Monday, May 19, 2008

Air America Debate Proposal

A few minutes ago I e-mailed the following to Kevin Barrett and radio host Richard Greene. We will see if we ever get a response.

An Open Challenge to David Ray Griffin and the 9/11 Truth Movement

Dear Sirs:

I do not have the E-mail address of David Ray Griffin, but I am sure you both know how to contact him, so I will address this to you. There have been many ongoing discussions in connection to Air America Radio’s Richard Greene and his “Month of Truth” in regards to having “debunkers” on to provide the opposing viewpoint to the “9/11 Truth Movement”. Many debunkers, including Mark Roberts and my blogging partner Pat Curley, openly refused to come on last week’s show, for various reasons, but mostly revolving around the fact that Kevin Barrett and the guys from CIT were so controversial within their own movement, that engaging them would be pointless, and your time would be much better spent interviewing witnesses, and possibly even others within the truth movement who opposed them.

We were surprised however to see, not Kevin Barrett, but David Ray Griffin appearing on the show. As opposed to being a member of a faction within the movement Dr. Griffin is in fact widely considered the most prominent spokesman of the movement, and has authored 5 books and spoken widely on the subject. Even Mr. Greene praised him, calling him “The guru of the 9/11 truth movement “ and his work The New Pearl Harbor a “classic”.

Despite his prominence in the movement though, Griffin has largely avoided his critics. While such figures as Kevin Barrett, Steven Jones and Jim Fetzer may be controversial, even among other truthers, they at least have had the courage to advance and defend their own hypotheses, and engage critics, something which is normally done by academics in controversial areas. Dr. Griffin, however, has openly opposed advancing any but the vaguest theories, and has carefully avoided any situation where he would have to address any criticism, despite giving a plethora of speeches and radio interviews. As mentioned on last week’s show, NASA engineer Ryan Mackey prepared a detailed 200 page criticism of Dr. Griffin’s work, which to the best of my knowledge he has avoided even acknowledging, much less answering.

Therefore after his appearance on last week’s show, in which he once again dropped off the air before any questions could be asked of him by critics, we began discussing the fact that Dr. Griffin has avoided defending his arguments, despite the fact that the truth movement is constantly calling for an open and vigorous discussion of these events. Why then, does Dr. Griffin constantly refuse to engage in a discussion with anyone who disagrees with him? Does he believe that his work is beyond reproach? We believe that if he is so confident in his years of research, which have allowed him to sell many tens of thousands of books, that he should have no problem discussing it with an intellectual opponent.

So in this spirit we would like to propose a debate between David Ray Griffin and Mark Roberts on a subsequent episode of Richard Greene’s radio show, with Pat Curley and myself as possible co-guests if desired by the host. We understand that the host is biased, and accept that, but we just call on him to be fair, and fully expect that he would be so, and propose the following ground rules:

1) Roughly equal time for each participant to speak.

2) Discuss one – and only one – claim at a time. No long lists of claims (from either side) followed by, "In our limited time, which of those would you like to respond to?"

3) Be able to speak directly to each other with the host moving things along if the discussion bogs down.

4) Focus on discussing what Griffin thinks is the very strongest evidence in each area, so as not to get bogged down in minutiae. Griffin and Greene may pick the topics if they wish.

Given the open taunts by members of the movements when debunkers refused to come on the show earlier, I do not see how Dr. Griffin can in good spirit refuse to engage in this very debate you all have been calling for. Such an acclaimed academic, who is widely regarded as the foremost scholar of your movement should have no problem wiping the floor with any opponent, especially with the advantage of a friendly host and being able to choose the subjects, and I call upon the truth movement to encourage him and Mr. Greene to participate.

You both have my e-mail along with Mark Robert’s, please contact either Mark or I with any questions. We are open to any reasonable accommodations in scheduling and format to ensure that this event goes off.



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