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ISSUE #109
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Features

ArrowPayback Time
If Republicans lose Congress, don't assume things will change
Matt Taibbi

ArrowAre You Radioactive Football?
Why “dirty bomb hoax” is redundant
Hank Williams Jr.

ArrowMurrah Redux
9/11 Truth is a bald regurgitation of a silly tale we heard ten years ago
Matt Taibbi

Local BEAST

ArrowTom & Sally Take a Trip
Foley Shmoley! Reynolds has scandal all his own.
Allan Uthman

ArrowRepresentative Royale!

ArrowBeast Calling
We call Eliot Spitzer's campaign to see just what "on the first day everything changes" means.

Departments

ArrowThe Beast Page 3
Inoperable Sump Pump

ArrowKino Korner: Movies
The Prestige, The Departed, Employee of the Month, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Arrow[sic] - Letters
Chuckleside, Konspiracy Kops, Happy Clam Sends Mindless Bias, Kid Power and more

Murrah Redux
9/11 Truth is a bald regurgitation of a silly tale we heard ten years ago
Matt Taibbi

Timothy McVeighMore than a month after I first wrote a column slamming the 9/11 Truth movement, I continue to get hate mail in massive quantities. A group of Truthers even picketed my office, and I'm still picking food particles out of my scarf after an incident in which the movement's house lunatic, a wild-eyed German blogger named Nico Haupt, tried to goad me into slugging him in a West Side diner.

"Go ahead, heet me, then I haf beeg story!" he roared, scream-spitting half-digested detritus in my face.

Of course I didn't hit him -- nothing in the world is more ridiculous than two writers fighting in a restaurant. If you're surprised that I would call someone who spits food on my lap a fellow writer, don't be. As I subsequently found out, Haupt is a literary juggernaut, one of the most voluble bloggers on planet Earth. His Internet entries read like a MySpace mixture of MTV's Real World meets Che's Congo Diaries, only on meth and in a German accent.

His 9/11 conspiracy rants are full of little tidbits from the peripatetic revolutionary's hardscrabble life neatly gift-wrapped for his future biographers, ranging from the personal ("My girlfriend denied to marry me . . . i'm constantly broke.") to the heroic ("Maybe i'm scared that the Homeland Security will arrest me as a 'terrorist'? Not at all"). Haupt also makes sure to include regular doses of that other staple of pseudo-revolutionary diaries, i.e. the defiant salutation to the secret agents who of course have him under constant surveillance. "A personal note to the NSA, who's a regular log-in guest on my sites," he writes. "You're still bastards for me . . . Shame on you and go to hell!"

But my personal favorite was his theory about how the government's 9/11 conspirators tied up one particularly dangerous loose end:

I always was and always will be a big fan of Ed Asner's movies and TV series, especially "rich man, poor man". Last week, i was a bit disappointed that Asner "caved in" and basically made a u-turn, by writing that 9/11 was based on negligence. I heard a different view a long while ago, even personally from him on the phone. Someone else might speculate, why this has happened now. Maybe someone threatened Asner with some infos of his past?

Now there's a subject someone should investigate. What does the government have on Ed Asner? Photos of him shooting smack into Gavin MacLeod's ankle? The lost pilot of Gay Lou Grant? If anyone out there has any idea, please don't hesitate to write.

Obviously, Nico Haupt does not represent the "mainstream" 9/11 Truth movement, whatever that is. Even in my own experience I know this to be true. The colleagues of Haupt's from 911Truth.org whom I met that day were universally polite, respectful, and very sincere in their beliefs. True, they had some slightly bent ideas (one woman insisted with a straight face that the military was "behind all that Brad and Jennifer stuff"), but as a group they were nice, earnest people.

Unfortunately, I get the sense that these same nice people have a tendency to turn hostile, venomous and unrelentingly paranoid once they get logged back into an e-mail server, which is why most journalists I know won't go near the 9/11 Truth issue more than once, if at all. On the one hand most reporters don't think it's a serious enough issue to bother with twice, and on the other hand nobody wants to deal with the torrent of abuse that comes with trying -- it's like shoving your head into a beehive. "I'd rather be poked in the eye with a sharp stick than write about that shit again," is how one columnist put it to me.

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