such people will likely fall into the second group for several reasons.

  • The mainstream press is casting the no-757-crash theory as a loony construct of conspiracy theorists, and representative of all 9/11 skepticism.
  • The theory sounds ludicrous to most people who encounter it for the first time.
  • The videos promoting it use faulty analysis and manipulative techniques that will alienate the discerning viewer.
  • The popular videos and supporting websites are dead-ends, providing no links to responsible 9/11 research sites.

My conclusion is borne out by the evidence. According to the Washington Post article, millions of people have viewed Pentagon Strike. Yet the visits to investigative websites, such as those listed on, have not skyrocketed into hundreds of thousands of visits per day.


political masochism as media strategy

A weird form of "Political Masochism" from "," a website promoting the Pentagon Strike and Loose Change hoax films that is run by a former State Department employee who was entrusted by the White House with interpreting for George W. Bush:

I present all of the important facts I can find and allow the readers to make their own judgment. ... I welcome any slam articles in the press, as that only helps to draw interest and attention.

Is this promoter of the fake claims a sincere whistleblower who is merely making mistakes, or is there a duplicitous agenda to misdirect the 9/11 skeptics? Whatever the truth of the situation, it is provable that there are many counterproductive aspects to the "no plane" campaign. While there are some people who are mobilized by the hoaxes purporting to expose 9/11 complicity, the fake claims alienate far more people than they energize, and help ensure that the media - even the media explicitly opposed to Bush - will avoid the credible evidence of complicity.