What he said
: Nick Denton and Ken Layne are sniping at each other over steel and whether they should be writing about it. Steel as in tarriffs, as in protective trade, as in antiglobalization, as in good neighborliness, and all that. I have to side with Layne on this one, for it was Denton himself — my blog mentor — who taught me that we shouldn’t all be piling on the same subject all the time. Layne says that others, like ex-Economist Denton, will have more intelligent things to say about steel and so those with something to say should say it. I’m going to keep commenting on Howard Stern. I’m a man of the masses.
: Nick Denton says the Towers of Light memorial should not be turned off after a month. I agree and I think New York may become attached to the light. By the way, hope for a foggy, wet, polluted day on Monday for then the light will be far more visible.
The latest heroes
: I was struck last night watching the mother and sister of one of the soldiers who just died fighting in Afghanistan and and the parents of another. I was struck by this hard reminder of war’s price. They were stoic and proud; they knew the risks and so did their sons; they took the blow for all of us. But nothing can salve the pain for these families anymore than it could for the 3,000 families of 9.11. And we should not lose sight of that pain as we contemplate the continuing war in Afghanistan and the spreading war we may need to fight against other terrorist havens. I’m not losing my nerve or resolve or trying to go back into the pacifist closet. But I am saying that it is wise and necessary to take our time and to do this when necessary and to do this wisely. The chorus of hawks screeching for Iraqi blood may be right but they should give their man George the room he needs to assure victory. It’s a little too easy for us to sit at connected keyboards and call the bombing strikes because we have not seen much pain this time; there has been, thankfully, less of it than in past wars. In Vietnam, we saw the blood and terror on TV over dinner; we knew the dead and their families, there were so many; we had good reason to doubt whether this was necessary or wise. Here, we don’t see any of that. But war is still war. It’s about killing. It’s about dying. It’s about loss. It’s not a computer game.
I was here
: My friend and colleague Janice Abrahams points me to Earthcam’s WTC camera, which happens to be aimed at just the spot where I stopped and stood after I ran out of the World Trade Center and watched the horror, the spot where I was standing when the second jet hit the second tower. Here you see the Century 21 department store (just reopened) on the left; the hotel is just out of sight on the right; across the street to the right was WTC 5, straight ahead was WTC 1. Now it is a hole.
: This does not make me feel safe. Now Ashcroft is enlisting neighborhood watch groups to keep an eye out for terrorists. And while they’re at it, they can rat on people who water their lawns during our drought.
: Howard spoke with Drudge this morning about his report (below) that Howard’s Mel the K’s favorite to replace Letterman if he dons the Disney ears. Howard said he would take the job. He also says that Letterman is staying. My assumption is that Howard is doing Mel the favor of putting the pincer on Dave, letting him know that they would/could let him go and put Howard in the slot. Advertiser problems? “For $30 million, you’d behave,” said Robin.
The show has a raw honesty completely unheard of in any form of media, and it’s incredibly refreshing. Second, the sense that at least for the hour morning commute, before spending another day doing other people’s bidding, it’s okay to not have to feel so bad and guilty about things, especially about instinctual emotions or reactions. It’s a private thing, I think, at least for most people. You’re in your car, alone, nobody to tsk-tsk you, so go ahead and laugh! It’s all right!
I am unashamed to say that I am a Howard fan. I’ve said so in print and on TV and here on the Web.
: I note that both gentleman above are from New Jersey. So is Andrew Hofer. I think it’s time to start organizing the Jersey Blogfest. Ba da bing.