In harm's way

September 1, 2010 1:21:02 PM PDT
I started writing my annual Sept. 11 "remembrance" today for our website. The folks who coordinate our Internet coverage ask us to write our thoughts about the attacks, and that fateful morning, as we prepare to cover the annual memorial service at Ground Zero.

It can be a wrenching experience, because I find myself reliving the day, and unearthing the powerful feelings that, I find every year, are not buried all that deeply.

When I write about it, I understand the politics of it all. I understand the gripes various people have with the U.S. and with the West. What I can't wrap my brain around is the pure hatred that drives the vicious violence. What sparks someone - or a group - to think nothing of mass murder? And it's more than "think nothing" - it's the sense that killing thousands, that spilling all that blood, is somehow heroic and just.

So I'm writing the Sept. 11 column today, when the breaking news crossed the wire: A man - armed and possibly with explosives -taking hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. The demands of James Lee - that's reportedly the suspect - are contained in a rambling manifesto that purports to disdain global warming and overpopulation, and tries to take Discovery to task for not doing enough to solve the problems. (I know, I know, Discovery is probably one of the most environmentally friendly of networks. Hello? "Discovery Earth"?)

What sparks a person to jeopardize the lives of innocent people? James Lee at the Discovery headquarters, the Al Qaeda terrorists at the World Trade Center - two very different situations of course, but both driven by hate. And it's not easily explained away.

We're on the story out of Maryland - it's happening as I write this. We'll have the latest, tonight at 11.

We're also tracking Hurricane Earl. Meteorologist Lee Goldberg says the storm track has Earl missing New York City, but not missing the eastern part of Long Island - on a huge holiday weekend. Lee's closely monitoring the storm, and leads our coverage, at 11.

And we've sent Eyewitness News reporter Jim Dolan to Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, where they're bracing for Earl's landfall tomorrow. Jim will file from the outer banks, tonight at 11.

And finally, some not-so-good news about labor and the economy, as we head into the Labor Day weekend. The latest poll from Rutgers University, released today, shows that two-thirds of Americans think the economy will be the same or worse this time next year. And 56% think the economy isn't just going through a downturn, but instead is "experiencing fundamental and lasting changes."

Half of Americans who are working are "very" concerned about their job security.

Oy.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER

Click here to send a comment.


Load Comments