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Thursday, September 11, 2008
a few thoughts on this day, seven years later

- Was Pearl Harbor as subdued on December 7th, 1948 as 9/11 is today? A genuine question - maybe it was, maybe it's just the inevitable and necessary easing over the passage of time. Still, it does seem a little unseemly to watch "America's Got Talent" tonight, doesn't it? I mean our troops are still on the ground...

- "We will never forget" seems trite now - clearly we do have the capacity to forget. The lack of emphasis - at least on the major networks - is certainly intentional, so the question is why? I know we've been conditioned from early on - as early as 2002 - that the scenes from that day were not to be shown - but usually you could at least expect a reverent reminder on the anniversary of the fateful day itself. It seems now even that is - well, no longer appropriate. I'm cynical in this regard, I think it's an acknowledgment by the media powers that be that the memories and images of that day remind us that we live in a very dangerous world where we have real enemies who wish us harm - and in an election year, an acknowledgment that such thoughts rightfully lead one to think who is best to lead our nation in such times - and that can not help the junior Senator from Illinois...

- Speaking of Senator Obama, I don't know who's idea it was for the joint visit with Senator McCain to ground zero today, but it was wholly appropriate and appreciated. Well done.

- I watched a good portion of MSNBCs replay this morning of NBCs 9/11 coverage as it happened seven years ago. I was at work that morning, and so did not see any live TV coverage and this was the first time I "saw it live." It is one of the first times in memory I wasn't annoyed by Katie and Matt - they didn't know what was going on any more than the rest of us - and that was clear - they were just trying to convey what they were hearing and seeing and they were horrified right along with the rest of us - they were unguarded and human - which was fine. The "reporting" was also as fast and loose as I've ever seen - no fact checking - lot's of couching (these are unconfirmed reports and such) - but a genuine desire to get information to a nation under attack. There was that report of a car bomb going off near the capital, and another in a high school in NYC. Straight rumor and hearsay direct to the public, but frankly it's understandable and again it didn't seem inappropriate.

- It took President Bush almost a full day to truly find his voice. He was excellent once he did, but I'm far less tolerant of the time it took him to get there - a President needs to exude confidence and command immediately.

- That said, his words and actions since then - seven full years since then - I have little complaint with. The lack of another terrorist attack in that time is a testament to the President and his administration. The passage of time and the dispassionate review of future historians will look back on this President in very favorable terms - of that I am convinced. There is much in his Presidency that could have been done differently, could have been done better, but his positives outweigh his negatives by a large margin. Some jackass on MSNBC said today, "perhaps your one of the 27% who's views the President favorably, but..." - and I thought, Yeah, I am.

- Speaking of MSNBC - I mean, just wow. You think to yourself, how could it possibly be any worse - I mean Olberman is Olberman - a wretch of a man, but now you have exchanges between Mathews and Rachel Maddow - just the two of them with no alternative viewpoint to keep them in check - it's a contest to see who hates the Republicans more. But as I've said int he past, at least they're not pretending anymore - at least it's out in the open and acknowledged now.

- Back to 9/11 - when are we going to see an actual structure where the towers were? It's been seven years damn it - why couldn't we just put the same two towers back up except five stories taller? Seriously, after seven years - the lack of any appreciable construction is maddening...

- You could find the images of that day on television today - you had to look, Fox News, MSNBC, The History Channel - but they were there. How you can watch the events of that day and not be angry - not well up with tears, stand in stunned awe of the heroism exhibited, but also not be seething with anger, I don't know.

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