"The Chertoff Affair" : The Aftermath


The buzz from last week's infamous Benjamin Chertoff episode of Coast to Coast AM seems to have finally worn off. The landscape of esoteric radio is awash in insults, accusations, and rebuttals, the likes of which are unheard of from this author. In an attempt to collect the various strands of opinions, we've compiled this second edition of The Chertoff Affair. The following subsegments are listed in chronological order.

Alex Jones Responds to Art Bell & Popular Mechanics

As suspected, Alex Jones played it safe with regards to his reply to the Chertoff episode of C2C. Despite Bell's criticism of him, Jones, ever the Southern gentleman, said that Bell had the right to say whatever he wanted and have whoever he wanted on as guests. He praised George Noory for allowing him to be on C2C. He then quickly moved into covering the "Popular Mechanics" 911 article. Jones attempted to offer an official rebuttal, but, as he is wont to do, he ended up rambling and getting off on a handful of various unrelated tangents. A complete transcript of his official rebuttal is here :

Following that, Jones produced Christopher Bollyn, the author who wrote the article saying that Popular Mechanics's Chertoff is the cousin of Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff. Bollyn claimed that Benjamin Chertoff lied on C2C and that his mother distinctly said that they were "cousins" not "distant cousins". So the entire issue of the Chertoff relation boiled down to a "he said-he said" argument, unless Bollyn can produce some kind of recording, which is unlikely.

Jeff Rense Responds

This segment's title is more of a misnomer, as Rense never outright acknowledged Bell's criticisms of him. One unique twist is that Rense had as his first guest on Monday night, Mark Weber who was talking about the story of Ernst Zundel, noted "alternative historian" and "holocaust doubter". This, of course, did nothing to temper the accusations that Rense's website is antisemetic. Despite that, Rense was more concerned with the persecution of Zundel than discussing the veracity of his claims.

George Noory Responds

As noted last week, poor George Noory was probably just trying to relax all weekend, only to find an inbox full of e-mails from C2C fans in response to Saturday's show. Noory, a true diplomat if there ever was one, simply said, "As you know, on Coast to Coast over the past several years we have brought you different guests that talk about different subjects related to 911. Some are for the government's position, some are against the government's position, but what we try to do on this program is bring you different sides.

With that, I will have a no-holds-barred roundtable discussion in the not too distant future which will include 3, or 4, people with different views. So that you will have an opportunity to hear them and then we're going to let you question them as well. Because this is a topic that just won't go away. So we're gonna get various experts on with their own individual opinions about what they think may have happened, what they think did happen. And we're gonna do it in a roundtable discussion right here on Coast to Coast." (Coast to Coast AM, 3.7.5, Hour I, 6:40)

Noory's big announcement of an impending 911 roundtable had all the flair of a carnival barker or pro.wrestling pitchman. Kudos to Noory for reaching for the brass ring of estoteric radio and trying to put together a 911 roundtable. Should he pull it off, he will produce a certain Coastie contender and probably a strong candidate for episode of the year.

Art Bell returns on Saturday

Much of the debating over the Chertoff episode of Coast settled down by the time Bell returned to Coast the following Saturday. Not one to leave it alone, Bell promptly posted "An Open Letter" to his listeners. Once again, Bell went on the attack against Rense. He claimed that Rense's site "has been attacking me for several years and I have never fired back because frankly what they have chosen to say about me is not important." He defended his right to have Benjamin Chertoff on the show and, again, criticized the people in the "911 Truth Movement" as being "Bush haters" and that the continued investigation into 911 is politically based. This author couldn't help but notice the rather formal tone of the "Open Letter", noting it sounded remarkably similar to one of Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" in both cadence and style.

The entire contents of the letter can be found here :

Rense Responds

No sooner had Bell posted this open letter did offer a reply. Bearing no author other than "", the reply went through Bell's letter, offering rebuttals to his various points. Of note, the response to Bell's statement that the "Bush ordered 911" article on Rense's site is "yellow journalism". The reply states : "Promoting deadly frauds such as the Hale-Bopp 'companion' hoax in the mass media which resulted in nearly 40 deaths has been called 'yellow journalism' - or far worse - by too many to count. If investigating crimes of government officials, Congressmen, Senators, big business moguls, treasonous politicians, corrupt courts, and international swindlers is 'yellow journalism', America is now truly a fascist dictatorship."

Most noteworthy of all, is the 3rd to last paragraph in the rebuttal which asserts censorship on the part of C2C, without outright naming Coast : "As for other radio programs having 'opposition' guests on the air to appear to be 'fair', let the record be perfectly clear that more than a few guests of the Jeff Rense Program have come back to report how they were intimidated and warned in advance of their appearance on another program regarding what they could and could NOT talk about during their airtime. In other words, they were censored."

Of course, such assertions are only anecdotal, as no guest to my knowledge has appeared on The Jeff Rense Show to allege censorship on the part of Coast to Coast AM. Veracity notwithstanding, this is classic esoteric "smoke and mirrors", tossing out a little juicy info without the necessary details to get a certain confirmation.

The full contents of's reply are here :

The Fallout

There you have it. A blow-by-blow account of the various parties involved in the infamous Chertoff episode of Coast to Coast and the fervor it subsequently caused. By now, Alex Jones has moved on to his usual globalist attacks. Rense barely acknowledged the episode, relishing in the free advertising C2C gave him all weekend and again on Saturday night. Bell appears to be moving on from this debate, having made his side abundantly clear. Chances are there will still be callers calling in to argue with him about it, but that's a given. And, finally, George Noory stands to gain by putting together a great episode of Coast featuring a Roundtable of various 911 pundits.

Who wins ? Rense wins, he got free advertising. Bell wins, because he got everyone talking about Coast for in excess of a week. Alex Jones wins, because he got free advertising from Bell and Popular Mechanics and actually produced the author of the Chertoff article on his show. And Noory wins because he will probably put together a stellar episode of Coast based on the huge response to this controversy and also because many in the esoteric community went out of their way to praise Noory when attacking Bell.

Who loses ? Rense loses because he had to deal with yet another round of allegations that his website is antisemetic. Bell loses because he turned off a large portion of his fan base with his steadfast stance on 911. Noory loses because Bell once again trumped him in newsworthiness, for now. Alex Jones does not lose much of anything, because he responded respectfully, without going over the top.

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