The Truth About Daniel Sunjata's Truther-ism
By Karl Klockars in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 8, 2009 7:00PM
The other day, the Sun-Times shone a light on local actor and former football hero Daniel Sunjata, who has scored a gig on FX's acclaimed "Rescue Me." In a dazzling display of burying the lede, it took the S-T over a thousand words to get to the meat of the profile, which they then downplay as much as humanly possible - Sunjata is a 9/11 Truther. You know, the "9/11 was an inside job" guys, who continue to believe in an overwhelming governmental conspiracy to bring the nation to war.
As it turns out, Daniel Sunjata, who plays Franco, subscribes to the same conspiracy theory.
"I was shocked that they added it to the show," Sunjata admitted. "When I saw the script, I thought it was a practical joke."
Ask Sunjata about these theories, and he'll talk your ear off. It's an interesting rant that, at times, verges on the convincing.
"I think this is something that should concern all Americans," Sunjata said. "And the fact that it's included in the show, without bias or slant, is laudable."
The "Rescue Me" video posted in the S-T piece is fairly tame in terms of Trutherism, and only hints at the depth of Sunjata's belief in the 9/11 Truth movement. Sunjata, born and raised in Beverly and who played high school football for Mount Carmel, is all over Truther videos on Youtube. In this video, Sunjata praises Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas who produced the video called Loose Change (whose video makes the claim that a missile hit the Pentagon and Flight 93 didn't crash in Pennsylvania). In addition to his statement to Patriots Question 911, a more direct conversation about his belief in the 9/11 Truth movement came on the Alex Jones show. Check out the video after the jump.
It's valiant for anyone, Sunjata included, to stand up for what you believe in. It's understandable that people would have questions about what happened on September 11th. And fighting for the rights of 9/11 first responders is a completely noble and upright act. But playing a firefighter on a TV show and getting all that wrapped up in Trutherism is unfair to the actual first responders who were there, who saw what happened, and don't buy into the misinformation put out into the world by the Truthers.
The benefit of stories like this are that they're a good reason to bring to light all the hard work produced by the debunking and skeptic movement. Rather than just include a throw-away line like "verges on the convincing," here we can provide the information that flies in the face of the Truther theories. Truthers always claim that they're not making any statements, but rather they're just "asking questions." So rather than go through each and every claim made by Truthers that has been debunked elsewhere, just ask some questions about things like the Screw Loose Change site and inspect the reams of scientific research.
Watch the Loose Change Debunked video and follow that up with the Bullshit episode about conspiracy theories. With any luck, an upcoming "Rescue Me" episode will find Denis Leary checking out one of these videos, and doing his research - but we doubt it. A Leary-Sunjata Truth throwdown would be epic television, though. Here's someone's chance to ask if that's a possibility - Leary will be at the Chicago Theater in a few days.
Photo from Craig Blankenhorn/FX.