Addressing the countless "Sandy Hook was a hoax" videos that have been spreading, in 3 parts. Our apologies for the swearing and insulting tone of part 1. If you want a more moderate tone see part 3. But it's worth mentioning that part 1's insulting dismissal of "conspiracy theorists" and the lumping in of 9/11 truth with this conspiracy is *exactly* the disastrous fall-out that occurs when conspiracy truth seekers promote every conspiracy without self-discipline or restraint. This is the subject of our editorial: Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories Are a Detriment to Alternative Media's Credibility.
For the most comprehensive review, check out this written response which addresses every main claim from the most popular conspiracy video:
Also, see this.
The bottom line is, this video relied on making some rather blatant and disingenuous claims that point to a deliberate attempt to deceive and misinform. The most clear example: The CNN Anderson Cooper interview where the narrator questions the authenticity of the parents happy facial expressions. The audio is muted throughout while the narrator insinuates that the parents may be actors. However, if you watch the clip with the audio unmuted, it's obvious that the couple is happy because they are reminiscing about positive memories of their daughter. And of course, the video creator knew this, muted the audio and used this as evidence to create suspicion in the viewer. What's the motivation for promoting fallacious claims that seem compelling on the surface, and which ultimately aims to stir up fear about gun control? You can draw your own conclusions.
Debunking the Sandy hook conspiracy video, point-by-point
Theory 1: The first thing the video tries to allege is that there is a second shooter. They love to grab early media footage and then use that as "evidence" of their claims, as if the media's first reporting is somehow golden. Odd that conspiracy theorists distrust the media, then turn around and use its raw reporting claims as evidence. Anyway, you can easily google and figure out who the guy in the woods was.
[link to www.youtube.com (secure)]
He is the father of a student there and the athletic director at the highschool. He was on his way to the school to help make gingerbread houses with 1st graders when he heard the shots. He was unarmed, arrested, detained, questioned, and let go. The story of the guy in the woods was a dead end, so the media dropped it. That is the problem with the 24 hour news cycle, they will report any lead they get before sorting out facts. However, this is hardly evidence of a conspiracy.
The video even makes the ridiculous claim that since the guy was sitting in the FRONT of the police car, that he must have some "crazy" credentials. Yeah, what is more likely...that this guy was a concerned father or that he was a man with some "crazy" credentials on a black ops mission to shoot up a school but he just didn't have the skills to properly vacate, and so he ended up getting himself captured by lowly local law enforcement, AND broadcast on national tv, potentially exposing his super secret black op? C'mon.
Theory 2: The gun discrepancy. This can be chalked up to contradictory reporting, which is going to happen when the media competes with itself to be the first one to break any new details. There have already been articles clearing up the discrepancies: [link to edition.cnn.com]
Theory 3: The nurse is fake and does not exist. This is completely false, and has been debunked with evidence: [link to www.youtube.com (secure)]
Theory 4: The laughing/crying father. This means absolutely nothing. No one can judge how a father copes with the loss of his daughter, and it's offensive that people are criticizing him for it. I have been to several funerals, I have witnessed family members and friends switch in and out of laughter and tears. They think of fond memories of the one they lost, they tell stories, they laugh, and they cry. People grieve in different ways. We do not have the right to criticize his reaction, and it's not evidence of a conspiracy.
Theory 5: Emillie Parker is not dead. This is the most absurd thing I have seen so far in the video. The video alleges not only that the girl is not dead, but that the parents were so stupid they brought out the wrong sister for the photo op. What? Do people honestly believe that? [link to www.youtube.com (secure)] It's a picture of her sister. Obviously. They look alike because, you know, they're sister's. This guy uses the same photoshop trick as the conspiracy video and gets the same effect. [link to i.imgur.com]
Theory 6: One piece of footage of the crime scene does not show many ambulances and shows no children. The author claims this means this was all staged. He goes on to say that only one ambulance was there the whole time and they quickly blocked off all exits. The problem with this is twofold. Firstly, there are several pictures of multiple ambulances: [link to www.politico.com] Secondly, this footage that the videos author is commenting on is likely taken well after the shooting took place, which easily explains why there aren't a bunch of ambulances around and no one is panicking. More things taken out of context because they fit the authors narrative.
Theory 7: Time stamps on the webpage set up for donations state the page was created before the shootings took place. Google search results do not always accurately reflect the date the content was published. Example) Here is a date restrictive search of sandy hook ( [link to www.google.com] ), listing all articles that appear to be published before the shooting took place. Well shit, according to google this there are articles and videos from these dates talking about the shooting: Jan 14, 2012 , Jun 19, 2012 , Sept 16, 2012 ..well before the shooting took place. Debunked.
Statement from Films For Action:
"If you want to protect your gun rights, do it with truth and honesty." From part 2 above.
Here's the deal guys. We're not disinfo agents. This isn't a whitewash. If a story has credible information supporting it, we will publish that information. Take a look at our archives and you will see we stuck our necks out
to cover the most credible information
related to 9/11, despite many media groups
not even wanting to touch the legitimate stuff for fear of being associated with all the nutty misinformation and the taboo 'conspiracy theorist' label.
But we've researched this issue and it is baseless. There is no credible information supporting it. And you'll find that many of the videos that originated this particular conspiracy are conspiracy entrepreneurs that thrive on promoting every new event as a conspiracy, to fuel page hits, new followers and ad revenue. A bit cynical you might say but it's true. Conspiracy factories like Infowars.com thrive on promoting every new conspiracy idea because it furthers their own agenda, which is to get their audience afraid and to resist any and all gun legislation. Just listen to the Alex Jones show or any of his affiliate websites and you will hear over and over again, "they're coming for your guns!!" "They want to take all the guns!"
They never once qualify their statement rationally with what is actually being talked about, which is an assault weapon and high-capacity ammunition ban. There is no discussion about taking *all* guns or a total gun ban.
But that is the hype and fear they are trying to sell, because they have an agenda and they will lie and be dishonest to push that agenda when necessary. And once you take the time to sincerely consider honestly the evidence debunking these Sandy Hook conspiracy videos, you will see just how deceptive these videos are. And what's worse, this is only hurting the gun rights side of the argument by having these people on your team.
Again, I'll repeat the quote from above: "If you want to protect your gun rights, do it with truth and honesty."
Conspiracies are big bucks
Lurking behind any conspiracy theory is what Goldberg calls “conspiracy entrepreneurs.”
“These people live and die on the sale of tapes, on books, on speaking engagements, that’s how people make their bread and butter,” Goldberg said. And there’s a constant need to invent new theories, because eventually the public will tire of existing ones. So any time something like Sandy Hook comes along, these people jump on it for their next round of theories.
The biggest and most obvious conspiracy entrepreneur today is Alex Jones, who has built an empire peddling every conspiracy theory imaginable since 9/11. His two websites combined get an astonishing 11.5 million visitors per month, and over 28 million page views, according to his advertising kit, making InfoWars.com the 390th most popular website in the United States. Thus you can see the economics of inventing theories about Sandy Hook, simply because it is there. Indeed, Jones’ traffic has shot up since the shooting, according to the analytics company Alexa.
But he is merely the most successful of many, and the latest in a long lineage of conspiracy entrepreneurs going back to the Kennedy assassination. One popular Sandy Hook truther video already has 8.5 million views on YouTube. With the platform’s ad revenue-sharing model, it’s possible the creators are making real money off this.