Today Salon got in a bit of trouble when it re-posted a story from one of its partners, The Weeklings, called “Give truthers a chance?” before immediately pulling it down after readers commented and tweeted their disgust. As pro-truther articles go, it wasn’t all that bad, since it continued Salon’s recent, awesome crusade against Sandy Hook truthers.
The problem came when the article’s writer, Greg Olear, started with, “”Conspiracy” theories develop, first and foremost, because the official version is obviously bogus.” This, of course, isn’t true at all, but Olear continued, comparing the relatively well-known “Magic Bullet” conspiracy from the JFK assassination to the outrageous Sandy Hook theories from last month’s elementary school massacre in Newtown. (Apparently, Sand Hook theorists are called Hookers).
Olear discounted our boy Alex Jones and his ilk as pyschos, but then screwed it up with this passage:
What concerns me about the repudiation of the Hookers is that the 9/11 Truthers are being tarred with the same “crackpot” brush. Yes, many of the September Eleventh conspiracy theories are implausible, and too often veer, as conspiracy theories unfortunately tend to do, toward the anti-Semitic. But unlike with Sandy Hook, 9/11 conspiracy theories flow from a scientific fact: whatever the 9/11 Commission Report might claim, fire generated by burning jet fuel is not hot enough to melt steel. As with JFK’s “Magic Bullet,” the official version asks us to pretend that the laws of physics do not exist.
We’ve never heard of this particular 9/11 theory before, but as Slate’s Jeremy Stahl points out, the idea that burning jet fuel is incapable melt steel is simply not a fact. Which is why conspiracy theorists are hated by everyone, everywhere.
Salon published an apology shortly after pulling the article, saying, “On Jan. 22, Salon republished an article from one of our content partners, the Weeklings, that was sympathetic to unfounded 9/11 conspiracies. The article slipped through our usual review process, and was clearly not up to our standards; we removed it as soon as it was brought to our attention by readers. Salon has a long history of debunking fringe conspiracists — around Sept. 11, and more recently, Sandy Hook — and are proud of those efforts. We regret this oversight.”
Click here to see a cached version of the Salon piece, or here to read the story on The Weeklings.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 23, 2013