James Tracy, the professor behind the Newtown conspiracy theory, has gained national attention for his claim that the media’s coverage of the tragedy was orchestrated to further gun control legislation. The topic is still being discussed, but the story is no longer about just the Newtown conspiracy theory, it is about Tracy himself.
The Newtown conspiracy theory started on Tracy’s personal blog, Memoryholeblog.com. In a series of articles, culminating in the updated “Sandy Hook School Massacre Timeline,” Tracy, a professor at Florida Atlantic University, details what he calls an organized effort behind the media’s portrayal of the Sandy Hook shooting.
Tracy notes the conflicting reports that initially emerged from the media as well as early eyewitness accounts of the rampage that led to the deaths of 28 people, 20 of whom were children, including gunman Adam Lanza. Tracy lays out his thesis that the numerous contradictory reports, including eyewitness accounts of multiple shadows, footage of additional suspects, reports of more than one suspect being arrested and questioned, indicate a larger conspiracy surrounding the coverage. Namely, President Barack Obama’s administration’s efforts to push gun control legislation.
According to Tracy, the idea of a lone gunman being responsible for the Sandy Hook shooting is a narrative that was pushed to fast-track gun control legislation. The idea that one person was responsible for the Sandy Hook shooting, using high-powered guns legally owned by his mother, is a much more powerful narrative than a massacre planned and carried out by a group of people, says Tracy.
Since Tracy’s conspiracy theory drew national attention, he has made plenty of public appearances to promote it. It’s understandable that Tracy has received a share of the spotlight stemming from his Newtown conspiracy theory, especially when the event is only now just one month old, but now Tracy may becoming just as much of the story himself.
Tracy claims that Cooper singled him out for scorn, broadcasting his photo, even inciting the public to harm him. In the comment section on the CNN story, Tracy responded to a reader’s comment with a link of Cooper’s supposed CIA connection.
While Tracy did not comment much on the Cooper post, he did update the Sandy Hook timeline to include the incident.
In the updated timeline, Tracy writes, “CNN anchor Anderson Cooper launches blistering attack on Florida Atlantic University Professor James F. Tracy for 'spinning conspiracy theories' and declining to appear on his cable news program, ‘Anderson Cooper 360 Degrees [sic].’”
According to Tracy, CNN sent one of their local reporters, John Zarraella, to FAU. Tracy claims that Zarraella interviewed Mary Jane Saunders, FAU’s president. Tracy then claims Zarraella went to his home, shot some footage to use later and tried to get a phone interview with him. Tracy declined, which led to the release of the statement on his blog.
Tracy proceeds to end the entry with a description of Cooper’s demeanor on the show: “Throughout the segment, Cooper appeared indignant that he and CNN’s journalistic efforts in the wake of the December 14 tragedy would be questioned. ‘To suggest that reporters on the ground didn’t work to find out what happened there on the ground is beyond crazy,’ Cooper opined. ‘Everybody asked questions. That’s what we do.’”
Tracy is far from finished with the Newtown conspiracy and it seems he's only attracted even more attention. It will be interesting to see if Tracy does back away from the spotlight, as he claims his family has urged him to do, or if he continues to focus on his conspiracy theory and his own role in it.
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.