James Tracy: In Solidarity with Alex Jones: US News Media Targeted Professor for Questioning Sandy Hook While Failing To Do Theirs – Fake News Indeed
I am a former Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). In early 2013, I became the target of a smear campaign led by prominent news media after I questioned coverage of the 14 December 2012 Sandy Hook massacre. The media called on FAU to fire me because of my concerns. I therefore appreciate your clear condemnation of the Mainstream Media (MSM) for “fake news” where those posing as journalists spread falsehoods and propaganda.
As a student of news narratives for nearly two decades, I observed several contradictions and anomalies in the media’s presentation of the Sandy Hook event. Following the shooting, for example, emergency response protocols were abandoned and first responders were refused entry to school grounds. Authorities apprehended an alleged gunman but placed him in the front seatof a police car.
WordPress just suspended my interim blog The Fundamental Option as well. That blog has been active for only the past 2 days, so what possible "terms of service" could have have violated? It's war, folks. America is entering into very dark days. Be prepared.
In the latest action suppressing online political speech the always informative and entertaining FellowshipoftheMinds blog (FOTM) has not just just been censored, but entirely removed from the internet.
Automatic, the San Francisco-based online behemoth that operates WordPress.com and provides services to virtually thousands of bloggers worldwide, took the action against FOTM’s owner and editor without warning earlier today.
Editor’s Note: This is one among a series of memoranda directed to President Donald Trump solicited from notable experts and Sandy Hook researchers by former CIA officer and author Robert David Steele. Those that have been heretofore published are available at Mr. Steele’s PhiBetaIota website here.
John Remington Graham, Esq.: In Solidarity with Alex Jones
The litigation against Alex Jones in state courts of Connecticut is plainly an abuse of process, impossible to institute and press in an uncorrupt and honest manner, and designed to intimidate any and all journalists who dare to contend that the alleged shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 was a staged event, meant to shape public opinion in favor of gun control legislation, but so poorly orchestrated by public authority and major news media that many eminent observers have seen through the official story and understood something closer to the truth. The idea that damages for defamation could be lawfully granted against Jones is patently absurd in light of seminal authority long ago established in New York Times v. Sullivan, 376 U. S.254 (1964), and Garrison v. Louisiana, 379 U. S.64 (1974).
The episode at Sandy Hook can be and has been studied in various degrees of depth, but we can know that Sandy Hook was a hoax, as surely we can know that the intelligence of the American people was insulted by the news media reports and the Warren Commission concerning the murder of John F. Kennedy which led to the tragedy of the Vietnam War. As was once observed by Lord Acton, “Historic responsibility has to make up for want of legal responsibility.” And there is our consolation. Death has intervened to prevent temporal justice against those who plotted the death of Kennedy, but we know who they were, and we are beginning to learn lessons from their crimes for the good of our country.
Ignores How FAU is Imposing an Unconstitutional Prior Restraint on Its Faculty
Editor’s Note: As we have noted (e.g. here, here, and here), the Palm Beach Post and South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s TracyvFAU coverage suggests how their editorial boards live in a parallel universe when it comes to accurately reporting on such a significant First Amendment case. One exhibit is the excerpted August 6 article below, the spin of which denigrates Tracy while defending major media’s dubious narrative of the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre event.
In this instance we acknowledge that court reporter Jane Musgrave must have in fact read the entire appellate brief (or larger portions thereof) than a previous story suggests since she accurately references the name of its principal author.
However, the report fundamentally misses the crux of the case itself. The TracyvFAU appeal does not simply involve “former Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy[‘s] … right to call Sandy Hook a hoax,” or his “ongoing quest to get his job back,” as Musgrave’s simplistic storyline suggests.
Rather, the case and appeal encompass the guaranteed free speech rights of every university faculty member at FAU and throughout the United States. In fact, the newspaper disregards what we make perfectly clear in last week’s public statement on the appeal:
Here’s what the Post’s overall coverage of TracyvFAU (perhaps intentionally) overlooks: FAU is using a policy derived from Florida State Statute as a prior restraint that intimidates with the threat of formal discipline all FAU faculty and staff members from commenting on matters of public concern, or making practically any public remark that could potentially displease FAU administrators and/or trustees, State University System of Florida officials, or the Governor of Florida himself.
Academic freedom and free speech at American universities should not resemble that of Communist China’s. Yet it would be difficult to conceive of a policy that is more openly hostile to the fundamental academic freedom and free speech tenets of any self-respecting US university.
Fired FAU professor declares it’s his right to call Sandy Hook a hoax
Lashing out at his former bosses and a federal judge, former Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy is back in court, again claiming he was wrongfully fired for publicly and repeatedly proclaiming that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.
In his ongoing quest to get his job back, Tracy insists a federal jury got it wrong in December when it decided the university fired him for insubordination, rather than for his conspiracy theories about the 2012 Connecticut school shootingthat left 26 children and teachers dead.
“FAU fired Tracy in retaliation for controversial posts he made on his personal blog regarding the legitimacy of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre,” attorney Richard Ovelmen wrote in a 63-page appeal filed last week with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal.
The university’s claims that it fired Tracy because he failed to report his work on his controversial blog, Memory Hole, are nothing more than a ruse, Ovelmen told the Atlanta-based appeals court.
As proof, Ovelmen points out that at least 20 other FAU professors regularly post their views on social media. None has been required to report their activity to school officials, much less been disciplined, he wrote.
FAU administrators targeted Tracy after news of his blog ignited a firestorm of protest with scores of letters and phone calls streaming into the Boca Raton-based school, demanding his ouster.
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.
An excerpt from #TracyvFAU appeal brief, filed yesterday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
This is what an unconstitutional #PriorRestraint at a public university looks like.
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.
Inflammatory radio host Alex Jones is besieged with lawsuits brought by Sandy Hook parents who claim to be “defamed” by the content of his broadcasts. America’s loudest rant monger appears to be fulfilling a central role in a broader play that could seriously undermine the First Amendment.
Most recently Jones, who maintain via his counsel that the Newtown massacre itself was genuine, has agreed to defray the plaintiffs’ court costs for bringing suit in Texas should the judge find it frivolous. Concurrently media platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Spotify are now censoring “Infowars” for purported “hateful” content.
Jones’ ex-wife and conflict-of-interest show boater Kelly Jones is allying with parents of the children who are reported to have died in the 2012 school shooting by picketing an August 1st Texas court hearing with a sign reading, “Texans For Sandy Hook Justice,” NBC News reports.
Ms. Jones won a vicious child custody battle with the radio personality in July 2018. Jones asserts that she was present during the creation of InfoWars, “and I’m trying to make that right.”
These people not only lost their children in the most horrible way that you can imagine – I mean, unspeakable – but they’ve been harassed by his audience. They’ve had to move houses. They had people come up to them and say that their children didn’t even exist.
As this storyline goes, while the Sandy Hook parents lost their children in December 2012 Kelly Jones saved hers from America’s most prominent career “conspiracy theorist.”
A deeper dimension to this unfolding scenario is the fact that both Kelly Jones, Jones’ children, and the parent-plaintiffs squaring off against Alex in Texas are Jewish.
This aspect of the saga would not be worth noting at least in passing if not for the fact that certain Jewish-led “civil right groups,” including as the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center, have long-sought to topple the American ideal of free speech ensconced in the First Amendment.
These interests and the powerful forces they represent would much rather have the United States temper free speech rights by taking away the rights of those expressing “hate speech,” which in reality translates to any political speech the deep-pocketed sponsors of such groups deem undesirable.
One way to seriously cripple if not eliminate free speech is via a “Trojan horse” like Alex Jones. Despite the swaggering Texan’s professed expertise in conspiracy investigation Jones cannot seem to make heads nor tails of the Sandy Hook massacre.
But that’s not all. Jones has been caught censoring actual research addressing the event, and through this ham-fisted performance has set himself up to take the fall that will likewise bring down US free speech rights.
the broadcaster has waffled so much on Sandy Hook that it’s difficult not to believe that he isn’t a pre-designated foil in a broader play to defeat what’s left of speech freedoms in the United States.
There is a well-known theory that 1980s comedian Bill Hicks faked his unusual death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 32 (pseudocide) and has ever since been playing the character Alex Jones since the mid-1990s. Although the idea seems far-fetched, the fact is that celebrities with substantial means have “faked their deaths” for many years to assume a new life and identity.
“Some people fake their death to avoid jail or get away with a crime” according to Psychology Today. “[O]thers want to escape debt, a stalker, or a burdensome relationship.”
“’If you want to disappear and do it right,’” writes author Elizabeth Greenwood,
“the planning is not for the faint of heart, or the careless.” She proves this throughout her book. The question for those who want to reinvent themselves is whether they can ever completely leave their lives behind. Many think they can do it for a period of time, but expect to pick it back up at some point. To really be successful at pseudocide, though, it seems one must be able to walk away—and stay away—from everything. This includes family, medical records, bank accounts, social media, cars, and your reputation as an honest person.
Even Vice News calls pseudocide “a timeworn tradition” among the laity. Is this also the case with the victims of mass casualty events … and perhaps the successful radio persona whose attorney admits is “a performance artist playing a character”? If by chance Alex Jones is Hicks’ invention he could not have pulled this stunt off for two decades without certain lettered agencies’ complicity. And for this he is indebted to them.
If one is going to file a civil claim that someone’s speech is actionable then it is tremendously helpful to have a “friendly” defendant. Just ask German-born journalist Richard Gutjahr, who is closely allied with the Sandy Hook parents bringing suit against Alex Jones in Texas. Gutjahr says he was encouraged by “Sandy Hook parent” Lenny Pozner and supports the lawsuit against Jones. Gutjahr is of the litigious sort, of which more below.
As some may recall, Richard Gutjahr is so anxious for a scoop that he was present to document both the July 14, 2016 “Nice truck attack” and the July 22, 2016 “Munich shooting.”
Gutjahr’s wife, Israeli-born Einat Wilf, is an outspoken Harvard and Cambridge-educated foreign policy advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. Wilf’s additional credentials include serving as a lieutenant in the Israeli Defense Forces’ intelligence division and fulfilling a partial term in the Knesset.
Thus it is perhaps ironic that both Gutjahr and Pozner have wives capable of potentially operating under intelligence cover and likely even diplomatic immunity if necessary. We have been apprised, for example, by parties with considerable investigative capacity that it is close to impossible to ascertain the actual background of one “Veronique De La Rosa.”
Along these lines, more than a few individuals have preferred the compelling and plausible notion that Jones is in fact an imposter, and thus a double agent of sorts.
In the 2017 presentation below Gutjahr’ (at 13:19) discusses his would-be persecution at the hands of “hoaxers”and a strategy of waging legal battles in order to stifle anyone who might question the “on-air talent” in dubious public events.
Lenny [Pozner] and I, we talked many, many times online, and he told me about the so-called “truthers,” the so called “hoaxers.” People who get a kick out of it, to have that power over other people. And who actually also get paid for their ‘work’ by YouTube.
Now Lenny told me, “Look, Richard, you can either continue whining, or you start to get back on your feet and start fighting [sic]. It’s gonna be hard, it’s gonna be long, it’s gonna be painful, but you can actually do something against them. And so I did. [Applause.]
Not on-only I took one lawyer, I took two lawyers [sic], and from that day on they took care of Facebook and of Google. We keep on, like, telling them, “This is wrong, this is wrong. We have this court order, this court order. So we’re really a pain in the neck. And you know what? It feels really good to have somebody speaking up for you-finally.
Despite the fact that Gutjahr is “lawyered up,” he can’t seem to prevail in court. Earlier this year the ubiquitous journalist suffered a stinging defeat after suing independent German investigative journalist Gerhard Wisnewski in the district court of Cologne. The reason? Wisnewski pondered whether Guthahr’s presence at both the Nice truck attack and Munich shooting was coincidental, or may have involved some type of foreknowledge.
Gutjahr’s extravagant complaint suggested that Wisnewski’s reporting on possible prior knowledge involved omission, thus defaming Gutjahr’s by generating suspicion that his motives were for professional advancement. As the defendant explains,
In the eyes of Gutjahr and his lawyer, [I] suspected him of a crime under § 138 penal code (Strafgesetzbuch; “non-disclosure of planned crime”). “A far-fetched assertion. This was never the subject of my reporting, It was all about the abstract possibility of prior knowledge, so only about a cognitive process and the question of how the reporter could have been in two alleged terror locations or in the immediate vicinity within a week.”
A verdict favoring Gutjahr’s in Cologne was thrown out on appeal, with the higher court reminding Gutjahr that he must “accept critical illumination of his activities by his peers.” In Wisnewski’s view, “the case developed toward a judicial disaster for Gutjahr.”
While their approaches differ, Gutjahr’s case and the defamation actions of the numerous Sandy Hook parents share the same target, namely the free speech that prompts the public to question the sometimes unlikely narratives of government and its corporate media allies. If a verdict against America’s biggest carnival barker can be secured everything beyond the pale of government and corporate news pronouncements becomes fair game.
Who benefits? Is it those who have something to hide? Who would rather cry, “Hate speech!” and thereby attack the messenger instead of having a fair debate where such speech, if it is truly without foundation might be confronted and dismantled once and for all?
In the case of Sandy Hook especially the petitioners employ an entirely different method, imploring the general public to viscerally identify with their persecution and suffering–with, as Kelly Jones puts it, those who “lost their children in the most horrible way,” and who must thereafter be “harassed by [Alex Jones’] audience.”
This dramatic plea combined with Jones’ over-the-top “performance art” distracts everyday spectators from considering the events in question and, moreover, the “hoaxers” and “conspiracy theorists” who’ve raised the very questions that most salaried journalists have either long abandoned or must consciously dismiss for fear of losing their own livelihoods.
One thing is certain: Richard Gutjahr might have won his court case, if only the defendant was as eager to forfeit his free speech rights as Alex Jones appears to be.