Watch What You Say
A White House press conference revisited.
I'm an old guy and something is going to catch up with me sooner or later. Am I afraid? Hell no. And I haven't met anybody that really is fearful of the terrorist threat. It's a problem, and our government is trying to solve it the best ways it can.
Debate the means if you will, but don't insult Americans by saying they are walking around in constant fear. Bah!
More Fighting Words on the matter can be found here. AC … 3:15pm PDT
Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006
A fascinating exchange has been unfolding in Culturebox over the last 24 hours, as Walter Sipser contactedSlate identifying himself as one of the subjects depicted in a controversial 9/11 photograph by Thomas Hoepker. Answering this query from David Plotz, Sipser defends himself and those in the pic against the accusations of callousness and indifference put forth in this column by the New York Times' Frank Rich.
Ripley is appalled by the conversion of this photograph, "hardly representative of what the nation was doing on 9/11," into a political statement. jimmyo also disapproves of using it "to generalize about the American character." Revo9 sharply indicts Rich for taking "a single moment of time and use that for an outright character assassination on a group of people he might not even know." Isonomist-- addresses directly those pictured in the photograph: "Nobody has a right to demand you explain yourselves, much less accuse you of not caring about the plight of those of us on the other shore."
The awkward body language tells Greatbear451 that "this isn't some casual lunch break conversation." baltimore- similarly observes that they "are leaning forward, with a rather earnest body position, as if eager to hear or make a point."
Joekaf points out the futility of interpreting the subjects' attitudes toward 9/11 from their orientation in the photograph: "Just because I, or the people in these photographs, weren't standing at attention or paralyzed by grief and fear for every second of that day doesn't mean we were unaffected by these events."
Watching the destruction unfold from afar, oh4real remains unapologetic for his conduct that day:
i am sorry we didnt sit in front of the tv, sobbing uncontrollably, trembling in our safe, preternaturally quiet suburban home. we were stunned by what was happening, but our lives 800 miles away kept going on. i guess Frank Rich would call us callous, but i think we were just handling the events in our own way, not letting the terrorists win.
Zaphron speculates smartly as to why this photo repels us:
we want our photos of people in New York that day to convey shock and terror. The iconic images of slack jawed observers, dust-covered refugees fleeing the wreckage, this is what we want from images of living bodies in New York that day and the stress, disbelief, and shock of the slaughter are no where to be found in the image of these people's bodies.
Adam Christian is co-editor of the Fray.