El Jefe

FAU's James Tracy: More Media Conspiracies and Lunacy. Fire This Guy Fast. UPDATED

Turns out James Tracy, the Florida Atlantic University professor who theorized the Sandy Hook massacre might be a mass media conspiracy, has a history of paranoid weirdness.

Students say the guy went off in class. And his academic work hints at how someone could go so off the tracks. In a book review, he talks about how academics don't get social activism -- how they are disengaged. With annoyance, he describes the "intellectual remove from the interests of social activists."

Then there is the really weird piece in which the guy actually theorizes pharmaceutical companies create disease to get rich. Don't believe me? Here is a little something from the abstract: "The pharmaceutical industry acts to maximize profits through marketing efforts and the creation of diseases as platforms for the expansion of drug product markets."

See also:
- James Tracy, FAU Professor, Says Sandy Didn't Happen; Revels In Notoriety

In a study of the Greek financial crisis, he begins his descent into the lunacy of blaming the news media for events they only describe. "US outlets presented the financial crisis in narrow terms that blamed the event on alleged character flaws and ineptitudes of a nation and its people," he writes. This loon does his best to figure out a way to blame media for events they have no part in.

Of course, he doesn't hate everything. In a work on dub and reggae, he compares the music of artists like Bob Marley to "19th-century Spiritualists' attempted correspondences with the ethereal." This is just weird. 

And while I am a great fan of academic freedom, I also recognize that professors shape the way our kids think. And if their work amounts to second-rate thought and paranoid rantism, they should go.

FAU has already disassociated itself from Tracy. Spokeswoman Lisa Metcal told Fox News: "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."

I am saying the university should move to get this guy away from our kids.


Update 12:55 p.m.: The president of FAU, Mary Jane Saunders, just issued a statement separating herself from Tracy:

I am sure that many of you are aware of the recent comments by a Florida Atlantic University faculty member regarding the tragic events that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14. I want to make it clear that those views and opinions are not shared by Florida Atlantic University, and I am personally saddened by any media stories that have added to the pain felt by the victims' families.

FAU joins the entire nation and people around the world in feeling profound grief for the lives lost on that awful day. Our hearts break for the victims, their loved ones and friends, and all the people of Newtown. The world lost innocent children and brave adults whose lives were dedicated to education. In the aftermath of this terrible tragedy, we learned of the tremendous heroism of the Sandy Hook teachers and administrators. We admire their courage in the face of unspeakable horror and we honor their memory.

Mary Jane Saunders, Ph.D.

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse