Peter Barber is the deputy comment editor of Financial Times (London). On June, 7, 2008, Mr Barber published the article "The Truth is Out There", which is a report on on the 9/11 Truth Movement. Senior medical librarian Elizabeth Woodworth's "evidence-based response", together with Mr Barber's article in annex, appeared in Global Research (Toronto) on June 11, 2008. I found this example of a 'thesis' and an 'antithesis' on a blog called "Campaign for Cooperation in Space" and tried to enter some comments of my own there. However, the comments section of the blog (more precisely, to the entry said: "We're sorry, we cannot accept this data". Below, please find the comments I wanted to add:

A comment by a foreigner who does not speak English at home

I think it is a bit unfair to call Barber's article an 'ad hominem approach to a critically serious matter'. Journalism, after all, is not science; and the journalist must be allowed to spice his stories with details of human interest, lest the reader be bored to falling asleep. So when, for instance, Mr Barber mentions Dr Griffin's dogs, it is not yet to be classified as an attack on the venerated philosopher's personal integrity.

Mr Barber, on the other hand, although his report on the 9 / 11 TM is unusually sharp and meticulous, fails to mention the identity of the person, or group, which he calls 'the author of one of the most rigorous of the websites that aim to debunk the conspiracy theories,', with whom he, as he reveals in his article, has been in contact by email. A journalist of course has, and should have, the right not to reval his sources, but is it allright to expose the intellectuals of the 9 / 11 TM in public while letting their 'debunkers' remain in anonymity? The 'author of' should indeed tell who he is on his website, but, as far as I can see (I hope to be corrected, if I am wrong), he does not do that.

As already noted above, Mr Barber's article is not (at least not in my view) attacking any individual person in an unjust way, but he comes close to making the members of the public who lend an ear to 9 / 11 truthers collectively responsible for unforgivable naivety, or stupidity: 'they believe that the key to the mystery is hidden somewhere within the pictures', he states, although it becomes clear from his own article that the intellectual aim of the 9 / 11 TM is, precisely, to penetrate beyond the false appearances, that is, 'the pictures'.

'Gage, who had worked himself into a fever, exhorted the audience to stand up and be counted', Barber reports from an event with the architect Richard Gage as main speaker. Well, I was not there in San Francisco to listen to Gage, but still I wonder if this assembly of the truthers' community really was like a prayer night meeting of some evangelical free church.

These comments notwithstanding, I find that the writings by Elizabeth Woodworth* and Peter Barber on the 9/11 Truth Movement both provide much food for thought, to say the least. Therefore, I for one have put both on my list of recommended readings on the difficult subject of information ethics.

Mikael Böök

Lovisa, Finland;

  • See also:

Elizabeth Woodworth: The Media Response to the Growing Influence of the 9 /11 Truth Movement Reflections on a Recent Evaluation of Dr. David Ray Griffin

Elizabeth Woodworth: The Media Response to the Growing Influence of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Part II: A Survey of Attitude Change in 2009-2010