A Sept. 11 urban legend rears its head in New Jersey.

Previously published Slate articles made new.
Sept. 30 2002 6:47 PM

4,000 Jews, 1 Lie

On Friday, New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey demanded the resignation of Amiri Baraka, the state's poet laureate, for writing a poem called "Somebody Blew Up America." In it, Baraka repeats an urban myth about Sept. 11: "Who told 4000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers/ To stay home that day/ Why did Sharon stay away?" Baraka later said that "everything said about Israel in the poem is easily researched." Last October, Bryan Curtis debunked the "4,000 Israelis" claim, tracing its origin to Lebanon-based TV stations and a U.S. Web site.