Thursday, May 24 will be a big day for the creators of Loose Change, the wildly successful Internet “documentary” which says the Pentagon was struck by a missile instead of a plane, the World Trade Center was brought down by a controlled demolition, and that the passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 were taken to Cleveland and then spirited away, presumably to Mars.
Korey Rowe and Dylan Avery, along with Willie Rodriguez, a 9/11 survivor who insists he saw evidence of controlled demolition, will appear on a major network daytime TV show, ABC’s The View. Rosie O’Donnell will thankfully be leaving the show in a few weeks, but as a going away present, ABC is giving her the chance to promote 9/11 conspiracy nonsense to a nationwide audience.
The View’s token conservative, former Survivor contestant Elisabeth Hasselbeck, is arguably the meekest right-winger on television today. If someone like Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, or even (ugh) Ann Coulter was on The View, I have no doubt they’d demolish the Loosers, even with the very loud Rosie O’Donnell trying to back them up. But Hasselbeck? She’s very nice — and, if anything, that’s the problem. I fear she will let herself be steamrollered by Rowe and Avery, whose arguments are quite convincing if you’re completely ignorant of physics, engineering, defence policy and common sense.
Before the Loosers show up on The View, I strongly advise Hasselbeck to take a crash course in 9/11 conspiracy debunking. She can start by watching Screw Loose Change: The Not Freakin’ Again Edition, an annotated rebuttal film which can be viewed here. The blogs Screw Loose Change (not affiliated with the movie) and 9/11 Conspiracy Smasher do a superb job of keeping tabs on the Loosers’ constantly mutating conspiracy theories, and 911Myths features detailed, sensible explanations for nearly every so-called “anomaly” in the so-called “official story” of September 11.
The Popular Mechanics book Debunking 9/11 Myths (reviewed by me here) is an essential read as well, and I encourage Elisabeth to pay particular attention to the ways conspiracy theorists have tried to discredit the magazine. For example, PM editor Benjamin Chertoff has the same last name as Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff – “proof,” therefore, that he’s related to him. More recently, the conspiracy theorists (apparently inspired by an article from Willis Carto's American Free Press) are shrieking that a management "coup" occurred at Popular Mechanics just before their 9/11 article appeared. A-ha! The Illuminati thought of everything, didn’t they?
There are a lot of conspiracy-debunking materials out there, and a skilled debater can thoroughly dismantle the Loose Change filmmakers if she prepares. I’d especially advise Hasselbeck to stand up to Rosie herself, who promised that she would get physicists from Harvard and Yale to appear on The View to back up her theories about controlled demolition. Instead, these no-name dropouts are the best she could do.
But even if the conspiracy theorists are humiliated on The View this Thursday, the fact that they made it onto the show at all is disturbing enough. In the 1980s, tacky talk shows like Donahue and Geraldo regularly allowed neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and Holocaust deniers to shock the audience. Although their beliefs were always challenged, sometimes vigorously, just the fact that they were invited on the air conferred a legitimacy upon their beliefs that they did not deserve. In her seminal book Denying the Holocaust, Deborah Lipstadt writes about how the producers of one show wanted her to debate so-called “revisionists” on the air. They told her they thought it was important that viewers saw “the other side” of the issue.
No matter what happens on The View, the “9/11 truth movement” will have been exposed to millions of daytime TV viewers who will never have heard of it. Their theories will have been deemed a subject worthy of debate, and this nonsense will take another step toward the mainstream.