Hitting Rudy Where He's Strongest: 9-11

The Times is apparently determined to turn Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's strength (his leadershipon and after9-11) into a weakness. The latest entry comes on Wednesday from reporter Michael Cooper ("Some Balk at Giuliani Role in 9/11 Ceremony").

"Each year since Sept. 11, 2001, Rudolph W. Giuliani has spoken at New York City's commemorations of the attacks. At past ceremonies he has read off the names of some of the dead, given readings by Lincoln and Churchill, and recited poetry.

"This year Mr. Giuliani is no longer just the former mayor who led New York in the wake of the attacks, but a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. So when the city announced that Mr. Giuliani would speak next month at the sixth anniversary of the attacks, some relatives of people who died on Sept. 11 said they were dismayed, some because they feared his presence might inject politics into the event and others because they had been critical of him in the past.


"The politics of Sept. 11 are complicated. Some firefighters have faulted the mayor for communications problems at the World Trade Center; some parents and widows have agitated for a greater role in designing the memorial; some first responders criticize the city as doing too little to protect them from dangerous pollutants."


"But Mr. Giuliani, who attended scores of funerals after the attacks, also has his supporters among relatives of the victims. Lee Ielpi, a retired firefighter who lost his son on Sept. 11 and is now supporting the Giuliani campaign, said in an e-mail message last night that Mr. Giuliani's appearances at the commemorations are 'critical to both the healing process and helping all to remember the courage, bravery and sacrifices made on that day.'

The Times appears to be playing catch-up; the Associated Press filed a similar story Tuesday night which also featured quotes from Riches and Regenhard, as well as Giuliani adviser Anthony Carbonetti and retired firefighter Lee Ielpi.

By the way, the Times revealed in the story's last paragraph that Hillary Clinton will also attend the 9-11 ceremony. Apparently there's no controversy about injecting politics into 9-11 when a Democratic candidate goes to Ground Zero - or at least the Times doesn't bother to gin one up.