June 18, 2013
Anderson Cooper Rips Newtown Shooting Conspiracy Theorists
Posted on Jan 16, 2013
In case you missed it, a smattering of conspiracy theories about last month’s shooting in Newtown, Conn., has been making the rounds on the Internet. One claims the massacre never happened, while another states it was a plot by the government and the media to take people’s guns away.
Grieving Newtown families have been negatively impacted because of the conspiracy theories floated by the so-called Newtown truthers, with some getting harassed by hateful messages and prank calls.
Among those pushing the conspiracy theories is James Tracey, a tenured professor at Florida Atlantic University. Because of his status as a professor and educator at a public university, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who rarely acknowledges outrageous conspiracy theories, responded to Tracey during a recent edition of “AC 360.”
Cooper initially took on Tracey’s claims on his program last week, but discussed them on his show again after the professor wrote on his personal blog that the CNN host wanted “to cause him harm.” Cooper said he didn’t and went on to acknowledge the professor’s right to free speech. “But as a teacher at a public university, we think he should be accountable for the things he says and be willing to defend them,” he said.
On his program Tuesday, Cooper went after other “anonymous Internet trolls” besides Tracey who are pushing conspiracy theories.
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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