08 September 2006
MSNBC / Washington Post pimp conspiracy theories
MSNBC coverimageFront Page Banner (used to say):

Conspiracy Theories
Many Americans suspect U.S. government involvement or complicity
(Yes, I know it now says "Many Americans distrust official 9/11 account", they changed it, but the article is still subtitled "Many Americans suspect U.S. government involvement or complicity ")

You could read that and think "Wow, a lot of Americans believe in these conspiracy theories...maybe there is something to them"

In the actual article, the author first talks about the "eminent liberal theologian and philosopher" David Ray Griffin and how he at first believed the facts of September 11th "were as stated on the screen" and that it wasn't until a year later that he "began his stroll down the path of disbelief."

Wow! "Many Americans" and an "eminent liberal theologian and philsopher" believe these theories! There might really be something to this!

Of course when you get below the fold you find that the "many Americans" is from a Scripps Howard survey of 1,100 Americans polled that reports that 36% "suspect the U.S. government promoted the attacks or intentionally sat on its hands." and that
that little bit of datum was part of a survey that also came to results such as:

Even motorcyclists favor tougher safety helmet laws

It's True: Men really won't stop car to get directions

Bush couldn't beat Gore or Kerry, or even his father

Personally I don't know how much one can trust that poll. First off it's a web poll, secondly it's such a mishmash of questions that I think you could draw a huge number of results from it, but they would be so oddly correlated as to be meaningless, and lastly there are some very weird issues with some of the questions. There is one question for example that talks about re-running the 2004 Presidential election and who the respondent would vote for.

How about the 2004 election among Republican George W. Bush, Democrat John Kerry and third part candidate Ralph Nader?*
Bush 40%
Kerry 46%
Nader 7%
Don't know 6%
Other response 1%

See the footnote asterik after Ralph Nader? It says "*This question had 0 respondents..."

Ummmm, hello? How does that work?

Anyway, back to the Washington Post / MSNBC article; while the article does go on to present the evidence from NIST about the collapse and spend some time talking to real scientists about the events of that day, but the main bent of the article seems to me to be promoting the conspiracy theories more so than just commenting on it. There is more time devoted to the conspiracy nutters than is spent disputing their statements. "But that's the point of the article is to talk about conspiracy theorists!" I can hear some of you saying. True. However, if I were to write an article about say the Nazi party in WWII, would I be doing a service to people to only discuss what the Nazi's believed and thought and didn't present a balanced counterpoint their insane beliefs?

(image is owned by MSNBC, reprinted / linked under the Fair Use clause of applicable U.S. Copyright law)
A Republican in San Francisco (Yes, he's under deep cover) relays his tales of interest... ...ok, "interest" is a strong and subjective word but you get the point.
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