The CBC's gone off the deep end. They've actually put out a transcript of it. I guess they're proud of their efforts. They shouldn't be.
Last night's Sunday spent over half its broadcast -- at least 30 minutes -- airing a sympathetic and utterly credulous report on 9/11 conspiracy theorists.
The majority of it was spent interviewing the likes of Dylan Avery, responsible for Loose Change, and David Ray Griffin, who brought his expertise in theology to the matter. If watching Evan Solomon give these characters a warm tongue-bath strikes you as nauseating, fear not: Solomon's cynical instincts were in fine form when talking to Lee Hamilton, co-chair of the 9/11 Commission:
Hamilton: Look, youíve obviously gone through the report with a fine-toothed comb, you're raising a lot of questions - I can do the same thing...
Hamilton: ..all I want from you is evidence. Youíre just citing a lot of things, without any evidence to back them up, as far as I can see.
Solomon: No, I'm just asking why they weren't -
Hamilton: I donít know the answer to your question.
Solomon: I guess part of the reason is..
Hamilton: I cannot answer every question with regard to 9/11. I can answer a good many of them, but I can't answer them all.
Solomon: I guess, Mr. Hamilton, I donít think anyone expects you to have all the answers...
Hamilton: Well, you apparently do, because you have asked me questions of enormous detail from a great variety of sources. You want me to answer them all - I canít do it.
Hamilton was trying to point out to Solomon that investigating conspiracy theories was not the Commission's mandate; it was to establish a timeline for the attacks and evaluate the responses from government agencies. He might as well have been speaking to a wall.
There was one other interview, a long and interesting one, with Jim Meigs, the editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics, which put out an article (recently expanded into a book) that comprehensively rebuts the conspiracy-mongers point-by-point.
Meigs appeared, though, only in three or four short segments of the program. I don't seem to recall this section making it to air:
And if you're doing a responsible report on this, you really need to challenge the Loose Change film-makers on their selective use of source material, and go back and check the sources for every claim they make, and talk to the witnesses. What we did again and again in this book is go back and talk to people whose original interview are quoted over and over again by conspiracy theorists. Every single one of them told us their quotes were taken out of context, that was not what they said, not what they meant. And they're heartsick at seeing their words being misused to mean something directly opposite of what their intention was at the time.
Because I suspect the interview won't survive for long on the CBC's website, I've copied it in full and reprinted it in the extended entry.
I do have one question, apparently unthought of by the tinfoil-hat brigade and their enablers in the media: Do you really think that a government both ruthless and brazen enough to orchestrate the murder of thousands of its citizens in broad daylight would hesitate for an instant to snuff out inconvenient craphounds like yourselves?
Better get an intern to start your car in the mornings, Solomon.