Fit to Post

From Sarin to the Berg beheading: why do the news media keep silent when rumors sweep the internet?

Of course, the snap judgment on sarin is highly political. If the Bushies can prove Hussein had WMDs—even a few—they can put enough flesh on the bones of their case for war to make it taste like a Happy Meal. But as the Times points out, we won't really know whether the bomb was a stray or part of an arsenal. For that matter, who put the nerve gas in the shell in the first place? That's a question only the Internet would ask.

Rudy's Crew

When Rudy Giuliani took the stand at last week's 9-11 hearings, he faced chiffon questions. But the panel wasn't so gentle with his police and fire commissioners. A remark about the city's response being unworthy of a Boy Scout set the Post to screaming "INSULT!" Ostensibly, the tab was defending the heroes of 9-11, but actually it was fending off intimations that the Giuliani administration had botched the rescue operation. You might consider this payback for the role Rudy played in getting Fox News on Time Warner Cable.

Still, from the Post's hysterical reaction I suspected that something more basic than back-scratching was involved. After all, Rudy is the alpha of alphas to macho guys. Reading Steve Dunleavy's column confirmed my hunch. The 9-11 commission wasn't "talking to just any old mayor or some political hack," he fumed. "They were talking to a man. A real man."

With brass balls like Rudy's, who needs the facts?

Research assistance: Matthew Phillp


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