In the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting public incredulity with the official version of events led to numerous speculations on what really happened. In short order corporate media marshaled pundits to disparage such alternative interpretations as “conspiracy theories” and the work of deranged and even malevolent Sandy Hook “truthers.”
The now-prevalent phenomenon where only the narratives authorized by law enforcement and government authorities are worthy of serious consideration suggests the unmistakable extent to which public discourse has declined. In such an ideational system journalists and academics are expected to either fall silent or perform the rearguard action of deflecting criticism from the state.
Continue reading In Search of the Last Liberal Intellectual
(Originally received January 22, 2013)
Dear Dr. Heather Coltman and Dr. Diane Alperin,
I have examined Professor James Tracy’s writings regarding the Newtown, Conn., massacre and I am briefly presenting a case-study to you on how a university can deal with this situation. I was awarded by the University of Toronto for my documentary entitled 9/11 in the Academic Community which examines how academia treats critical perspectives of media or governmental narratives.
Continue reading Open Letter to FAU Administration by Filmmaker Adnan Zuberi
Updated February 24, 2013
(This post has also been appended to Dr. Fetzer’s Open Letter.)
(1) After posting my “Open Letter” on his blog, James Tracy received the following complaint:
Updated February 24, 2013
Because James Tracy and I have been attacked as faculty members–I am now retired, while he is not–for speaking out about Sandy Hook, I would observe that this is a very messy case and that serious questions are being raised about it from a wide range of perspectives. It is clearly complex and controversial but also falls squarely within Dr. Tracy’s areas of professional competence, which include conspiracy theories and culture, malfeasance by the media and related issues. Tenure was created to protect faculty from the political consequences that might otherwise attend addressing complex and controversial matters of this very kind.
Continue reading An Open Letter to FAU Faculty, Staff and Administration about Sandy Hook
January 21, 2013
Dear Florida Atlantic University administrators:
I am writing to express support for Dr. Tracy’s right to express his views and pose his questions. Indeed, as an associate professor, he has a professional responsibility to do so. Sadly, voicing unpopular views is a responsibility that is largely neglected in the academy. And even if Dr. Tracy has made some misjudgments regarding the present case (about which I reserve judgment), at least he has demonstrated an uncommon degree of courage in voicing opinions that risk engendering personal troubles. We would be better off with more professors willing to do that, even if it occasionally causes discomfort. For sometimes troubling views are both true and important.
Continue reading An Open Letter In Support of Dr. Tracy and Academic Freedom
The producers of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360° have invited me to appear on tonight’s broadcast to discuss this week’s controversy surrounding my articles on the Sandy Hook tragedy. Unfortunately, I am at present unable to accommodate this request. CNN has asked for a written statement from me to present in my absence. This statement, issued to a CNN representative late this afternoon, appears in its entirety below.
Link to January 11, 2013 Anderson Cooper 360° episode.
Continue reading Public Statement via CNN