Generally speaking, journalism is supposed to follow certain ethical standards when gathering news and dispensing that news to the public. These standards involve the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability. Does the mainstream media’s treatment of 9/11 uphold the above-mentioned ethical standards? I have asked several members of the mainstream media (NBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, The New York Times, CBC, CTV, Global, City, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, BBC) the following question:
I am currently writing an article for Skeptopathy Magazine on the journalistic fraud perpetuated by the mainstream media in relation to the events of 9/11, 2001. I would like to ask all the journalists and editors at [NewsOrg] a simple question. Are you smarter than a fifth grade science student?
What you might know is that as early as kindergarten, students are taught that the best explanation for something is the explanation that has the most supporting evidence. What you possibly know is that the scientific method is taught starting at least in grade five. What you probably don’t know is that a fundamental part of the scientific method taught in grade five is that facts that an explanation cannot account for prove that the explanation is wrong. What you should know is that for the main event of 9/11, the fall of the Twin Towers, there is not a single solitary shred of valid scientific evidence to support the official story of how they came down. All models and analyses concocted to date to support the official story of the collapses cannot provide scientific evidence-backed explanations for many key observations such as the explosive dust ejections (often referred to as “squibs”) or the multi-ton sections of structural steel ejected laterally at up to 70 MPH. In other words, the official story cannot explain key evidence and therefore ignores that important evidence.
Grade five students are taught that severely incomplete explanations like the official 9/11 story of the Twin Tower falls are crackpot pseudoscience. Grade five students should know that the official story is currently purely faith-based nonsense. Why don’t you know this? If you do know the official story is false why don’t you report on it?
Can I get an official response as to why [NewsOrg] steadfastly refuses to fairly and objectively cover the pronounced scientific problems with the official 9/11 story? Can I get an official response as to why [NewsOrg] refuses to entertain the controlled demolition explanation for the Twin Tower falls which is the only science-based explanation available that can explain all known evidence?
Not surprisingly I didn’t get a single response. And why would they respond? Criminals don’t tend to admit to their crimes if they think they can get away with them. The fact is that the official 9/11 story is a gigantic fraud. Anyone who understands science at a fifth grade level and actually looks at the available evidence should be able to figure this out for themselves. 9/11 has been used to start several wars making the people behind certain large companies extremely wealthy. 9/11 has resulted in a massive security state providing other companies with tremendous profits. It has provided certain countries with extensive military and economic advantages. Why would the media not report on such a massive and blatantly obvious fraud? One reason could be that they are part of the fraud. Maybe their task is to ridicule and marginalize those that are attempting to tell the truth. The media’s task then would be to hide the truth behind certain extremely profitable issues, not expose it. For all other matters of little concern to these corporate interests, mainstream journalism follows the ethical principles as usual. This is the only way the deception could be maintained without the general populace easily becoming wise to it.
An independent impartial media is crucial to a free democracy. The trouble is that the US (probably like most other democracies) is actually an oligarchy. This idea is supported by the recent paper from Princeton and Northwestern Universities. In an oligarchy, government policies cater to the wishes of a small group of extremely rich and of powerful people, rather than the wishes of the common people. These few powerful people are those that control the largest corporations. Six of these large corporations control 90% of the US media.
Now if democracies are really oligarchies that would mean the governments and their agencies would really be working for the wealthy and powerful. So would the media including their journalists and editors, whether they liked it or not. Is there evidence for this? Well we do have a lot of evidence of journalists working closely with government agencies. Take the CIA for example. The CIA has had a long history of working with mass media. In the 1950s and 1960 the CIA along with the Ford Foundation created and funded the Congress for Cultural Freedom whose purpose was to counter communism. In the 1970s the Church Committee found that “Full-time foreign correspondents for major U.S. publications have worked concurrently for CIA, passing along information received in the normal course of their regular jobs…CIA acknowledges that ‘stringers’ and others with whom the Agency has a relationship are often directed to insert Agency-composed ‘news’ articles into foreign publications and wire services. U.S. intelligence officials do not rule out the possibility that these planted stories may find their way into American newspapers from time to time”. This activity continues to this day as the case of former Los Angeles Times reporter Ken Dilanian shows. Dilanian’s close relationship with the CIA in 2012 allowed them to insert false information into his articles in order to manipulate his audience.
I’ve had some of my own personal experience with extreme bias in the media. It was with a publication on vice.com called Motherboard. They had picked up on the recent debate I had with Steven Novella and wrote a shockingly distorted one-sided portrayal of that debate. Now Vice is not mainstream media but it is a quickly growing company with increasing ties to Big Media. Last year for example, Rupert Murdoch’s corporation 21st Century Fox acquired a 5% stake. Just last month A&E Networks acquired a 10% stake. I guess Vice is letting Big Media know it’s ready to play corporate friendly pseudo-journalism.
Now the truly bizarre aspect of the Motherboard article was it was entitled “Are 9/11 Truthers Still Science-Proof?” as if 9/11 skepticism is thoroughly unscientific. Yet in the first paragraph it is implied that the official 9/11 story is gospel and debate about it is not appropriate. But anyone who understands science knows that science is not about this sort of blind dogmatic belief. Instead it is precisely about questioning things. In turn, real journalism is about reporting about events of importance to the people. This would include questioning the motives of those in positions of power and how they use that power to benefit themselves at the expense of the common people. Ben Richmond, the writer of this article and Motherboard its publisher, strangely don’t seem to understand both elementary concepts yet feel inclined to write about them. What Richmond was entirely disinclined to write about were my main points: that there was no valid evidence for the official 9/11 story and that the official story ignores key pieces of evidence that the official story can’t explain. Two of these pieces of evidence are referred to in my question to Big Media above. Both points prove that the official story is pseudoscience. In the course of the debate, I had introduced further evidence: eyewitness testimony of explosions, the missing jolts, the South Tower roll, copious thick white smoke and molten iron. Despite this obvious evidence Richmond in his peculiarly pronounced scientific illiteracy believes that I had presented no evidence for my side in the debate. He doesn’t say why my presented evidence doesn’t constitute actual scientific evidence. Dr. Novella similarly did not explain why it was not evidence. Richmond like Novella simply pretends that evidence which proves false their beliefs doesn’t exist. I don’t know about you but that sounds like neither science nor journalism.
More clues to Richmond’s scientific illiteracy show themselves in how he characterizes my position. He claims I attempted to “explain why it was really controlled demolition that brought down the Twin Towers” and that I “conclude it was controlled demolition”. These are false statements. This was supposed to be a scientific debate and in science there are no absolutes. All explanations are tentative. What I was arguing, that should be clear to anyone who can comprehend English, was that to me the controlled demolition explanation was more scientific because only it has valid scientific evidence and only it can explain all observations. So we have to ask ourselves, why is someone like Richards writing about such an important scientific topic when he appears to neither understand basic science or even elementary English comprehension? Why does he refuse to practice fair journalism by accurately getting both sides of the story? Why would Motherboard employ such a seemingly incompetent journalist as an editor? Perhaps the incompetence is just an act. Perhaps he is simply sucking up to the corporate media teat, blathering on about what they want to hear in the hopes of advancing his career. Truth be damned.
Richmonds makes the odd case that nothing could ever convince 9/11 skeptics like me of the truth by stating: “You’d think having the whole thing on tape, in the most populated city in the country would’ve been enough.” He seems to be claiming that I believe the towers did not fall down or maybe that I believe no planes hit the buildings when in fact I stated this was a definitive fact. Another fabrication of Richards was that I insulted Novella’s readers as a key part of my defence. In fact I merely stated a concluding fact that there was “copious posting of puerile sophistry from his unwavering uncritically thinking followers”. Anyone can read these comments for themselves to verify the undeniable truth of that statement. While you’re looking at those comments, note that a very high percentage involve actual insults to me personally. Why would he falsely claim that I insulted others but overlook Novella’s followers that viciously insulted me en masse? Are Richmonds investigative skills really that shoddy or is he just hoping no one will take the time to verify his pronouncements and uncover his seething bias?
This is not to single out Richards or Motherboard. Any mainstream media source would only write a similarly one-sided deceptive hit piece. Propaganda, that’s their job. Sure they’d probably use a more intelligent and careful approach, with the possible exception of Fox News of course. The fact is that the mainstream corporate media along with the mainstream alternative media is complicit in keeping the official 9/11 story fraud alive. When you are complicit in a crime you will tend not to admit your guilt but instead attack those attempting to expose your crimes. The mainstream media may be smarter than fifth grade science students, they’re just pretending that they aren’t.
1. IFJ (International Federation of Journalists) – Declaration of Principles on the Conduct of Journalists http://www.ifj.org/en/articles/status-of-journalists-and-journalism-ethics-ifj-principles
2. “ASNE (American Society of Newspapers Editors) – Statement of Principles”.
3. “APME (Associated Press Managing Editors) – Statement of Ethical Principles”.
4. “(Society of Professional Journalists) – Code of Ethics”. SPJ. R http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
5. “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens” http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%20and%20Page/Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf
6. “These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America”, Business Insider, June 14, 2012. http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6
7. “Modern Art was CIA ‘Weapon'” http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html
8. “The Select Committee’s Investigative Record”. The Village Voice. February 16, 1976. p. 88.
9. Andrew Emett, “LA Times Reporter Caught Falsifying Articles with CIA”, NationofChange , September 8, 2014 http://www.nationofchange.org/la-times-reporter-caught-falsifying-articles-cia-1410186373
10. Ben Richmond, “Are 9/11 Truthers Still Science-Proof?”, Motherboard, July 8, 2014 http://motherboard.vice.com/read/are-911-truthers-still-science-proof
Michael Fullerton is a software designer based in Vernon BC Canada. His writing explores and exposes pathological skepticism and the corporate pseudo-science it tends to serve. He also has an intense interest in organizational psychopathy, or how psychopaths rise up in organizational structures of all kinds. As a pantheist he strives to be part of the movement to unify spirituality and science.