Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski is a talented researcher with a flair for finding old videos and documents that often contradict what politicians claim today. Yet he has lost an argument over Donald Trump and 9/11 by a key news video that he managed not to find.
Trump claimed that he had seen reports of “thousands” of Muslims celebrating the 9/11 terror attacks on rooftops in Jersey City, New Jersey. On Tuesday, Eric Bolling, co-host of Fox News’ The Five, went further, saying there were media reports that people in Jersey City had been tipped off to watch the attacks.
Buzzfeed spent days trashing Trump, and Kaczynski painted Bolling as a bigot.
— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) December 2, 2015
Others on Twitter piled on, accusing Bolling of “Islamophobia.”
Now, a local news report that aired Sep. 16, 2011 on WCBS-TV in New York has surfaced. Journalist Pablo Guzmán reported that eight men were “cheering on the roof” of a building as planes hit the World Trade Center–a building “swarming” with suspects.
Trump’s source has likely been identified, Bolling has been 100% vindicated, and Kaczynski has embarrassed himself.
On Tuesday, Kaczynski posted an article under the headline: “Fox News Host Floats New Muslim Smear, Then Loses It On Twitter.” He reported:
A Fox News host Eric Bolling made the startling claim on Tuesday that there were reports of Muslims in New Jersey being given advance notice of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks so they could watch the attacks from their Jersey rooftops.
The claim is a new spin on Donald Trump’s — false — insistence that New Jersey Muslims celebrated the attacks.
Kaczynski went on to report, triumphantly, that he had beaten Bolling: “I then noted the comments in a series of tweets….And then Bolling kind of lost it.” Towards the end of his article, he hit Bolling for citing a New York Times article that conspiracy theorists often cite in order to claim that Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks.
But Bolling was correct that there had been “news reports.” The CBS report is video proof.
None of this is to say that the underlying, substantive claims are true. For instance, here were eight men seen cheering in Jersey City, not thousands. But in Trump’s case–assuming the WCBS report is indeed the one to which he has been referring–it is easy to see how reports of “swarms” of suspects in the building could have been misinterpreted as referring to large crowds on rooftops.
Perhaps if Kaczynski had spent less time preening on Twitter, and more time doing his job, he would not look so foolish today.