While discussion and coverage of these theories is mainly confined to Internet pages, books, documentary films, and conversation, a number of mainstream news outlets around the world have covered the issue.
The Norwegian version of the July 2006 Le Monde diplomatique sparked interest when they ran, on their own initiative, a three-page main story on the 9/11 attacks and summarized the various types of 9/11 conspiracy theories (which were not specifically endorsed by the newspaper, only recensed). The Voltaire Network, which has changed position since the September 11 attacks and whose director, Thierry Meyssan, became a leading proponent of 9/11 conspiracy theory, explained that although the Norwegian version of Le Monde diplomatique had allowed it to translate and publish this article on its website, the mother-house, in France, categorically refused it this right, thus displaying an open debate between various national editions.
In December 2006, the French version published an article by Alexander Cockburn, co-editor of CounterPunch, which strongly criticized the alleged endorsement of conspiracy theories by the U.S. left-wing, alleging that it was a sign of “theoretical emptiness.”
Also, on the Canadian website for CBC News: The Fifth Estate, a program titled, “Conspiracy Theories: uncovering the facts behind the myths of Sept. 11, 2001” was broadcast on October 29, 2003, stating that what they found may be more surprising than any theories. On November 27, 2009, The Fifth Estate aired a documentary entitled The Unofficial Story where several prominent members of the 9/11 Truth Movement made their case.
An article in the September 11, 2006, edition of Time magazine comments that the major 9/11 conspiracy theories “depend on circumstantial evidence, facts without analysis or documentation, quotes taken out of context and the scattered testimony of traumatized eyewitnesses”, and enjoy continued popularity because “the idea that there is a malevolent controlling force orchestrating global events is, in a perverse way, comforting”. It concludes that “conspiracy theories are part of the process by which Americans deal with traumatic public events” and constitute “an American form of national mourning.”
Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph published an article titled “The CIA couldn’t have organised this…” which said “The same people who are making a mess of Iraq were never so clever or devious that they could stage a complex assault on two narrow towers of steel and glass” and “if there is a nefarious plot in all this bad planning, it is one improvised by a confederacy of dunces”. This article mainly attacked a group of scientists led by Professor Steven E. Jones, now called Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice. They said “most of them aren’t scientists but instructors… at second-rate colleges”.
The Daily Telegraph also published an article in May 2007 that was highly critical of Loose Change 2, a movie which presents a 9/11 conspiracy theory.
Doug MacEachern in a May 2008 column for The Arizona Republic wrote that while many “9/11 truthers” are not crackpots that espouse “crackpot conspiracy theories”, supporters of the theories fail to take into account both human nature and that nobody has come forward claiming they were participants in the alleged conspiracies. This view was seconded by Timothy Giannuzzi, a Calgary Herald op-ed columnist specializing in foreign policy.
On June 7, 2008, the Financial Times published a lengthy article on the 9/11 Truth Movement and 9/11 conspiracy theories.
Charlie Brooker, a British comedian and multimedia personality, in a July 2008 column published by The Guardian as part of its “Comment is free” series agreed that 9/11 conspiracy theorists fail to take in account human fallacies and added that believing in these theories gives theorists a sense of belonging to a community that shares privileged information thus giving the theorists a delusional sense of power. The commentary generated over 1700 online responses, the largest in the history of the series. In a September 2009 piece, The Guardian were more supportive of 9/11 conspiracy theories however, asking, “when did it become uncool to ask questions? When did questioners become imbeciles?”
On September 12, 2008, Russian State Television broadcast in prime time a documentary made by Member of the European Parliament Giulietto Chiesa entitled Zero, sympathetic to those who question the accepted account of the attacks according to Chiesa. According to Thierry Meyssan in conjunction with the documentary, Russian State Television aired a debate on the subject. The panel consisted of members from several countries including 12 Russians who hold divergent views. The motive of Russian State Television in broadcasting the documentary was questioned by a commentator from The Other Russia who noted that Russian State Television had a history of broadcasting programs involving conspiracy theories involving the United States government.
Nasir Mahmood in a commentary printed by the Pakistan Observer wrote favorably about a 9/11 truth lecture and film festival held in California and quoted a Jewish speaker at that festival who said that none of the 19 suspected hijackers had been proven guilty of anything and compared racism against Muslims resulting from what he called false accusations to the racism against Jews in the Nazi era.
On November 10, 2008, ITN broadcast a story summarizing various 9/11 conspiracy theories.
The emergence of the birther movement in 2009 has led to comparisons between that movement and the 9/11 Truth movement, with both movements seen in a very negative light. Moon landing conspiracy theories have also been compared to the birther and 9/11 conspiracy theories. James Borne, a journalist for The New York Times who covered the September 11 attacks, described his assignment covering a 9/11 truth meeting as “perhaps the most intellectually scary assignment I have had in recent years”.
On August 31, 2009, the National Geographic Channel aired the program 9/11 Science and Conspiracy, in which the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center tested some of the claims frequently made by those who question the accepted 9/11 account. Specifically, the experiments concluded that burning jet fuel alone can sufficiently raise the temperature of a steel support column to the point of structural failure, that a controlled demolition using conventional techniques would leave clear evidence that was not found at Ground Zero, that using thermite is not an effective technique to melt a steel column, and that even if thermite chemical signatures were found, it would be impossible to tell if thermite was actually used or if the traces came from the reaction of aircraft aluminum with other substances in the fire. The testing also concluded that the type of hole found at the Pentagon was consistent with the standard scenario, and that damage from a bombing or missile attack would differ from the damage that occurred. In the program, several prominent 9/11 conspiracy theorists viewed rough edits of the experiments, and expressed their disagreement with the findings.
The British left wing magazine New Statesman listed David Ray Griffin as the 41st most important person who matters today. The magazine said that Griffin’s “books on the subject have lent a sheen of respectability that appeals to people at the highest levels of government”. The publication listed 9/11 conspiracy theories as “one of the most pernicious global myths”. Griffin’s book The New Pearl Harbor Revisited was chosen by Publishers Weekly as a “Pick of the Week” in November 2008.
Denver public television KBDI-TV has aired 9/11 truth documentaries several times. The stations spokesperson claimed airing these documentaries has been a boon for the stations fund raising efforts.
Glenn Beck, television and radio host, said of the allegations: “There are limits to debasement of this country, aren’t there? I mean, it’s one thing to believe that our politicians are capable of being Bernie Madoff. It’s another to think that they are willing to kill 3,000 Americans. Once you cross that line, you’re in a whole new territory.”
In March 2010, The Washington Post editorialized against Yukihisa Fujita, a prominent Japanese politician who has espoused 9/11 conspiracy theories. They described Fujita as a man “susceptible to the imaginings of the lunatic fringe”. It went on to say that the U.S.–Japan alliance would be “severely tested” if Fujita’s party continued to tolerate these kinds of comments.
For the ninth anniversary of the attacks the Egyptian daily Al-masry Al-youm published an article questioning the U.S. Government story and promoting conspiracy theories. The senior analyst for the semi-official Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies and a member of Parliament from the Muslim Brotherhood was quoted.
Gordon Farrer, the technology editor for The Age, theorized in a November 2010 column for the Sydney Morning Herald that the popularity of 9/11 conspiracy theories was a result of two main factors. One revolved around the personality traits of the theorists themselves (cynical, anxious, belief that they are freethinkers). The second revolved around the high internet search ranking 9/11 conspiracy theories receive, leading to a false air of authority to the theories. Speaking of the theorists. Farrer wrote that “when politicians and media don’t give them voice they feel more threatened, more suspicious, cornered, helpless; and so they go on the attack”.
Geraldo Rivera, the host of Geraldo at Large, a news magazine run by Fox News Channel, expressed openness towards claims that question the causes of the collapse of 7 World Trade Center. Andrew Napolitano, a legal analyst for Fox News and former judge at the New Jersey Superior Court, voiced support for skepticism about the collapse of the high-rise building, and for Rivera investigating the event.
Alex Jones was fired by 70 radio stations when he began espousing 9/11 conspiracy theories, but by 2011 was espousing these and other conspiracy theories on morning TV shows and was the subject of lengthy magazine profiles.
On August 29, 2010, BBC Two broadcast a program entitled The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 – Ten Years On.
On September 5, 2011, The Guardian published an article entitled, “9/11 conspiracy theories debunked”. The article noted that unlike the collapse of World Trade Centers 1 and 2 a controlled demolition collapses a building from the bottom and explains that the windows popped because of collapsing floors. The article also said there are conspiracy theories that claim that 7 World Trade Center was also downed by a controlled demolition, that the Pentagon being hit by a missile, that the hijacked planes were packed with explosives and flown by remote control, that Israel was behind the attacks, that a plane headed for the Pentagon was shot down by a missile, that there was insider trading by people who had foreknowledge of the attacks were all false.
Toure Neblett, who has Tweeted his suspicions about the attack on the Pentagon, is one of the hosts of the MSNBC program The Cycle, which debuted on June 25, 2012.