Allahpundit asks a great question:
Also, I’m a free-speech guy, but … someone sent me this link the other day and it made me want to open a vein. What’s with all the news about 9/11 conspiracies lately? Pages like that being circulated, Loose Change on Google Video, that Zogby opinion poll saying 45% of Americans think 9/11 needs to be investigated further — it seems like we’re reaching some kind of critical mass lately, but I’m not sure why. Consider this an open call for the Screw Loose Change guys to offer their theories.
Well, I have a few thoughts on that that I'd like some feedback from our commenters on:
1. The approaching five year anniversary of the attack. This works in the 9-11 CT crowd's favor in two ways. First, our emotions are no longer quite as raw as they were in the early days. We can see this with Hollywood's sudden willingness to use the events of that terrible day in movies like United 93 and the upcoming World Trade Center. It also focuses the Truthers' efforts. They know (Dylan mentions it in virtually every interview) that on 9-11-06 the nation's attention is likely to focus on the attacks in a way that won't happen again for another 5 years. It is my impression that the Kennedy Assassination CT experienced its first boomlet (helped quite a bit by showboat Jim Garrison) also around the five year mark.
2. Loose Change itself. It galls me to admit this, but LC is a slick movie with elements that keep an audience raised on MTV hooked--hip music, animation, and "factoids" presented in such a rapid-fire manner that your attention is focused on details, not the big picture. Try watching some of the other CT movies, which are about as interesting as filmstrips on Soviet wheat production in the 1950s.
3. Google Video/YouTube and broadband access to the internet. The fact that Loose Change can be downloaded for free or watched in streaming format means that there's no cash outlay required. As the old saying goes, if it's free I'll take three. I suspect that for every person who's seen the movie at a screening or purchased a DVD, there are 100 who've watched it online.
The good news for those of us not in the CT camp is that the 9-11 "Truth" movement is still not yet ready for primetime. Operating in the shadows, with very little support, the Truthers have been forced to cooperate, and this will be their downfall. There's an old saying (seldom observed), "no enemies on the Left", which meant that the Left should focus its efforts on defeating the Right, not on intramural squabbles between the Trotskyites and the Stalinists. So it has been (largely) in the "Truth" movement. They have not purged their ranks of the kooks like Holocaust and Apollo moonwalk deniers. Moreover, they have not successfully driven out the bad ideas, and now many of those (the "no-planes" theory, and the "no cellphone calls" theory) are indelibly associated with the movement via Loose Change.
I mentioned the other day that "Scholars" for 9-11 Truth founder Stephen Jones declined to critique Loose Change on Air America Phoenix, claiming he hadn't seen the film. I find that rather curious, since the film is highlighted on their front page as "A Good Place to Start" (among several others). Any group which fails to vigorously drive out the rogue elements among the movement will eventually be overwhelmed by them.