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I wanna talk today about a sad phenomenon, that happened in France just a few hours ago. It is very much about freedom of speech, even though no one will actually say it, because most believe in The Truth. A few days ago, a famous (in France) French stand-up comic, Jean-Marie Bigard mentioned Loose Change on a radio show, saying it was now absolutely certain that the two planes never crashed in the buildings, that they were actually still flying, and of course, that Bin Laden has been dead for a pretty long time.

The radio excerpt in French. You won't understand anything.

The last part, we can all get behind, ever since the CIA started authenticating audio tapes and Bhutto said on video Bin Laden was murdered. Unfortunately, that did not matter much to the rest of the journalist elite. Who got up in arms, talking about how Bigard had “gone nuts”, or went antisemitic, or how he was always a poor comic anyway, etc. Everyone who wanted to defend the official version seemed only able to demonize Bigard. I must say I don’t find him especially great, to the contrary. I think he’s a right-wing moron. But he’s an honest moron. He won’t try to fuck with you, I like that.

The troubling thing about Bigard’s intervention was, in my view, his certainty. He did not express the possibility of a disagreement. He was more like: “Hey, have you heard? It’s like that! It’s certain!” Does Loose Change induce such an attitude in people ? I haven't seen it yet. I thought this was more about opening a door to doubting and investigating, by showing pictures and stuff. Nevertheless, this is not a problem worthy of anything close to outrage, much less career-destroying, and this was indeed not the actual problem the journalists had with the person they now call the "looney".

Because another similar case occurred before, with the French actress Marion Cotillard. In some interview a few years ago, on Paris Première, she expressed doubts about the official version of 9/11. She said she had a tendancy to believe in the plot theory. That she thought people were lied to on a great many things. She mentioned stuff that she saw on the internet, and also talked about the incoherent collapse of WTC7 in a few minutes. She also expressed doubts on whether we really walked on the moon. “I’m wondering, and I don’t believe everything I’m told, that’s for sure.”

Here’s the video of the conversation, still in French, still won't understand.

This was ‘followed’ (the video was brought up right during the Oscars, a timing very similar to the Wright controversy, that is: years later) by the very same campaign of insults, derision, and humiliation. It doesn’t matter then, how you express your thoughts, whether you simply say you don’t believe what you’re told, or you assert your views and say that’s the reality. What matters is you crossed a red line, and you will suffer for it.

Both Bigard and Cotillard have released statements downplaying their position. Bigard asked for forgiveness and said he would “never again express any doubts.” It is hard to see if this is sarcasm, but I take it it’s not. In any case, he plays the entire world for fools, as he was all but certain. It was never about doubts. Cotillard, on the other hand, simply argued that she had been misunderstood. In both cases, people who simply did not believe and said so, had their lives and careers threatened, and then gave in and ‘apologized’. Once again, simply because they did not believe in something. That's the sad news. And this is supposed to be the free world. Someone break these guys' legs and pick their pockets quick, so they know what's actually intolerable.

Being as I am a subscriber of the internet-based investigation team, Arrêt sur Images, which analyses the media and is pretty good at it, I was able to see first-hand the kind of reactions you get from ‘official-theorists’, in the forums dedicated to those articles dealing with Bigard’s statement. Almost none of them will talk about facts. They will only resort to psychology: you’re crazy, you’re an antisemite, you’re an anti-american, you’re an elitist who’s using fantasy scenarios to feel superior, you’re always skeptical of everything and you can’t help it, etc…

All this behavior is nothing new to our own WP. Check this post from last year on Robert Fisk. And read the reactions, they’re gonna ring a bell:

« Robert Fisk Goes Nutter » “What a stark-raving lunatic! Madness! Madness! Madness!” “Moonbat At Large!“

Beyond the similarity, you can also feel the urge to demonize. He’s CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY! You could almost picture them screaming at their screens, punching on their keyboards, their face beet-red. I don’t know if Robert Fisk made any excuses later on. I hope he went Cheney on them, if you know what I mean.

And if you’re like me, then you know that this has also happened recently to… Jeremiah Wright ! That’s right! (Note: I’m French okay? These puns are fresh to me) And again, WP has all the goods you need, right there. There are of course plenty of other posts about Wright on his blog, but I’m sure you can find them on your own.

The reason why I’m bringing up Wright is that Arthur recently made a pretty good point relating to all those personal attacks that happen all the time and that always imply some guy defending a red line by attacking another guy’s personality/sanity. I wanna offer an extract from his essay titled, “Death Match: Follow the money – and follow the military bases”:

An example may help to clarify certain of the issues that concern me. It's a useful example, because it presents the problem in a fairly extreme form. In the fall of 2007, there was a huge to-do about Pete Stark's comment that Bush sent American troops to fight in Iraq to have their "heads blown off for the president's amusement." Here, I'm not interested in the public spectacle that ensued, which predictably forced Stark to apologize. That spectacle falls into the category of public pretense that I just recently discussed once again.

But consider the nature of Stark's remark. At some point in the future, I intend to discuss how everyone in American life now views him or herself as a professional psychologist, fully credentialed and able to diagnose every psychological malady at a distance of thousands of miles, without benefit of ever talking to the subject even once. We saw this kind of thing on full display in the reaction of many people to the Wright-Obama controversy. I offered some comments about a post by Digby that I found especially shocking on that subject, and most of her post is at the far edges of idiotic. But I haven't yet noted this remark of Digby's: "But Wright's latest round of media appearances have not seemed to me to be any kind of defense of liberalism or the black church or even Black Liberation Theology so much as one man's desire to deny a rival his destiny." Obama's "destiny"? Is it preordained, written in the stars as it were? Pity the person who thinks in such bathetic terms. Out with you -- and perhaps off to the reeducation camp -- if you dare to deny Obama his destiny! The Democratic apologists, who fear an original thought or a sustained attack on American exceptionalism more than they fear Jack the Ripper bearing down on them with a fully-loaded arsenal of the sharpest knives ever manufactured, did succeed in driving Wright underground and entirely out of the primary. O brave progressives!

But on what basis, pray tell, does Digby conclude that Wright viewed Obama as a rival (her italics)? To use one of certain liberals' own favorite put-downs: this is making shit up, because the shit in question happens to aid your argument of the moment. This kind of faux-psychology is irresponsible in the extreme, and it should be deeply insulting, not only to the person so "diagnosed" (read: attacked and dismissed), but to any adult capable of minimal thought. I suppose it may be possible that Wright viewed Obama as a rival, but neither Digby, nor you, nor I nor anyone else knows that in the absence of Wright's confession on the point, or before spending considerable time talking to the man. But note the further effect of this attack and dismissal that parades as a psychological diagnosis: it demeans the man, and it means that you do not have to engage the argument. And beneath the surface, dualism makes its appearance once again; the diagnosis means that Wright has bad motives and is a bad man, at least in part. It is therefore a good thing and a valid response to ignore the substance of what he had to say.

One person has wondered on those forums over at Arrêt sur Images, why is it that those who believe in the official theory are so aggressive? Why do they use so many insults? Why do they ask things like “Well, why don’t you deny the Shoah while you’re at it!?” But he too used psychological diagnosis on them (and I denounced it), so it seems that as Arthur explains, this is much more deeply rooted, and much more widespread than he thinks. In any case, you should read Arthur’s essay.

* Picture found here.


Going all psychologist, I

Going all psychologist, I wonder if the defenders of 'the truth' actually have a few doubts, themselves. If you truly believed wouldn't you attack the message rather than the messenger?

newjesustimes's picture

Great post Littlehorn

I find the whole propaganda & psychology of it all enthralling.

"why is it that those who believe in the official theory are so aggressive"

I think it's because the people they put their faith in (mass media) have a monopoly on reality and are really sick and tired of having to tell us what idiots we are for not conceding that!

Merci littlehorn, great

Merci littlehorn, great points. I heard about Bigard's words in "Les Guignols de l'info", and while you can certainly not accuse this show of being pro-PNAC, their reaction was depressingly similar to the mainstream, castrated world - basically, the goal was to picture Bigard as a "conspiracy theorist" nutbag. Now that the cat is out of the bag, maybe more people will publicly voice doubts about the official lie. Hope is a rope. I never expected to hear the truth escape from Jean-Marie Bigard's big mouth so you never know what might come next laughing out loud

Thank you

Thanks for your compliments Wink Bigard is still very far from knowing the truth. He saw a documentary and bought everything he saw. He has a lot of work to do. If I could, I'd send him WP's adress.

Thanks, Littlehorn!

This is a great post -- did somebody say that already? Well it's true

In my opinion the defenders of the official story are aggressive because that's all they've got: personal attacks, smears and slander, and no actual factual arguments.

Normally people who have no case do not get so outrageous, but in this case the people we're talking about are protecting the perpetrators of a great crime. They can't do it gently.

spiv's picture

Nutcases are we..

It is so true that defenders of the 'official conspiracy theory' are blind to argument and reason, preferring slur and slander as retort. We have been writing to our Members of Parliament, here in the UK, with no theories, just questions, concerning the 'official conspiracy theory'. What replies did we receive?? Not one constructive answer to any of our questions, just innuendo and slander. Shocking, from what should be our responsible representatives.

Et tu, Jerome Hauer?

Bighorn, this is great.

Personally I suspect that Bigard went too far in relating things he heard in conversation as a close confidante of Sarkozy, and got bitch-slapped by Sarkozy's minders for saying too much. But it suggests to me that the French secret service know stuff they are not telling the public - yet. And that could spell the end of the whole 9-11 myth.

Did you see DAna Perino telling the press that Bin Laden was actually NOT the mastermind of 911 today? Amazing stuff!

Meanwhile, your comments about Le Ridicule bring to mind an interview with Jerome Hauer I just posted about. WP knows this guy very well!

Cheers, folks.



This may be old to some folks but it is a fine example of how some questions make some people angry...especially if that person is the doofus from Popular Mechanics...he gets his buttocks handed to him at the end of the show...
an .mp3 file
Happy listening and may this make some feel better smiling

Bigard as a trojan horse

The most paranoid among us may think that having someone like Bigard attacking the 9-11 holy truth is a way to discredit the movement altogether. If a stupid, politically bought-and-sold stand up comedian can defend such theories, they can't be true.

Just like the Guignols de L'info last night (a French satirical puppet show) who used Steevy (a stupid ass recycled from reality tv shows) as a poster child for 9-11 nutcases. Right after expressing doubt concerning the official 9-11 theory, he went on to say that WW2 never actually happened - which is quite symptomatic of most 9-11 fundamentalists. If you question 9-11, you question the holocaust, WW2, etc. and you're a terrible negationist. I'm afraid "negationist" will be applied to 9-11 in the coming years.

Agreed and also

Even though some of our supporters talk about him as someone who finally sees the truth, I also think he's a poisoned apple to the movement.

And if you're really into French culture, then you must know about the last book from Chomsky, which is called "L'ivresse de la force". An extract has been published on Vive le feu's blog. [Long live the fire]
Interestingly, Chomsky too adresses the most ridiculous versions of the plot, says it's not important anyway cause what matters is what the administration is doing now, and finally, he does the very same psychological diagnosis Arthur warns against in the essay I quoted in my entry.
He says
Mais, là où les populations sont infiniment plus libres, les gens posent toujours cette question : "Que puis-je faire ?" Et un jour ils se disent : Ah, voilà ce que je peux faire : devenir en une heure ingénieur qualifié en génie civil et prouver que c’est Bush qui a fait sauter les tours jumelles.
"But, where populations have infinitely more freedoms, people always ask themselves this question: "What can I do?" And one day they think : Oh, here's what i can do: I can become a qualified engineer in 60 minutes time and prove that it is Bush who had the twin towers blow up."

Yes, I remember that time when I wanted to do something but I didn't really know what. And just because I wanted to do something, silly me, I thought : Hey ! Let's prove Bush was behind it ! And I'm gonna play engineer ! I'm that deluded ! That was the whole reason and the whole explanation behind me questioning the official theory. And behind most of the others doing the same.

nobody expects the american inquisition

I am still hampered by hardware and software problems and cannot blog properly (or at all) at the moment ... but please read this

Michel Chossudovsky: 9/11 and the "American Inquisition"

more later

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