Sandy Hook conspiracy theory tests limits of free speech
Professor's controversial remarks on Connecticut shooting massacre
- Duration 6:00
- Date Jan 14, 2013
Professor's controversial remarks on Connecticut shooting massacre
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-- -- back in session on the docket today the fallout from one man's conspiracy theory about the Newtown Connecticut shooting tragedy.
Testing the limits of free speech.
At issue is a Florida College professor who suggested on his blog that the massacre of twenty children and six adults may all have Ben staged.
Now there are calls for James Tracy to be fired.
But the school says mr.
Tracy has a right to his beliefs.
And he can express them on his own personal lot.
Here's the professor.
Explaining his comments.
In terms of saying that sandy hook new -- massacre did not take place.
Is really a simplification oversimplification.
Of what actually -- set I think that there maybe may very -- be elements.
Of that -- event that our -- to some degree that are somewhat contrived.
I think overall that the media really did drop the ball.
I don't think that they got the bottom of some of the things that may have taken place there do not believe the twenty children were killed I think.
I think most likely that that that took place which you write blog the way that you did -- which you do anything differently.
I don't I really don't think so.
During the now at least we'll Fox's legal analyst and mark -- -- former prosecutor now defense attorney.
So a lot of folks are really outraged and that was him softening it in the wake of the controversy -- you could -- wasn't backing off.
He believes that this was stitched and that the media dropped the ball by not pushing into why -- -- here for more parents.
And the fact that we didn't hear from more distraught parents and the fact that they were signed police officers to guard them in their moment of turmoil.
Means it was all -- big cover up and the question is -- whether these people were demanding this guy be axed from the Florida Atlantic University.
Had a case to be made I think they do Megan because what he did as he put.
His thoughts out there as -- and they they can be seen ads incompetence gross incompetence this is not the first time this professor -- gone into this is the same with 9/11.
He did the same with the horrific attack in the movie theater where -- California you -- Colorado excuse me so he's done this this is is this as it's kind of MO thunder walked back and say what my First Amendment right.
Yes -- your first amendment -- which academic freedom.
No academic freedom does not shield you from gross incompetence in the classroom in which you right.
Does if he has ten year mark is he on fire rubble for making personal comments like this.
I believe that he can not be fired at all for these what I think are offensive and insensitive statements.
-- makes a compelling argument but she's ignoring the law let's start off with is this type of speech assuming it is offensive and insensitive as many people would agree.
Is that protected by the constitution and it is look no further the 1977.
Skokie vs Illinois.
Which allowed skinheads to walk down Skokie Illinois and announcer the heart -- Then about the Holocaust never happened there's no difference between that and also the fourth circuit said that it was okay for professor Adams.
To not be 2222 -- he could not be promoted.
Because he said some things that they did not agree -- That was not something that you can do they cannot -- -- back for that.
The way they can you ask the question of can attend your professed to be fired them on the -- of something like this camp as a former tenure professor I will say yes absolutely all the for all the university has this show.
If they're being fired for cause that they did something that was beyond -- -- Well let offense that was because a lot that was read on what he on the course that -- in reasonable employment and here.
Where you go and you publish things not once but twice at least three times I -- -- -- in my research today.
Where you're putting out -- possibly as a fact something that is absolutely not true.
That go that's gross incompetence and negligence was out about an hour to -- he says that regardless of where one stands in the second.
Amendment gun control it's not unreasonable to suggest the Obama administration complicit -- or directly oversaw.
That has a higher -- -- -- -- the national debate on the very topic -- I mean Andy says an acquisition remains a key piece of Obama's political flap flap.
Just just so it's clear I am not defending his words on this subject matter or what he wrote on 9/11 the JFK.
You know everything -- -- he's just he's a conspiracy theorist.
However he put this on his.
-- that blog that went out to people.
He cannot be punished for that aren't aren't aren't -- yeah street and I think anything let's say he goes on his private blog and he advocates.
Violence against children deaths could be fired -- that well.
Yeah that that's unlawful it's unlawful just -- -- to people to say to say I favorite I like it is that that's not -- Well it depends on what he writes and how he does it.
Let's say yeah a lot of -- children as I like it on and I'm in favor of violence against children could they fire him over that are fighting violence absolutely can't yell fire at a crowded -- well the person I know I'm sure inciting violence except surely he's -- you can -- yeah that's so outrageous but doesn't cross the line -- First Amendment but and that that a university should really have to stop -- some cells with a they wanna employ that person in -- -- at that point.
You know now with what he is saying.
At First Amendment and academic freedom they're still two different things I would say from a First Amendment standpoint OK on your private blogging -- the right to say that to idle and quiet at that the employer.
Forced to hire you to keep you in my tenure when you say something like that is that is absolutely untrue you state a fact that is untrue well yeah again and -- Well he sucked about how Clinton -- victims family members have been almost wholly absent from public scrutiny what we've heard.
From that from that then -- parents of little Emily Parker her dad he's always heard that the one couple that sat down with Good Morning America.
And gave their heart wrenching academy -- -- voice as just complete nonsense just of the viewers.
This is yet another.
Parents than those set of parents a set down with them anyway I gotta go -- -- time so you know what's happening as a bit like facts not opinions.