Florida Professor Triggers Firestorm By Suggesting That Sandy Hook Massacre Might Not Have Occurred Or Was A Staged Drill

tracyFlorida Atlantic University has found itself embroiled in a national outcry over the views of James Tracy, an associate professor of media history. Tracy, 47, went to his blog, Memoryholeblog and held forth on his suspicion that the massacre in Connecticut might have been a government drill or may not even have actually occurred. In a blog entitled “The Sandy Hook Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information,” Tracy wrote “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.” For those mourning the loss of the 20 children and six adults, it was both an outrageous and hurtful claim — leading many to call for the firing of Tracy. However, as correctly noted by the FAU administration, this was a personal blog and Tracy has every right to espouse such theories.

Tracy wrote that “Inconsistencies and anomalies abound when one turns an analytical eye to news of the Newtown school massacre.”

Tracy appears a full-time conspiracy theorist who has questioned the official account of the Kennedy assassination, the 9/11 terror attacks and the Aurora, Colo., movie theater massacre.

Connecticut School ShootingLisa Metcalf, FAU’s director of media relations, insisted that “James Tracy does not speak for the university. The website on which his post appeared is not affiliated with FAU in any way. As for any previous disciplinary actions at FAU, we do not comment on personnel matters.” Of course, there are those tiny caskets and grieving families to address. Tracy acknowledged, which asked by a local reporter, that “one is left with the impression that a real tragedy took place,” but “[w]as this to a certain degree constructed? Was this a drill?”

Tracey received his Ph.D for the University of Iowa and has a specialization in Media history and analysis, political economy of communication. He teaches courses on alternative news media and socio-political issues and events.

His past publications include:
Tracy, J. F. “A Historical Case Study of Alternative News Media and Labor Activism: The Dubuque Leader 1935-1939,” Journalism & Communication Monographs 8.4 (2007): 269-343.

Book Chapters

Tracy, J. F. “Censored News Cluster Overview Essay Analysis: Human Costs of War and Violence”, Censored 2013: Sourcebook for the Media Revolution. The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2011-2012, Mickey Huff and Project Censored, editors. New York: Seven Stories Press (forthcoming October 2012).

Tracy, J.F. “Our Union is Not For Sale: The Postwar Struggle for Workplace Control in the American Newspaper Industry,” in A Moment of Danger: Critical Studies in the History of U.S. Communication Since World War II, Inger Stole and Janice Peck, editors. Milwaukee WI: Marquette University Press, 2011, 57-81.

Tracy, J. F. “Covering Workers: News Media, Labor, and the 2008 Economic Crisis,” in The Propaganda Society: Promotional Culture and Politics in Global Context, Gerald Sussman, editor. New York: Peter Lang, 2011, 267-282.


Tracy J. F. “Covering ‘Financial Terrorism’: The Greek Debt Crisis in U.S. News Media,” Journalism Practice (Summer 2012, forthcoming).

Tracy, J. F. and M. L. Hayashi. “Librarians of the World Unite? Possibilities and Realities from Florida, USA,” Special Issue Getting the Message: Communication Workers and Global Value Chains, edited by Vincent Mosco and Catherine McKercher, Work, Organisation, Labour and Globalisation 4.2 (2010): 96-110.

Academic freedom does protect faculty in advancing such theories and this falls within Tracy’s academic work. However, it is really not an academic freedom issue as much as a first amendment issue. He has a right to maintain a private blog and to speak his mind on public controversies, even to the dismay and displeasure of the public.

What do you think?

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/01/08/florida-professor-questions-newtown-shooting-massacre-calls-for-more/#ixzz2HR42KFXL

290 thoughts on “Florida Professor Triggers Firestorm By Suggesting That Sandy Hook Massacre Might Not Have Occurred Or Was A Staged Drill”

  1. Friday, Jan 18, 2013 07:45 AM EST

    Your comprehensive answer to every Sandy Hook conspiracy theory
    Every conspiratorial allegation about the tragic Newtown shootings, answered

    By Alex Seitz-Wald


    “Vance said he was disgusted by the conspiracy theories. ”There’s no hoax. I was there. I stepped over the dead children. That’s no hoax. And it’s offensive to me as an investigator, and it’s offensive to the families who lost their babies to have people come up with silliness like this. Whatever their reasoning is, whatever their rationale is, it’s just terribly offensive,” Vance added.”


    While some people may feel that certain avenues of inquiry are “disgusting and offensive”, the best approach is this: Answer the damn questions.

    Honesty, transparency, openness… always. The truth and nothing but the truth. We need investigative reporters who are relentless and take nothing at face value. We need citizens who are willing to do the same. We need people who will “dig deep.”

    As societies begin to close down and a government’s activities are hidden — a case in point being the CIA’s torture tapes and records — people will begin to ask more questions, even what seem like “crazy” ones, to some.

    Brandeis’ words bear repeating, especially now:

    “As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis advised, in his famous Whitney v. California opinion in 1927, “If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”” http://prospect.org/article/remedy-more-speech

    Offended? Hurt? By mere words? By mere questions?

    Get over it. And “question everything”, as Carlin said.

  2. Everyone loves what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work
    and coverage! Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

  3. Yes LJC it was AP that posted that… In the spirit of honesty and cooperation….

  4. It’s easy to confuse us, I suppose. ap, not AY, but you’re more than welcome, leejcaroll.

  5. This guy and his agency’s tale is fascinating.

    Here is the Conservative take at Breitbarts Angust 5th.
    “Sunstein’s resignation represents another admission by the White House that its desire to transform American society based on intellectual theories thought up in elite Ivy League zip codes is failing and is drastically unpopular among voters, especially those who are struggling in Obama’s economy.”

    There is the liberal one at FireDogLake, (not read yet)

    The NYTimes covered the resignation also. No comment after the usual praising WH release, from either part.

    Google Sundstein OIRA will get you there to the resignation articles.

    O eye RA is indeed an agency with a behemoth task.

    Reconciling regs with hazy laws is not easy work. From over 2-3000 errands per year it dropped to ca 500 under Clinton (our best Republican President accdg to Michael Moore). What explained his brief stint is as yet not clear.

    No more on him, I promise.

  6. Re; OIRA

    OIRA (wiki) gives no clue, but he was kicked in August 2912 before the elections. Incompetence, electoral effect or political pressure from mixed sources. Wiki is not given to speculations. Only verifiable and from good sources info is published there.

    oira.gov would answer the who’s sitting now but who cares.

    So much for that. Back to freedom of speech and the right to impeach, excuse me, implore for relief from the gov. Oh, yes, casting skit on the Prof and those who are suspicious as the watchdogs we should all become.

    See quote of Justice Brandeis earlier. I hold with him.

  7. Re: Sunstein, from Wikipedia:

    “Thaler and Sunstein argue that

    People often make poor choices – and look back at them with bafflement! We do this because as human beings, we all are susceptible to a wide array of routine biases that can lead to an equally wide array of embarrassing blunders in education, personal finance, health care, mortgages and credit cards, happiness, and even the planet itself.[citation needed]

    How does he go from this and ealier books in re establishment of a Second Bill of Rights proposed by FDR, and then reach a position endorsing “planned infiltration of groups by the government”.

    Is that allegation of his words posted here linked to a source?

    He indeed knew who could throw him out on his a55, and it would not appear, IMHO, to be the White House on its own initiative, but the conservatives who opposed his appointment. I mean the need to appease the conservatives force these words to be spoken. And he is not the first one nor last.

    When was he kicked out? Before or after the election.

    Great job, will see who holds it now.

  8. OMG. Listten all. The ultimate conspiracy theory.

    Sandy Hook, and Sandy the hurricane were both arranged with us a guinea pigs (or are we knockout mice instead).

    Line up to my left and right, your ideological preference to sign my petition calling for accountability. Harumph, said the Walrus.

    Did I find this all by myself? Nope, serendipity did. I save some threads in my favos, and came across the one housing Sandy the Hurricane.
    Must have been God guiding my hand. Or gods, Or dogs, I can never keep up with who I believe in for the moment.

    Hopefully hilariously yours, and civilly meant. Although humor mixed with discussing tragedy hurts some people apparently.

  9. SWM,

    Suspect that the inclement summer season caused the local birds to clean off those bushes/trees.

    The starving birds takes even the bad swill, like us. !!!!!!!
    The waxwings maybe find some in southern Sweden wich had a normal summer.

    Haven’t been staying at the cottage where the birds are, due to health issues (heart). Frequent hospital stays, tests, clinic visits etc.

    And now my left forefinger is tingling when stretched in typing with all finger and thumbs. Advancing age or sideeffect of new medicine.

    Oy vey is mig. (pronounced as in may)

  10. Swarthmore mom1, January 12, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    idealist, You have never aligned yourself with the birthers or truthers on this blog previously so I am a bit surprised.

    No. and am not now.

    I will instead hide behind an authority here who has given support to why citizens shoul be aware of the possibilities. He has said on repeated occasions, not just here on this thread, where he did so, but with reservations to its inadvisability for mental health reasons.
    I mean MikeS who has listed the conspiracies that he has accepted.
    JFK, MLK, RFK etc.

    Once bitten twice shy.

    I only tried to drum up support for a clean investigation by painting possible outside help. And the audio post supports that.

    Add that to a perceived benefit in controlling the guns, then I was sold on supporting that akternative.

    Nuf said, I ain’t backing but writing too long replies to your short ones.

    PS Anyone who does not realize that we are living in the midst of a giant national conspiracy, conjoined with many smaller ones at different levels is sadly a contented pig. Just enough swill to keep them happy.

    Don’t have to turn up the propaganda. Exxon is Green or was that Shell?

    Establishing Obamacare but giving back to the insurance companies and big this and that is not change but illusions. Yeah, I know 32 million covered. Forced women care and contraceptive aid(?).
    Give it time, they say.

    How many administrations until the teabaggers dismantle it?

    They are doing it to the New Deal now.

  11. GeneH,

    I have replied to that!
    Are you blind or just repetitiously inclined to repeat, repeat, repeat. etc

    Repeating met challenges. No response is needed. IMHO, of course, which is my privilege.

  12. idealist, I am not searching for anything. Heard the cedar wax wings prefer Ireland this year as Sweden has very few berries available to them.

  13. SWM,

    Appropriate question in the tweet. Just ask the local gun clubs, the gun nuts and those who call themselves hunter. And primarily ask the local or state authority who set up their own interpretations of the “well-regulated militia.”

    If my temporary paranoia has been awakened here, then that may have lead me to misinterpret your posts. But you have done nothing to quiet that fear.
    Au contraire, ma chere. Short posts can hide so much and still say much, without exposing intent, if you search for derision.


  14. idealist, You have never aligned yourself with the birthers or truthers on this blog previously so I am a bit surprised.

  15. Nothing cryptic at all about the statement “You have no evidence to back you claims.”

  16. SWM,

    Did you answer my question or not? I did not look for and thus have not found support anywhere for what my observations on the material presented by commentators here as data, such as that is. The radio contact audio wass interesting, in particular, indicating contact with outside agency from higher up during the engagement. That is not a coincidence. Took it from there.
    Are you implying I am kin with the “birthers”, etc. Hope not.

    Your crypticism approaches GeneH’s.

    What are you saying? Speak up clearly please. And extensively. Two liners won’t do, but your choice.

    If you are agin me say so. Just so we know that and possibly why. Implications are difficult to read, at least I have them, having never learned the idiom nor collogual speech, neither Amerenglish nor Swedish, as previously explained.

    I don’t follow Glenn Beck at all, except when he is commented here.
    Not totally laziness. He saw so many conspiracies that I wanted another diet. I can find suspicions by myself and like MikeS to have a “healthy” mind, while eating the swill they serve along with the propaganda.

    And you, who or what do you support or suspect? You, yourself?

    Cass is news to me. Don’t do the conspiracy rag, although some imply so.
    You know, Rag as in the Vatican Rag by Tom Lehrer. Don’t even do the Wash Post, NYTimes Politics section. I only have time for JTs and my email correspondence. Have so many ladies waiting for my words. 😉

    So why all the outrage (apparently) over a media professor’s private blog?
    Give us your take, please.

Comments are closed.