The Times Again Dismisses Seriousness of Kennedy Airport Terror Threat

"Papers Portray Plot as More Talk than Action"

After burying in the Metro section on Sunday the story of a terror plot against Kennedy International Airport (which the out-of-town Washington Post put on the front page) the Times again treated it as a mere regional story on Monday, topping the Metro section (not the National news section) with Michael Powell and William Rashbaum's "Plot Suspects Described as Short on Cash And a Long Way From Realizing Goals."

The online headline was even more dismissive: "Papers Portray Plot as More Talk than Action."

"The plot as painted by law enforcement officials was cataclysmic: A home-grown Islamic terrorist had in mind detonating fuel storage tanks and pipelines and setting fire to Kennedy International Airport, not to mention a substantial swath of Queens....Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly then stepped to the lectern with a vision only a bit less grim.

"'Once again, would-be terrorists have put New York City in their crosshairs,' he said. Mr. Kelly said a disaster had been averted.

"But the criminal complaint filed by the federal authorities against the four defendants in the case - one of them, Abdel Nur, remained at large yesterday - suggests a less than mature terror plan, a proposed effort longer on evil intent than on operational capability."

The Times story read like a milder version of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann's constant anti-Bush denials of terror plots.