5X5 Episode 9

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5X5 Episode 9
Emmy Winning Actress and 9-11
2nd March 2008

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5X5 8 5X5 10
Skeptical Rogues
S: Steven Novella
R: Rebecca Watson
B: Bob Novella
E: Evan Bernstein
ML: Mike Lacelle
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Emmy Winning Actress and 9-11[edit]

Voice-over: You're listening to the Skeptics' Guide 5x5, five minutes with five skeptics, with Steve, Jay, Rebecca, Bob and Evan.

S: This is the SGU 5x5, Mike Lacelle is sitting in for Jay Novella tonight. Tonight’s issue is actress Marion Cotillard, who has recently won the Oscar for best actress, for her portrayal of Édith Piaf in La Vie en rose, stunned Hollywood by saying something stupid.

R: Oh my god!

S: (laughter) This has never happened before. We were shocked!

R: Never! Not since Willie Nelson.

S: She has essentially endorsed 9-11 conspiracy theories by calling into question the collapse of the World Trade Center. She said, and I quote, "We see other towers of the same kind being hit by planes, are they burned? They was a tower, I believe it was in Spain, which burnt for 24 hours. It never collapsed. None of these towers collapsed. And there, in New York, in a few minutes, the whole thing collapsed." Well, there you go!

E: How can you argue with that?

S: That’s right.

R: It’s brilliant. Clearly she’s an expert on the case. Case dismissed.

E: She went, she went to the Rosie O'Donnell school of engineering, all about buildings.

R: Okay, there is so many problems with what she said. I’d say there’s at least like one factually incorrect thing in every sentence. First of all, we see other towers the same kind being hit by flames? Where? Go on, name one. Anyone?

S: Of the same kind is the key there. I mean with the same kind of construction as the towers? I don’t think so.

R: Right. Now, she brings up the tower in Spain, which she’s referring to the Windsor building, which was a building that was on fire back in 2005. Completely different building, like not at all like the World Trade Center. It was 32 floors compared to a hundred and some. It was steel reinforced concrete, as opposed to being steel frame. And the steel inside the Windsor building did suffer a complete structural collapse. The only thing that was left was the concrete. She’s an actress though, I mean ... why are we putting stock in what she says? It’s kind of depressing. I’m certainly not saying that we’re putting stock in it, but it depresses me that this is like, big news. Just shut up and act!

B: It gets worse though. She said that the buildings were "a money-sucker because they were finished, it seems to me, by 1973, and to re-cable all that, to bring it up-to-date all the technology and everything, it was a lot more expensive, that work, than destroying it." So that’s kind of her take on it, that it was old and outmoded and it would have been expensive to update it, so we just concocted this whole thing. Well, I think that the Colloseum in Rome needs re-cabling as well...


B: let’s just fly the Space shuttle in it, and be done with it.


S: Yeah, I don’t think we, we don’t keep buildings for more than 30 years, I mean, come on!

B: Aghh, God!

R: And I’m picturing like that guy from Monopoly with the money bags, like that’s what I’m picturing running away from the World Trade Center: ha-ha-ha suckers! Money everywhere!

S: Now, to put things into a little bit of perspective, she also called into question the moon landings.

B: Ah-ha

S: She doesn’t think that America actually landed on the moon.

ML: Her attorney actually recently made a statement saying that her remarks were taken out of context. I watched the interview and, where she makes the comments, and just before she start talking about 9-11 she says, well she says: "J'ai tendance à être plutôt souvent de l'avis de la théorie du complot" which is her admitting that she has a tendency to accept conspiracy theories. So you know, it’s pretty hard to take a statement like that out of context.

S: So she placed it into context for us. Thank you!


R: Yeah. Unless she said everything I’m about to say is a complete and utter stupid lie, there’s really no taking it out of context.

S: Right, right. Now I was interested in this because my memory was that one of the first 9-11 conspiracy books was actually written by a French author, and that was the book Horrifying Fraud by... that book was by Thierry Meyssan. And that was like right in 2002, that was very soon after 9-11. My recollection is that was when… that was the first I heard of the whole 9-11 conspiracy thing. So it really, the 9-11 conspiracy theorists got their start in France. I also found that there was a French politician who is currently a minister in President Sarkozy's government and this is the French Housing Minister Christine Boutin also said very similar comments about 9-11 and interestingly also called into question the moon landings. Using almost the exact same terms as the actress. So there seems to be... maybe they’re reading the same websites.

E: So what do we have here Steve? Do we have like these people’s brain are hardwired a certain way to just fall in and believe these conspiracy theories whole sale?

S: One can only speculate. We do see people who believe in one conspiracy tending to believe in many conspiracies. There definitely is a mindset at work here.

S: SGU 5x5 is a companion podcast to the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe, a weekly science podcast brought to you by the New England Skeptical Society in association with skepchick.org. For more information on this and other episodes, visit our website at www.theskepticsguide.org. Music is provided by Jake Wilson.

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