Wednesday, April 23, 2008

This Kafka Crap’s Getting Old

So I got an e-mail thanking me for “helping to expose the truth” about the government’s involvement with 9/11, and thought, “What?” Based on a few things the e-mail said, it took me no time at all to run a quick online search and discover that Steven Jones, a bigwig in the Truther movement, just had an article published in a “peer-reviewed journal” (that’s an exact quote from multiple blogs I don’t feel like linking to). I’m quoted in Jones’ article, and that section of the article's been quoted on many of the blogs I’m not linking to here.

The offending section deals with Jones’ claims that he found explosive residue in the World Trade Center debris. By contrast, the National Institute of Standards and Technology says it did not find any such residue, and never looked for any.
And here’s what Jones’ paper says:
Perhaps NIST will explain why they have not looked for these residues? The code specifies that fire-scene investigators must be prepared to justify an exclusion. NIST has been asked about this important issue recently, by investigative reporter [name redacted, like it actually makes a difference at this point]:
[Me] : ” … what about that letter where NIST said it didn’t look for evidence of explosives?”
Neuman : “Right, because there was no evidence of that.”
[Me] : But how can you know there’s no evidence if you don’t look for it first?
Neuman : “If you’re looking for something that isn’t there, you’re wasting your time … and the taxpayers’ money.”
The evident evasiveness of this answer might be humorous, if not for the fact that NIST’s approach here affects the lives of so many innocent people. We do not think that looking for thermite or other residues specified in the NFPA 921 code is “wasting your time.” We may be able to help out here, for we have looked for such residues in the WTC remains, especially in the voluminous toxic dust that was produced as the buildings fell and killed thousands of people, and the evidence for thermite use is mounting.
Great. I’m still looking for a steady writing gig, and potential employers doing searches to check the blog response my past work’s inspired will find that the most recent posts are praise for the investigative journalist who helped prove 9/11 was an inside job.


Anonymous NoStar said...

The wacko, nut-jobs at Reason magazine should be calling in 5....4....3....

9:01 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

NoStar, this is seriously bad stuff. If I were still writing for my old paper I wouldn't care, because chances are that whatever I wrote this week or the next would also get some blog exposure, in which case the 9/11 stuff would soon be buried under whatever came next. But now? This is likely to stay on top of any date-segregated blog searches for a LOOOOOONG time.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

You are too good of a writer not to find a job.

Use your investigative skills to find who needs you and enclose your own hand picked clippings when you contact them.

Here's the deal: I'm commissioning you to research a story (payment $1--I'm a cheap bastard) about employment opportunities for journalists.

Your dead line (cuz nothing gets done without a deadkine) is May 15.


PS: You and your job search are in my prayers. It would help if you added to them.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

potential employers doing searches to check the blog response my past work’s inspired will find that the most recent posts are praise for the investigative journalist who helped prove 9/11 was an inside job.

But you didn't help prove that 9/11 was an inside job. What you "proved" or rather brought to light is that a certain government "investigator" approaches his cases with preconceived notions and/or doesn't care to do his job very thoroughly. Any prospective employer would see that, if he were to read the Advocate article. I would think that someone looking to hire an investigative journalist would appreciate someone who asked the very pointed and pertinent question that you asked Neuman. If you could be faulted at all, it would be for not pressing him further on it - although the guy's own words very eloquently serve to make him appear an ass.

I think you are second-guessing yourself here. Nostar is right - you're much too good a writer not to be able to find another writing job. You will find one - hell, you found the last few, didn't you? Just keep looking and keep writing. Successful people are those who did not give up.

BTW, were you finally able to connect with that Flickr site for HABA, or were my directions for naught?

1:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

Oh, I'm not giving up at all, gentlemen. And I know I'll find a position sooner or later--it's just a matter of finding the right one (or, if I'm super-lucky, having it find me). And a matter of when.

Actually, I've already landed one (part-time and temporary) writing gig, which I can't say much about just yet. And I might be getting some freelance jobs with a local think-tank, but I won't know more about that for another couple of weeks. I've actually been pretty lucky, relatively speaking.

Nonetheless, it irks me to think that, of all the pieces I wrote during my time at the Advocate, the 9/11 story is the one which undergoes a renaissance after I don't even write for that paper anymore.

5:40 PM  

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