Debating 9/11 & Left Gatekeepers with Eric Larsen and David Rovics

Eric Larsen--novelist, English professor emeritus, trenchant social critic and 9/11 truth supporter--will be my guest today, Monday 4/7/08, on Dynamic Duo, 4-6 pm CT, Network 4 Eric recently blasted the left gatekeepers: See excerpt below.

Singer-songwriter David Rovics for his part recently ripped on the 9/11 truth movement and defended those we call left gatekeepers: I've had an email conversation with him since then, and he says he'll look at,, and and would be happy to have a radio conversation with a 9/11 truth jihadi! This suggests to me that unlike certain people on the other side, Rovics has integrity and a reasonably open mind. It should be a great conversation.

On tomorrow, Tuesday 4/8, David Rovics will join me on 9/11 and Empire Radio, 8-10 pm CT,, along with Michael Dolan, Research Professor of Biology, University of Massachusetts: (Like my guest on Sat. 3/29, Anthony Hall, Michael Dolan is not currently listed at but probably will be soon!) My complete radio schedule:


In an email introducing a piece back in December 2007, I said that “Progressives like Amy Goodman hide behind the good they do in order to escape censure for the bad.” I say it again in "The Premeditated Murder of the United States of America," and here's some of what follows it in that essay:

"The same is true of Howard Zinn. The same is true of Joe Conason. The same is true, among many others, of David Corn, of Katrina vanden Heuvel, of Tom Engelhardt, Matthew Rothschild, Jacob Weisberg, Keith Olbermann, Michael Lerner, Christopher Hayes, Frank Rich, Arianna Huffington, Robert Silvers, Rodrigue Tremblay, Gene Lyons, Richard Posner, Leon Wieseltier, Thomas de Zengotita, and Noam Chomsky.

"It’s time to stop reading, or even being polite to, any of these people. It’s time to stop reading, or tolerating, any of their publications, magazines, articles, or periodicals. It’s time to stop watching any of their television appearances. It’s time to declare all of these people to be what they are and to boycott and dismiss all of these people because of what they are.

"And what are they? The answer is that they all -whether wittingly or unwittingly is impossible to say- work for the corpo-fascist government that began murdering the republic on 9/11 and that is now almost finished with the job it set out to do. They are all liars- again, whether wittingly or unwittingly is impossible to say--primarily but not only and by no means always, by omission. All of them- knowingly or unknowingly, intentionally or effectively, wittingly or unwittingly -stand in the way of 9/11 truth’s being revealed. They all are standing in the way of that truth’s being correctly, properly, openly, ethically, and responsibly revealed, publicized, described, and made known. And if that truth is not made known in those ways, the republic will die, and, furthermore, it will be dead by inauguration day of 2009. On the other hand, if that truth is made known in those ways, and if it is made known soon enough, the republic, and we, the citizens of it, may survive."

Zinn and Lerner?

Has this guy done like, ANY research into the folks he's badmouthing?


Lerner is in your book, Kevin. What the hell?

As much as I respect Kevin....

...I don't understand how he puts Howard Zinn in that list...the man questions the official story, has given positive blurbs to DRG's books ....the man is in his 80's and has accomplished incredible things in his life...I think we can ask only so much from him on this topic at this point.....

9/11 Truth ends the 9/11 Wars


....I didn't read Kevin's post closely enough to realize he was quoting Eric Larsen, not himself....I should've known bad......

9/11 Truth ends the 9/11 Wars


... why does Larsen put Zinn on that list?

What if some of the well-respected individuals on the Patriots Question 911 site were to personally contact some of the most important left gatekeepers? I think something like that could be very useful.

Fight the wrong enemies and you lose the battle

"It’s time to stop reading, or even being polite to, any of these people. It’s time to stop reading, or tolerating, any of their publications, magazines, articles, or periodicals. It’s time to stop watching any of their television appearances. It’s time to declare all of these people to be what they are and to boycott and dismiss all of these people because of what they are."

It's very simple. You fight the wrong enemies and you lose the battle.

Instead of not being "polite" to the MSM, why not spend energy instead promoting 9/11 truth and becoming the alternative media. Attacking people because they won't address 9/11 is not going to solve anything. If someone is attacking you because you won't agree to your point of view, do you agree with them, or do you ignore them?

The 9/11 truth movement has to make the MSM irrelevant. I fail to see what is accomplished by creating straw-man adversaries. Yes, there are gatekeepers, and yes, we have to get past them. But attacking them won't change a damn thing.


"The way I study [social interaction] is through dialog... I think we could use a little more conviviality within the Truth movement... one reason for that is that we want people to join us... by reaching out to them in a conviviality way... people will come on board... I think we need to enjoy dialog including with people that we don't agree with... [especially] non-9/11 truth people... I want dialog with [people who support the official story]—dialog is good... this is the key to the politics that we need to practice..."
Arabesque: 911 Truth

Spot on

Disruption, Harassment, and Guilt by Association

From this article 5 years after 9/11:

"Here is my assessment. The reason for the discrepancy between what people know about 9/11 and what they are willing to do to stop the War on Terror; the reason we have ultimately failed, in other words, has to do with the scope and sophistication of the political and social control mechanisms used against us; namely, disruption and disinformaiton. I have been an activist for 20 years, and I have seen and experienced COINTELPRO-style disruption many times in the past. Yet never before have I witnessed it used on such a scale and with such precision as I have within the 9/11 Truth Movement. There are thousands of examples, but let me give you just a few....

When we launched our Democracy Now campaign, we asked activists and the general public to send them emails requesting they have David Ray Griffin on their show. We provided a sample letter, but encouraged people to write their own, and we asked them always to be polite. We also provided them the email addresses to send their letters, and we included our own email address in the mix, so we could see what kinds of letters Democracy Now was receiving. What happened was very telling. For every two or three emails they received that were respectful and well-written, they received one that was either highly insulting, vehemently anti-semitic, or down-right ludicrous. The timing and repetitive use of specific phrases among many of these emails revealed a coordinated effort to disrupt our campaign and convince Democracy Now not to associate with us."

One way of controlling the opposition is by becoming it--creating campaigns of harassment against journalists who would otherwise be receptive to considering 9/11 truth. Instead they are spammed with nonsense and threats, turning them off from looking at the issue. This is all part of the 9/11 cover-up, and I believe it is intentional.
Arabesque: 911 Truth

'One way of controlling the opposition is by becoming it.'

Isn't this the same thing BushCo is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan?

If we stopped allowing the DOD and CIA free reign to bankrupt this country for their 'war on the rest of us', we could be doing a lot of good instead.

But with the M$M totally under government control and a Congress who can't bend over far enough to kiss BushCo ass, then it's 'we the people' who are going to have to find a way to stop them. I think the only way we can do that is to wake more and more people up to the truth about the rulers of this country, who think killing 3000+ of their own citizens is just collateral damage.


Yes. Recommending that we be rude and boycott will mainly serve to polarize people into "with us" or "against us" rather than everyone trying to get along and cope and just fight the real enemies.

Let them be and focus on doing our own positive stuff.

If we stop voting KB's stuff down for one week he's back to trashing the most powerful left speakers and activists once again and calling for people to be rude. Too bad.

Blocking the Olympic torch in any way humanly possible is one thing -- that's when we really put our body on the line for truth and fight repression.

But being rude and aggressive to aging left icons is not okay. They are who they are. Let them be.

Rovics appears to be in denial and has written an low-brow essay. His concerns should be examined. He should be called out for his worst statements and challenged, but no one in any movement needs to be treated rudely.

"It’s time to stop

"It’s time to stop reading, or even being polite to any of these people."

So what exactly do you have in mind here, Kev? What do you mean by "stop being polite"? This isn't yet another attempt to re-frame hard, but civil, questions as "rudeness" is it? Because a good journalist can ask hard searching questions and be polite at the same time.

OTOH: You can't ignore someone AND be rude to them at the same time.

Not Kevin's comment

Look at the quotation marks. Kevin did not say that.

My bad

It would help if Kev DIDN'T have a habit of saying dodgy things that sound exactly like this RE: Amy Goodman.

But I should have read closer.

Sorry, Kev.

I recommend a careful reading of Eric Larsen's work

And of my posts before you comment ; )

If you actually read this post, you'll see that I WAS polite to Rovics and he responded by agreeing to come on my show. Tune in tonight and you'll hear a civil conversation.

As for Eric Larsen, his views are worth considering. Larsen is the author of A Nation Gone Blind, which is by far the best work I have yet read on the dumbing down of America -- and I've read quite a few, including the better-known but shallower work of Neil Postman. Larsen is probably the most important cultural commentator at work today. He may be the best writer in the 9/11 truth movement--which is saying something, since Griffin, Scott and Tarpley are very good at what they do. The only other 9/11 truth author with Larsen's literary flair might be Mathias Broeckers, and I can't really tell since he writes in German.

Anyway, the sight of people who can't even read a simple blog post ripping on the likes of Eric Larsen, a brilliant writer who is also our leading analyst of the dumbing down of America, is sad and ironic.

I see an awful lot of knee-jerk know-nothing reactions to all sorts of things in the 9/11 truth movement. Maybe it's because the internet encourages quick emotionally-charged misreadings and shallow readings. Read, reflect, think, keep an open mind! Listen to Eric Larsen, read his work. Listen to David Rovics. Get a sense of where such people are coming from before jumping to conclusions.

By the way, Rep, Eric Larsen is fully aware of Michael Lerner's admirable contribution to 9/11 and Empire v.2. Eric Larsen is also aware that despite that essay, which would have been a good first step, Lerner has chosen not to know and speak the truth about 9/11. When Eric Larsen raises the question of just how much patience should we have with such people, and says there has to be a limit, his argument cannot be easily dismissed--especially through knee-jerk emotional reactions and misreadings.

Don't lay it on too thick, Kev

Notice, I apologized as soon as I knew I was in the wrong--and no one had to hunt me down and twist my arm.

Don't think this means you're getting a pass on everthing else.

I also recommend Larsen's book Nation Gone Blind

Larsen criticizes "half-truths." Maybe that's why he criticizes Zinn, for not taking a position on whether 9/11 is "blow back" or "false flag." Recommending DRG's book is good, but it's not really taking a position.

Howard Zinn has a new book, which begins with the events of 9/11:

He doesn't seem to be talking about 9/11 much in his recent articles. He's still very active and could speak out if he chose to. How does his new book address 9/11?

Here is a recent article, treating 9/11 as blowback:

"The ruthless attacks of September 11th (as the official 9/11 Commission acknowledged) derived from fierce hatred of U.S. expansion in the Middle East and elsewhere."

So it looks like Larsen is right - this is at best a half-truth.

Not A Half-Truth -- A Big Lie

The idea that Arabs and Muslims are so stupid as to think that a big terrorist event in the US would get the US out of the Middle East, rather than deeper in, is a symptom of extreme racism.

Fierce hatred of US expansion drives resistance THERE but not terrorism here. Did the Vietnamese blow up American buildings?! Why do so many people imagine that Arabs and Muslims are fanatical suicide-loving morons ready to destroy their own cause with a 9/11?!

Racist Americans, brainwashed by the propaganda of the Zionists who completely control all major US media, project their own repressed emotional selves on the imagined Arab-Muslim enemy. It is the sickest, most despicable form of dehumanization imaginable. With "friends" like Zinn, whose moronic emotion-driven "analysis" has been brilliantly deconstructed in Larsen's latest piece, we Muslims have no need of enemies.

Good comment Kev.

The fact is that Vietnam began to heal after we evacuated Saigon, and with no help from us. Iraq will also heal if given the chance. Emotion drives this war machine, but how do we pull the plug? I suspect It will be the rising gas and milk prices that will stop this madness, not the raw truth, though we must use whatever we can to calm down the public amygdala that clouds reason.

Yeah, I should have thought more about that

It's a lie. What I had in mind was the possibility that patsies might be motivated by that, but it's a weak point. Reading Zinn's statement again, it really is appalling. Larsen was right to put Zinn in the group of liars by omission. In fact, Zinn is actively telling a lie here, whether he knows it or not. How can Zinn endorse DRG's book, then make such an unquestioned endorsement of the official lies? He's an influential person, and the mere question about such an important matter should keep him from premising an argument on its truth.

Pure political calculation and professional ego

Mr. Zinn can write an endorsement for the back cover of a book (or even three) and as long as he doesn't espouse views contrary to the "conventional wisdom" in his articles and essays he will not get marginalized and still get published.

I think that there is also a combination of doublethink and lack of courage and at work here.

In a similar way, Mr. Chomsky can rationalize saying that there's nothing to 9/11 truth while admitting he has not looked into it, his truly bizarre and completely intellectually dishonest version of plausible deniability. Finally, I think that he thinks that within his structural analysis model it really doesn't make any difference who did 9/11. Just another reason to discard that model as incomplete.

Then again, they may be true paid gatekeepers, only time will tell.

The truth shall set us free. Love is the only way forward.

Great point - I'd include Richard Falk

Professor Emeritus of International Law and Practice at Princeton University and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

He wrote a strong article acknowledging the possibility 9/11 was an inside job in American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, Vol I.. But (I thought) nothing on the Internet.

I was wrong, there is this:

Still, I'd like to see more. Professor Falk says:

" I would not pretend to understand the issues well enough to determine whether the suspicions of these responsible scholars about governmental complicity is justified, but I am confident that their arguments deserve scrutiny and substantive response rather than derision and neglect."

Falk is not going much farther than Zinn, and this is not far enough given the profound impact of 9/11 on issues he writes about. As Falk states in his foreward to DRG's New Pearl Harbor:

"Why should the official account of 9/11 be treated as sacrosanct and accepted at face value, especially as it is the rationale for some of the most dangerous undertakings in the whole history of the world?"

We're past having to feel embarrassed about not treating the official account as sacrosanct and not accepting it at face value. As an intellectual and professor of international law, he can understand and should make the effort to understand the issues, determine for himself whether suspicions of governmental complicity are justified, and either make substantive response or speak out more strongly. It's his responsibility in these dark times.

A start would be to publish on the Internet a revised version of his article in Intellectual' Speak Out, updated to reflect his current understanding and his own determination of which hypotheses are most likely to be true.


"I see an awful lot of knee-jerk know-nothing reactions to all sorts of things in the 9/11 truth movement."

I don't see many "know-nothing" reactions in our movement.

I see a lot of different types of people staying on top of those known to give a voice and a podium to the worst hoax advocates and disruptors. This is a benefit for all of us, and any misattributions amount to nothing more than the fact that we've seen it all before, and we're sick of seeing it at all, no matter who it is coming from.

No response was posted to Larson's statement so the response is in the comments. This is what's expected on almost all blogs. Who said it doesn't really matter. What matters is that most object and have good reason. If Larson went around defending Morgan Reynolds, it would be easy to see why we need these responses.