HuffPost’s Attack on Academic Integrity, Truth and Justice

December 8, 2018 in News by RBN Staff

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By Elias Davidsson

On 4 December 2018, HuffPost published an article by senior editor Chris York, whose single purpose was to discredit Professor Piers Robinson of the University of Sheffield (UK).  Prof. Robinson is Chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism and researches communication, media and world politics, focusing on conflict and war.  His current teaching includes research methods, introduction to political communication as well as propaganda, media and conflict. The University of Sheffield’s Department of Journalism Studies is considered one of the most prestigious in the U.K.  

While mass media are certainly entitled to criticize whomever they wish, it is quite rare that they devote an entire article to destroy the reputation of an academic. One can, therefore, assume that the attack on Prof. Robinson’s reputation was ordered by higher-ups for reasons that will become evident in this essay.

HuffPost’s unconscionable attack on Prof. Robinson’s personal integrity

The introductory paragraph of the article reveals its slanderous intent.  

“An academic teaching journalism students at one of the UK’s top universities has publicly supported long-discredited conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terror attack, HuffPost UK can reveal.”  

The journalist left no stone unturned in his efforts to discover controversial statements by Prof. Robinson. He found three academics willing to berate Prof. Robinson: Lydia Wilson, an Oxford and Cambridge research fellow and editor of the Cambridge Literary Review, Yasser Munif, a Lebanese expert on middle eastern politics and society at Emerson College, Boston and  Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Denver. They offered nothing more than their personal opinions. Disregarding the rule of neutrality, HuffPost did not talk with academics who support Prof. Robinson or with any of the thousands of academics and experts who share his conclusions.

It is not, however, bad journalism that prompted me to write the present essay, but HuffPost’s deliberate attack on people of integrity who dare question the official account of 9/11.  In order to discredit Prof. Robinson, the author cited Lydia Wilson to express her personal opinion about the book “9/11 Unmasked”, to which Prof. Robinson had given good marks:

It’s ridiculous that Piers Robinson is teaching propaganda. The most troubling thing for me is how did he get this job? It’s not hard to uncover this man. [The review of ‘9/11 Unmasked’ by Prof. Robinson] is conspiracy-theory driven. There’s no academic who should write a post like – there’s no argument and there’s no evidence. It’s dangerous to students – he’s working in a journalism department and he can’t analyse journalism sources.” 

Prof. Robinson is entitled, like any other person, to the presumption of good faith. To insinuate that his research is “conspiracy-theory driven” is unconscionable.  

HuffPost’s attack on the quest for truth and justice

The attack on Prof. Robinson was no personal vendetta. It rather represents an attack on all scholars who dare question the official account on 9/11, including myself.

In the present article, I intend to expose one particularly grievous lie promoted by the U.S. government with regard to 9/11, namely the legend that 19 fanatic Muslims boarded and hijacked four aircraft, in order to crash these aircraft on known landmarks.  A comprehensive study of this particular question is found in my book “.

(1) The purpose of a murder investigation