January 23, 2013 www.nomorefakenews.com
Alex Seitz-Wald has written a hit piece at Salon.com, attacking Jeff Rense, the owner of rense.com and long-time radio host, and Jay Weidner, who has decades of experience as a radio host and documentary producer, including extensive research into the films of Stanley Kubrick.
Seitz-Wald’s Salon article, “Your comprehensive answer to every Sandy Hook conspiracy,” slams a radio conversation between Rense and Weidner.
Among dozens of holes in the official account of the Sandy Hook murders, we have massively disturbing interviews with parents of the dead children and key members of the Newtown community.
These boggling interviews were the subject of the radio conversation Rense had with Weidner. Apparently, it really got under Seitz-Wald’s skin, because he had to feature it in his hit piece.
In particular, he went after this comment Jay Weider made: “They [the Sandy Hook residents interviewed on television] aren’t behaving the way human beings would act.”
“Why aren’t the [Sandy Hook] adults sadder [in their television interviews] ? ‘They aren’t behaving the way human beings would act,’ as conspiracy theorist Jay Weidner told fellow conspiracy theorist Jeff Rense on his radio show. Theorists have zeroed in on Robbie Parker, who they say wasn’t grieving hard enough for his slain 6-year-old daughter, Emilie. In one widely circulated clip, Parker laughs before stepping up to the microphone, and apparently someone says ‘read from the card‘ (as in cue card) before Parker breathes heavily in anticipation of beginning a press conference. ‘This is what actors do to get into character,’ one popular YouTube video states.”
Let’s take this statement apart. It’s easy. Seitz-Wald actually makes Rense’s and Weidner’s case for them by pointing to Parker. Because Robbie Parker, as anyone can see, chuckles, smiles, and acts quite relaxed and chummy just before he takes to the podium to deliver his words of grief.
It’s so stunning you have to look at the clip several times to believe your own eyes. And worse, you then watch Parker huff and puff and try to, yes, put himself into character so he can appear suitably devastated.
Does this mean he’s a hired actor? Neither Rense nor Weidner drew that conclusion, but Setiz-Wald casually allows his readers to think so.
In fact, Rense and Weidner were talking about something else, something very important: the “missing pieces” in the psyches of people who are interviewed on television, in the wake of personal horrors, people who simply don’t behave as human beings would, who show no exploding grief, no collapse, no sign of profound shock or loss.
At Salon, Seitz-Wald tries to solve this “puzzle” by referring to a study that claims the alternation between “sadness and mirth” occurs often in people who have undergone a tragedy.
This is patently absurd. The irrelevant study wasn’t tightly focused on a devastating massacre of very young children. It didn’t take into account the omnivorous presence of television and its influence.
Seitz-Wald continues: “Rense and Weidner also take issue with the mourning of the school nurse, the family of slain teacher Victoria Soto, and others.”
Yes, absolutely, and why not? The behavior of these people, as they were interviewed on television, was profoundly lacking in the kind of grief we would expect.
And Seitz-Wald calls Rense and Weidner conspiracy theorists? It’s he who doesn’t have eyes to see. If he did, and actually watched these bizarre interviews, he too would be disturbed. But instead, he’s ready to cast “conspiracy theorists” as people who believe nothing happened at Sandy Hook and no one died.
That’s one of his missions in the article, and he’s willing to grossly misrepresent Rense and Weidner to achieve the objective.
His tactic is classic. Attack the people whose ideas you want to neutralize, don’t carefully examine and report what they’re saying, and along the way attribute to them ideas they never had.
Seitz-Wald mentions another now-famous Sandy Hook resident, Gene Rosen, who was interviewed several times about the help he gave to a group of children who had fled the school.
Seitz-Wald fails to point out what Jay Weidner was saying about Rosen—that he too showed no sign of real shock or grief, certainly not at the level one would expect after 20 children had been murdered a few blocks away
Instead, Seitz-Wald focuses on criticisms made of Rosen’s account of the timeline, during which he brought children into his house and then called their parents.
Again, Weidner and Rense were talking about something else, something far more important: WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO PEOPLE IN OUR SOCIETY, SUCH THAT THEY CAN’T FIND HUMAN FEELINGS IN THEMSELVES WHEN HORRIFIC TRAGEDY STRIKES?
You want conspiracy? Here it is. People who make their living in media see no problem in the failure to be human. They set up, prepare for, and construct interviews in which people, routinely, do not act human. That is conspiracy-plus. It is an ongoing and concerted effort to hold up a mirror to millions of viewers—and the reflection says: ACT LIKE AN ANDROID BECAUSE WE LIVE IN AN ANDROID WORLD.
That is television’s day-to-day message: forget what it means to be human.
Weidner and Rense were carrying on a mature and vital conversation about the loss of humanity in modern society. For that, they were taken to task. How preposterous.
I’ll go out on a limb, after reading Seitz-Wald’s bio, and assume he’s on the side of gun control. He “interned at the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer at PBS.” He “co-founded and edited the Olive and Arrow, a blog on foreign affairs for and by young progressives.”
Does he want to avoid any break in the smooth advance from Sandy Hook to new gun laws? Does he want to derail the possibility that a real investigation of what happened at Sandy Hook would take the focus away from the guns?
I don’t know what his personal motive was for writing his Salon piece, but it surely missed the mark by a mile.
If Seitz-Wald wants to undertake something important, rather than deliver his brush-off, frivolous, and underhanded attack, he should invite Jeff Rense and Jay Weidner to a real conversation.
Let the three of them sit on camera for a couple of hours and put up the clips of television interviews with Gene Rosen, Robbie Parker, the Soto family, H Wayne Carver, Sally Cox, Kaitlin Roig, and other Sandy Hook residents.
Let’s hear a conversation about these stunning documents for our time. Stunning because they show that human beings can talk to television reporters about a profound and horrific personal tragedy without vaguely approaching what it means to be human.
That’s what Rense and Weidner were delving into on the radio, and that exploration is far from over. It makes what Seitz-Wald wrote shamelessly puerile.
Major media not only exploit victims of grief for the sake of a narrative, they tap into victims at a shocking level where there is no authentic feeling at all, and they show the audience that vacuum as a representation of reality.
If this were merely a trick, it wouldn’t be so significant. But as the television interviews with the people of Sandy Hook reveal, the interviewees are all too eager to play along. They have lost their compass completely. They have become robots by choice.
The day when a serious conversation about this is unimportant is the day when we are all underwater for good. Rense and Weidner were exploring this subject, as genuine investigators of the human condition should.
You want to talk about something real, Mr. Seitz-Wald? Start there. Buckle up, because you’re in for a bumpy ride.
Was your attack on Rense and Weidner just an offhand, tiresome, and predictable hit piece lumping together “conspiracy theorists,” because it was a slow day and you wanted to file something at Salon?
You really need to pay more attention to what the people you’re attacking are saying. It helps. I’ve found it really helps. You start by listening to their words and the intent of those words. That way you can glean the actual subject they’re covering, not some other subject.
From there, you think about what they’re exploring. You do a little thinking. Sometimes it’s hard and it throws you off your pre-formed opinion and headline, but you do it anyway. It’s part of the job.
Then (I’m really trying to help here), you decide what you think of what they think. You do it honestly. And then you gather yourself and you write. You write something that might turn out to be important.
That’s what you want. Something important, rather than something cheap that sheds paint flakes the first time you pick it up and shake it. In the long run, this will serve you. You’ll develop a habit and perhaps even a taste for going after what’s important.
In closing, I’d like to refer to another article of yours, “The Hitler gun control lie.” You made the point that Jews having guns in Germany wouldn’t have protected them from the death camps. The Nazi soldiers would have overwhelmed the Jews anyway.
I was struck by that point. I asked myself, and I ask you, if you were a Jew in Nazi Germany, how would you have wanted to die? I believe it’s a legitimate question, one that the scholars you cited rarely if ever consider.
Would you have chosen to move numbly with your family to a boxcar on a track, on your way to a camp, or would you rather have stood in your living room, in front of your wife and children, shooting bullets at your attackers?
I ask this because, again, it has to do with the definition of being human in this world. It has to do with possessing the means and the will and the desire to choose how to live and die.
Just as you ignored the very same subject in the radio conversation between Jeff Rense and Jay Weidner, I believe you ignored it in your article about Hitler, Jews, and guns.
What is the world you hope will come to pass, Mr. Seitz-Wald? I’m not asking for the flip superficial answer here, but the real one, the one that hopefully beats in your heart and mind and spirit. What are you hoping and aiming for?
People like Rense and Weidner and me, and many others who are sometimes characterized as conspiracy theorists, consider this question every day.
In case you interested, that’s where we’re coming from. This isn’t a little foolish social game we’re playing. We’ve shoved in all our chips. We look at you and we don’t see that. We see something else.
If we’re wrong, prove it. Let’s see your hole cards, because it’s rather late in the evening, and this is the main hand, and it’s time for the Reveal.
You came into our house, and it appears you were riding on a goof, but this isn’t it. This is something entirely different.
If you’re out, walk away. If you’re in, lay down all your cards. Let’s see what you’ve really got.
Your brand has no cache here. What kind of human are you?
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com