January 15th, 2013
11:04 PM ET

Newtown families targeted, intimidated

Anderson Cooper speaks with Salon.com reporter Alex Seitz-Wald, who has been covering the Sandy Hook conspiracy theories, and Jordan Ghawi, whose sister was killed in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. Ghawi was targeted by conspiracy theorists days after Jessica died.

Seitz-Wald researched conspiracy theories in the U.S. and found most followers are "inclined to believe the government is out to get them" and is collaborating with the media. "They have this confirmation bias, as psychologists call it, to look for only evidence that supports their theories and disregard anything that says otherwise," he says.

Gene Rosen, who lives next to Sandy Hook Elementary School, helped shelter and comfort six children who were lost immediately after the shooting and wandered onto his property. He's fearful after receiving an onslaught of threatening emails and calls by those who believe he's part of a government plot.

Ghawi was accused of being a crisis actor when his sister was murdered, and he received a death threat. But he says he's not worried for his safety – he's concerned the people buying into the lies have access to weapons and need counseling.

"They were digging through even Facebook photos and photos I posted years prior of me with a SWAT team that I trained with saying 'Hey, look, this is proof that he's an actor, look he's really an officer," says Ghawi.  "It's a complete rejection of reality and facts. Many of their statements are completely contradictory, in fact."

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