Some people should not be professors and probably have too much time on their hands. Communications Professor James Tracy of Florida Atlantic University might be one of those people. Via Raw Story, some quotes from a blog post he wrote last month:
“While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place–at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described,” he declared, noting that no surveillance video of photos of bodies had been released by authorities.
“Moreover, to suggest that [President Barack] Obama is not capable of deploying such techniques to achieve political ends is to similarly place one’s faith in image and interpretation above substance and established fact, the exact inclination that in sum has brought America to such an impasse.”
Has anyone told this professor that the absence of evidence is not evidence, or that the absence of said evidence in this case suggests the event never happened?
26 graves in Sandy Hook, Connecticut say otherwise. That is evidence enough.
Professor Tracy appears to be a bit of a conspiracy theorist at heart, paranoid as all get-out, and sure that the Obama administration manufactured this whole tragedy in order to spark national sympathies toward gun control. But he did clarify his thoughts for WPTV:
On Tuesday, WPTV caught up with Tracy, who also doubts the official versions President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks and the mass shooting at a theater in Aurora, Colorado last year.
“In terms of saying that Sandy Hook – the Newtown massacre – did not take place, is really an oversimplification of what I actually said,” he explained. “I said that I think that there may very well be elements of that event that are synthetic to some degree, that are somewhat contrived. I think that, overall, the media really did drop the ball. I don’t think that they got to the bottom of some of the things that may have taken place there.”
“Elements of that event that are synthetic to some degree”? Like what? Twenty dead children and six dead adults is not a synthetic thing, nor is the fact that they were killed with a weapon capable of gunning down an entire group. Yes, the conspiracy would be massive and for what? To start a showdown over responsible gun safety laws that will be bloody and likely leave no one feeling fully satisfied? Please, give me a small break here.
It should bother all of us that this wingnut is responsible for teaching students. It should bother us all more that he’s teaching communications. Clearly he has some work to do on his own communicating style. The only ‘bottom of things’ here is the bottom of the conspiracy theorists’ barrel.