Yeah, I know it's The New York Times
, but this is the "news":http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/us/fl ... fired.html
Florida Professor Who Cast Doubt on Mass Shootings Is Fired
By LIZETTE ALVAREZJAN. 6, 2016
MIAMI — A Florida Atlantic University professor who suggested in blog postings and radio interviews that the 2012 massacre of children at Sandy Hook Elementary and other mass shootings were a hoax designed by the Obama administration to boost support for gun control was fired Tuesday.
James F. Tracy, 50, a tenured associate professor of communications at the Boca Raton university, has repeatedly called into question the authenticity of recent mass shootings, including the slaying of churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., and office workers in San Bernardino, Calif. In his blog postings and radio interviews, Mr. Tracy has said the Newtown massacre may have been carried out by “crisis actors” employed by the Obama administration.
Mr. Tracy’s ideas fall into part of a larger movement of Internet conspiracy theorists who believe the spate of mass murders have simply been staged by the government. A few of the theorists do not think the shootings took place at all.
Florida Atlantic University, which first reprimanded Mr. Tracy in 2013, dismissed him less than a month after the parents of 6-year-old Noah Pozner, the youngest victim of the shooting at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Conn., publicly accused the professor of harassment in a Sun Sentinel opinion piece. Lenny and Veronique Pozner, angered by Mr. Tracy’s conspiracy theories, had asked Mr. Tracy to remove a photograph of Noah from his blog, Memory Hole. In return, Mr. Tracy sent them a certified letter demanding proof that Noah ever lived and that the Pozners were his parents.
Mr. Tracy continued his clash with the Pozners on Facebook, where he called the Newtown shootings a “drill,” a reference to a theory that the massacre was an exercise in which no one died staged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“The Pozners, alas, are as phony as the drill itself, and profiting handsomely from the fake death of their son,” Mr. Tracy wrote in a letter that is attributed to him on the Sandy Hook Hoax Facebook page. Mr. Tracy declined to comment on his termination. His lawyer, Thomas Johnson, also declined to comment on whether Mr. Tracy would seek legal action or file a grievance against the university over his dismissal.
In a column published in December in the Sun Sentinel, Mr. Tracy said the Pozners had mounted a “vicious attack” on him meant to intimidate his employer into firing him. The attacks, he said, stem from his efforts to question “the state-sanctioned Sandy Hook narrative.”
On Wednesday, the Pozners put out a statement to the newspaper, saying that they hoped that Mr. Tracy’s firing “sends a strong message to conspiracy theorists that Sandy Hook and other mass shootings actually happened and that many people, including our little boy, Noah, lost their lives in those shootings.”
Mr. Tracy, who has taught at the university since 2002, has also spread his views in the classroom, saying in interviews that it is his job as an academic to spark debate among students.
Florida Atlantic University ultimately dismissed him on grounds that have nothing to do with his theories or his feud with the Pozners. They said Mr. Tracy, who because of his tenure could not be easily fired, had failed to submit paperwork for three years in a row that listed any other jobs or similar activities that he performed outside the university. In a letter to Mr. Tracy, the university said it repeatedly asked him to file the form — which should have listed his blog and his work on a weekly radio show — but Mr. Tracy declined to do so.
“It is the responsibility of the employee to report outside activity on activity forms so that the administration can address potential, actual, or perceived conflicts of commitment or interest,” wrote Diane Alperin, the university’s vice provost. Since Mr. Tracy’s first blog post appeared in 2013 shortly after the Newtown shootings, his views have caused the university mounting embarrassment. The university first reprimanded Mr. Tracy that year for failing to make clear to readers and listeners that his views were his own and did not reflect the institution’s positions.
Mr. Tracy went on to write blog posts and speak out about the Boston Marathon bombings and the Paris shootings. He was reprimanded in November for “insubordination and failure to follow university policy.”