The James Tracy Saga: Students Rally Behind Embattled Professor

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Tracy.jpeg
Students defend Tracy's ravings as just Tracy being Tracy

In the wake of yesterday's damning and international condemnation of James Tracy's allegations that the Sandy Hook massacre hadn't happened -- though apparently our commenters agree with him -- one group has flocked to the embattled professor's aid: his students.

Yesterday, his former student, Ryan Cortes, who's taken three of Tracy's classes, wasn't surprised by the professor's bombastic opinions. Most of Tracy's students say he may have incendiary views, but admire his courage in voicing them and exercising his free speech, said Cortes, who wrote a piece yesterday covering student reaction.

See also:
- FAU's James Tracy: More Media Conspiracies and Lunacy. Fire This Guy Fast.
- James Tracy, FAU Professor, Says Sandy Didn't Happen; Revels In Notoriety

Indeed, Tracy's always been that way, and we reported yesterday. But it goes deeper. During his lectures, Tracy questions everything, Cortes says, perhaps not alleging conspiracy theories behind every corner -- but definitely implying it.

"They all have a similar feel," said Cortes, last year's editor of FAU's student publication, the University Press. "It's a lot of open discussion, sitting in a circle, discussing things and conspiracies come up. It's really healthy. ... He doesn't say his theories in declarative sentences, but he says, 'What do you make of this? Do you think something is fishy.' "

Tracy is the most outspoken and controversial professor in FAU's communications faculty. He incessantly blames the media for not digging deep enough, not asking enough questions, Cortes said. "He thinks the media thinks the public is stupid," Cortes said. "And it makes you want to become a journalist so you can change things. It's healthy, his bashing the media."

Other students decried the overwhelming excoriation of Tracy; yesterday, former student Dori Zinn also wrote on Twitter:

Though Tracy, who's looked haggard over the last few days, can be a tad aloof. He's smarter than most people -- and he knows it, said Cortes, adding he's "not so charming."

"But he's very ballsy, Cortes said. "He says what he wants and so few professors have the courage to talk like that."

Follow the writer @terrence_mccoy.



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8 comments
jaymzmykaul
jaymzmykaul

I like how the students say he has incendiary views but admired his courage for voicing his opinion. That is a cop out if I ever heard one that is the best they can get to defend this d-bag. I know someone else that I can say that statement about Hitler, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and others throughout history. They also had incendiary views but dammed if they didn't covey their messages with courage. Question media is one thing but questioning if a child death is something else unless you are with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and also question the Holocaust. This is what James Tracy sounds like to me a different version of a Holocaust denier.

asbsync
asbsync

How dare this guy question government accounts and the media establishment? They never lie. Go back to sleep.

jakesmyth
jakesmyth

James Tracy is the academic equivalent of PETA. He is a contrarian looking for attention so he can get hits to his blog and write a book because his career of wowing undergrads has grown stagnant. It's pathetic. Much like PETA, the best way to deal with him is to ignore him. 

I can speak with authority on this because Tracy was my academic adviser while in grad school and I went on to work for PETA. 

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