Definitely a ‘hard’ news story

For the front-line New York City reporter, this was the ultimate story, his career-builder, and he jumped at it.
Five thousand or more people gone up in smoke. Why this story of the World Trade Center disaster has topped even the Second World War! Any reporter on the job is probably the next Hemingway, and who needs the old Spanish Civil War?
Right now, those lucky newsmen are pestering their editor, whose name will not appear on the front pages in spite of all his efforts and overtime.
They are hounding him for air travel to Afghanistan because that’s where this story is going, unless Osama bin Ladin or Saddam Hussein or Khaddafi, our leading suspects of the moment, are nailed somewhere else.
You’d better believe the entire Middle East is in foment right now and the newsmen, if they don’t get exterminated before they’re through, are flying around out there like a bunch of crazy bats.
There may be plenty of fictitious evidence uncovered by these zealots, enough to spoil the story perhaps. But someone in the end will claim it it was his efforts that made the difference, made the world know his name, and his personal story will be shown by Hollywood.
In the meantime, the pot must be kept boiling and flags waving so the big dailies will be pumping out special editions. They go in for stories of great compassion first or discuss the importance and history basis of the great attack, or examine the techniques employed.
Racism will be played as a trump card because the western reader must be made familiar with the thinking of Arab minds, and the Koran will be examined for references to suicide–despite the Muslim clergy’s stand against human sacrifices.
The reporter can go deep here without much fear of contradiction.
There are lots of stories on how sympathetic the U.S. allies have shown themselves. It seems friendly Canada has turned itself inside out with our church services and parades on this topic, and our generosity is overwhelming.
All this coverage helps goad the reader into more hours in front of television newscasts and takes him to the newstands at least twice daily. Current developments are better known to the man on the street than in the badly-punished Pentagon.
This is much of our education in the year A.D. 2001.
Pearl Harbour and the Second World War in Europe offer only small competition to this story. They held but little mystery and that’s where the news money is working today.
If it turns out that the mass murderers are caught and turned over to some world tribunal without delay, there will be a measure of disappointment because there goes all the suspense which makes this story so great.
The sadness will predominate as it should but, for everyone who can say about the wars with some pride that–and this is a familiar statement–“I wasn’t born yet,” this is definitely the end of that age of innocence
• • •
Before I forget, you might consider Harold (Bo) Armstrong for town council service in the next election. This prospective candidate is definitely one energetic citizen and quite well-versed in international affairs, too!
Go Bo!
• • •
Ralph Fulford, our former fire chief, has learned that his policeman father’s shooting death will be commemorated by an OPP plaque at Ear Falls, near where he died while on duty Dec. 25, 1958.
• • •
In listing our local book-writers last week, Beatrice Sturdy, now of Winnipeg, had her name wrongly printed as “Gladys” while another writer, Sam Solaryk, was called a teacher, but not by me.
I worked with Sam on papermill construction for Paul A. Laurence Company before Sam moved west. Beatrice is a prominent short story writer while I don’t know whether Sam ever wrote another book.
• • •
Bruce Murray refers you to an Allan Cup championship display, including the 1952 Canadians team picture, in the lobby of Chez Rendez-Vous. It was assembled by his youngest son, Robbie. Great memorabilia.
Robbie resides at Lindsay, Ont., north of Oshawa, and still plays guitar as well as hockey, where his companions are regularly old stars from Montreal Canadiens’ hey-days.
• • •
Steve Jourdain, for many years the chief of Lac La Croix reserve, stopped to shake hands in the Safeway parking lot and tell how he enjoys living in Florida nowadays.
This reminded me that we were headed Monday to the Ojibway gathering spot (the Mounds) on Long Sault Rapids, always an impressive visit.
• • •
Tireless Vivian O’Donnell wants it known the seniors are all welcome to the volunteers’ dance hall–the old CN station–on Oct. 13 to kick up their heels to music by Marvin’s Treetoppers.
That’s at 7:30-10:30 p.m. for a nominal flat donation, including lunch.
• • •
The far-flung Flinders family will come together in Adelaide, Australia during March and April. Among them will be brothers Orlo and Kerry of Fort Frances, who also expect to see Asia, including Hong Kong.
Why Australia? Well, a brother of their grandfather, well-remembered O.B. Finders, was a sailor named Mathew who settled there to raise a large family.
Other Flinders will be checking in from Iowa.

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