An e-mail promoting a festival of 9/11 Truther conspiracy theory films was sent today to perhaps hundreds of members of the Bay Area media by one of the city's most respected cinematic promoters, Karen Larsen of Larsen Associates. On the e-missive, a surprising number of respected Bay Area institutions were listed as "supporters" of the 9/11 Film Festival
-- and SF Weekly
's calls to several of these institutions revealed that they, too, were surprised to be listed as supporters.
One "supporter," however, proudly stood behind its decision to lend its good name to a film fest put on by conspiracy theorists and featuring works such as Loose Change
, which openly claim the destruction of the World Trade Center to be an inside job. That would be the San Francisco Bay Guardian
"They asked us to be on a long list of cosponsors and we agreed," Guardian city editor Steven T. Jones
confirmed. When asked if the Guardian
supported conspiracy theories that the Bush administration brought down the towers and slaughtered thousands of Americans to further its international agenda (which it managed to botch horribly), Jones sidestepped that question.
"I don't say I believe it's a government job. I agree with them there has not been a thorough investigation. We at the Guardian
don't endorse any particular views or theories as to what happened on that day. But we do promote vigorous public discussion. ... That certain factions of that movement argue [9/11] is a government job doesn't mean the entire movement is about saying that."
Really? Well, the folks putting on this film festival are saying exactly
that. That's why they're showing Loose Change, 7/7 Ripple Effect
("The British Loose Change
," which alleges the London subway bombings were also a government job), and have conspiracy theorist and theologian David Ray Griffin explaining why the collapse of World Trade Center Building Seven was a controlled demolition.
So if the Guardian really wants to extend this "vigorous discussion" past the persistent ravings that the World Trade Center was blown up by a sinister unseen government hand -- they've chosen some damn unusual people to "support." We'll see if they also push a "vigorous discussion" over President Obama's birthplace ... or would that be crazy?
At least the Guardian knew what it was signing up for. Our calls to Pegasus and Pendragon Books and City Lights Books revealed that they never intended to be listed as "supporters." They agreed only to sell tickets for the festival. When he found out his store had been listed as a "supporter," manager Tim Rogers promptly called the festival and asked they stop using Pegasus and Pendragon's name. Meanwhile, listed sponsor Project Censored had its own 9/11 brouhaha two years ago: Beloved, left-leaning media critic Norman Solomon resigned as one of the group's judges in disgust over the organization's insistence on pushing 9/11 conspiracy theories.
Finally, film promoter Larsen seemed to be surprised as to why she would be getting calls regarding an e-mail sent out on her address and with her phone number at the end. This, she says, was a "pass-through;" a release sent out to her huge mailing list on behalf of someone without the time, money, or connections to immediately get the attention of just about all the film-going media in the Bay Area. When asked if she applied any discretion whatsoever to whom she benefits via such "pass-throughs" she said no -- but maybe she'd start doing so now. When queried if she'd give the benefit of her mailing list and good name to, say, fervent supporters of Lyndon LaRouche or the aforementioned birthers, Larsen said she wasn't sure.
"I'll have to rethink this," she said. "I didn't put much thought into it."
Which is funny. Because that's just how conspiracy theories spread.