You know, just because you hold some crazy beliefs, it doesn't mean you can't occasionally say or do something genuinely laudable. There are some very smart people in the world who think some pretty dumb things and it's certainly not fair to immediately dismiss every thought or action simply because the person behind it is somehow irredeemably tainted by his or her views about an unrelated subject.
Case in point: Abby Martin is apparently a hardcore 9/11 Truther.
You probably know Martin the way a lot of people know her at the moment: as the young RT host who stood up to the Russian government, which controls RT, and condemned its invasion of Ukraine. What she did live on the air at RT is rightly being called a ballsy display of journalistic independence, especially when you consider the might of the Russian government.
Unfortunately, Martin is also a staunch conspiracy theorist who claims that the United States government was complicit in bringing down the World Trade Center and attacking the Pentagon. Here's video of her marching in a 9/11 Truth rally in Santa Monica in late 2008. While being interviewed, she claims that she researched the 9/11 attacks for three years and that's what led her to believe the whole thing was an inside job.
Pay close attention to the "evidence" she amassed and examined.
In case you missed it in a nutshell:
"The first piece of evidence that I found, I saw the Pentagon, which confused me, and then I just started researching where I saw Building 7 and then I saw the demolition of the two towers right in front of your eyes. It really, it's... it's just someone telling you an apple's an orange and you have to just trust your own mind to know what you're seeing is true."
Well, hell, who can argue with an open-and-shut case like that? I'm shocked she didn't put her sunglasses on at the end of that statement while the scream from The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again suddenly blasted into the camera.
None of this is meant to discredit Martin's stand on the Russian invasion of Ukraine; she's 100% right about that. But it's more than a little disconcerting that a professional journalist believes and espouses something for which there's no hard evidence at all, to say nothing of the fact that this journalist is an American working for an outlet owned by the Russian government. Although, it can be argued the latter issue is one that resolves itself, given that any journalist who buys into ridiculous conspiracy theory rather than relying on cold, hard facts is, at least in some ways, severely compromised.
Abby Martin did something commendable and gutsy yesterday. She deserves praise for that. But if she still holds to the lunatic belief that the United States government killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11, based on little more than "trusting her mind," she deserves scorn for that.
Who knows, though. Maybe it hardly matters anyway. RT has issued a statement saying that while there will be no official reprimand for what Martin did on-air -- which did, by the way, violate network rules -- she will be sent to Crimea "to give her an opportunity to make up her own mind from the epicenter of the story."
Yes, "Crimea." That sounds solid. Not at all like she's being shipped off to a gulag.