New York Times reporter Alan Feuer made the front page Wednesday with his investigation of a former Army colonel who wrongly thinks Donald Trump was robbed of reelection by voting machines in 2020: “Phil Waldron’s Unlikely Role in Pushing Baseless Election Claims.”
It would be a typically overheated expose of an unproven conservative conspiracy theory, but for the byline. You see, Alan Feuer once reported more favorably on a convention of 9-11 Truthers and rehashed their crazed convictions the Bush administration had murdered thousands of its own citizens as a pretext for….something. The double standard on these two stories is stark.
There’s this from 2021:
A few days after President Biden’s inauguration put to rest one of the most chaotic transitions in U.S. history, a former Army colonel with a background in information warfare appeared on a Christian conservative podcast and offered a detailed account of his monthslong effort to challenge the validity of the 2020 vote count.
In a pleasant Texas drawl, the former officer, Phil Waldron, told the hosts a story that was almost inconceivable: how a cabal of bad actors, including Chinese Communist officials, international shell companies and the financier George Soros, had quietly conspired to hack into U.S. voting machines in a “globalist/socialist” plot to steal the election.
In normal times, a tale like that — full of wild and baseless claims — might have been dismissed as the overheated rantings of a conspiracy theorist….
Compare that to Feuer’s report from June 2006, “500 Conspiracy Buffs Meet to Seek the Truth of 9/11,” which respectfully covered a conference dedicated to the proposition that the Bush administration either knew or was actually instigated the 9-11 attacks that killed over 3,000 Americans. The text box said of the conference: “Some participants see an American tradition of questioning concentrated power.”
Feuer oozed congeniality.
Such was the coming-out for the movement known as “9/11 Truth,” a society of skeptics and scientists who believe the government was complicit in the terrorist attacks. In colleges and chat rooms on the Internet, this band of disbelievers has been trying for years to prove that 9/11 was an inside job.
Whatever one thinks of the claim that the state would plan, then execute, a scheme to murder thousands of its own, there was something to the fact that more than 500 people — from Italy to Northern California — gathered for the weekend at a major chain hotel near the runways of O’Hare International. It was, in tone, half trade show, half political convention….
Feuer painted these conspiracy theorists as merely colorful folks:
Mr. Berger, 40, is typical of 9/11 Truthers — a group that, in its rank and file, includes professors, chain-saw operators, mothers, engineers, activists, used-book sellers, pizza deliverymen, college students, a former fringe candidate for United States Senate and a long-haired fellow named hummux (pronounced who-mook) who, on and off, lived in a cave for 15 years.
He even found some polling to bolster the 9-11 Truthers, akin to Feuer approvingly citing polls showing many Republicans believe the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.
It would even seem the Truthers are not alone in believing the whole truth has not come out. A poll released last month by Zogby International found that 42 percent of all Americans believe the 9/11 Commission “concealed or refused to investigate critical evidence” in the attacks….
Today millions of Americans think Donald Trump was robbed of the 2020 election. Does the Times believe that lends their beliefs credibility? Would a Times reporter ever suggest the “whole truth has not come out” regarding the last election?
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