Yesterday, Fox Business host and Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano revealed himself as a believer in the conspiracy theory that the government is lying about the attacks on September 11. Speaking on a leading conspiracy show, Napolitano said that it's "hard for me to believe that" World Trade Center Building 7 "came down by itself" -- a central tenet of 9-11 conspiracy theories -- and claimed that "twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us."
Napolitano made his remarks on the radio show of Alex Jones, who is widely viewed as the leader of the conspiracy theory that the 9-11 attacks were an inside job. Jones describes himself as "one of the very first founding fathers of the 9-11 Truth Movement" and his website features a section for 9-11 conspiracy theories.
Popular Mechanics notes, "Conspiracy theorists have long claimed that explosives downed World Trade Center 7, north of the Twin Towers." The publication, which frequently debunks 9-11 conspiracy theories, added that a "report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) conclusively rebuts those claims. Fire alone brought down the building, the report concludes, pointing to thermal expansion of key structural members as the culprit. The report also raises concerns that other large buildings might be more vulnerable to fire-induced structural failure than previously thought."
The New York Times noted in 2008 that "the collapse of 7 World Trade Center -- home at the time to branch offices of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Secret Service and the Giuliani administration's emergency operations center -- is cited in hundreds of Web sites and books as perhaps the most compelling evidence that an insider secretly planted explosives, intentionally destroying the tower."
Napolitano has long appeared on the program of Jones, who has been criticized by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League, among others, for outlandish conspiracy theories. However, as Jones himself indicated, this appears to be the first time Jones has discussed his pet cause with Napolitano on-air.
As Media Matters has documented, Napolitano's previous Jones appearances have been marked with conspiracy theories about the government and the "New World Order." For instance, Napolitano and Jones have agreed that Obama will "start a wider global war" to "be a prince," and discussed whether a powerful banking cartel linked to "world government" would "collapse the economy" and use that "as an excuse for martial law." Napolitano also told Jones of Texas secession: "That time has come. That may actually happen" because of the actions of the government.
Jones and Napolitano appear to have a close relationship and regularly praise each other.
Napolitano has previously hosted Jones on his Freedom Watch program when it was on FoxNews.com. It now airs daily on Fox Business - a development Jones repeatedly cheered during the interview. Napolitano has promised Jones that he will host him on his Fox Business program.
Napolitano has dabbled in 9-11 Truth discussion before. In March, while still on FoxNews.com, Napolitano hosted truther Jesse Ventura, who was given an unchallenged platform to push 9-11 conspiracy theories. At the conclusion of that interview, Napolitano wondered if "someday we will look on 9-11 the way we look on the JFK assassination today, that is, where people who question the government's involvement will be mainstreamed, rather than looked upon as an extremist fringe." Napolitano also hosted Ventura in October on Fox Business; during the interview, Ventura said he was investigating the "alleged Pentagon plane" attack, to which Napolitano replied, "we'll be watching."
Napolitano and Jones' discussion referenced a segment about WTC building 7 by Fox News host Geraldo Rivera, who hosted a group of family members of 9-11 victims asking the "NYC city council to investigate" the official account about building 7. Rivera, who has been outspoken against 9-11 conspiracy theories, said at the conclusion that he was "much more open minded" about 9-11 questions because of the involvement of 9-11 families and architects and engineers.
Napolitano later discussed the segment with Geraldo on his Fox Business program. Asked if he doubted the official conclusion about building 7, Geraldo said: "I think that it is highly unlikely that our government would do anything nefarious on a scale of this epic nature. However, the building does appear to come down in a way that is reminiscent of a controlled demolition."
Napolitano's belief in 9-11 conspiracy theories may make things awkward with his Fox News colleagues - especially Glenn Beck -- who have denounced 9-11 conspiracy theories and those associating themselves with anyone making them.
The following is Jones' discussion with Napolitano about 9-11:
JONES: OK finally, man because I've never raised this with you, because it's a subject I just leave alone with folks because I don't want to cause people problems. But you brought it up with Geraldo Rivera, who says he is concerned about building 7, and I want to put the question you put to him to you. I mean, what do you think of Geraldo Rivera coming out -- what do you think of 7?
NAPOLITANO: It's hard for me to believe that it came down by itself. I was gratified to see Geraldo Rivera investigating it. I am gratified to see that people across the board are interested.
I think twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us.
JONES: Well, I want to tell you this. You've got a lot of courage, Judge, and so does Geraldo Rivera. I don't agree with him on some of his more liberal political views, but I do resonate with his courage, and I resonate with yours, and I already had the highest respect for you, but now the thermometer just broke. And the mercury -- geysering out of it right now. Judge, you are a great American, and I just can't wait till your show is number one on Fox Business, when you're on regular Fox full time, because no army can stop an idea whose time has come.
After the interview, Jones praised "awesome" Napolitano for his 9-11 Truth views and criticized the "George Soros publications" who would "persecute" Napolitano: