If there's ever been an argument against tenure, here it is. James Tracy, a tenured "associate professor" at Florida Atlantic University, created some headlines recently and much anger over his conspiracy theory that the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings were just a hoax, designed to ramp up public support for more gun control. He surmises that "crisis actors" (whoever they are) portrayed the fictionalized event that dark day last month. Tracy has a blog and teaches media history at FAU, and seems to have conjured up a bit of "media history" himself. Officials in Newtown,Connecticut are outraged and have called for dismissal of Tracy: good luck with that if he has tenure.
The problem with Tracy, besides the fact that he is delusional, is that he's one of these freaks who sees conspiracies everywhere. As a baby boomer, I have always been more than interested in the times I grew up. As such, I've done more than casual research on the Kennedy and King assassinations. I do believe in conspiracies in those three tragedies. What's happened over the past few decades though, is that you have crack-pots coming out seeing conspiracies everywhere like what so many claim about 9/11. The problem with these people (I've had them on my old radio show) is that they can never complete the theory by explaining just what happened to all the passengers of the planes they claim, did not fly into the World Trade Center or crash in Pennsylvania. I'm not saying there's not life on other planets, but for those who keep saying we've been visited by aliens, I say where's the proof? Although now that James Tracy has spoken up, I think they might be right: the aliens are posing as teachers in order to delude a generation of American children.What I'm saying is-there are legitimate conspiracy theories, and then there's the absurd drivel that comes from people like James Tracy. Imagine how those parents of murdered children feel hearing the incoherent ramblings of this guy.
FAU is trying to distance itself from Tracy who created a firestorm of sorts with his crazed idea. The fact this guy is teaching others is frightening. FAU must feel like fools for hiring Tracy, and rightly so. Tracy teaches a course called the "Culture of Conspiracy". Now that could be an interesting class if it wasn't taught by a kook. If Tracy was looking for headlines to make himself a media star with his 15 minutes of fame, he accomplished his mission although his credibility is gone. Like the morons who claim 9/11 was a conspiracy theory and can never explain the whereabouts of the passengers, I can only suggest that James Tracy cannot explain what happened to those 20 children are now buried. I would love to know that answer as would the parents of the children.