Story of 'Hijacked Airliner' Hijacked by Reporter

October 30th, 2007 10:59 AM

This article appeared a couple of days ago in the Johnstown (PA) Tribune-Democrat, but it just came to my attention today. It's about Republican William T. Russell, the career Army man who is launching a campaign to unseat Rep. Democrat John Murtha in Pennsylvania's 12th District in 2008.

What stands out isn't the topic of the article. It's this little paragraph inserted close to the midway point:

Russell and his wife, Kasia, were in the Pentagon when a hijacked jetliner crashed into the building on Sept. 11, 2001. They escaped unharmed.

A hijacked jetliner? Which one would that be? Goodness, there have been so many hijackings in the past decade, it's hard to keep count.

For those of you who may have been on Jupiter on September 11, 2001, that "hijacked airliner" was one of four taken over by Islamist terrorists linked to al Qaeda in the worst assault on American soil to date. It smashed into the Pentagon, killing everyone on board the plane and an additional 125 people. William T. Russert (correction: Russell -- PM) and his wife could have been among the victims, but were instead among the fortunate.

Again, I realize the intent of the article is not to discuss what happened on that fateful day. The focus is Russert's (correction: Russell's -- PM) upcoming campaign against John Murtha. But for the reporter, Mike Faher, to "soften" such a pivotal event not only in American history but (one would assume) in Russert's (correction: Russell's -- PM) life, is beyond puzzling. Indeed, one of the things cited in the article that concerns Russert is the "war against Islamic radicalism," of which 9/11 is a part.

The ostensible treatment of this as a "normal" hijacking (where moustachioed villains clad in black simply want a suitcase full of money and passage to some exotic locale) does Americans no favors. Our media really should know better.