Is the label “truther” an insult? Is it a synonymous for “conspiracy theorist”? Where did it come from?
The word seems to have gained prominence only after the September 11th attacks. Before that, you were a conspiracist or conspiracy theorist, just paranoid or part of the lunatic fringe, a crackpot or one of the lone gunmen. But in the years after the Twin Towers fell, those words have been replaced by a single noun.
In the New York Times Magazine, Leslie Savan wrote about the evolution of the term (“From Simple Noun to Handy Partisan Put-Down”), only as she observes “truther” was “self-chosen.” For years, it circulated on blogs and message boards. According to Savan, it was first used in 2004 by a 9/11 Truth activist who supported another activist who was being mocked by writing on his blog: “You’re a 9/11 Truther, don’t let them get to you.”