Friday, November 12, 2004

Safer Every Day

They told us New York was safer now because they’ve got Saddam Hussein locked up. Now Clyde Haberman of the Times tells us we’re safer because Yasir Arafat has been laid in the cold, cold ground. He’s only half joking.

He quite seriously accepts all the fantasies in the obituary of Arafat by Judith Miller. Neither Arafat nor Hussein had anything to do with any acts of terrorism that we know of here. In fact Homeland Security has quietly lowered the level of alert it raised during the Republican convention. That’s a relief for the city, which kept an army of policemen on overtime for the duration. Mayor Bloomburg noted that Bush had promised to pick up the tab, but hadn’t produced. His Times flak at City Hall, Jennifer Steinhauer, tells how he boldly wrote his complaint into his speech of welcome to the convention. The Bushwackers said no sirree, so Bloomburg threatened not to speak at all. Then he agreed to cut it down to a paragraph, to a sentence, to a few words. In the end, if you followed the story over to the next page, you learn that he took out the few words as well.

Steinhauer tells it as if it was a tale of heroism: This is the billionaire who was going to get so much for our town by turning Republican and snuggling up to Pataki and Bush. It has not been money in the bank.