FAU tenured Professor James Tracy, who took some withering backlash earlier this year when he questioned whether a gunman had actually killed children at Sandy Hook Elementary, is back at it.
This time, Tracy -- who makes more than $60,000 per year in public money and teaches courses on conspiracy theories -- thinks the Boston bombing was a hoax. According to an impossibly long and impossibly confusing missive he posted yesterday on his blog, the professor of communications thinks the government planted "mass-casualty drill actors" at the Boston Marathon before the bombs exploded.
"A multitude of evidence has already emerged in the last few days suggesting government involvement in the Boston bombing," Tracy clacked. "None of this information has been ferreted out or acknowledged by major news outlets, which... contribute to the mass psychological effect and provide additional rationale for a heightened police state."
Let's get one thing straight, Tracy. If the Boston Bombing teaches us anything: Major news outlets have no problem whatsoever publishing misrepresentations and untruths. But, Tracy says, they just won't print his mistruths. So that means -- idea explosion! -- they're part of the illuminati poised to enact totalitarian and shadowy control over the nation.
(Trust no one.)
The Tracy evidence: "Does a compelling description [italics his] of a terrorist attack replete with 'eyewitness accounts' of a terrifying scene and official pronouncements constitute an actual event?"
...Yes? It also helps that there were loads upon loads of pictures and videos, each depicting mass hysteria and panic and genuine heartache.
But that's not good enough, says Tracy. Those images were either obvious fakes -- or staged.
It's likely, Tracy contends, that "mass-casualty drill" actors descended upon the scene before the explosions to impart the mirage of a terrorist attack. It was far too convenient, he argues, that bomb-sniffing dogs were at the Boston Marathon.
Then in Tracian crescendo, he unveils The Truth.
He says in all of the pictures available, there aren't enough "bones and severed limbs" strewn about the scene. The tenured and public professor says the iconic photo of the tragedy -- which depicts our own Carlos Arredendo wheeling a sallow amputee out of the carnage -- was a hoax.
In an instant, Tracy, who got his PhD at the University of Iowa and has no discernible medical training whatsoever, becomes Tracy, MD. "The use of a wheelchair," he writes, "to aid and transport an individual with such severe injuries -- who amazingly is still conscious and discharging little, if any blood -- runs counter to common emergency medical procedure."
To say Tracy is a man gravely afflicted with confirmation bias, who cruelly manipulates public tragedy to substantiate his own bogus theories regardless of the pain they cause, would be a wild understatement.
He's also just plain wrong.
He peddled the same ideas shortly after Sandy Hook. He said the government -- in collusion with our "corporate media" -- purposely disseminated a false narrative to lubricate our transition to a police state.
But then what happened? When a vote was put to the U.S. Senate last week to pass even the most tepid of gun-control legislation, a background check, guess what went down.
The bill, which would have done no more than ensure that our existing laws are enforced, was overwhelmingly shot down.
If anything, Americans have shown time and again a great propensity to stomach tragedy such as Sandy Hook or the Boston bombing rather than sacrifice our civil liberties. The Patriot Act after 9/11 or the Sedition Act of 1918 were aberrations and nothing more.
It's shameful that Tracy would continue to exploit extremely painful experiences in our nation's history -- for no greater goal than to further his own theories -- and then accept public money for it. Freedom to pursue academic thought is one thing, but Tracy's conduct is another all together.
Evidence, we thought, was supposed to drive academia. Not conspiracy.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.