Several September 11 victims' relatives are speaking out against the conspiracy theories espoused by Judge Andrew Napolitano, who is apparently a contender to replace Glenn Beck.
Napolitano, who Beck suggested as his replacement just last night on Fox Business Network, has a history of promoting conspiracy theories, including the belief that the government is lying about the 9/11 attacks. While Beck has condemned so-called "Truthers," Napolitano has regularly filled in for Beck.
Napolitano currently hosts a show on Fox Business, and the New York Daily News reported yesterday that he is one of several "potential long-term replacements" for Beck.
Speaking in November on a leading conspiracist radio show, Napolitano said that it's "hard for me to believe that" World Trade Center Building 7 "came down by itself" -- a central tenet of 9-11 conspiracy theories -- and claimed that "twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us."
Charles Wolf, whose wife, Katherine, died in the World Trade Center's North Tower, said Fox needs to be careful about promoting someone with such views.
"If he is going to be on there, I think there needs to be some control," he said of Napolitano. "There comes a point where the media can be irresponsible by what they do and don't do. There are sins of commission, and one of those sins of commission is allowing people like this on.
"I personally do not believe in any of these conspiracy theories. I think we are well past that stage. We don't need to be cluttering up people's time with bullshit."
Nancy Aronson, whose sister-in-law died aboard American Airlines Flight 11, is a board member of Families of September 11. She called the possibility of Napolitano taking over for Beck "disappointing."
"It is disappointing when a major network would put on someone who would espouse a view that is so involved in personal aggrandizement. I would be disappointed Fox would do that," she said. "I would hope [removing] Glenn Beck would mean stepping in the direction of having what they say is 'fair and balanced' coverage. That is certainly not a step in that direction. It does nothing to clarify the situation so many have worked to clarify."
Herb Ouida, whose son, Todd, was killed in the North Tower, said Napolitano may well be seeking attention. He said it may not be worth his time to watch.
"I have dismissed [such theories] so early on, I would probably turn it off," he said. "There are people in Dallas still looking for the other [JFK] gunman. There will always be people who promote themselves to be outlandish. I wonder how firm those viewpoints are held or if they are held to attract attention. There is no evidence here, and this guy is a lawyer."
He added, "That's Fox. I don't agree with them. Overall, I don't watch Fox. They have a right to broadcast, but I don't agree with it."
Elinor Stout, the mother of a Cantor Fitzgerald employee who died in the tower attacks, says such conspiracies take attention away from the important facts surrounding the tragedy.
"I feel that conspiracy theories are always going to be the case, look at what happened with JFK, what is happening now with the insane preacher burning the Koran," she said. "One has to keep a focus on what really happened."
She added when asked about Napolitano: "There will always be nutcases around. I don't know how much press we should give it. I think it is all part of the influence of media. If they just have him, it is like having Glenn Beck spewing all of his crazy stuff with no one to speak out about the other side."