Orlando via Paris – ‘Covering 11/13: The Stagecraft of “Reliable” Sources’

The last academic project I developed before being removed from my tenured associate professor position at Florida Atlantic University was titled, “Covering 11/13: The Stagecraft of Reliable Sources,” an invited contribution to Dr. Kevin Barrett’s 2016 edited volume, Another French False Flag? Bloody Tracks From Paris to San Bernardino, from which the passage below is excerpted.

afff-front-cover-1-424x640A gifted Islamic studies scholar, Barrett was witch hunted out of the University of Wisconsin system by State GOP operatives in the mid-2000s for repeated public questioning of the tragic September 11, 2001 events. As the experiences of Barrett and myself attest, combined public comment and academic research on such complex events is unacceptable in the Anglo-American university system. At the same time, such research is crucial for coming to terms with occurrences such as the June 12, 2016 ISIS “attack” in Orlando Florida being touted by major news media throughout the West as “the worst mass shooting in US history.”

“Covering 11/13” places mainstream reportage of the Paris attacks in the framework of journalistic ethics routinely emphasized to undergraduate journalism students at university and rookie reporters alike. The article contends that consulting sources and overall reporting of contemporary terror events is stage-managed, and thus necessitates a complete abandonment of such ethical guidelines. Indeed, we would be poorly served to confuse genuine journalism with the government and corporate media’s stark promotion of these increasingly surreal and doubtful incidents.-JFT

James F. Tracy
, Ph.D.

An unquestioning faith in the integrity of journalistic institutions is a cornerstone of modern secularism which has to a large degree replaced religious faith in France and throughout the West. Journalism holds power in check, so this catechism goes, ensuring free exchange in the “open society.” In this line of thinking, close study of news reports and the information contained therein suggests apostasy to the secular credo, perhaps even “conspiracy theory” if the analysis is developed alongside careful consideration of political power to any significant degree.

This chapter interrogates an important feature of news coverage as it pertains to the Paris 11/13 “attacks.” As with reportage of most any significant event in social life, the coverage of a terrorist attack is only as credible as the testimony of eyewitnesses, those otherwise immediately impacted, such as victims’ family members and close friends, and relevant government officials. In fact, fundamental journalism ethics codes theoretically adhered to by news gathering organizations emphasize the importance of tapping trustworthy sources, disclosing their identities, and discerning whether they may have certain motives for providing information. 

This very principal aids in developing the secular faith in such institutions by developing trust in news media, and was recognized as such almost a century ago when journalism was becoming professionalized throughout the United States and Europe. “Good faith with the readers is the foundation of good journalism,” the 1922 American Society of Newspaper Editors Canons of Journalism declares. “Every effort must be made to assure that the news content is accurate, free from bias and in context, and that all sites are presented fairly.”

To this day the professional tenet emphasizing accuracy is echoed in virtually all professional journalism codes of ethics. In these various documents there is express concern with securing credibility and the public’s trust, and it is suggested that these are maintained largely through the quality of sources and appropriate attribution. “No reader should find cause to suspect that the paper would knowingly alter facts,” the New York Times declares in its “Guidelines on Our Integrity.”[2]

The authenticity of information is thus key, and if a reporter hasn’t witnessed the event the editorial expectation is that s/he must access reliable sources. For example, the BBC emphasizes how its reporters “should try to witness events and gather information first hand. When this is not possible, we should talk to first hand sources and, where necessary, corroborate their evidence.”[3] There is an understanding, Reuters likewise counsels its reporters, that “every statement in every story” must be sourced “unless it is an established fact or is information clearly in the public domain, such as court documents or in instances when the reporter, photographer or camera operator was on the scene.”[4]

Along these lines reporters are expected to hold to greater scrutiny information from sources that seek partial or complete anonymity. For example, the New York Times states that “the general rule is to tell readers as much as we can about the placement and known motivations of the source.” The Society of Professional Journalists similarly recommends assessing “sources motives before promising anonymity.”[5] The Washington Post seeks “to disclose the source of all information when at all possible,” and that “before any information is accepted without full attribution reporters must make every reasonable effort to get it on the record. If that is not possible, reporters should consider seeking the information elsewhere.”[6] Full disclosure of sources, Reuters maintains, is necessary to safeguard against reporting false information and contrived events: “Good sources and well-defined sourcing help to protect the integrity of the file from overt outside pressures and manipulation and such hazards as hoaxes” [sic].[7]

With the above in mind, what journalistic institutions theoretically espouse and how they go about their craft are two entirely different things, and this has not been lost on the public. The secular faith in journalism and democracy is hardly monolithic, and is in decline even in recent years. A 2015 Gallup poll found that forty percent of Americans proclaim “‘a great deal’” or “‘a fair amount’ of trust and confidence in mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly.” This figure was fifty-three percent in 1997. What makes the news media an integral but by no means exclusive element of enforcing belief in events such as Paris 11/13 is the fact that political and administrative officials are journalists’ foremost sources for information, and in the wake of a terror attack there is a tendency to unquestioningly accept their pronouncements.

The basic journalistic tenets concerning the quality and careful identification of sources witnessing or impacted by the 11/13 Paris “attacks” was seriously lacking, with many of the stories unrealistic and broader context of the events pointing to a false flag. Yet the still powerful secular impulse toward the news media collectively allowed for these anomalies to be overlooked. Much like reportage of other complex events ostensibly involving Islamic-inspired terrorism, such as 9/11, the London 7/7 attacks, the Boston Marathon bombing, or the large number of mass shootings in the US, is that overriding belief in the “free press” 

As of this writing most 11/13 coverage has not been appropriately revisited or amended and thus cannot be accepted as a trustworthy or valid record of the event. There should be little wonder, then, that the public is left with a set of subjective impressions on the Paris attacks that is far distanced from what actually took place that night. Is it possible that the event was manufactured by state actors with the aid of media and public relations practitioners strategically positioned to provide quotable information for on-the-scene reporters? Close study of many sources providing key information indicates an unusual number of linkages to media-related entities. One such figure is directly related to a “training exercise” that transpired on the morning of November 13, while others are in especially advantageous proximity to the specific events as they occur, or claim a relationship to the deceased. The verbal or visual testimony of each source is carried widely by major news outlets in the immediate wake of November 13, thus decisively shaping how the public came to understand and accept the incident.


[1] American Association of Newspaper Editors, “Statement of Principles.” (http://asne.org/content.asp?pl=24&sl=171&contentid=171).

[2] “New York Times: Guidelines on Our Integrity.” May 9, 1999. (http://asne.org/content.asp?pl=236&sl=317&contentid=317). See also Byron Calame, “The Guidelines on Our Integrity’ from 1999 Are Worth a Look.” New York Times, May 4, 2007. (http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/05/04/the-guidelines-on-our-integrity-from-1999-are-worth-a-look/?_r=0).

[3] “BBC: Editorial Guidelines: Accuracy.” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/guidelines/accuracy/gathering-material).

[4] “The Essentials of Reuters Sourcing.” (http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php?title=The_Essentials_of_Reuters_sourcing#When_to_source).

[5] Society of Professional Journalists, “Code of Ethics.” (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp).

[6] “The Washington Post Standards and Ethics.” (Available at http://asne.org/content.asp?pl=236&sl=19&contentid=335).

[7] “The Essentials of Reuters Sourcing.”


The full chapter is available in the aforementioned volume. Additional information on purchasing Another French False Flag? is available here.

30 thoughts on “Orlando via Paris – ‘Covering 11/13: The Stagecraft of “Reliable” Sources’”

  1. This is getting pretty creepy, people. Clinton was just on tv bombastically going on in double-speak, about how we respect Muslims, and we need to isolate “lone nuts”.. They are prepping for anyone being labeled, as intellectuals do spend time a lone because they think. Dangerous. This is Operation Northwoods writ large. (And BTW NPR reported near 20 dead last night, and if we are supposed to buy they leave people to bleed to death, amending the number could still happen!!)

    1. I do have large and pretty teeth, that are real. But I hate the colour pink! That picture was chosen for me of course! Oh and BTW these are cartoon stories people! (They have no basis in logic or protocol.)

  2. Shooter Motive: Radical Islam/ ISIS / Homophobia
    Shooter Action: Killed 50. Wounded 53. Took Hostages? Gun Battled With Police. Was at large from Approx. 2:00 AM – 5:30AM (OVER THREE HOURS).Single-handedly.
    Weapons: Semi Auto Rifle. Multiple Hand Guns. (perhaps an explosive wearable?)
    Public Evidence: Purely Witness Testimony. A video of a “Gun fight” exists, But nothing identifiable is displayed in the video.

    NO CCTV Footage. NO NEWS CHOPPER FOOTAGE. Thus far I have not seen anything that could be interpreted as evidence to support the media’s story.

    1. The only Muslims, aside from our very own, most African-American, are usually very wealthy. Stats after Clinton One cannot be trusted at all, so my educated guess is that most are wealthy and would have absolutely no motive to even try such a thing. Even if they were not generally a private people, that for example, do not even show up to advocate for their own justice, as J. Fetzer’s conference revealed in UK as many others like have. NO MOTIVE. Sorry, but they do perceive us as stupid, and that is one of the factors in the cartoonish story lines. I mean really and truly. (Past the early 70s history has shown their dumbing down worked fantastically in a John Wayne culture.)

      1. Mick scores on this amazing analysis:
        ” This is what we vigilant patriots have forced them to do in order to carry out their false flag events:

        Do it in the middle of the night.

        Do it with people who no one knows.

        Do it with a gunman who is committed to ISIS, but is American.

        Do it right after a number of large drills in the area.

        Hire actors who are in a dire need of money – the weaponized poor.

        Do it in a dark club where the shooter cannot be seen.

        Do it with the threat of a bomb so total control goes into place as the security containment plan.

        Do it to a targeted community or people or belief – the LGBT community.

        Do it in a United Nations Strong Cities Initiative area.

        Control all news coverage completely, specifically keeping helicopters out of the area.

        Limit news coverage to “we are being told by officials that” – or “we have been informed” or other cover phrases to say the newscasters are not allowed to report anything but the official version.

        Continue Obama’s plan of audacious actions to enact the UN Small Arms Treaty – the gun grab”

      1. Almost as good as the cowboy hat guy pushing the wheel chair in Boston, that was true classic he lost his leg and he is being wheeled out by a cowboy. I wonder if they look at the photo’s later on and think of how stupid they looked.

      1. Yep.. they’re taking over the place, fueled by the “Gay Mafia money” of NYC, San Fran and Palm Springs and Rehobeth Beach. Those nightclub are just breeding grounds for gay porn recuitment . Oh dont get me started , I got some sordid stories from my young days down in South Beach.

  3. Good article, thank you. However I’ll repeat that the poor–or falsified?–reporting in Paris or Orlando can not simply be a conspiracy between government officials and journalists. Powerful and influential organizations with vested interests in these matters must necessarily take an active part of it, especially Muslim institutions, from French Muslim advocacy associations to the Iranian and Saudi theocrats. So if there is a conspiracy of disinformation, it is much bigger than the article suggests. Accordingly, analysts who wish to ascertain its existence and activists who wish to cripple it may want to critically examine the behaviors of watchdogs who ostensibly fail to bark.


    1. … and who are the biggest and most powerful conspirators in the world? The International Banksters, of course, more powerful than any one country (until one day, when they aren’t).

  4. After listening to Public radio drone on with the usual media lies and circuses about the Orlando False-Flag event and giving an open mic to the Hillary Clinton Crime Family election fraud campaign I must say that what the media does is a RICO crime and they should be arrested and convicted along with the rogue elements in our government/Intelligence agencies etc. that are behind these acts of terror against the American people

  5. I really liked this article because it has the potential to teach ordinary people (who must take over the responsibility of journalism from the so-called “professionals”) how to vet the sources of a blog/article/essay/report to the general public. Thank you for the free lesson in the ideal of responsible journalism. Please make it a Monday special from now on! I want to be a responsible journalist (without any degrees, or the backing of any “news” organization). This article has the power to spark the imagination of and inspire thousands of ordinary people to become perhaps the most responsible journalists this country (or even the world) has ever known.

    Imagine a world filled with people who had easy access to photography (cellphones), eyewitness or personal contact with witnesses of the events of their local area, and an internet connection to tell the world what just happened and what the criminal cabal is doing to them and their people (or vice versa) , in nearly real-time. Imagine another layer of ordinary caring people who conglomerate this wealth of news and sound the alarm to all caring people everywhere, also in near real-time, without any corporation (or even payment) whatsoever. And imagine the last layer of people who chose to listen to the voice of people just like them, rather than the voice of “authority”, again in near real time.

    However, also imagine what the established fraudsters would do to try to poison the well of such truthful and conscientious information.

    Wait… isn’t that exactly what is developing and happening right now?

  6. Thanks you, James, for generously posting this poignant contribution. It is indeed symbolic of that through which you have gone. I admire your thorough survey of these various ethical approaches.

    Your audacity is heartwarming. I know of no other academic who would broach the possibility of a false flag in such a case.

    Again, thank you for enriching our knowledge with such freely-shared scholarship. I look forward to learning more from your expertise on communications and media.


  7. This man claims to have been inside the club and that someone was holding one of the exit doors closed so people couldn’t leave.

    This goes back to the Pet Goat videos, predictive programming and the reveal. Perhaps it’s also a bit of a stretch…

  8. The police took three hours to respond.

    Both father and son had security licenses and ties.

    Father posed as Afghan President and openly supported Taliban while son was under FBI investigations.

    This family was manipulated/pawns, useful idiots, or perhaps CIA? Hint: Oswald called his marine buddies “comrade”, in the McCarthy 1950’s!, and had little trouble with it-the only academic to put this into perspective was Dr. Michael Parenti.

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