NY Mirror

The Crash of Flight 587 Has Been Called a Terrible Accident. Buy That Version?

Are you more nervous about flying? No. I flew to Savannah for business and it was fine. I'd fly anywhere right now.

Age 18
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Student

Was the crash an accident or an act of terrorism? I think it's too random and not well-enough planned to be an act of terrorism. It's a creepy coincidence. Unless it was a matter of wanting to just blow up a plane, I think it lacked coordination.

Do you believe what you're being told about it? Not really, but there are a lot of instances like that now. I have a British friend who told me about people being detained by the FBI in Texas. We don't read about that in the American press. There's no information about American casualties in Afghanistan, either. On the other hand, coverage of the anthrax scare seemed OK. The general public was as informed as they could be. The press has sort of agreed to minimize coverage of things critical of the U.S. Maybe some of the ugly details will come out in a year or two, but I understand wanting to protect national security. The banning of certain songs on the radio seems like an overreaction. Like John Lennon's "Imagine." It's censorship, to a certain degree.

Are you more nervous about flying? I haven't flown in two or three years, but I'm not scared. It's a matter of statistics. There's always a chance that you'll crash, just as there's always a chance that you'll be struck by lightning.

Age 25
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Model/student

Was the crash an accident or an act of terrorism? I may naturally be a little paranoid, but I wonder if anything that happens now isn't an act of terrorsism. It wouldn't surprise me if people had been able to walk onto that plane with something like a bomb. They might have had help from employees at the airport. The fight over airport security is pathetic. The airports claim they've made improvements, but increased security measures can't be that extensive. They were bad before, and it's only been two months since September 11. How much could they have gotten done in that short a time?

Do you believe what you're being told about it? No. We're not getting information. When I speak to my friends in Europe, they're hearing completely different things. I do think that our lack of information was self-created; we're such isolationists, and we don't really care about the rest of the world. There are members of Congress who are proud of never having left the U.S. That is sad.

Are you more nervous about flying? I haven't flown since September 11. I wasn't scared of flying before, but I know that when I do I'll be scared and nervous. We don't have a choice, really. When it's your time, it's your time. You could go outside and a brick could fall on your head and kill you.

Age 30
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Actor

Was the crash an accident or an act of terrorism? I thought immediately that it was terrorism. Several days later, I'm still not sure that it wasn't. There are many cells of this organization operating inside the country. We may have missiles and tanks, but they have hijackers willing to die for their cause.

Do you believe what you're being told about it? It's highly unlikely that we're getting any real news. I get the same piece of information over and over again. For better or worse, this is the news we're getting. The positive aspect of it is that information doesn't get leaked. The CIA and FBI are all we've got to fight terrorism. On the other hand, the result of having no facts is that we are living in a haze. And if after the events of September 11 people are willing to say of this recent crash, "It wasn't terrorism," we're going to continue to live in a haze.

Are you more nervous about flying? Yes, but I was nervous before September 11. I haven't canceled anything as a result of the attacks. I'm bound to New York. Flying is man's attempt to control nature, and I don't like it.

Age 19
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Student

Was the crash an accident or an act of terrorism? That it might be terrorism crossed my mind, but I think the media was trying to get people to believe it was terrorism because that's the better story. Even as the NTSB was saying it probably wasn't terrorism, the networks were refusing to let go of the idea. I think it was an awful accident. Any crash is scary.

Do you believe what you're being told about it? I don't think the American media represents what's now going on in the world. I don't know that it ever did. For most people, the amount and quality of the news they get is enough for them. And I think it's what they want to hear. For instance, the war coverage in Iraq during the Gulf War was designed to appeal to people who wanted to know that we were going to "get them," and it didn't matter what the rest of the world thought. Most foreign media is much more critical of American foreign policy than American media ever is.

Are you more nervous about flying? No. I'm thinking of traveling, maybe to Israel in December. Security is better than it's ever been.

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