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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

continued - page 2

I'm sure I'll reach that point soon. In the meantime, I feel a need to share something I noticed while studying for a debate I'm supposedly having soon with some of the movement leaders. I doubt it will convince anyone who actually believes this stuff, but it's certainly worth pointing out that the 9/11 Truth movement is not only a cynical fiction, it's a recycled cynical fiction.

Take the central "fact" of 9/11 Truth lore, the rhetorical anchor of the entire movement -- the idea that the Twin Towers did not collapse as a result of the gigantic plane/jet-fuel explosions we all saw on television, but because of secondary explosions in other parts of the buildings that were hidden from view. This idea was rocketing around the conspiracy world in almost the exact same rhetorical format just six years before, after the Oklahoma City Federal building bombing.

In that case, it was mostly right-wing conspiracy theorists who came up with the idea that the McVeigh/Nichols fertilizer bomb could not possibly have felled the Murrah building, and that the real cause of the building's collapse was a much more powerful "second explosion" planned by the government and executed using more powerful demolition explosives.

Here's the beginning of a report from World Net Daily, which shortly thereafter would become a major purveyor of 9/11 conspiracy theories, from May 18, 2001:

Multiple witnesses reported hearing more than one explosion the day the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was bombed, while other explosives experts contend that the damage done to the building could not have been caused by a single bomb placed outside in a truck.

Just like the subsequent 9/11 conspiracy theories, the Oklahoma "second bomb" champions applied intense focus to the initial news reports right after the explosions (ignoring reports published later, by which time various discrepancies were cleared up), during which time numerous reports surfaced indicating that second and third explosive devices had been found, and that secondary explosions had been heard. And just like the 9/11 Truthers, the Oklahoma conspiracists quoted TV anchormen and women who opined offhandedly that the bombings seemed to be the work of sophisticated demolitions experts. Remember the Dan Rather clip used in Loose Change in which the anchorman says the collapse of WTC-7 is "reminiscent" of a controlled demolition? Here's how that worked in OKC:

"This is the work of a sophisticated group, this is a very sophisticated device," says one Oklahoma newscaster, in a much-circulated video of early Oklahoma news broadcasts, "and it has to have been done by an explosives expert."

Remember, this is just newspeople guessing on live TV; they're not reporting. But in both conspiracy theories, these comments were presented as though they're evidence of something. But what is a collapsing building supposed to remind an anchorman of -- an aboriginal dance ceremony? An auction of polo ponies?

page 3

 

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