Conspiracy theorists. God love them. No matter what major incident happens in this world, whether it be 9/11, the JFK assassination or the recent Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, there have to be people who deny the official version of events.
What motivates these people? Attention mostly. Every one of them like the idea that there theory gets mileage in the media. Th most outrageous yet possibly plausible explanations will get coverage even if the media covers it as a joke.
Other factors? Some refuse to accept basic facts. There’s something about official explanations or a consensus of findings by media that a handful of people will just never trust or believe.
No matter how much evidence is compiled about September 11, 2001, the conspiracy theorists just refuse to believe what is so evidently clear. They argue it was a missile that hit the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. They say Flight 93 was not a passenger jet. When you ask these people what happened to all of the passengers on the jets that allegedly never struck a building, they always say “I don’t know what happened to them. I’m just asking questions.”
I think some people just can’t believe that two passenger jets could knock down two giant towers like that. They don’t want to believe that despite all of the U.S. technology and law enforcement, these 20 terrorists managed to go undetected and carry out an attack.
In the book Everything You Know Is Wrong, the authors talk about 9/11. They also write about the Columbine High School massacre and how witness reports showed there were other shooters involved. Several of the witnesses told investigators about some student who threw bombs on the roof during the shootings.
While they point out that many of the interviews and some of the witnesses stories about another shooter do in fact match, what the EYKIW authors didn’t say is that police and the FBI probably interviewed hundreds of students and got hundreds of versions about what happened during the shooting. It’s easy to cherry pick a couple of statements among more than 100 and say “Ha! You see? There was a third shooter!” Doubtful. As a former journalist, I can tell you that witnesses from a disaster, whether it’s a house fire or a car wreck, always have differing points of view. When you have a situation where there are dozens upon dozens of witnesses, I’m certain there are correlating reports about an alleged aspect of the event despite the fact that it didn’t happen.
Fast forward to today. A professor from Florida is now saying that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary didn’t happen or that it didn’t happen the way the media says it did. Once again, a theorist is using the chaos of the immediate version of events to demonstrate that the official explanation is off.
Whenever there’s a traumatic, violent event covered by the media, there are ALWAYS conflicting reports. Journalists receive news from ALL types of sources. In Sandy Hook, I’m sure teachers, police officers, fire fighters, medics, politicians and more fed them the latest information. In the effort to report as quickly as possible, I’m sure some of the information was wrong. Journalists are aware of this, which is why they usually use the phrase “that has not yet been confirmed.”
But conspiracy theorists hold the media and police to their word as things happen, which isn’t fair. It takes a long time for an investigation to put together all of the facts of an event. It’s not right to hold officials, witnesses and the media responsible for inaccuracies in the rush to find out what’s going on.
They also can’t be held to their first word as true when they do their best to correct themselves later. It takes awhile to reveal the truth sometimes.