690: Semicontrolled Demolition
Title text: I believe the truth always lies halfway between the most extreme claims.
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The World Trade Center towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001. (Using American date notation, that's 9/11.) The attack allegedly was supposed to be two simultaneous planes colliding with both the north and south towers. What ended up happening was that plane 1 hit the north tower at 8:46 am, and the second plane hit the south tower a little less than 20 minutes later. In the investigation following many questions were raised that didn't seem to get a satisfactory answer for several months if not years. Many people, calling themselves 9/11 Truthers, began to claim that the whole thing was a government conspiracy, in what has come to be known as the "controlled demolition plot" (referenced by the title of this comic) positing that the towers were brought down by demolition charges.
Randall proposes a compromise theory to make all people happy. Since we don't have independent video shots of a plane manned by terrorists flying into the north tower (as the attack had surprised everyone), that was a government conspiracy. It just so happened that the government decided to demolish the north tower on the same day that terrorists had set to demolish the south tower.
The title text is a statement of the Golden Mean fallacy. In the context of the cartoon (where one of the "most extreme claims" is a fanciful conspiracy theory and the other is a sober fact-based conclusion) the flaw in this sort of argument is obvious.
- [Cueball is holding up a pointer to a screen with an image of the World Trade Center towers mid-disaster.]
- Cueball: Based on my analysis, I believe the government faked the plane crash and demolished the WTC north tower with explosives.
- Cueball: The south tower, in a simultaneous but unrelated plot, was brought down by actual terrorists.
- The 9/11 truthers responded poorly to my compromise theory.