MSNBC's John Yang, just said in previewing President Bush's speech today: “The president has said in his interviews, his exit interviews as he calls them, that one of his greatest, the achievement he is proudest of is the fact that there has been no attack on US soil, no terrorist attack since September 11, 2001.”
Journalists keep repeating this Bush spin, but it just isn't true.
You'd think an MSNBC reporter would remember the anthrax mailings that targeted Democratic members of congress as well as several news organizations - after all, one of the letters was sent to NBC.
Maybe John Yang should check in with Casey Chamberlain, the NBC employee who opened a letter containing anthrax. She understands that there has, in fact, been a terrorist attack since September 11, 2001; in 2006, she wrote an account of her experiences for MSNBC's web page:
Every September, like many, I feel sick and frightened around the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. But it was the weeks following September 11th that would forever change my life. During that time, I was the victim of terrorism when I opened a letter containing a lethal amount of anthrax.
You may remember hearing about Tom Brokaw's assistant who got sick after coming in contact with a letter containing a deadly amount of anthrax. I was the person who first opened that letter, before Tom's assistant became sick. You have not heard my story.
A week or so after I was sick, Mr. Brokaw's assistant became sick. Both of our symptoms were unusual. Authorities became involved. When Bob Stevens died at the American Media Building in Florida at the end of September, the pieces slowly began to come together.
The events over the next few months changed my life. I had carried anthrax back on my clothes and had contaminated my home. I chose to have all of my things destroyed. I lost my most personal belongings. All my precious pictures and mementos. I worried I might die. I'll have to see doctors the rest of my life.
Every time I hear the word terrorism or anthrax, it makes me sick. I often become a bit paranoid and feel as if people are staring at me. Whenever various media outlets alert Americans about “a white substance” that was found or some chemical smell or spill, the speculation that these things might be anthrax conjures up many negative emotions. I'll never have an overall sense of security again.
The next time John Yang feels like mindlessly repeating Bush administration talking points, he should give his colleague Casey Chamberlain a call first.
Or he might think about Greg McKendry, an usher at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church who died while shielding others from gunfire when Jim Adkisson opened fire during a children's musical performance.
Despite what much of the media seems to believe, not all terrorism is committed by people from Saudi Arabia