Tag Archives: censorship

Federal Appeal Filed Challenging Florida Atlantic University’s Unconstitutional “Outside Activities” Policy

Miami, Florida – Attorneys for James Tracy filed an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit of the summary judgment rulings granted by the District Court in favor of Florida Atlantic University (“FAU”) and various public university officials. Tracy’s lawyers also argue that the jury verdict should be reversed and the Court should grant judgment in Tracy’s favor as a matter of law.

James Tracy was a distinguished tenured faculty member in FAU’s School of Communications who taught journalism history, communication theory, and courses on the media’s coverage of conspiracy theories. Tracy received awards for his work, regularly earned excellent reviews, and was a former president of the FAU faculty union.

Despite Tracy’s outstanding academic record, FAU fired Tracy in retaliation for controversial posts he made on his personal blog questioning the legitimacy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. In January 2016, FAU terminated Tracy’s tenured professorship, falsely claiming he had been “insubordinate” for failing to disclose his blogging activity under its conflict of interest outside activity Policy.

On appeal, it is argued that summary judgment should have been granted in Tracy’s favor by the District Court, since the Policy FAU used to terminate his professorship is unconstitutionally vague “because blogging is not mentioned as a potential conflict of interest, key terms used within the Policy are undefined, and FAU does not have a policy on blogging.

Over twenty professors have blogs or other online speech activities, and Tracy is the only one to have ever been required to report, much less disciplined, for failing to report under the Policy. This is all the more compelling given that Tracy’s blog was publically available and well known to FAU, and his speech was widely reported and highly controversial.”

The record demonstrates FAU’s Policy violates the First Amendment “because it fails to provide employees with a reasonable opportunity to understand what blogging it prohibits and authorizes” and the Policy “did not provide sufficient guidance as to what blogging had to be reported, it could not be enforced without reference to the content of an employee’s speech, thereby facilitating viewpoint discrimination targeting disfavored speech. Indeed, FAU found Tracy’s posting violated the Policy despite having no policy at all on blogging while it fully protected expression that it favored.”

Additionally, Tracy’s lawyers argue that the jury verdict (that Tracy’s speech was not a motivating factor in his termination) is contrary to overwhelming evidence, and no reasonable jury could have determined that Tracy’s speech was not a motivating factor in his termination because:

  • Tracy’s blogging was obviously not a conflict of interest;
  • FAU’s reason for firing Tracy was legally insufficient;
  • FAU’s history of disciplining and monitoring Tracy’s blog;
  • FAU’s selective enforcement of a vague Policy;
  • Evidence of complaints and negative publicity;
  • FAU’s termination letter citing the blog; and
  • FAU emails celebrating Tracy’s termination.

Moreover, the District Court wrongfully excluded evidence that directly impacted Tracy’s ability to enforce his rights at trial.

The full brief is available here:

See also:

Legalizing Pretext: How an American Public University Conspired to Beat the First Amendment

The Death of Academic Freedom: Professor James Tracy Denied First Amendment Rights By Federal Court

TracyvFAU: A Very Dangerous Precedent

Through Jaundiced Eyes: Palm Beach Post, Sun-Sentinal’s Hardcore Bias in TracyvFAU Coverage

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Netflix Dumps Louis Farrakhan Documentary

Censorship is as censorship does. Multi-billion dollar video streaming company Netflix will not carry a documentary film, “My Life’s Journey Through Music,” highlighting controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s musical virtuosity.

The film is produced by Minister’s Music Inc., and “features many award winning musical icons and legends from several different genres,” according to the company’s promotional site for the project available here.

Mainstream coverage of the present Netflix ban is devoid of reference to Farrakhan’s musicianship. The promo below indicates a polished production and numerous high-profile black musicians featured alongside Farrakhan throughout the film.

Needless to say Farrakhan is deemed controversial by major media and holds unconventional views on a variety of topics, including his condemnation of homosexuality and the “Satanic Jew,” the latter of which caused Twitter to temporarily censor him. Netflix announced the film would be available in August but has now pulled it, citing “an internal miscommunication.”

According to TheWrap,

Netflix will not stream a documentary about Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The documentary, titled “My Life’s Journey Through Music,” was first reported to be on the list of films coming to the streaming service in August, with Farrakhan tweeting about the documentary’s addition to the service. But Netflix says this will not be the case, blaming an error for the film being included on the list.

“Due to an internal miscommunication, it appeared to be scheduled for release on Netflix, but it is not,” said a company spokesperson. “We apologize for any confusion this has caused.”

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SGT Report Dispatched to Memory Hole

Update 7/26, 9:50AM EST: It appears that as of this writing YouTube has restored SGT Report’s channel. This is likely at least in part due to the outcry from subscribers.

Editor’s Note: We are most disturbed to find that YouTube has chosen to fully eviscerate the SGT Report channel from its platform with absolutely no true justification. The channel owner also reports that YouTube has even locked him out of his account entirely.

As many already know over the past eight years SGT has established itself as one of the finest alternative sources for political commentary and analysis available online today. At the same time, as its editor points out below, this action is something of a twisted compliment from entities who in their arrogance realize they must resort to overtly silencing those who are repeatedly at an advantage in the court of public opinion.

From  Sean, editor at SGTReport.com:

Ok, I’m feeling fairly devastated at the moment. More than 1,000 videos and interviews and more than 345,000 subscribers, gone.  You Tube terminated my You Tube channel this morning by giving me a third ‘community guidelines’ strike within a three month period.

You Tube is worse than Big Brother. In Orwell’s 1984 Winston merely altered history in newspapers to hide the truth, You Tube is deleting history all together.

Continue reading SGT Report Dispatched to Memory Hole

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Health Ranger Mike Adams Launches Video Platform

‘Real.Video’ To Host Censored Views and Analysis

NaturalNews founder Mike Adams has launched a new website, Real.Video, that he intends to open to various content creators, some of whose work has already faced censorship on corporate-controlled sites such as YouTube and Vimeo.

In this July 6 update Adams explains the need for such an outlet, noting how thus far the Beta version of the project has been deluged with thousands of requests for new accounts. As of this writing a full-fledged version of Real.Video that can accommodate this has yet to be launched.

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Florida Officials Fight to Suppress Video Footage of Parkland Shooting

If the Broward County School District and State Attorney’s Office have their way the public will never know exactly what took place on Valentine’s Day 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida. The release of such information will jeopardize the school’s security system and thus student safety, attorneys for the entities argued before the Fourth District Court of Appeals this week.

In April a lower court judge ruled that the additional video of the school’s exteriors be released after suit was brought by ten media companies. The Broward Sheriff’s Office has not joined in the appeal.

According to a Miami Herald report,

Releasing the footage could jeopardize the “integrity” of the video surveillance system at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, putting students at risk, a school board attorney told a three-judge panel at the Fourth District Court of Appeal in West Palm Beach. A lawyer representing the Broward state attorney said the footage constituted “criminal investigative information” that should not be disclosed under Florida’s broad public records law.

Some Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies are said to have taken cover during the Feb. 14 attack by former student Nikolas Cruz that killed 17 people. The exterior camera footage — sought by nearly a dozen media outlets, including the Miami Herald — may show what actions deputies took during and shortly after a six-minute shooting spree that left students and staff bleeding to death from grievous wounds.

“The footage is the only objective evidence of what occurred and when,” said Barbara Petersen, president of the First Amendment Foundation, which joined the media in suing for the footage. “The whole purpose of our open government laws is oversight and accountability. Access to the video footage allows us to hold those accountable who may not have done their jobs.”

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An Open Letter to Yale University Physics Department Chair Paul L. Tipton

By Winfield J. Abbe
(June 16, 2018)

Paul L. Tipton
Professor of Physics, Chair of Physics Department
Yale University
SPL 34 / EVN 206 / WL 235
New Haven, Connecticut
paul.tipton (at) yale.edu

Dear Professor Tipton:

You are obviously an intelligent scholar and productive physicist. Many others in the physics department at Yale University at New Haven, Connecticut are also highly qualified.

Obviously your first responsibility is to teach the subject of physics to students and to do research in unsolved problems of physics. Are these your only responsibilities? As tenured faculty members, do you have academic freedom and lifetime job protection to speak out on vital issues of public concern or don’t you?

Suppose, for example, the State of Connecticut and Federal Government sought to stage a fake shooting in your physics department. In other words suppose representatives of both governments came to you and requested and expected your cooperation and participation in a fake, staged attack, falsely represented as a real attack to the duped public. Would you, as department head, agree to such a scenario and participate in a scam to falsely represent this to the public, or would you demonstrate personal guts and courage to oppose this massive con on the public?

When you leave your office every day, do you close your eyes and ears to events happening around you? Do you fear speaking up on vital issues of public concern lest you lose some government funding or favors for being labeled a “conspiracy theorist” or face the risks of losing your job due to unfair publicity for speaking out as Professor James Tracy, Ph.D. did at Florida Atlantic University when he simply questioned the official media presentations of the Sandy Hook School Shootings December 14, 2012 in the state of Connecticut? He was subsequently fired from his job for simply expressing an opinion about some very questionable events at the Sandy Hook School Shooting. In fact, are not you and every good physicist in your department all conspiracy theorists of the highest order with a large badge “conspiracy theorist” on your chest every day whether explicitly or implicitly because isn’t this what all physicists do 24/7 in order to reach conclusions to complex problems in physics?

Is not “Conspiracy Theorist” a badge of honor for all physicists? In fact shouldn’t “Conspiracy Theorist” be a badge of honor for all good citizens? Have you ever given a lecture to any group students or otherwise on the true meaning of “Conspiracy Theorist”. Every time you claim you discovered a so called “quark” or made the claim “quarks really exist in nature” are not you in fact being a “conspiracy theorist”?

Surely Professor Tipton, the many intelligent physics professors at Yale University have not closed their eyes and minds to the many media and possibly internet media reports on the events of the alleged Sandy Hook School Shooting December 14, 2012 have they? I would bet if I could have recorded all conversations in and around your department since that day I would find many discussing this event. And since that event some very intelligent investigators have provided a mountain of evidence and facts indicating it was a fake, staged event, not a real one.

This is, at bottom, a problem in basic physics isn’t it professor Tipton? What better folks to investigate it than physicists especially the very good professors and students a Yale University right inside the small State of Connecticut? Have you ever asked any of your students to look into it? Why not? What better project to learn some real physics such as, for example, the event could not have happened if the school had been closed could it professor Tipton?

A distinguished professor, who didn’t major in physics, but philosophy instead, and even graduated from another Ivy League school Princeton University in 1962, and has a distinguished career studying artificial intelligence and many other problems, retired chaired professor Jim Fetzer, Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, has even written a book on the subject along with a number of other highly qualified authors with Ph.D. degrees.

The book was for sale for about a month on Amazon but Jeff Bezos, a summa cum laude graduate from Princeton University in Electrical Engineering in 1986, banned the book although he still sells much garbage like books on the flat earth for example. Isn’t this amazing Professor Tipton a summa cum laude graduate in electrical engineering banning a book challenging the official claims about the Sandy Hook School Shooting while not banning books claiming the earth is flat? Personally I abhor all book burnings and censorship!

Professor Tipton, the silence of you and your highly qualified physics colleagues is “DEAFENING” to put it mildly. Are all the members of the physics department at Yale University little more than gutless selfish cowards who deliberately close their eyes and ears and other senses to the fake shooting hoax at Sandy Hook School on December 14, 2012 to promote the gun control agenda in patent violation of the 2nd Amendment to our precious Constitution? I don’t like to be fooled and lied to by government professor Tipton. Do you like to be lied to by government? How about the rest of the “conspiracy theorists” on the physics faculty? Perhaps Yale University is not really a top institution of higher learning after all. Or perhaps conflicts of interest are getting in the way of the TRUTH!

Winfield J. Abbe, A.B., Physics, UC Berkeley, 1961, M.S. Physics, California State University at Los Angeles, under Professor Earl Jacobs, Ph.D., 1962; Ph.D., Physics, UC Riverside under Professor Peter Kaus, Ph.D., 1966, Institute of Science and Technology Fellow, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under Professor Marc Ross, Ph.D. 1966-1967, Faculty Member with lifetime tenure, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, 1966-1978 voluntarily resigned due mainly to lying and cheating by two deans and three department heads to the tenured faculty for over 5 years.
Born at Cleveland, Ohio, 1939, raised at Sierra Madre, California, 1943-1966, graduated Pasadena High School, Pasadena, California, 1956, Pasadena City College A.A., 1958.

Copy to Yale President Salovey c/o
Chief of Staff
April McGrath
Chief of Staff
105 Wall Street
joy.mcgrath (at) yale.edu

Copies to Professors James Tracy, Ph.D and James Fetzer, Ph.D.

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Five Years Later: An Open Letter to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Editor’s Note: Five years ago MHB posted the letter from James Tracy to the Sun-Sentinel and accompanying statements republished below. The newspaper and its editor, Howard Saltz, played key roles in circulating fraudulent and deceptive reports and commentary on the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Boston Marathon bombings, and subsequent mass casualty events, while Sun-Sentinel editorial staff took aim at FAU Professor James Tracy for analyzing such events on his personal blog, Memory Hole.

Saltz’s inflammatory articles targeting Tracy culminated in a December 11, 2015 opinion piece purportedly authored by Lenny and Veronique Pozner, parents of a Sandy Hook child victim, according to the incident’s official narrative.

Saltz was terminated by the Sun-Sentinel’s parent company, Tronc, in February 2018, just days after the major mass shooting event at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. During his seven year tenure at the paper Saltz frustrated Sentinel reporters for allegedly censoring important stories at the newspaper, with one critic calling him a “cancer on Florida journalism.”

On June 3, 2013 James Tracy sent a letter to Sun-Sentinel editor-in-chief Howard Saltz citing the paper’s repeated attacks on Tracy for publicly questioning government pronouncements and overall news coverage of the Sandy Hook massacre and Boston Marathon bombing. In a June 17 response to the letter Saltz maintains that the Sun-Sentinel’s remarks are defensible given its newsworthiness and under the tenets of free speech.

“Our news coverage has not judged the merits of your arguments,” Saltz contends. “It never will. We will report them, and let the chips fall where they may.”

Tracy’s article, “The Sandy Hook School Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information,” received wide circulation in alternative media outlets in late December, immediately prior to the Sentinel‘s string of stories and commentaries highlighting Tracy.

The letter is reprinted in its entirety below followed by excerpts from Saltz’s response.

James F. Tracy, PhD
Boca Raton, FL

June 3, 2013

Howard Saltz
Editor in Chief
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
500 East Broward Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33394

Sent Certified Mail: Return Receipt Requested

Dear Howard Saltz,

I am writing in reference to the numerous articles and opinion pieces published by the Sun-Sentinel regarding my public commentaries on the December 14, 201[2] Newtown massacre and the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Without seriously assessing what I have actually sought to argue, each of these pieces have almost without exception vigorously assailed my character and overall assessment of these public events while advocating for dismissal from my faculty post at Florida Atlantic University, implying or explicitly calling attention to my alleged moral or even mental incapacity to hold such a position. Taken as a whole, the uniformly negative nature of such articles and commentaries can be considered as nothing less than a concerted campaign against me and is arguably libelous.

The following are quotes from some of the news and opinion articles published by your newspaper since January 7, 2013:

“A communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversy at Florida Atlantic University … “ Mike Clary, “FAU Prof Stirs Controversy By Disputing Newtown Massacre,” January 7, 2013.*

“A tenured professor has to spout a lot of craziness before you can oust one … I find conspiracy theorists fascinating. They view the world through a permanent prism of distrust and paranoia. Maybe they were dropped on their head when they were babies, or it’s something in the genes.” Chan Lowe, “FAU Prof’s Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theory,” January 11, 2013.

“James Tracy still has a job at Florida Atlantic University, FAU media relations director Lisa Metcalf said Wednesday. But beyond that, she didn’t say much about Tracy, a tenured associate professor of communication who has brought much embarrassment to the university with his comments questioning the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre … I’m all for academic freedom, but there’s a not-so-fine line between critical thinking and crackpot lunacy. I sure am glad I’m not FAU president Mary Jane Saunders. I don’t know if I’d fire Tracy. Perhaps the best we can do is ignore him.” Michael Mayo, “FAU Takes Heat for Professor James Tracy’s Sandy Hook Comments,” January 24, 2013.*

“So score another one in the weird column for FAU … After taking a public relations hit last month with the wacky Internet musings of tenured communications professor James Tracy about the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre …” Michael Mayo, “FAU Stadium Deal with Prison Company is Odd Way to Feather Nest,” February 20, 2013.

“So far, 2013 has been a controversial year for the university. In January, associate professor James Tracy questioned on his personal blog whether the Sandy Hook massacre happened.” Scott Travis, “FAU Apologizes After Jesus Assignment Sparks Outrage,” March 25, 2013.*

“In January, after professor James Tracy made national news by suggesting the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre may have been staged, it took Saunders two days to release a statement saying his views were not shared by the university.” Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board, “More Missteps at FAU,” March 27, 2013.*

“Earlier this year, you had the public relations fiasco involving professor James Tracy, a tenured professor of communication who claimed that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings may not have happened, or didn’t happen as reported. The claim got national publicity, and not the good kind.” Gary Stein, “Does Stomp Jesus Show FAU Needs an Image Makeover?” March 27, 2013.*

“Unveil latest course offerings at school’s ‘edgy’ communications department: ‘Muhammad Cartoon Drawing 101,’ ‘Advanced Holocaust Denial,’ and ‘Professor James Tracy’s Lies, Damn Lies and Conspiracies.’” Michael Mayo, “How Low Can FAU Go?” March 27, 2013.

“ … professor James Tracy’s blog musings about the Sandy Hook massacre … “ Michael Mayo, “FAU President Says She’s ‘Totally Secure’ in Job,” April 3, 2013.

“ … FAU’s conspiracy theorist.” Scott Travis, “Controversial FAU Professor Questions Boston Bombing,” April 23, 2013.

“‘Our own FAU handbook says an employee may be terminated for questionable conduct, professional or personal,’ [FAU] trustee Robert Rubin said. ‘And what Professor Tracy said wasn’t?’ But making comments that are embarrassing to a university is not grounds to fire a tenured professor … “ Scott Travis, “Controversial FAU Professor Questions Boston Bombing,” April 23, 2013.

“Tracy’s Sandy Hook postings received nationwide attention and prompted FAU to issue him a formal reprimand.” Scott Travis, “Controversial FAU Professor Questions Boston Bombing,” April 23, 2013.*

“Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy … obviously needs a hobby so he can stop coming up with crackpot theories.” Gary Stein, “Should the FAU Professor be Fired for Off-the-Wall Theories?” April 25, 2013.

“FAU Professor James Tracy offered his opinion on the recent events that occurred in Boston in the Sun Sentinel on April 24 … While the vast majority of our university professors tend to be to the left of the political spectrum, most of them try to minimize mixing their ideological views with their professional responsibilities. There are others however, who use their title and position to intimidate and coerce students who do not subscribe to their way of thinking.” Caren Besner, “Some Professors Trying to Force Views on Students,” May 7, 2013.

“Forget the Clowns, Send in the headlines! … James Tracy’s musings …” Michael Mayo, “More Questions at FAU,” May 8, 2013.

“And everyone got mad when tenured communications professor James Tracy started spouting conspiracy theories about the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre and Boston Marathon bombings on his personal blog.” Michael Mayo, “FAU President’s Resignation No Surprise,” May 15, 2013.

“It didn’t help that Saunders had to deal with a wacko professor who twice made national news for doubting the veracity of the massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary School and later, the Boston Marathon.” Sun-Sentinel Editorial Staff, “What’s Next for FAU, Given It’s President’s Resignation,” May 16, 2013.

“As president, [Mary Jane Saunders] could not be blamed for the antics of some of her faculty (conspiracy theories …), Chan Lowe, “FAU’s Saunders Resigns,” May 16, 2013.

*Note: The memoryholeblog.com site had existed since March 2012. The blog and I were thrust into the national news only after the Sun-Sentinel published its January 7, 2013 story, “FAU Prof Stirs Controversy by Disputing Newtown Massacre.” Thereafter the Sun-Sentinel repeatedly refers to the “controversy,” suggesting its spontaneity, even though the paper played a major role in initiating and perpetuating it.

Published Letters to the Editor

“But I was also dismayed because the Sun Sentinel chose to put the article on the front page, needlessly giving more attention to this nut-case than he deserves.” Richard Mangan, “Give FAU a Break,” April 28, 2013.

“FAU professor James Tracy certainly has to have his First Amendment rights protected. However, if the students are as rankled by his blogs as many of us are, just don’t register for any of his classes.” Mike Marcus, “Don’t Attend James Tracy’s Classes,” April 28, 2013.

“When will this insanity stop? FAU associate professor James Tracy should be fired immediately. A person with his kind of thoughts has no place teaching young adults. Who knows what a mentally disturbed person like Tracy could do in the future. Let us stop hiding behind tenure.” David Hofield, “Why Should Tracy’s Tenure Matter,” April 28, 2013.

As the above examples clearly indicate, the Sun-Sentinel has repeatedly attacked my person and character. Your paper and staff have on numerous occasions published material suggesting that I be relieved of my position. At no time, however, has your paper sought to seriously dispute what I have said or written concerning Sandy Hook or Boston, instead choosing to ride the tide of poorly informed public outrage it has played a major role in fomenting. Such conduct is not so much journalistic as it is political.

As noted above, the entire controversy regarding my analysis of Sandy Hook massacre news coverage can be traced to a January 7 story written by Sun-Sentinel senior reporter Mike Clary. Clary expressed his delight that the story was picked up nationally in a January 8, 2013 telephone conversation with me. He again drew attention to this a few days later in a follow-up piece. “A Monday story in the Sun Sentinel in which Tracy discussed his views went viral and touched off a firestorm of controversy,” Clary wrote. “While many callers and emailers defended or even applauded Tracy’s remarks, others, including current and former FAU students, said they found his theories outrageous and offensive.” Mike Clary, “FAU Prof Should Be Fired, Newtown Official Says,” January 10, 2013.

Thus much of the “controversy” the Sun-Sentinel repeatedly points to with the underlying suggestion that it is spontaneous can be traced to its initial story—a story that your staff clearly sought to make as sensationalistic as possible. On the evening of January 7 in a telephone discussion with Mr. Clary, your reporter forcefully and repeatedly pushed me to assert that the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was staged. He seemed irritated when I responded to his queries by remarking, “It’s a possibility,” or “The coverage suggests that it may have been.” My responses mirror the commentaries on my blog.

Further, in our initial telephone interview on the afternoon of January 7 Clary sought to question me under a false pretense—stating that he had been informed that the FAU administration was potentially initiating disciplinary action against me because of my blog. I have been told by one reliable party working within the FAU administration at the time that administrators knew nothing of my blog until Clary’s January 7 article was published and thereafter became a national story. Indeed, I was never spoken to by administrators about my blogging until January [18], [two] weeks after Clary’s initial story ran.

I have done a considerable degree of research on both the Newtown massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing. With the above in mind, and since the Sun-Sentinel is a newspaper with a skilled staff and a significant regional and national influence, I formally challenge you or any member of your editorial or reportorial staff to a public debate on the veracity of either Sandy Hook or the Boston Marathon events as related by government and law enforcement agencies, as well as in your newspaper and by the US press more broadly, versus the arguments that I have put forth.

I am sure you will agree that such a dialogue will be of special value since it will move us beyond tactless name calling and toward consideration of substantive evidence and analysis of events with major import. If you are confident enough in your particulars of how each of the events transpired, as suggested by the paper’s continued publication of such such serious and continual denunciations of my being and character, I am confident that you or your staff will be pleased to engage me in such an exchange.

If you agree to my challenge, arrangements for a suitable public forum and accommodations will be negotiated between your staff and me. If the Sun-Sentinel prevails in such a debate the public will be reassured of the paper’s devotion to truth, journalistic integrity, and the censures of me will be wholly justified. I will thereafter devote myself to further contemplating and learning from the flurry of disparaging coverage and remarks your staff and its regional broadcast peers have directed toward me and my person. If you are not successful in the exchange you will publicly apologize for the uniformly negative series of reports and commentaries your newspaper has published about me over the past five months.

Thank you for your consideration of the above. I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

James F. Tracy, PhD
561-___-____

On June 17 Mr. Saltz replied to the above correspondence via email, making the following points quoted verbatim here:

  • There is no concerted effort. Reporters and columnists are looking for stories, as they always do. And they’re finding stories in this situation.

  • Are the stories you cite legitimately newsworthy? I say yes. You’re a high-profile member of the community, in a position to influence others, espousing viewpoints that are unusual and perhaps inflammatory. That’s newsworthy, almost by definition.

  • You suggest in your letter that you may have been libeled. I am quite comfortable in my belief that the SunSentinel has not libeled you. We will therefore act accordingly.

  • The facts provided in the articles are, to the best of my knowledge, correct and true. If you believe there is an error of fact in our coverage, please feel free to tell me. You have not cited any in your letter.

  • The opinions expressed are within the bounds of fair comment. You advocate unusual theories; people will always challenge unusual theories and, perhaps unfortunately, some will be offensive in doing so. The people expressing these opinions are using the same free-speech right with which you espouse your views.

  • We would not engage in debate. That’s not what newspapers do. Your suggestion confuses our reporting of positions contrary to yours with taking positions contrary to yours. They are not the same thing.  If you engage in a public debate with someone else, we would report that. You could also express your views on the Newtown and Boston Marathon situations in an op-ed article; I would be happy to publish it.

Our news coverage has not judged the merits of your arguments. It never will. We will report them, and let the chips fall where they may.

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