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.