NJ’s proudest pothead calls Trump, NJ 101.5 listeners liars over 9/11 claims
It's fair to call pro-pot activist Ed Forchion a friend of New Jersey 101.5 — he's a regular caller to multiple shows and has been for years.
But Ed recently got mad at his longtime friend.
In a column for the Trentonian criticizing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump for saying he "saw thousands and thousands of Muslims celebrating in Jersey" after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Forchion takes New Jersey 101.5 listeners to task for saying they saw celebrations themselves — and the station to task for letting them.
Forchion — also known as NJ Weedman — describes himself as a "huge 101.5 FM listener and caller" who hopes to guest-host someday. He notes he's been calling in since our station went to a talk format in the very early 1990s.
"Over the years I’ve often disagreed with the opinions of some of the 101.5 hosts, especially Jeff Deminski/Bill Doyle, but I’ve never actually been mad at any of them, until last week’s Donald Trump–inspired LieFest!" Forchion wrote. "I emailed Dennis and Judi during their show that I was mad at them for it and they let me be the next caller, at which point I vowed: to stop smoking weed and eat a pound of pork if it could be proven Trump saw what he claims."
Trump's specific claims have been widely debunked. The billionaire has insisted he saw celebrations in the U.S. televised — but even after weeks of controversy, no such television report has turned up. PolitiFact and the The Washington Post couldn't can’t find any sign such footage exists, even after searches of television transcripts from the time. No footage has surfaced on social media, in mainstream news, on political blogs or in alternative media. No network has pointed to any archive of its own saying such footage exists.
The mayor of Jersey City has repeatedly denied Trump's claims, as has the police director of Paterson, where similar rumors have persisted for years. Gov. Chris Christie said flatly late last month such celebrations didn't happen.
But there were news reports at the time that suggested police at least investigated reports of much smaller celebrations — though no further reports seem to have ever said they were confirmed. MTV news interviewed a woman in Paterson who described seeing teens joyful about the attacks. A Sept. 18, 2001 Washington Post report said some people were detained and questioned after they were “allegedly” seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops” during the attacks.
A TV report by CBS 2 News describes statements by an unnamed investigator about similar allegations, though again, no follow-up report ever showed them to be confirmed.
New Jersey 101.5 shows have taken countless calls from people who say they saw celebrations in northern New Jersey neighborhoods themselves — and not just on Dennis & Judi's show. Many called Bill Spadea just a few days ago to say so.
New Jersey 101.5's Facebook page was flooded with comments asserting celebrations happened. And though many didn't say how they knew, or said they saw the seemingly non-existent TV footage of celebrations, some said they watched celebrations firsthand.
“I worked for PSEG in Clifton on the Paterson border and I witnessed it firsthand. "Tom Penicaro wrote. "They were celebrating in the streets cheering and stomping on the flag. I am a Marine and I remember very very clearly because I was so passed I wanted to engage them with a bat I had in my van.”
It's those alleged eye-witness accounts Forchion calls out.
"I remember soon after 9/11, watching the events from my Riverfront State Prison cell’s cable TV and seeing Palestinians in Gaza and Egyptians cheering Osama bin Laden’s revenge attacks. Nothing like that happened in the USA or it would’ve been on TV, on someone’s camera, and in the press," he wrote.
Forchion criticizes what he calls the "liefest" on Dennis & Judi's show — as "a dozen liars called in and said they were truckers, salesman, etc., and happened to be in Jersey City or Paterson … I love listening to Dennis/Judi but I admit, I got mad that they would let a (dangerous) lie go on."
(Forchion also criticizes 1210 AM's Ken Matthews for taking similar calls — and for calling Forchion a liar and hanging up on him when he called to dispute the claims.)
"Weren’t the highways, and most transportation, suspended in Jersey on the 11th/12th of September 2001? How and why were all these suburban types in these inner city Muslim neighborhoods anyway, as they claim on air? My opinion: They weren’t! The anonymity of talk radio allowed these lies to go unchecked over the airwaves to further the lie/myth that this celebration occurred," Forchion writes.
He closes the column with a reference to an act of violence not by Muslims, but by a white supremacist (albeit one 11 years after 9/11): "What I also remember is several Sikhs, who also wear turbans but aren’t Muslims, were killed by avenging Americans — oops."