Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Sorry to see this: William Langewiesche's "American Ground" series in the Atlantic was fascinating, and the epitome of reportorial spirit. He really did get the story of the "unbuilding" of the WTC pile by going in with the various teams while the remains were still smoking. Unfortunately, he uncovered some controversy at the same time: that some evidence indicates that firemen looted the site. Let it be said, too, that Langewiesche covers this speculation with taste and class, without a hint of tabloid tattling. Regardless, the fire union's kill-the-messenger response is entirely out of proportion, leading me to think that they were drinking the kool-aid on the fireman-hero hype. Langewiesche's story appears well researched, documented, and meticulous to this reader (go here and scroll about halfway down to read Langewiesche comments upon his methods). Yes, firefighters are brave men and women worthy of our thanks and respect. They may, however, also prove to be human, just like the rest of us.