Posts from August 21, 2004

McGreevey speaks (sort of)

McGreevey speaks (sort of)

: NJ Gov Jim McGreevey writes an op-ed in the Sunday Times. It’s all about justifying his decision to resign effective Nov. 15. It’s not about the tough questions he needs to start answering — regarding his employment of Golan Cipel, among other things.



: Commenter CharlesWT tells us that Salam Pax is back at this blog. But, once again, we need to wonder about the identity; there’s no link to this from his old blog, only an odd link to something else.

In the shadow of terrorism

In the shadow of terrorism

: Odd, but it was only this morning, as I watched the Olympics, that I remembered the reason People magazine sent me to L.A. as part of the team to cover the Olympics in 1984:


I was the hard news guy in the house that fluff built, having worked on newspapers. And so they sent me in case disaster struck, as it had in Munich in 1972. (I was also assigned to write just-in-case obits of Prince Charles and Diana in case they were killed on their wedding day, which also happened to be our closing day. The fluffier staff members thought this quite ghoulish. It was just news.)

The threat of terrorism in America seemed quite distant then; we had a few contingency plans (it was news to them that if something happens, you should go right to the hospitals) and then we sat out by the pool.

Of course, today, this is more than a threat. It is experience.

Like Jay Rosen in his latest 9/11 post (this is the last time I’ll link to that today), I was struck by Washington Post New York bureau chief Michael Powell’s phrase:

…those of us — myself and his wife, among others — who came within the shadow of the falling towers on Sept. 11 had acquired an intimate view of terror….

An intimate view of terror. That is so right.

So during these games — as on any given random day in New York — that view is in the back of the mind. Happened before. Could happen again. Now we know. I’m relieved that a week of the Olympics have gone by without problems. I pray the next week is the same. I pray the same for the convention in New York and the election and every day after that.

Back in 1984, in America, terrorism was a distant possibility you’d nod at. Today, terrorism is an ever-present fear you live with.

The flag

The flag

flagpin.jpg: In Jay Rosen’s latest post about 9/11 and journalism, there is this about journalists wearing the flag:

Apparently if you say things like “journalism changed after 09/11” you sound like a fellow traveler with Fox, and with the Right’s work-the-refs view that “journalists are unpatriotic and bad because they show bad stuff on TV which undermines Amerca,” as [Matt] Stoller put it. Use language like “duty to the nation” and you sound like a winger.

Well… I think any journalist of any persuasion would have been wise to wear a little American flag on their lapel after 09/11, and even wiser to explain what the symbol meant in that context, going on air with the news. If necessary, fight about the flag and what it says when worn in a gesture of solidarity.

But I’m also intrigued with the idea of the flag-less press, which shows no signs of membership, no solidarity, except the fraternity of fellow observers.

I’m so glad to hear Jay say that.

I never but never was a flag-waver or -wearer before 9/11. I started afterwards. My view: Evil swine killed thousands around me and tried to kill me that day just because I am American. So, of course, I will wear my flag as the tiniest sign of defiance. I know that wearing the flag confuses people (flag=right) but I don’t care. I want to reclaim the flag from partisans and apologists and terrorists. I wish we all wore the flag. I wish we were all united enough to do so.

I am an American. As we say here in Jersey, You gotta problem with that?



: Olympic swimmer Scott Goldblatt blogs [shhhh; don’t tell the IOC; see the post below] about Michael Phelps’ amazing decision to forego another medal to let a teammate compete and win.

Goldblatt also wants us all to know about a charity auction of Olympic athletes’ memorabilia that he is organizing for the Melanoma Research foundation. Details here. Pass it on! More info on the auction:

ATHENS – Together with eBay Giving Works, two-time Olympian Scott Goldblatt ( Scotch Plains, New Jersey / Kansas City, Kansas ) is organizing an Olympic Team memorabilia charity auction to benefit the Melanoma Research Foundation….

In May of 1997, Goldblatt lost his mother, Linda Goldblatt, to this disease.

“I have seen what this disease can do, and together with your help, hope to educate others in the prevention of the disease,” said Goldblatt.

Goldblatt is asking Team USA members to help in this auction by donating a unique item.