Last year, White House green jobs adviser, and now Center for American Progress fellow Van Jones resigned after Fox News host Glenn Beck’s months-long oil industry fueled campaign to smear Jones. “I’ve been talking about Van Jones, a special adviser to the president, because he’s got the president’s ear and he’s an admitted communist; a radical who wants to fundamentally change America,” Beck said. As part of his anti-Jones smear campaign, Beck claimed Jones is a “9/11 Truther” conspiracy theorist who believes the government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks. (Jones said of the charge, “it certainly does not reflect my views now or ever.”)
Now perhaps Beck may have to start a campaign against one of his Fox News colleagues. Yesterday, Fox News analyst and part-time host Judge Andrew Napolitano appeared on the radio show of well-known 9/11 truther Alex Jones, whom Napolitano has had a “close relationship” with. While discussing Fox News host Geraldo Rivera’s recent conversion to being at least open to 9/11 conspiracy theories, Napolitano — who has guest-hosted for Beck on Fox numerous times — said he thinks the government isn’t telling the American people the whole story on the terror attacks:
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.
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Media Matters’ Eric Hananoki, who notes that the conspiracy theories surrounding WTC 7 have been thoroughly debunked, adds that Napolitano has “dabbled in 9/11 trutherism 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.”
So what does Beck think about Napolitano’s 9/11 trutherism? “I have been warning about these people for years,” Beck has said, “these 9/11 Truthers are truly disturbed people.” When asked for comment by ThinkProgress, a press aide of Beck’s told us this afternoon that he is “not in a position to comment,” and asked ThinkProgress to “call back on Monday.”
Beck’s thoughts on Napolitano are especially relevant, considering that Beck hosted the judge on his radio show today to talk about TSA screenings.