There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.
— Edith Wharton
People often ask what went wrong at the World Trade Center site. The evidence shows that a small clique of devious, self-serving politicians — and their lackeys — hijacked our nation’s recovery. But they succeeded only because the public was deprived of that evidence. As savvy as people are, they still assumed that when it came to the WTC they could trust officials to do the right thing and the media to alert them if they did not.
The Twin Towers Journal is an effort to set the record straight. The public was not just misinformed — it was malinformed — the way children who are fed a diet of white bread, soda pop, and candy are malnourished. The public was fed a steady stream of phony baloney — often by well-meaning journalists who didn’t realize how aggressively information was being filtered before it reached them. The result of the engineered coverage was that our democracy was undermined where it most needed to be affirmed.
That is our take on it. It is the result of more than eight years’ observation and investigation. The Soviet-style rebuilding process was an appalling charade, considering that the thousands of fellow citizens who died on 9/11 were slaughtered merely for being Americans. We are launching this effort to bring coherence to a profoundly incoherent coverage of a profoundly significant matter.
Even now, with wide agreement that the WTC site has been shockingly mismanaged, the dots are rarely connected. This journal will provide selected links to each week’s news and analyze the information through the prism of our long fight for Ground Zero. Nowhere else are the numerous reports ever brought into wider focus, which is where the real story is to be found. All these years of observation and investigation have prepared us to present this synthesis.
While we hope to attract the attention of the general public, our chief aim is to reach the journalists who already have the public’s attention, but are not getting information they need to see things in context. It stands to reason that if a Federal judge recognized we had something credible to contribute when he permitted the Twin Towers Alliance to act as “Friends of the Court” in the lawsuit the AAA brought against The Port Authority in September, 2011, there will be some news professionals who will want to consider what we have to offer.
The Journal site will run parallel to the advocacy site. Commentary and information that are presented as fact will be verifiable. Fact-check inquiries that question or dispute content will be promptly addressed. The questions and concerns we will raise need answers no matter what is built at the World Trade Center. The Twin Towers Alliance will continue to advocate for the WTC millions of Americans long to see. At the same time, the Twin Towers Journal will draw attention to the abuses of power and lack of transparency that robbed the nation of the recovery most of us wanted and had a right to expect.
Why does it matter now, with all the difficult problems our nation faces? Because unaccountable government is really our only problem, with an unreliable press running a close second. The first two pillars in the media’s bible “The Elements of Journalism” state: “Journalism’s first obligation is to the truth” and “Its first loyalty is to citizens.” If only that were the prevailing ethic in the newsrooms of New York over the past decade, instead of just words, the Twin Towers’ banishment would never have succeeded.
Citizens have a duty to hold government officials and the media to account, if our country is to thrive. They must not be allowed to push aside or break whatever is in their way and then just move on. This is a dedicated effort to do our part — and to encourage and assist others to do theirs.