Friday, July 13, 2007

Webster Tarpley: Only 25,000 Committed Truthers

To which I suppose the obvious rejoinder is, "Then let's lock up more of them in the padded rooms!"

Webster Tarpley gave another stemwinder of a speech a few days ago to the San Diego chapter of 9-11 Denial. MP3 is here. (They do eventually fix the awful sound in the beginning).

The first hour is dedicated to Tarpley's musings on politics. His practical advice is to arrange what he calls "Truth Squads" to pester presidential candidates with 9-11 questions. He points out that the movement got incredible publicity when 2004 candidate John Kerry was asked about WTC-7, with the Youtube video getting posted all over the internet and Tarpley himself getting invited on Hannity and Colmes to discuss the story for a good 7 minutes.

Of course, one wonders just how much benefit really accrues from being invited on H&C when you know both Sean and Alan are to the point where they despise the "Truthers" and make no bones about it. Colmes has been getting harassed regularly in the last several weeks.

Tarpley then turned to the Philadelphia Truther/Antiwar Jam on the Fourth of July, where, incidentally, he was apparently booed. He noted that the automatic stigma of association with 9-11 Truthers had come to an end, that this particular antiwar crowd freely joined in common cause with the Deniers.

But then he said something that I found a bit surprising at first (19:11).

"9-11 Truth Activists are at most 25,000."

That may be accurate, and it's a pretty damning indictment of the movement. The polls are all over the map on the level of support for 9-11 Truth, but I think the absolute bottom number that I would believe has to be at least 10%. And 10% of the country is 30 million people. So that means that there are 29,975,000 "Truthers" who are not out there with their "Investigate 9-11" tee shirts, pestering political candidates and chanting "9-11 was an inside job!" For every 9-11 Crackpot that we run into in the comments section, there are 1,199 other crackpots who aren't doing a thing to spread the "Truth".

Most of the conventions have been running say 600-1000 people, and presumably plenty of people go to multiple events, so I would not be surprised if the 25,000 number is generous. Certainly my impression was that the New York group, despite a claimed membership of over 1,000, could not number much more than 35 or so, and that was before the We Are Change group split off, and Nico was kicked out. I'm not sure how many are in the Phoenix group, but my impression is that it can't be more than 10 or so, in a city of nearly four million.