Spike Lee re-edits HBO September 11 series featuring conspirators
Facing increasing criticism for spotlighting conspiracy theorists in his new HBO documentary series about the September 11 attacks on New York, filmmaker Spike Lee said Wednesday that he was re-editing the final episode.
Lee’s HBO series, “NYC Epicenter 9/11-2021½,” explores the terrorist attacks on New York City and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The final episode, scheduled to air on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, featured members of the 9/11 Truth conspiracy group Architects and Engineers, who pushed the idea that the World Trade Center towers were brought down. Was. A controlled demolition, not by the terrorists who blew the jetliner into the Twin Towers. His inclusion in the documentary series, which was made available for preview by members of the media, has been widely criticized in recent times.
In a note to the media that was posted Wednesday to the HBO platform, which provides early access to television shows and movies, Lee wrote: “I’m back in the editing room and the eighth of NYC EPICENTERS 9/11 And watching the final chapter. 2021½. I respectfully request you to stick to your decision till you see the final cut.”
In the episode’s version provided to the media, Lee also included the viewpoints of scientists who investigated the attacks and refuted the claims of conspiracy theorists, including S Shyam Sundar, who conducted the attacks for the National Institute of Science. Led a one-year investigation. Standards and Technology. But critics complained that Lee arranged the episode in a way that seemed to balance the perspectives of conspiracy theorists and experts who had studied the issue in depth, even At times conspiracy theorists were appearing as well.
At one point, when Sundar asked Lee if his explanation of the events adequately answered Lee’s questions, Lee laughedly replied, “Well, not really.”
Jeremy Stahl, an editor at Slate, denounced Lee and HBO’s handling of the subject. “In terms of articulating facts, it is akin to presenting Covid-19 vaccine skeptics in a debate with Anthony Fauci, or Holocaust deniers with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, or a slew of climate change skeptics with the authors of the UN IPCC report. group,” he wrote.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Lee defended the inclusion of members of the conspiracy group, saying he still had questions about what caused buildings to collapse, and said That he hopes that “Congress holds a hearing, a Congressional hearing about 9/11.”
Pressure for further investigations of September 11 has been a long-standing target of the so-called The “true” movement. The movement, which used the Internet as an organizing tool and rallied behind low-budget web films such as “Lose Change”, never had much political success. But it succeeded in sowing doubts about the official narrative of 11 September. A 2016 study by Chapman University found that more than half of Americans believed that the government intentionally concealed information about the attacks.
The success of 9/11 conspiracy theories recently gave way to Internet-based misinformation campaigns, such as QAnon and the anti-vaccine movement, many of which adapted tools and techniques that were used by the September 11 conspirators. was done years ago. .
Lee cast doubt on the official explanation of the collapse of buildings, including 7 World Trade Center, which investigators determined was brought down by fire. They concluded that the heat from the fire caused the girders in the steel floor to expand, and the steel beams under the floor that provided lateral support for the tower’s structural columns began to press against or pressurize the vertical structural columns. .
“The heat it takes to melt steel doesn’t reach that temperature,” Lee told The Times. “And then the way Building 7 fell to the ground – when you put it next to other buildings that were demolition, it’s like you’re looking at the same thing. But people will make up their mind. My point of view I have to be informed and let people decide for themselves. I respect the intelligence of the audience.”
Kevin Roose contributed reporting.
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