New York City activist

November 26, 2007

Proposed debate with Jim Hoffman (reply to ref1 and some folks in the JREF forum)

Filed under: 9/11 Truth,demolition hypotheses,Jim Hoffman,reply - JREF — Diane @ 10:48 pm

Today I noticed an incoming link from a thread about Jim Hoffman on the JREF forum, where ref1, a.k.a. ref, relayed my message about a possible debate between Jim Hoffman and a “debunker.”

Over there, T.A.M. wrote:

I believe Doc has a site that allows for a one on one written debate, but I doubt Hoffman wants that, as he will not be able to move the topic “on the fly” like the truther mantra dictates.

I have not specifically asked him about a written debate, but I doubt he’d be interested simply because he has been very busy lately, and writing is more time-consuming than talking. He has not yet had time to correct quite all the errors I’ve pointed out on his website, which he has promised to correct, so, if he doesn’t even have enough time to keep his own website up-to-date, he probably does not have enough time to participate on anyone else’s website either. But I will ask him if he would be interested in a written debate.

I also suspect he will not debate Mark Roberts anyway. Did he indicate anyone in particular he would or would not debate?

We didn’t discuss anyone in particular. I’ll ask how he feels about debating with Mark Roberts.

Later, T.A.M. wrote:

The only even remote possibility in terms of a perhaps somewhat neutral host might be the one in TO that hosted Gage and the special effects guy. He seemed to be able to keep himself out of it, and allowed both people a good share of time, IIRC.

Further down, RedIbis wrote:

I thought Amy Goodman (who I am not a fan of) was relatively objective, calm and respectful to both sides of the LC PM debate. Do you disagree?

Further down, lozenge124 wrote:

Some good debates I’ve heard:

Kevin Ryan vs. Michael Shermer (Thom Hartmann show)

Steven Jones vs Leslie Robertson (KGNU, “Morning Magazine” show, don’t know the name of the host)

Mike Berger vs Matthew Rothschild (Dino Costa show)

In all 3 cases, the moderator was fair and let both debaters air their side; I’d recommend any of them for a Jim Hoffman debate.

beachnut wrote:

Does Jim Hoffman have any conclusions that are rational?

You know I looked up Jim Hoffman and he is dead, just like the terrorist that are alive.

Fact 1 on Jim Hoffman – his web site debunks himself; debunks all his so called conclusions. Jim’s dust calculations are funny; check them out if you want to waste time with another nut case non theories.

The latest version of his page about the dust clouds says, “This paper is currently under development, taking into consideration critiques by various reviewers.” So he has acknowledged that there are at least some problems with what he had written on this particular matter previously. He has not yet gotten around to finishing the new version. I have not discussed this particular issue with him, nor have I yet paid much attention to it.

pomeroo, who is apparently Ronald Wieck, pooh-poohs the idea that he himself could possibly be the reason why Jim Hoffman doesn’t want to appear on his show. Earlier in the thread, RedIbis had written:

If Hoffman got even a glance of how the DRG exchange with Wieck went, would you really be surprised that he asked for a non jref related venue?

In email to me earlier, Victoria Ashley had given me some examples of personally insuliting behavior by Wieck, here, here, here, and here.

Back to the JREF forum thread. Wieck/pomeroo’s own very next post says, “TAM, these people are frauds, cowards, and liars.”

In my opinion, this is obviously not the kind of attitude one would want to see in a debate moderator, who, even if not perfectly neutral, should at least be capable of giving the people on both sides the benefit of the doubt. To ask Hoffman to participate a debate moderated by someone who believes we’re all “frauds, cowards, and liars” is a little like asking a JREF member to participate in a debate moderated by someone who not only supports the 9/11 Truth movement but who also believes that all “debunkers” are nothing but paid shills even if said moderator has a track record of giving participants equal time, as Arkan_Wolfshade alleged regarding Wieck, earlier in the thread.

Gravy, who is apparently Mark Roberts, wrote:

Last week I emailed Hoffman and for the second time asked him to remove a statement that appears twice on his site, including on the home page. He claims that the NIST report is deceptive because it doesn’t show the tower column dimensions.

I showed him where the dimensions appear in the report, as well as the diagram of where the columns transition from box to wide flange.

Someone named Victoria Ashley replied and said that it’s not so much that the dimensions don’t appear in the report, but that Hoffman thinks the report “appears crafted to conceal such information.”

If I remember correctly, what Hoffman believes is that the information is buried, relative to other, more conspicuous claims which, in Hoffman’s opinion, are contradicted by that information.

I have yet to study this particular issue in detail myself, and it has been a while since the last time I looked at it, so I won’t say whether he’s right or wrong about this. I’m just clarifying his point, as best I remember it.

However, if anyone here happens to have handy the specific disputed statements of his and the URL’s of the pages containing them, then I can perhaps suggest to him some better wording to clarify his point.

Later this evening, I hope I’ll have time to reply to charlienneb’s review of Richard Gage’s Power Point presentation. Then, later in the week, if there aren’t too many more distractions, I hope to get into my long-promised detailed discussion about WTC 7.


  1. BTW, the “report” that Gravy is referring to is not the ~ 298 page pdf, ‘Final Report,’ but the one that consists of dozens of sub-reports, more than 10,000 pages, and apparently about 3 ft thick in paper form.

    First . . . go to the page that has the NIST report –

    Then click on the upper right-hand link that says

    Final Reports of the Federal
    Building and Fire Investigation
    of the World Trade Center Disaster

    Then when you are there you see the first “Final Report” and then below that are Companion Reports: NCSTAR 1-1 through NCSTAR 1-8. But within each of those are anywhere from 2 to 10 different subreports, each of which can be hundreds of pages long.

    Gravy found two paragraphs in one section of one section of one sub-report within the thousands and thousands of pages that Jim didn’t refer to.

    I think Jim’s phrase, “appears crafted to conceal such information,” is pretty clear!

    The average engineer has never looked at the report much less read anything beyond the Final Report, which itself is a tiny fraction of the whole thing, so when I talk about the OT defenders focusing on the details, you see what I mean.

    Comment by reader21 — November 27, 2007 @ 4:34 am | Reply

  2. To ref1:

    On page 2 of the JREF thread, R.Mackey claims:

    I’d have to say that I think Ron is an excellent host. He makes no secret of his position, but somehow he manages to conduct himself politely and calmly, and always gives at least equal time to the other side. He’s much calmer in real life than he is posting here — which surprises me.

    In a similar vein, Hyperviolet wrote:

    Pomeroo is a good host, that’s pretty self evident from watching any hardfire debate. He is honest about his bias, but more importantly; he never cuts people off.
    In fact, Fetzer got more airtime than Mark during the last debate.

    It would be nice to see evidence of these claims, if such evidence is available. For example, are there videos available of previous shows of his on the topic of 9/11? If so, please don’t post links to them here (it’s against my comment policy), but please do email relevant video links to Jim Hoffman, and let me know that you have done so.

    Comment by Diane — November 27, 2007 @ 5:44 am | Reply

  3. I have posted links to the debates to Jim Hoffman’s ‘media’ e-mail address.

    Comment by ref1 — November 27, 2007 @ 6:27 am | Reply

  4. Thanks, ref1, for sending him that info.

    Over in the JREF forum, Totovader quoted me as saying:

    It would be nice to see evidence of these claims, if such evidence is available. For example, are there videos available of previous shows of his on the topic of 9/11?

    and then replied:

    *emphasis mine

    Standard burden of proof fallacy- after the claim has already been made and after Ron has already been dismissed (by the very individuals we’re talking about)- it’s “prove me wrong”.

    Sheesh! Given Wieck’s attitude as displayed in writing, it is only reasonable to expect that he would most likely not be a fair host. Even one of the people quoted above remarked that it was “surprising” that he could be a fair host. So it’s only natural to want to be able to confirm this independently, rather than just take their word for it.

    If indeed he IS a fair host and videos showing this can be provided, then perhaps Jim Hoffman might change his mind about refusing to appear on his show. Is there anything wrong with that???

    Anyhow, Totovader’s post does contain a “link to Hardfire shows with Ron.”

    Comment by Diane — November 27, 2007 @ 2:45 pm | Reply

  5. In response to R. Mackey’s post quoted above, Wieck/pomeroo wrote in the JREF forum:

    I appreciate the compliments, Ryan. Pomeroo is Ron’s Mr. Hyde. I deliberately crafted the persona as a counterpoise to the sort of people in the fantasy movement I’ve come to know. Being nasty is an unnatural pose for me, and I think that everyone who knows me well would back me up.

    It bears repeating that nobody who takes the trouble to show up to defend his views on ‘Hardfire’ deserves to be insulted. I am incapable of heaping abuse, a la Bill O’Reilly, on someone sitting across a table from me, someone I’ve described as my guest. Faceless entities on the net are another matter entirely. I find it disturbing that the more I encounter the likes of P-doh and Scrubs, the easier it gets to revile them. Sometimes I read things I write and I’m genuinely embarrassed. But I tell myself that these are bad, foolish, irrational people who expend considerable energy promoting a truly evil cause. On occasion, I have promised myself to display more civility. Then I’ll watch a show about 9/11 and the next time I encounter loons who insist that the calls from the doomed planes were faked, the old desire to commit decidedly anti-social acts bubbles up anew.

    I’m sorry to rehash my experience with Griffin, but it sticks in my craw. On contacting him in September to pass along the word that we were ready to attempt a telephone interview and ask him if he wanted to respond to Ryan Mackey’s paper, he instructs me to wait until he’s returned from Europe. He proceeds over the following month-and-a-half to request a copy of the paper from Mackey, leaving me to cool my heels. Eventually, he breaks his silence to inform me that he was ignoring me because he has discovered that I am “dishonest,” which conveniently releases him from his original agreement. Since June, people here have been predicting that he would find a way to wriggle out and, needless to say, he doesn’t provide any examples of my dishonesty.

    Really, what can be said in printable English about such a character? Ron can’t deal with him adequately, but pomeroo has the right approach.

    Perhaps what Griffin heard about was simply Wieck’s “pomeroo” online character?

    If one wants a reputation for being civil and fair, then it behooves one to try to be civil and fair at all times, rather than to be a Jekyll/Hyde. Still, I’ll ask Jim what he thinks of the videos.

    Comment by Diane — November 27, 2007 @ 3:04 pm | Reply

  6. To ref1:

    Please see my further response to an earlier complaint of yours here.

    Comment by Diane — November 28, 2007 @ 2:55 pm | Reply

  7. I will replace the Hoffman quote mines with some other quote mining examples in my “evidence” article, once I have time.

    Heard anything back from him, regarding the debate and Wieck videos?

    Comment by ref1 — November 29, 2007 @ 7:52 am | Reply

  8. Thanks for being willing to modify your article.

    I haven’t yet heard back from him his thoughts on the various debate venues proposed here, but apparently he’s been very busy lately. I’ve sent him a bunch of other emails over the past week and haven’t yet gotten replies on most of the rest of them yet either.

    I haven’t yet heard more from Richard Gage either, beyond what I told you earlier.

    P.S.: I just now got a brief email from Richard Gage thanking me and telling me he hopes to look into the issues raised here this coming weekend.

    Comment by Diane — November 29, 2007 @ 9:05 am | Reply

  9. Diane said
    >>If one wants a reputation for being civil and fair, then it behooves one to try to be civil and fair at all times, rather than to be a Jekyll/Hyde.


    >>I deliberately crafted the persona as a counterpoise to the sort of people in the fantasy movement I’ve come to know.

    Sounds like the personas are getting a melded here.

    And that’s a problem I don’t think we can overcome by looking at videos of “one side” of the persona which is clearly not really two, but one.

    Comment by reader21 — December 5, 2007 @ 7:21 pm | Reply

  10. Fortunately, there were other debate venues suggested too, including:

    – Amy Goodman
    – Thom Hartmann show (hosted Kevin Ryan vs. Michael Shermer)
    – KGNU, “Morning Magazine” show, name of host not known (hosted Steven Jones vs Leslie Robertson)
    – Dino Costa show (hosted Mike Berger vs Matthew Rothschild)

    What do you think of these?

    Comment by Diane — December 5, 2007 @ 9:44 pm | Reply

  11. It took a very long time for the recent Thom Hartmann debate to happen. I tend to doubt he would want to host another again very soon.

    When Amy Goodman hosted DRG the first time they didn’t tell him it would be a debate until the night before, which isn’t any way to host a debate. Then when they finally did another show on the issue they made sure to use young people without degrees or engineering experience who had done only made a popular film using the research of others, even though Amy’s key final question to DRG originally was, “what structural engineers do you have on board?,” to which he had none at that time to tell her. Then in the middle of the debate they were all accusing each other of being liars — really ridiculous childish stuff. So my guess is that that venue is not a place to count on. Many many people wrote in to DNow to beg them to use our scientists rather than filmmakers for a debate, and they ignored it.

    I don’t know Dino Costa.

    KGNU would probably be okay — that was a very reasonable discussion — but I don’t think that was a very structured debate, just sort of making sure the two sides were covered. The reason it happened was that Steven Jones was in Denver, so the local groups organized it.

    I’m probably not the person to ask about this because to some extent I feel like debates are a flash-in-the-pan thing and often just an opportunity for debate skills to shine, or particular focused abilities, such as to hold huge numbers of facts and speak them well, to shine, rather than a full understanding of the full relationship of the facts because unlike a court room, the issues have to be conveyed in sound bytes — whomever can scream lounder, take down the credentials of thier opponent faster, use the best example to influence people, etc.

    I like to just stick to the facts. I know you have spelled out good reasons for debates, I just think they are an easy way to create ‘icons’ and distort things, even though they are sometimes positive.

    Comment by reader21 — December 6, 2007 @ 1:58 am | Reply

  12. Possibilities for a written debate are now being negotiated via private email.

    Comment by Diane — December 9, 2007 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

  13. (This comment is an edited pingback.)

    Pingback by Reply to debate invitation from Ron/pomeroo on JREF « New York City activist — January 19, 2008 @ 3:15 am | Reply

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