An Open Letter to James Tracy

James Tracy is a media professor at Florida Atlantic University.  I’ve met Prof. Tracy once or twice through my sporadic involvement with a group of progressive media scholars called the Union for Democratic Communications (UDC).  In my fleeting encounters with him, Jim has always struck me as an intelligent and pleasant person.

Now Prof. Tracy is receiving national news media attention for his blog posts on the Newtown, CT school shooting.  Prof. Tracy is suggesting that the news media and the government are withholding the truth about this tragedy.  He has even alluded to the notion that the event may have been fully staged by the Obama administration in order to advance a gun control agenda.

Jim.  Why?  Why do you feel compelled to pursue this conspiracy theory?  Is this the face of progressive scholars that you think the general public needs to see?  Do you really want to advance an argument that the most extreme elements of the NRA would love to embrace?

Personally, I think the allegations are absurd.  Yes, conspiracies do happen.  Yes, the government lies to us all of the time.  But staging a mass murder of children at an elementary school?  Professor, please!

But letting go of the debate about whether or not he could be right, for just a moment.  Is this really how the left should be spending their time?  Is this really what we want to be known for?

I’m not saying the Obama administration must be embraced by the left.  Just read some of my earlier posts.  I know the problems with the Obama administration.  I know they cannot be trusted.  But there are a passel of other issues which we should be beating the drum about.  How about starting with unmanned drones and the murder of children in other nations?  How about their compromises on wealth inequality which will result in more misery for the poor as social programs are lost to the pit of austerity?

Or if you really want to take on a conspiracy, how about the conspiracy between big government and big oil to doom us to a future of melting ice caps, rising seas, and devastating storms that will kill many more people than any one, two, or even three shooters could ever bring down?

Really, Jim, really?  Is this what remains of the left in this country?  Is this the best we can do?

I’m sure you are a good person with marvelous intentions.  A person who is devoted to truth and holding media and government accountable.  But you are choosing to lay down with NRA snakes.
Don’t be surprised when you wake up covered in bites.