FAU professor’s misguided views disrespect victims


Did the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary or the Boston bombings actually happen? That is the question posed by Florida Atlantic University mass communications professor, James Tracy.

Though Tracy believes that he is doing a public service by warning American citizens of the manipulative actions of the American government, what he is actually doing is subjecting the public and more importantly the victims’ families to his sociocultural bias and scrutiny and invalidating the importance and dignity of the lives lost.

In January, Tracy took to his blog, memoryholeblog.com, with claims that Dec. 2012’s Newtown, Conn. school shooting did not happen as reported, or that the shooting may have never happened at all.

“While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place — at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described,” Tracy posted on his blog.

On his blog, Tracy attributes his cynicism to several factors including a noticeable lack of surveillance from the school during the shooting and the media after, how the accused shooter was able to fire so many shots in a short amount of time and what he calls “timeline confusion.”

Though many have attributed the false reports of the amount of shots fired and timeline confusion to bad journalism, Tracy attributes the errors to a larger conspiracy that leads straight to the White House. He has even created a timeline of events on his website that begins in the 1950s.

Tracy believes that the Sandy Hook shooting was orchestrated by the Obama administration and the media. He claims that the whole thing was staged to help Obama’s gun control agenda.

But Tracy’s unfounded views have set the Internet on fire with people buying into his conspiracy and even accusing parents that came forward to talk to the media of being actors.

The shooting is not the only terror event that Tracy is placing blame on the American government for. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombings, Tracy took to his blog to say that he believes there is evidence that contradicts what is being reported about the bombings. He questions the force and direction of the explosions and the amount of damage they could have caused.

Though there is always room for questioning the information and the sources of information society is inundated with, there is a time and place for it outside of preying on vulnerable moments.

Shaunda Wickham is a junior majoring in mass communications.