Jeremy Scahill Attacks Alex Jones, Defends “Real Journalism”

By James F. Tracy

Progressive-left media icon Jeremy Scahill told a caller to C-SPAN’s Book TV that Austin Texas talk show host Alex Jones is a “lunatic” and a significant detriment to “real journalism that journalists are doing.”

Scahill was asked who he thought represented “the most legimate … form of journalism”–Jones or Amy Goodman. “[I have] to be very careful about choosing my words here,” Scahill cautioned. The writer then proceeded to call Jones an “absolute, die-hard lunatic, and to even mention him in the same sentence as Amy Goodman is an incredible insult to Amy Goodman.”

Scahill continued,

Alex Jones has forwarded some of the most outrageous, ridiculous conspiracy theories about how the world works. And whatever good he might be doing in what he does is completely overshadowed by the fact that he is pushing outright lies and propaganda on a regular basis and I think that it ultimately subverts the importance of real journalism that independent journalists are doing on a regular basis by giving the impression that everyone’s running around wearing a tin foil hat.

The progressive author’s outburst begs the question, What exactly is “real journalism”? What are the characteristics of “alternative media”? Who has a legitimate claim to that mantle? And, what broader interests do attacks like these serve? This arguably has far less to do with journalistic legitimacy and a sincere regard for truth than it does with the less-apparent forces that seek to define political debate–and division.

The Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the foundation-funded Nation Institute, Scahill previously worked as a producer on Goodman’s Democracy Now! news program, also a major recipient of foundation funding. Scahill is also a frequent guest on corporate news outlet MSNBC.

Does money from philanthropic foundations predispose progressive media figures to cast aspersion on public gadflies who defy easy left/right categorization? Closely resembling typical attacks from the left, Scahill appears to have no option but to dismiss such alternative journalists and commentators as “conspiracy theorists,” or otherwise as wholly irrational. This renders such figures outside the parameters of what Scahill and his coterie perceive as legitimate debate. Nevermind the journalistic burden of proof that rightly accompanies such accusations.

A recent exchange on Facebook facilitated by a colleague with media critic Steve Rendall of progressive media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) is illustrative of the vulnerability such individuals have when the conversation turns to the question of financing.

Rendall took issue with an article I wrote specifically addressing the relationship between foundation funding and the independence of news media professing to be “alternative” or “radical.” Rendall argued that I was not placing Noam Chomsky in proper context, which I viewed as a red herring to my original premise.

I proceeded to point out how FAIR was the recipient of $3.5 million in funding between 2007 and 2011, and that this should be made note of, particularly in light of my article’s subject matter. A portion of FAIR’s income stream came from major foundations, including Ford.

At the suggestion of FAIR’s funding, Rendall turned hostile, noting that if it were not for such foundation-funded entities the “US left would be nearly non-existent.”

I don’t hide who I am. Anyone who cares, can look me up. And FAIR is a 501c3, or not-for-profit organization. Our status and major donations are a matter of public record. So you can stop pretending like you’ve done some kind of deep sleuthing.

Most of our money comes from individual contributors, but we get some foundation money. I wish we got more. The US left would be nearly non-existent without non-profits like Pacifica, Democracy Now!, and many others. (My emphasis.)

But seriously James, Global Research? Really? What’s the matter, Infowars or Michael Ruppert didn’t have any “dirt” on FAIR?

Poorly-reasoned and even vitriolic remarks like Scahill’s and Rendall’s must be placed in a broader context. Are they really speaking to their readerships? Certainly to some degree, for many of their adherents see themselves as similarly partisan in terms of social justice and the environment-related issues.

Yet such statements are also no doubt directed toward parties outside the tent–those that provide them with the financial means to enact their projects–and perhaps even motivated by an intelligence community that has an established history in promoting such confusion and disinformation to thwart serious challenges to the political-economic status quo.

The greatest challenge to that status quo might be waged once those on the “left” and “right” move beyond their politics of imagined opinion and allegiance toward a common understanding of the oppressive forces arrayed against them.

108 thoughts on “Jeremy Scahill Attacks Alex Jones, Defends “Real Journalism””

  1. It really doesn’t matter what the pressitutes say about one another. This is just in-house squabbling over the perception that one presstitute may receive more of the limelight than another.

  2. > ‘… noting that if it were not for such foundation-funded entities the “US left would be nearly non-existent.”’

    i think he means ‘.. would be beyond central, authoritarian control’

  3. Starting with Scahill’s comments: He is defending his career choices. He knows where the left-wing sits on issues of international import and walks a careful straight line, never veering needlessly off the official “party” agenda. They can’t forever pretend they don’t have one. You won’t detect the crafty bits of agitprop if you are tone deaf to the ’cause.’ Goodman is beating the drum for the global warming initiative, attending all the confabs and never questioning the major premise. I have never heard her broach the theories of HAARP manipulation of the weather or chemtrails; if she has, they are not high on her list of things to do. She adheres to the leftist investment in what I would surmise to be a well-ordered world, i.e., happy planetary governance.

    Ironically, she seems to be on the same wave length as Bill Gates and David Rockefeller and their ilk. Strange bedfellows indeed. Speaking of foundations:

  4. I believe it was Spinoza who opined that opinion was the lowest form of knowledge. Everybody has opinions. But facts, although stubborn things, are something you have to find out or else get second-hand and trust that the person reporting them is accurate. In the real world, nobody in science or industry can afford to swallow an entire grab-bag of so-called facts without testing every part of the statement. In the news business, it’s a game of totem-pole hearsay, where facts don’t seem to matter so much as attitude and opinion, being on the “right side of history”, and all that stuff.

    When you actually sit down with someone coming from a different culture, you might see that they do not give as much credit to your opinionators.

    In fact a person from somewhere else might have no trouble understanding that conspiracies and lies are the stuff of government, and that finding out what really happened is no mean feat.

    But Americans tend to live in a bubble, few of even wealthy ones having traveled abroad except to resorts. It doesn’t help to give you a sense of reality.

    The ad campaigns of recent synthetic terror attacks are perhaps justified in the minds of those waging them because they really didn’t kill anyone to get the stories out. This helps them to retain a sense of being “good guys” even though the impressions they created allowed others to justify attacks on people which really did kill and maim.

    The effectiveness of such ad campaigns as Sandy Hook and the Marathon might be rather poor, selling products people don’t really want very much. But worst of all is the mind-set that would even consider such things somehow vital to our security. That is what is really scary, because it is a post-rational and hysterical society they are aiming at, one where people are reduced to permanent childhood and thus slavery.

  5. Money donated by foundations to so-called left-wing organizations or individuals is another form of social control. (i.e.know your enemy)

  6. With the few of us having suspicions over the legitimacy of Edward Snowden, it’s reasonable to be suspicious of Glenn Greenwald. Back in the 2004 – 2008 timeframe I noticed that Greenwald and Scahill were being lauded as unparalleled examples of muckraking journalists. For some reason, I viewed them as being in the same league which was probably the media’s doing.

    Now, learning that Scahill was a Democracy Now! producer causes me to wonder without the connection to Greenwald. I guess there’s a possibility that any self-censoring or unethical reporting from Scahill or other mouthpieces of the left might not be intentional. Of course the notion that they’re spinning the news under direct orders is more realistic. Although, I’m not convinced of either being true.

    The bottom line is that it’s very hard to accept Scahill truly views Alex Jones as somehow unqualified to be a journalist. Maybe the truth is that Jones is “unauthorized.”

    Fundamentally, what service does the media (MSM and alternative) provide the citizenry that is absolutely needed? Can Americans, for instance go for a long stretch without access to the “news?” I greatly appreciate alternative news sources, but my existence isn’t reliant upon them.

    If we were to believe Bill Colby, speaking on the issue back in the ’70s the agencies of government are deeply entrenched in most media institutions. Add the potential for similar problems in alternative media and the likelihood that society can figure out the problem, let alone fix it seems remote. That’s why I’m a proponent of taking action to prevent the media’s transmission capabilities. If it’s all propaganda, then it won’t really matter if nobody can see it. Sure, I get many comments from people who view this as violent and unlawful. Violent? Certainly vandalism. Unlawful? Definitely illegal.

    For those who have a better understanding of Sandy Hook, just imagine how effective that whole strategy would have been without benefit of the media. So, can you see the upside?

  7. Alex Jones has been dismissed by many credible sources and real journalists. This bearded monkey does not impress me. Follow the money, the best journalists are not entertaining people but actually doing the hard work.

  8. Well,There you have it…the last word! There is nothing better than going to the used car salesman(Scahill) to ask his opinion of his old beater rusting on the back row. Love Alex or hate him…at least you must admit he gets off his ass and gets out in the field!

  9. “Are they really speaking to their readerships? Certainly to some degree, for many of their adherents see themselves as similarly partisan in terms of social justice and the environment-related issues.

    “Yet such statements are also no doubt directed toward parties outside the tent–those that provide them with the financial means to enact their projects–and perhaps even motivated by an intelligence community that has an established history in promoting such confusion and disinformation to thwart serious challenges to the political-economic status quo.”

    This is shadow boxing.

    As always, James, when you broach this subject, I ask what is the “left”?

    Here is your concluding paragraph:

    “The greatest challenge to that status quo might be waged once those on the “left” and “right” move beyond their politics of imagined opinion and allegiance toward a common understanding of the oppressive forces arrayed against them.”

    The consumer of the foundation-financed leftish organs, no doubt, “see themselves as partisan in terms of social justice and the environment-related issues”; those organs constantly tell them that the “right” is opposed to those things. So they believe it. It is a religious identification, a kind of ideological patriotism.

    But these same people think fascism is an expression of the “right” (because these elfish organs tell them that, constantly). They think 1984 is not an expression of the left. They have no idea that the left is about collectivism. Believe me. I was one of them. I lived for years in the doublethink cloud, where, a socialist revolution would also enable me to express my individuality completely. I was a fool. Orwell was pulling the curtain away from the Wizard of Oz, the Fabian Society. The Gramscian strategy to gradually dechristionize the West, tricking us into accepting totalitarianism–which is the end project of leftism. If one wants to know what leftism is, all they have to do is read 1984. But these leftish media organs will never reveal that fact. Why?

    The great tax-exempt foundations were created to accomplish this Gramscian strategy. The people they finance are required to trick the people who “see themselves as similarly partisan in terms of social justice and the environment-related issues.” So he is quite correct, when he says that “The US left would be nearly non-existent without non-profits like Pacifica, Democracy Now!,…” No one would buy what they were selling, if they knew that it was signing up for Winston Smith’s so-called life.

    In truth, the “right” is the opposite of collectivism. So your concluding paragraph is exactly correct. The idealists being tricked by the foundation-funded organs of the left are really libertarians: they want all the things libertarians want, and none of the things the fabian socialists are conspiring to force upon us.

    So, as I said, this is shadow boxing. These leftists’ high dudgeon is strictly for show. They want what the foundations are paying them to accomplish: a total state. Their job is to hoodwink their gullible, idealistic audience into doublethink.

    You, James, are constantly frustrated by this conundrum. You shouldn’t be. Relax, let go, and acknowledge that you are really a libertarian. The Republicans hate us. That’s better than winning a phony attaboy by sellouts and cowards, any day.

  10. (by the “old beater” I am referring to the “Mainstream Media” btw) I very much appreciate the opinions expressed here,too.

  11. I also guess the “real journalist”(Scahill) is the pusher of real” lies” and “propaganda” rather than the unauthorized versions from anyone else,such as Alex Jones. hmmmmm

  12. “The greatest challenge to that status quo might be waged once those on the “left” and “right” move beyond their politics of imagined opinion and allegiance toward a common understanding of the oppressive forces arrayed against them.”


  13. They say truth is in the eye of the beholder…but what happens when your vision is fogged by an outside influence? How can anyone see clearly through the fog? And what about those who think they see clearly but are in all honesty just as fog shrouded as anybody else? And that raises another question….who would follow or listen to anyone who is seeing through a fog or potentially seeing through a fog and how does one determine whether that particular persons vision is fog shrouded? And what about those who shroud the truth in fog on purpose?
    I’m sorry to say that today, we live in a world where the truth is no longer in the eye of the beholder….it’s shrouded in fog, misted into obscurity by info-bites, spun into a cloud by political influences, smoked into oblivion by those who, by all accounts, should no longer be trusted. The truth has been relegated into some inter-dimensional gray area where rational, critical discernment is almost impossible to achieve.
    All that being said, I’ll end this with the question….Jeremy who???

  14. Scahill is already taking a lot of heat because of the upcoming antiwar conference in UK, where Scahill refused to participate if Mother Agnes was present (Mother Agnes is a nun living in Syria who showed how the US’s proof of chemical weapon usage by the government was dodgy to say the least). Agnes has also actually saved lives in Syria and worked for reconciliation. Scahill has never even written about Syria but he sees himself more qualified than her to speak at the conference. He pretends to be the little fish fighting against the establishment, but this move of his made it clear that he is part of the establishment that he is pretending to fight. Will never take anything he says seriously again.

  15. “Scahill was asked who he thought represented “the most legitimate … form of journalism”–Jones or Amy Goodman.”

    Allan Weisbecker noted in his Deep State essay that Goodman keeps the gate well defended in regards to the events of September 11th, even though she was right in the middle of it at the time.

    So…listening to Scahill bash Jones is like two gate(keeper)s crashing into each other.

    I guess that Ford Foundation cash doesn’t come with strings; it comes with barbed piano wire.

  16. We no more need “professional” journalists than we need hitching posts for horses or cordwainers. Person to person reporting of real facts and observations online has made all lapdog media, and its opposition who just want to take their place with their own money making activities totally irrelevant to the alleged purpose of said media.

  17. Musings, you really have a talent for comment, you should make more of them if you have time. I really liked “…conspiracies and lies are the stuff of government…” But wasn’t it Plato who was down on opinion and opinionators (nice term.) Maybe Spinoza as well, I don’t remember.

    Rebecca is quite right about Scahill effectively censoring Mother Agnes at Stop The War. Also, Michael Hastings was a friend of his who was recently killed in what the media described as an auto accident. In fact, as videos and witnesses evidenced, his car blew up before it hit anything. Hastings was investigating the CIA at the time. Scahill could not but damn well know this, but he shied away from stating it may have been a murder.

    And this restricting the truth is precisely the leftish problem. Scahill wrote big books on Blackwater and American wars (but not as I previously stated SHOOT ANYTHING THAT MOVES; that was Nick Turse) but he does not confront the central tendency of American power toward despotism. He is always careful not to challenge the legitimacy of the American power system. This is the major form of intellectual cowardliness and corruption of the authorized left. What it does is make it extremely difficult to organize a mass response to the outrages that are increasingly its power currency.

    1. I finally found the time to read this article, Marilyn, and it is indeed very good that you shared it. Thank you.

      James is quite skilled at maintaining the perspective recognizing that the artificial left/right media construct is a trap that is designed to mentally enslave us. He points it out in his replies to commenters regularly. We need to stand back, and observe the whole plain of battle, not be drawn into the drama. A better metaphor is a stage play: we are best advised to remain in the audience, and remember that there is a playwright–and the actors are all for hire.

      James’ is the true way of approaching the problem. Hitler’s is the sinister way. Hitler’s socialism tricked the german people into thinking they were rising above the battlefield, squaring the circle. It was a cynical manipulation, and it worked–because people really want to transcend the false distinctions. They were anxious to embrace the lie. And for a while, the promises Hitler made seemed to come true. He was the most popular german politician since Bismarck.

      That Europe is back in the same trap today is gravely sad, but not surprising. Mark Steyn, among others, has chronicled the dastardly process for years. All mankind is prone to this sad business, alas.

      1. You have a good grasp of this piece, Patrick. I suppose there are only a few political possibilities and mankind has tried them all with various success. When the current one has been exhausted (due to the usual corruption inherant in power), we move on believing another will succeed.

        However, there are no new lands to explore on earth and exploration seems to be fixated on the sciences and technology–a very dangerous track in the hands of the vain and shortsighted. Socialism with its insistance on uniformity, as opposed to individual creativity, coupled with modern technocracy might be our undoing. It has let go with the siren song of change for the better, but does not address the stiffling of other voices. (This doesn’t excuse socialism’s nemesis, capitalism, of course, for its excesses.)

        We find faulty decisions manifested in all levels of government edicts–from Capitol Hill to the local board of education. Power does strange things to those who insist on their way or the highway. Example: Mayor Bloomberg (NYC) has declared it is no longer permitted to gather unused food from certain sources and distribute it to the poor. He rationalizes–because the salt content cannot be monitored. This food has not resulted in anyone’s death according to witnesses. Bloomberg is being replaced in January. But he can’t seem to cancel his power trip.

        We die from lack of knowledge–and reason.

  18. we should discard the “political” world-view system entirely. This approach to perceiving the world was created as a convenient means of manipulating people en-masse. Upon examination, any ism dissolves into into pure self-contradictory froth and confusion – except for whichever ism happens to be the profound expression of our being (and so, positioned exactly on our blindspot)

    The correct viewpoint is ecosystem. Eg. there is no right or wrong position or person or economic/political/social system. The only ism that has any connection with reality is Pragmatism. Every entity can be simultaneously a source of nourishment and poison. There are no heroes and villains – that’s for kid’s comic books. People are simultaneously heroic and villainous. Circumstances/context/relativity is all.

    Alex Jones is not a hero or villain .. he, like all his critics, is simultaneously a source of consumer-dependent nourishment and poison. And, it doesn’t even matter about intentions. Even if we imagine our opinion spouter is indulging in a strategy of bait-and-switch .. we can choose to be nourished by the bait and spit out the poison. We don’t have to swallow everything as if these people who express opinions are prophets.

    /ragged meandering

    1. Sounds like a lot of vague nothingness to me, mijj. Right vs. wrong, truth vs. lies. These are real ideas to stand for. This kind of post-modern philosophy of create your own standards is just a cop-out.

  19. Jeremy Scahill is spot-on with his comments about Jones.

    I was first exposed to Alex Jones circa 2008 by watching his DVDs online. I was impressed and intrigued by the first film I watched and after checking some facts noted in the film I was surprised to discover almost all were accurate. I continued to watch his films, enjoy them and fact check them; always impressed by the fact that almost all of the facts presented were actually true.

    After enjoying his DVDs, I began listening to occasionally his show in 2008/09 and enjoyed the discussion and issues he focused on. While he would occasionally go on tirades, they were infrequent enough that when they occurred the listener felt a sense of importance. I continued to listen to him a couple times a week but almost always his Sunday show (which was the most mainstream of his shows); I actually enjoyed Jason Bermas’ Sunday show much more than any of Alex’s shows.

    I do understand why people listen to Jones, I too was once a regular Jones listener until a few years ago when I listened to his 31 December 1999 broadcast which shattered my rose colored glasses; I stepped away from listening for a time because I felt like a rube.

    I began listening to Alex’s podcasts regularly in late 2011 and then again in mid-2012. Between the end of 2011 and mid-2012 I noticed a HUGE change in the content of the show. Everything that was discussed was now somewhat tied to a product that Jones was selling. He was now in the weight loss business and had some abomination called the Health Ranger on his show regularly, and I began to notice a lot more guests were seemingly tied to products that Jones had to sell. While Jones had previously had on guests who were tied to products, it was much more infrequent. However listening in mid-2012 the show seemed to shift to PT Barnum telling the rubes to “step right up and try this elixir which will save your life and cure your problems”.

    Aside from whoring out his show to make as much money as possible for himself through using alleged expert guests with questionable credentials to get the rubes to send their money to Alex Jones in a manner which reminded me of a late night preacher, I noticed that Alex’s rants were now daily or hourly and the information he was pushing couldn’t be verified via fact check. In my opinion, I think Alex realizes that he might not be able to keep up his charade much longer and wants to make that retirement fund as big as possible before he is fully exposed for what he is.

    I’ll still listen occasionally, mostly when a major breaking news story is in the spotlight, just to hear what the latest explanation that comes from the mind of Alex Jones and have a good laugh.

    I am curious why Professor Tracy seems to be carrying so much water for Alex Jones lately and fiercely attacking those who criticize Jones.

    1. *Your IP indicates that you are in Chicago, not DC, although you may wish to run a “fact check” on that.

      *Someone is “spot on” for name calling?

      *I don’t believe I’ve gone about “fiercely attacking” anyone. As I have suggested in the article, a principal motivation for me in this piece and elsewhere (if you are at all familiar with the content of MHB) is pointing out how the “conspiracy theory” label is wielded in ad homimen attacks on individuals–including myself. Someone forwarded the video of Scahill’s comments, and I find it especially fascinating when such remarks come from seemingly credible public figures who are allowed to proceed unchallenged and without offering any proof of their accusations. This appears to be what you are seeking to provide, even though the assertions are largely without merit. I am likewise curious of Scahill’s motivations, and the unusual belief that he and a handful of others are at the forefront of “alternative news media” while seeing fit to bash would be competitors.

      *A recent discussion between James Corbett and author Douglas Valentine on Scahill’s Hollywood-style documentary is relevant in light of this and other comments, and something that I admittedly left out of the post.

      *As for Jones being a huckster, my understanding is that he runs a large independent news operation and does so quite successfully absent philanthropic or government support. The notion that he is essentially practicing “product placement” vis-a-vis profiled stories and monologues is quite a stretch. And the “Health Ranger” has his own line of products that to my knowledge have never been featured or promoted on Jones’ show.

    2. Nick in DC has his “I used to listen to Alex Jones” rant as a macro that permits him to hit a keystroke and spit out this essay. For example, he ran the very same rant on

      I believe Prof Tracy has been fair and balanced when it comes to Alex Jones. Scahill’s bizarre attack seemed premeditated — was the caller a set up? The host of Book TV has frequently shut down any callers as a host on his other C-SPAN shows from discussing Building 7, and — sorry to burst any bubbles here, but — it’s well known that there are companies that profit from providing actors to call in to such shows with precleared questions. Just saying.

      I find the attacks on Alex Jones to be specious and suspect. It’s clear they are growing, especially in the mainstream media. Who else would lead hundreds of protesters to Dallas to protest the JFK cover up? If you’re a dumbed down, fluoride addled, vaccine poisoned, GMO-fattened sheeple, you might have a problem with AJ rattling the cage of the NWO. Then again, you just might be a bought and paid for shill.

      1. I live this comment. It is very rich in information and insight.

        Apparently, the establishment is very concerned about Alex’s influence, if they are coordinating a smear campaign against him.

      2. Isn’t Alex Jones the shill? Look up his online video of his tv show about the Bohemian Grove. How would anyone be allowed to video a satanic ritual unless he were a shill? “They” are much too intelligent and well protected for anything like that to have happened on “their” property.

        And then for it to have been shown on tv?

        Do you see the logic in that?

        1. “How would anyone be allowed to video a satanic ritual unless he were a shill?”

          He snuck in. The video makes that perfectly clear. It’s why the scene is filmed from a great distance, with very poor resolution.

        2. He snuck in to the Bohemian Grove! I don’t buy that; he was lying. Think about it. A Satanic retreat for the wealthiest people in the USA. And Alex Jones snuck in with his camera. Right at the right time. Right at the right location to be able to video the little play.

        3. It’s a classic trick and prank (from university days) of the ruling class. The little play generates paranoia. All part of the “arsenal of democracy” to keep the regular folks off-balance. (Politics is a game)

        4. Just sad. Really, really sad that you believe that he actually snuck in. No one has been able to sneak into that place. And he walks around with his camera and clearly acts like a total tourist in front of people.

        5. Violeta, the most effective tactic of a psy-op is to create massive confusion, divide and conquer, create paranoia so that everything is questionable. So Alex Jones, in your mind, is a paid shill that is doing . . . What exactly? “revelation of the method?” Yeah, yeah, I’ve seen the trolls’ evidence (like Eric hufschmidt, et al). Let’s count the ways:

          1. Alex doesn’t criticize Israel enough, therefore, he’s an agent of the Mossad.

          2. Alex doesn’t tell you his family has members in CIA and military intelligence, so he’s really fronting a propaganda operation to condition us for our Big Brother slavery.

          3. He makes millions and millions pedaling fear and paranoia that we “sheeple” are controlled by the NWO so it’s “fear porn.”

          4. If he wasn’t a government operative, then he would be dead already like breitbart and Hastings.

          What’s YOUR theory? All of this sounds like disinfo, which is just what we would expect from spambots, trolls and paid operatives when someone gets close to inconvenient truths. What I don’t get is why you think the elite want us to know about bohemian grove so they “let” Alex be a documentarian.

          Instead of speculating, listen to the show every once in awhile. Remember this was one of the first shows to give Professor Tracy an audience on the anomalies of sandy hook 11 months ago.

        6. Yeah, yeah, just ignore all the evidence (I don’t agree with the Israeli accusations by the way) and just listen. Have faith in Jones. Your just paranoid, I mean we are all here discussing conspiracies but if you question Alex Jones well lets just act like Anderson Cooper and play dumb like we don’t get what the person is saying and giggle and snicker.

        7. Infowars did give Tracy a broader audience. This is true. They also give Larry Pratt a wider audience and had him on to say, of the Boston Marathon 2013 media event, “Bombing things is what Muslims do.” James Tracy was not reached for comment.

        8. I am in agreement with violeta. Alex Jones was really able to sneak into Bohemian Grove with a camera and then get away with airing the footage? Really? I’m not buying it. He raises many red flags for me. That said, he has some great stuff from time to time. So does Scahill. I prefer to get my news from a wide variety of sources. I don’t trust any of them 100%. My gut on the other hand has never led me astray.

        9. He did snuck in and he was accompanied by mainsteam british reporter/author Jon Ronson. It was apparently Ronson’s idea to infiltrate Bohemian Grove:

          “I was glad Alex was joining me. He struck me as someone who would behave fearlessly in the face of danger. He also had five million listeners. He was a high profile person.”

        10. @Martin. Although Peter Phillips, a most reliable observer, contends that he gave Jones an opportunity to freely access and shoot in Bohemian Grove in this instance. See Higdon ‘s Disinfo Wars piece. If this is the case, it should have been acknowledged in that feature so as to avoid subsequent questioning such as the above.

        11. Zem, I have a copy of that Bohemian Grove thing. I find it doubtful too. That said, the idea of “Kool-Kidz” journalists like Scahill criticizing those without his “credentials” is disgusting.

          I’m not a big fan of Alex Jones. His style turns me off and some of his message seems contrived. That said, he has a right to his stated opinions and to be a journalist with or without Scahill’s approval.

          I recently read his book “Dirty Wars”. It is reasonably well-written, although there is no apparent message. It is done in that style of “journalism” whereby “objectivity” means not having an opinion. Considering the seriousness of the subject matter one would have to be totally amoral not to have an opinion.

          I see guys like Scahill and Amy Goodwin and many others as “gate-keepers”. They help to keep the myth of the left/right paradigm alive. Beneath all that is the belief that you can vote for one or the other of the authorized parties and things will change. They are contemptuous of those who know better.

          As to Hastings I think its a safe bet that it was a hit. For that reason alone, if I had to choose between Alex’ style of journalism or Scahill’s, I’d go with Jones. My thought is, however, that Alex does what Alex does. I can take it or leave it. Scahill certainly doesn’t have the moral high ground here.

    3. Let’s be clear: Scahill has thrown his support to the baby killers and cannibals that are destroying Syria. That needs to be a clear image in people’s minds—in the foreground we have a savage Western Intelligence trained and sponsored terrorist cutting a Syrian boy’s head off. In the background, you’ll find Jeremy Scahill, cheering him on, perhaps hoping some blood will spray his way. This is the reality of things. NickDC, you’re asking that we not look passed Scahill’s dopey face and hangover persona. Your request is denied. Scahill, clearly, has blood on his hands.

    4. Alex pushes products because the more he does this the more his operation is funded. has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years. The reason you don’t hear people like Jeremy Scahill talking about products is any program he is on is already funded by commercials but also by NWO foundations that push the phony left/right agenda.

    1. I agree with Bamboo Harvester – just like Rachel Maddow is paid over 2 million a year and she now attacks Alex viciously, I suspect Scahill is also paid as a yellow-journalist-take-down artist.

  20. Divide & Conquer technique. Don’t these people know that everyone has a different point of view and different ways to express them ? This is like the pot calling the kettle black, but my black is better than yours. What a bunch of horse manure.

  21. I have always admired Jeremy Scahill and I have considered him to be a significant contributor to independent journalism, but I am forced to consider Mark’s comment. Indeed, as Mark says Scahill has stopped short of commenting on the “central tendency of American power toward despotism.” Anyone who has spent a few minutes listening to Alex Jones cannot deny that he is quite a personality, bellicose, dramatic, and not shy of self grandisement. Still to call Alex Jones ridiculous or a lunatic is not warranted. Of course only time will tell, but Alex Jones seems to have a pretty good grasp of the larger picture.
    Amy Goodman is a credit to her profession and is a credible journalist as well but she stops short of connecting the dots. I think we need this in today’s mass media confusion. We need journalists who are fearless, even angry at what is being perpetrated upon the American people. We need journalists, like Jones, who have taken off the kid gloves and exposed the powerful, hidden cabal that the “accepted” media largely ignores. Evidence exists that we are far past conspiracy theories and we must acknowlege that an actual conspiracy does exist and that it has infected our media and our entire political system.

    1. But doesn’t Alex Jones work for the cabal?

      And take off yhe kid gloves maybe, but his shirt, too? That seemed a bit crazy.

    2. Amy Goodman, with her ford foundation grants, is an criminally indictable gatekeeper. She has misdirected what could have been strong opposition to the destruction of Libya and the chaos in Syria. By all estimates, she would have a very poor outcome if tried for war crimes. Just because you think she takes the appearance of someone opposed to war mongers, doesn’t mean she in fact is. She stinks of death; she’s a bringer of it.

        1. Thanks, Martha. I don’t want to engage in name calling (maybe a little denominating is necessary, however). I think strong opposition from the left concerning Libya’s destruction could have prevented much of the result. This is a serious charge against left leaders because they steer left opinion. Norm Chomsky (Let’s call him Norm because his understanding of the world makes him a Norm and not a Noam) stated publically, that the (CIA orchestrated) color revolutions” in the ME were “amazing” and basically cheered on death squads for squeezing the life out of Libya. Sure—he said NATO should not bomb the place, but isn’t his just a question of strategy. “Send the death squads in but don’t bomb anything,” advises Norm Chomsky. This is supposed to be anti-war?

          These people have blood on their hands. Hucksters “on the right” are lambasted for stupidly believing war enriches America, or that it protects America, and makes freedom. It’s not that these people don’t have blood on their hands too. But the likes of Amy Goodman believed they were helping people in Libya by making sure they were annihilated? This needs to be a ghost that haunts them! Amy Goodman is anti-racist, yet she gives justification for al qaeda to murder and pillage in Libya and Syria. I suppose she thinks her death squads are anti-racist, as they’re filling up pits of the black people they’ve murdered, when they’re not putting dog collars on them.

          Perhaps it’s that Norm, Jeremy, and Amy get their foundation funds from the same Lords that the death squads do. May we suppose they get their training from the same Intelligence agencies too? Rendall wined to Tracy “there wouldn’t be a left without foundation assistance.” He has not demonstrated why that would be a bad thing. Besides, if there wasn’t a left, Rendall could just switch to the right. It’s not as if he has principles.

  22. Pundits like Scahill and innumerable others believe they are employing the superior functions of reason and intellect. They do not understand that Satan is as capable (or nearly so) of utilizing reason and intellect as is God.

    There is something called ‘necessary suffering’. People who rely heavily on reason and intellect alone, in this day and age (of machines and technology and luxurious and sedated living), tend to avoid their own necessary suffering and by doing so, cause others to suffer unnecessarily. Again this is not well understood, the belief in the superiority of intellect and technological applications (and soft and comfortable living) is so strong.

    Scahill could be compared to a general who sends many of his command to wanton slaughter while sipping tea. Alex Jones is a bit more of a sergeant, who shares others’ pain a bit more.

    Alex Jones is far from perfect, but he is the lesser of the two at avoiding his own ‘necessary suffering’. In my estimation.

    Reason and intellect easily become very fond of Mammon and no one can serve two masters.

    Ned Lud

    1. Mud slinging is not permitted in this forum, unless of course it is made something more through the inclusion of facts and insights. There are many thoughtful contributors here. Why put your slothfulness and ignorance on full display? Comments are subject to moderation.

      1. Okay, Jones and his boys the Watson Brothers regularly ridicule any discussion of Sandy Hook or Boston or Woolwich being totally fake. You don’t, that’s why I like this site James, you’re open minded. Jones is a right wing agent of the John Birch Society, connected to people in the CNP. Look it up if you don’t know about it. Birchers were instrumental in killing Kennedy. Now they want to wrap themselves in his bloody shirt. Jones regularly spreads hate against Mexicans. I know people on here will say he’s just against illegal immigration, but that’s just ignorance and you aren’t listening to the content of what he’s saying. To blame Mexicans for our problems is scapegoating one of the biggest victims of America’s policies. He’s creating a fascist movement by co-opting young disaffected politically naïve youths into extreme right wing politics.
        Scahill on the other hand is facilitating this by playing the role of the “establishment liberal” who never questions anything the CIA says at fundamental level because, you know, that would make you a conspiracy theorist.

        1. For me, personally, neither Scahill nor Jones deserves my attention. Each is compromised in terms of the standards to which I hold them in terms of both what I believe are the probable ‘effects’ of their respective ‘brands’ of ‘journalism’ on mostly unreflective and naive publics, and what I esteem should be the substance of journalistic integrity: to inform on the basis of well founded and meticulous research.

          If the 5th estate isn’t living up to its promise, the other choice is to seek out independent scholarship, which admittedly exists in scant abundance.

          If you can, be that scholarship. If you can’t but stumble upon it, alert others as to where they, too, can find it.

          Are there other options that I may be missing?

          Do I really have to go back to Scahill and Jones?

        2. “If the 5th estate isn’t living up to its promise, the other choice is to seek out independent scholarship….Do I really have to go back to Scahill and Jones?”

          Alex is quintessentially independent. Unlike Scahill, his livelihood does not depend on money doled out by the great tax exempt foundations.

          James keeps harping on this. I think this is the third article now on the subject.

          Somehow, James Tracy’s roots in the left make him long for these people to wake up (I’m reading in–which is always a dangerous thing to do–to Dr Tracy’s mind, obviously) and acknowledge that being in bed with Big Money is inherently corrupting. I keep challenging him to acknowledge that they don’t need a wake-up call–they know why they are pulling their punches, and they don’t mind. That’s why I called it shadow boxing in my first comment on this article: their protestations, when James confronts them, are strictly for show. Their proclamations of innocence, and their dudgeon at the implications that they are corrupted by their dependence on their paymasters, are what is necessary to keep their hapless readers and viewers trusting them. They claim to be actively confronting “the Man,” but they’re just punching the air when they do it. The Man owns them; they don’t really want to hurt the Man, they just want their audience to think they do. And they want the checks to keep showing up in the mail.

          Again, as I’ve said repeatedly, the foundations are the core of the Fabian strategy to do what Gramsci told Stalin is required to convert the West to communism. The leftish organs James wants to become honest are what Lenin called “useful idiots.” The goal is 1984. Maybe people like Scahill and Goodman don’t like the compromises they have made, and maybe they don’t even know that the people they are trying to reach will one day wake up in Winston Smith’s pajamas, in part because of them. Maybe they are double thinking it all. How am I supposed to know? One thing James’ probing has proved, though: they can’t claim to be independent.

          No one owns Alex, whatever Violetta and those who agree with her believe. At least, there’s no proudly posted paychecks from the foundations on his wall to prove it. Suspect all you want; if Alex is NOT an independent voice, he hides it very well indeed. Which, I suspect, is why James can’t understand why those lefties who claim to be “independent,” but take the Man’s money, so despise Alex. And I applaud James for calling them out on it. Alex Jones tells truth. He denies other truth. Why? How am I supposed to know?

          Say what you want about Alex. I usually don’t weigh in on this subject. But what I AM weighing in on is James Tracy’s central point: what is it about Alex Jones that drives the fake, lefty, “independent” media to distraction–and why are they so defensive when he points to their paymasters?

          And why does this central element of James’ writing on the subject rarely find a conversation thread in these pages? Why does it always end up being about the personalities? James, in a sense, is just “following the money.” He has defended Alex from unfair criticism, minimally, which I think is appropriate–he has a good sense of what needs to be said. I can’t recall him wholeheartedly endorsing Alex, only questioning what about his work drives the sold-out left crazy. He has been far more probing about his old pals on the left, I’m guessing, because they are essentially begging him for it: their evasions and fake outrage at his questioning them only makes an objective man ask Why?

        3. Hi Patrick,

          “what is it about Alex Jones that drives the fake, lefty, “independent” media to distraction–and why are they so defensive when he points to their paymasters?”

          Easy: it undermines their ‘probative value.’ Because it’s true that a) they are funded by the establishment and b) that they are thereby constrained in what they can or cannot expose about that establishment — that is, if their ride on the gravy train of foundation money is to continue.

          As far as Jones’s ‘independence’ goes, being ‘financially independent’ is not the keystone of ‘scholarly integrity,’ and it isn’t even the kind of ‘independence’ I have in mind.

          My quest for independent scholarship has less to do with how that scholarship is funded than with a person’s ability to reason, to conduct honest research, and to demonstrate an ability to think ‘outside’ established paradigms.

          So Jones’s ‘financial independence’ makes about as much of an impression on me as the overall quality of his ‘journalism.’

          Having said this, I feel I’ve spent more time and energy on Jones than he rightly deserves. I leave it to others to demonstrate either his merits or demerits. I may be wrong, but I don’t think that in the greater scheme of things, he’s all that important.

          Is he a shill? I think he is. Not necessarily wittingly, though he may in fact be so. But certainly ‘in effect.’

        4. @Patrick
          Yeah, Alex is independent if you don’t count Midas resources and the gold merchants he’s in with and who own his station. He’s a bircher plain and simple. I know they’ve done a good job of inoculating you to any truth regarding their organization, dismissing it as “globalist” propaganda, but they are evil. There are several factions fighting for power in this country, none of them good. These are people who rail against the FED because they don’t control it and they idolize presidents like Jackson, a corrupt genocidaire. You’ve been brainwashed by the Patriot Movement. Tracy’s leftist leanings are why I like him. We need more like him in this movement.

        5. Your remark begs the question, Who owns the Fed? I recall someone still repeatedly emphasizing, “The country’s been captured by offshore banks!” @Patrick and Chris. I remain fond of the left because, at heart, I’m still a romantic.

        6. I understand the romance. In college in the early 80s most of my friends were considerably older than me; they were high school and college-aged in the 60s, and I learned from them much of the lore of the old, union-centered left. One of these fellows we called Dr. Don; he was a PhD in sociology, and knew the history of the communist movement inside out. He would play the guitar and sing old labor songs about miners joyfully struggling for recognition and dignity. I’d never heard those songs before. Very appealing music. It seemed at the time like we were on the cusp of recreating that glorious time.

          I moved to New York for a while, taking a year off school in 1980, and fell in with the Village folk scene–such as it was at the time. These cheerfully deluded Bleecker Street denizens regaled me with memories of the Pete Seeger/Dave Van Ronk days–and they were certain that it was about to re-explode into the public consciousness. It was as if they had no idea CBGB existed, much less the Talking Heads, just a few minutes’ walk east.

          It was all a romantic attachment to a dream. And I caught it. I wanted it to be true. I know how Floyd Evenwright felt, in Sometimes a Great Notion, when he cherished his dad’s old Wobblies’ protest songs, in a world that barely remembered the IWW. Pure romance. But it was a love of other people’s memories.

          It took me a long time to decide, like David Horowitz, that those romantic ideas are in fact toxic. It was very difficult. Wanting to help the less fortunate is a very fine thing, and everyone should want that. But the state is violence, and its promises to take that job off the individual’s hands (in exchange for compelled wealth transfer) is a recipe for very bad outcomes. It’s hard to walk away from the belief that the state can do good, and acknowledge that it’s only a matter of time before the state will become total, and we all become Winston Smith–that our battle is not against inequality or injustice, but against Leviathan.

          I don’t think much about the left is worthy anymore of rose-colored viewing. Orwell’s vision is too close to reality when you observe the despot from Nevada’s shameless tactic to stock the DC circuit with hard left ideologues who will stop any probing into Fast and Furious, for instance. The bloom is off the rose.

        7. Thank you for your remarks. I think there’s a good deal here that needs to be put in broader perspective.

          *I also believe there should be further probing of Sandy Hook and Boston. Actually, Infowars did some very good reportage and analysis of Boston in particular, but did not go all the way to point to how the event was a drill that included actors as victims. That’s their editorial prerogative. I’ve not encountered them actively “ridiculing” such discussions.

          *”Jones is a right wing agent of the John Birch Society.” Here’s where the comments veer into sheer conjecture and conspiratorial fantasy. So, the Birchers have a propaganda program to create converts, and one of its agents is Jones? This is downright spooky–much like the sort of propaganda one would find in the SPLC’s “Intelligence Report.” Jones has remarked that a few of his relatives were Birchers. Yet to make sense of your observation we would have to have some idea of what JBS (and CNP) actually is. What is their platform? Do the information and worldview they articulate have any substance? If they are just a bunch of loony toons, why have we reached this conclusion shorn of any examination? Have they, like figures such as Lyndon La Rouche, perhaps just received a bad reputation because of persistent disparagement via the establishment and corporate media?

          The well-known JFK assassination researcher Mae Brussell, when confronted with the question of whether she was on the left or right, used to tell interviewers that an especially important source of data and insight on Washington political intrigue was JBS’s American Opinion magazine. Why would a Jewish heir to a department store fortune ever ascribe to and endorse such a scary group’s publications? Maybe because she got past labels and found some good information and analysis.

          *”Jones regularly spreads hate against Mexicans.” I think that he highlights (unfortunately) an already prevalent resentment in the US southwest in particular that immigrants weight heavily on public services. The term “hate” suggests prompting violence against Mexicans or those of Hispanic descent, and here again you are introducing emotionally-tinged terms that tend to undermine any rational exchange. In solely pragmatic terms, is the US financially capable of sustaining the extension of such public services? Perhaps if “defense” spending is cut back, and as long as the US dollar remains the world’s reserve currency and is able to rack up debt it will never pay.

          Along these lines should we delude ourselves into concluding that the Democratic Party, and the Obama administration especially, favor immigration law reform because they feel warm and fuzzy about those who have not pursued legal paths to citizenship? Or is it instead the case, as it is other industrialized countries, that they find such policies to be politically expedient and advantageous, particularly in the longer term?

        8. Chris makes a strong point that I haven’t seen Tracy refute. A few individuals at Infowars, including Jones himself, have not merely avoided the truth concerning the Sandy Hook and the Boston Marathon 2013 events. They have clearly shot it down. Jones can be quoted as saying, “They did kill kids at Sandy Hook” (sorry I didn’t note the date he said it), and the Watsons have sounded a lot like “the left” in their assessments of false flag hoaxes: it’s as though they believe a hoax could not happen, and mock anyone who concludes it has. Jones also hosts someone “named” Mark Dice (not his name) on his program. Mark Dice publically called those who found Sandy Hook to be contrived “mentally ill.” He did the same for those who uncovered what happened at the Boston Marathon. There’s time for this guy but no time for Sofia Smallstorm at Infowars, to date.

          Many of us know what Jones is up to. It’s quite a stretch to say he’s independent. Though I think it’s best to avoid him altogether (critique or praise), this becomes difficult when his crew deliberately put people off the truth and keep even the possibility of a hoax out of public discourse. Again, it’s not that the Infowars’ clan avoids certain issues; it’s that they actively prevent people from grasping what happens. Look at the Boston Marathon 2013, for example. Infowars excused themselves from honest coverage of this media event. A Infowars Nightly News host reasoned they could not prove it was staged. That’s blatant dishonesty. There’s so much evidence available it’s not funny. Perhaps in some abstract sense, they could not prove it; but they sure could have proved it! Alternatively, they could have avoided the issue. They, instead, lied.

          Jones can be used as a device to expose the absurdity of left leaders’ self-righteousness. They call him criminally insane: this is, undeniably, an opening to discuss their hypocrisy. The left has gone too far. They’re doing things that could start a world war. As people understand Ann Coulter, they need to understand Amy Goodman. You can play off Jones and make some important interpretations heard. It needs to be done, with or without him.

        9. I’ve been critical of Jones because of his outlandish predictions. A good friend of mine pointed out Jones’ history, even back in the Waco days, that show the independent Alex Jones. I’ve given some theories as to why Alex is so profound today. My newest is that he is a genius. He goes wild because he knows that any publicity is good publicity. If his following is growing because he acted like a buffoon on Piers Morgan, than so be it. He is quite obnoxious sometimes, but when you listen to him for longer clips than the sound bytes, he is smart, organized and funny. But I still question his overall positive or negative effect on the truth movement as a whole.

          My biggest concern is women. Women can’t listen to a guy who screams. Men can bear it and analyze the information better. Some men just get a rise out of his aggressive behavior.

  23. Violeta, I don’t watch tv and don’t like to watch videos, including Alex Jones videos. But I thought the one James provided of Alex with his shirt off was marvelous. He was illustrating after April 15th tax day that the government took his shirt, as it usually does of the American people while the rich and their corporations are relatively untaxed. His political thrust was that both political parties were totally corrupt, as was the government and media, and that his listeners shouldn’t trust them. As far as I’m concerned, he could be bare-ass naked as long as he tells his audience to distrust the power system.

    But you ask, isn’t this crazy? Well yes, in a reasonable world it is. But, as you know, we don’t live in a reasonable world. So Jones, in order to confront the emotional truths indoctrinated in the American people has not only to be a journalist, he has to be a PERFORMER. To counter the performance of the pretense of the media truthers, like Scahill, that they are fundamentally critiquing US power. They aren’t. But since we are bombarded with unreason and untruth under the guise of it being reason and truth, he has to go media performance to reach his audience. I found it funny, but I can understand that you thought it weird.

    I have no doubt that I disagree with Jones on a number of points, since I disagree with most everyone. But you have to take people as they are, and evaluate the truths they tell on their own basis. If Beezlebub joined me for breakfast, I would listen to what he had to say and would agree with the truths he told, even if they were for an evil purpose. Scahill is not Satan, and his truths in his books about war and Blackwater served a valuable purpose, but he and Alex Jones are on different sides of the people-power struggle, which is replacing the class struggle of the 20th century.

    And Jones is not only restricted by his advertisers, he is restricted by his audience, who have been indoctrinated all their lives by the massive overload of falsehood, moral perversion, and irrelevance. But there he sits, ranting and raving, to try to shed a little light in a degenerating society. The simple truth of the matter is that at the present time of Orwellian deceit and ideological subjugation, it is Jones or nothing. I’m against nothing. We need a hundred Alex Jones, a thousand of them, to shock the American people out of the authorized stupor constructed by, among other media truthers, Jeremy Scahill.

    1. I say he is a shill, and is leading us into theNWO. His job is to let everyone know how corrupt both parties are, and then you will most likely see him offering a blessed alternative. If you trust him now, you most likely will trust him later. The more people they can get to follow him, the more people they will have pushing for “their” blessed alternative.

      1. Hi violeta and Mark,

        I think Jones’s alternative is already obvious: ‘Laissez-faire.’ Yet another ‘slogan’ that elicits ‘reaction,’ the way for example that the term ‘socialism’ does, albeit in an antithetical direction.

        As James piece suggests, unless I’m completely misreading him, we all need to get beyond our allegiances of faith, to begin doing the necessary ‘work’ of grasping our reality, of thinking our way through the layers of propaganda that have been piled upon us all, from every direction.

        In this connection, if Mark will permit me, one could do worse than adopt this sentence of his as a motto:

        “If Beezlebub joined me for breakfast, I would listen to what he had to say and would agree with the truths he told, even if they were for an evil purpose.”

        Nice, that.

        1. Hi Norm and Mark,

          “If Beezlebub joined me for breakfast, I would listen to what he had to say and would agree with the truths he told, even if they were for an evil purpose.”

          IHow would you know when Beelzebub is telling the truth or lying. think the thing to remember about people who lie is that you don’t know when they’re telling the truth.

        2. Hi violeta,

          You write: “How would you know when Beelzebub is telling the truth or lying.”

          That is where the ‘work’ enters into it, of having to discern between what is fact and fiction.

          On the one hand, one needs to look at the internal coherence of the ideas, theories, or stories being presented to us in so far as we are able. If you can ‘see’ that the ‘logic’ of what is being said ‘fails’ the test of reasonable deduction based upon what you know about the world, then these ideas, theories, or stories invalidate themselves without having to attend to any additional ‘evidence.’

          For example: if I tell you that a building has undergone gravitational collapse and that at no time did the building as a whole drop at ‘free fall,’ that is plausible because, if you know a bit of elementary physics, not all of the building’s gravitational potential was converted to kinetic energy, that at least some gravitational potential was plausibly available for doing some of the work of disaggregating the building. But if you claim gravitational collapse while noting that the building as a whole was in ‘free fall’ for nearly 2 seconds just moments after the roughly 10 second collapse began, there is a problem: the building is disaggregating (work is being done in that respect) but ALL of the buildings gravitational potential has been converted into motion, i.e., no gravity in those 2 seconds is available for doing the work of breaking up the building, and yet the building is breaking up. If the presumption is that gravity is the only source of energy for the collapse, this claim is simply nonsensical on the basis of accepted physical principals. If not gravity, then what? If not gravity, there is no gravitational collapse. At least not during those crucial 2 seconds of the collapse. The conclusion can only be that either there was ‘free fall’ and no gravitational collapse, or their was gravitational collapse and no ‘free fall,’ but not both.

          On the other hand, if the claims being made seem to be logically coherent, if the conclusions seem to follow from the available premises, then it remains to be determined whether any additional evidence may disrupt the coherence of the tale.

          For example, to my mind, the Zapruder film clearly shows that the last bullet hitting JFK knocked his head ‘backward’ and that parts of his brains ended up on the trunk of the car. If a person understands how energy is propagated from a striking bullet, this empirical evidence flatly contradicts the otherwise ‘internally coherent’ claim “that only Oswald was involved and he shot Kennedy from behind.” It cannot be that a bullet’s momentum, of which the direction of travel cannot possibly change, transferred to a target, would cause that target, or parts of it, to travel in an opposite direction (in the absence of a sufficiently resistant mass capable of inducing not only deflection, but reflection). If JFK was shot from behind, his head would necessarily have been driven in a forward direction as well as everything else that would have been ejected by the impacting bullet’s energy transfer. It thus remains whether the Zapruder film is a forgery or not. If it is not, clearly, the president was shot from the front and the claim “that only Oswald was involved and he shot Kennedy from behind” is patently false. If the official narrative is internally coherent, it is yet unsupported and invalidated by the empirical evidence that leaps out at us from the Zapruder film.

          “But facts” — to quote Musings most eloquent words — “although stubborn things, are something you have to find out or else get second-hand and trust that the person reporting them is accurate.” That is to say, there is also the matter of the ‘credibility’ of your source of information. One way of establishing a person’s credibility is to follow up on their references and even maybe the references of these references. If the person has a ‘habit’ of misreading or misrepresenting the content of their references, or if his sources of information tend in themselves to be dubious, or if he often makes big claims without adducing verifiable sources of information, this lowers the degree of trust you should place in his claims. Some people are simply more fastidious in both their analysis and research, and by taking the time to ‘look,’ you can over time get a sense of a person’s reliability as a source of ‘honest’ information although, of course, no one can be accurate 100% of the time. Trust doesn’t have to be a leap of faith. It, too, can be established on the basis of a verifiable and ongoing track record.

          But yes, sometimes, and as Musings also puts it, “finding out what really happened is no mean feat.” Sometimes we need to be honest with ourselves and simply accept that there isn’t enough of anything reliable at hand to decide on an issue one way or another.

          I would add that honesty and scholarship is not the exclusive preserve of only ‘libertarians’ or ‘Marxists’ or ‘liberals’ or ‘socialists’ or whatever. By pre-selecting currents of opinions or consensuses on the basis of their avowed political stripes or aims, one excludes from one’s purview potentially crucial insights into one’s reality. Truth and understanding is not necessarily politically partisan though it may be radical. We should not be afraid to look for it, there where it might be. Traditions of scholarship are many and varied, and the more faceted one’s exposure to ideas, the more likely it is that one may come to an understanding more adequate to one’s own purposes. That, at least, is what I believe.

        3. If you would gladly want to get some information from Beelzebub, go for it. I can’t reason you or Mark out of that, that’s for sure. But at least with Beelzebub, you more or less know you are talking to the devil. How about Alex Jones, though, do you know who he is, who he works for, and his motives? This thread and others are trying to make him look like he wears a white hat; do you believe that? That’s what’s the bottom line.

        4. And no, violeta, I think that you can ‘reason’ me out of ‘that,’ and that by getting me to reconsider, you may already have reasoned me out of ‘that.’ At least where Jones is concerned.

          But I still like Mark’s image of breakfast with Beelzebub. Sometimes we are afraid to listen to another viewpoint simply on the basis of fears and prejudices that we entertain, fears and prejudices that may not be entirely baseless. I think that at times we need to make an effort to listen and to try to enter into what initially strikes us as a forbidden realm of thought. Sometimes we need to open ourselves up so that a new light may enter. Breakfast with the Devil may be what we need from time to time.

        5. @Norm, don’t forget that Satan will use even truth to deceive. I’m sure that that would be his only purpose in telling any sort of truth. He’s very crafty. He even has all those working for him deceived.

        6. Hi violeta,

          Propaganda does not work unless it’s mostly true or mostly appeals to popular or widespread assumptions.

          That’s why you cannot exempt yourself from the difficult work of ‘thinking,’ of ‘reasoning’ — of questioning, elaborating, or deepening at the level of ‘reflection’ even your own most cherished convictions. But like anything else that you have ever learned as a form of ‘doing’ or ‘exertion,’ you get better at it in time and with regular practice.

          That is the downside to being ‘human.’ Childhood buries us under an avalanche of inherited misconceptions well before we ever reach an age when we can even begin to develop our ability to ‘think independently.’

          The upside is that in our effort to ‘think,’ we are not alone, despite the danger of ideological conformity that that collaboration also entails.

          Our predicament, existentially speaking, is complicated.

          Another danger: we are vulnerable to ‘irrationality’ because we are ‘irrational,’ all of us, and this even in the absence of the Devil’s efforts to confound us. It isn’t ”all” conspiracy. Sometimes we deceive ‘ourselves’ without any help from anyone at all. Thought can indeed be ‘in and of itself’ paranoid. We need to be careful and discriminating. We need to recognize the ‘limits’ of what we know, as admittedly difficult as that may be. And then some ‘conspiracies’ are more relevant or important than others . . .

          Is Jones CIA? I don’t know. I don’t think that you do, either. Of course, he could be. Why would that be surprising given everything else that we do know about how the world actually works. But then, I, too, could be CIA, as you yourself, or anyone else who posts, here. Maybe Prof. Tracy is CIA. He could be. Maybe this site is an ‘experiment.’ Could be. Prof. Tracy is by ordinary standards pretty extreme in some of his views, yet he continues to be employed by an ‘establishment’ institution. Now I’m not saying that I know he is CIA, but he certainly could be. Why would that be surprising given what we know about how the world works.

          Once you get to ‘could be,’ once you establish that ‘plausibility,’ it is only one small step to ‘believing it.’ And we all know that ‘we’ are capable of literally believing ANYTHING. Believing, however, is not ‘knowing.’ But what if Prof. Tracy is CIA? What then? I can still engage his posts and those of others who post here ON MY OWN TERMS (though my posts are moderated) and ‘exercise’ and ‘deepen’ my thinking by means of that engagement. Let the conspirators and would be ‘mind controllers’ do what they will and I will do what I will in so far as I am able. In spite of them. Because of them.

          So I try to stay within the bounds of reason. I’m certain that I often stray beyond those bounds. And that is why now and again I have to make an inventory of my various assumptions and beliefs and try to grade their probability of likelihood, and in light of that inventory, attempt to plot my way ahead. It’s all I have. It’s all anyone has.

          Thinking is necessary. It can also be taken to extremes.

          Relax. Think. Try to think clearly.

          It is a crazy, fucked up world. And in may respects, it always will be.

        7. Hi Norm,

          I agree with everything you said, and I wish I were able to say it the way you did. I even agree with reading materials of those who might be CIA, NWO, Illuminati, Freemason, whatever. But what I’d like to add is that it’s really a good thing to know as much as you can about the author. Reading their material and seeing who they line up with is the only way that can be done.

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