Yesterday, Fox Business host and Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano appeared on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' radio show and joined Jones in pushing conspiracy theories about the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. Napolitano announced 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.”
In the past, we've noted that Napolitano has lent his credibility -- and, by extension, Fox News' -- to Jones' show by helping Jones promote bizarre anti-government conspiracies. Jones is widely recognized as one of the leaders of the “9-11 Truth” movement. He also, among many other outlandish theories, believes a “New World Order” is going to exterminate 80% of the world's population.
While Napolitano's appearances with Jones have been problematic in the past, his foray into pushing 9-11 Truth conspiracies should - but, based on the network's refusal to reprimand on-air talent, likely won't - spell the end of Napolitano's Fox News career.
Back in September, during the five-alarm freak out over the planned Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, Fox News (and many other conservatives) attacked Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf over the fact that one of his “former associates” is a 9-11 Truther. Nevermind that Rauf himself had repeatedly and explicitly stated that the 9-11 attacks were perpetrated by extremist Muslims; Fox News found the mere fact that he used to work with someone who held that belief worth attacking him over.
Attacking Rauf on ABC, Bill O'Reilly exclaimed that it “doesn't matter” if Rauf is a truther, because “his pal” was one. Fox Nation proclaimed that Rauf “Pals Around With Truthers.” Glenn Beck called for the government to “investigate” Rauf.
And that was far from the first time that Fox has hyped controversies over people's (tangential) connections to the 9-11 Truth movement. In September 2009, when it came to light that White House adviser Van Jones' name appeared on a 9-11 Truth petition, Glenn Beck and other Fox News personalities repeatedly attacked him and the White House (Van Jones has stated that he believes Al-Qaeda caused the attacks and that he was lied to about the petition, which was “something that I never saw and never signed onto” ).
Sean Hannity said that Jones' connection “should provoke not only concern but outrage among all Americans” and added that “this 9-11 Truther thing really drives me insane.” He also asked his panel, “Do you agree with me that he should be fired immediately?”
Based on the network's treatment of people with far less solid links to 9-11 Truth conspiracies in the past, Fox needs to address Napolitano's comments. In fact, based on their standards, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and co. should all be attacked over this.
After all, they “pal around with Truthers.”