Fox host: 9/11 truthers are ‘mentally ill’
David Edwards and Stephen C. Webster
Thursday February 5, 2009
When the New York Times explored the political beliefs of Daniel Sunjata, an actor on the FX network’s show “Rescue Me,” it was under the banner of a “sinister theory.”
The “sinister theory” that a group of neoconservative politicians may have colluded to allow, or bring about, the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
On Thursday’s Fox and Friends, Greg Gutfield, provocative host of Fox’s late night program Red Eye, called individuals like Sunjata, who question the events of 9/11, “mentally ill.”
“[Sunjata] believe that 9/11 was a preemptive strike by a neoconservative government,” said Gutfield. “I think that means Bush. What angers me about this is people are treating it with respect.”
The 9/11 issues are major plot lines in the first 10 episodes of Rescue Me season 5, set to air in April.
“The New York Times ran a piece about it,” said Gutfield. “They interviewed the producer — the producer described the actor, the actor believes this stuff, that the actor is well-read, very passionate about it.
“They say this sort of thing about conspiratorialists all the time, but they never say these people are idiots, they’re mentally ill, they shouldn’t be treated with respect.
“It’s an insult to people that were victims of 9/11 and their families. It’s an insult to firefighters. I am surprised they are doing this.”
Of course, Gutfield, as a professional media water and commentator, shouldn’t be surprised at all.
In 2005, the Fire Department of New York saw its Muslim Chaplain resign after espousing views similar to Sunjata’s.
“I’ve heard professionals say that nowhere ever in history did a steel building come down with fire alone,” said the Chaplain in an interview with Newsday.
“It takes two or three weeks to demolish a building like that,” he said. “But it was pulled down in a couple of hours. Was it 19 hijackers who brought it down, or was it a conspiracy?”
And the former NYFD Chaplain is not alone in his ranks. A group named Firefighters for 9/11 Truth has called for:
“A truly independent investigation with Subpoena and Contempt Powers to uncover the complete truth of the events related to 9/11/2001 — specifically the collapse of WTC Tower 7 and the possibility of explosive demolition. The investigation to follow the national standards so clearly outlined in the National Fire Protection Association guidelines, specifically, NFPA 921 to include thorough analysis of the steel for the presence of ‘exotic accelerants.’ Congress to honor the promises made to the rescue workers of 9/11 by passing the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2008. Prosecution of all individuals willfully involved in the planning, and execution of the murders committed on September 11, 2001. Prosecution of all individuals willfully involved in the Obstruction of Justice and Destruction of Evidence surrounding the events of September 11, 2001.”
“‘They’re not discussed a lot in the press,’ Daniel Sunjata, the actor who plays Franco Rivera on “Rescue Me,’ told reporters at a television press tour last month,” reported the Times. “He predicted that the episode would be ‘socio-politically provocative.’
“… Mr. Sunjata’s character delivers a two-minute monologue for a French journalist describing a ‘neoconservative government effort’ to control the world’s oil, drastically increase military spending and ‘change the definition of pre-emptive attack.’ To put it into action, he continues, ‘what you need is a new Pearl Harbor. That’s what they said they needed.'”
Furthermore, Gutfield’s assertion that the families of 9/11 victims would be offended at the questioning of the official story in popular media is particularly revisionist, if he was referring to every family.
While some family members are critical of President Obama’s decision to shut down the Guantánamo prison, widows of 9/11 victims were instrumental in forcing the formation of the 9/11 Commission, which was ultimately run by Bush transition team adviser Philip Zelikow after Bush’s first choice, Henry Kissinger, resigned under intense fire from the widows.
The 2006 film 9/11: Press for Truth tells the tale of those widows, whose efforts to have their litany of questions answered went unheeded under the Bush administration.
“People are too scared to confront the 9/11 conspiracies,” said Gutfield. “Cause, it’s like the crazy guy on the subway, you don’t want to make eye contact, but eventually you gotta make eye contact. You gotta tell that guy to get lost.”
The hosts failed to note that the FX network, which is airing “Rescue Me,” is owned by News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News.
This video is from Fox’s Fox & Friends, broadcast Feb. 5, 2009.