Thursday, April 18, 2002


I think there's been some confusion over this book based on the words "September 11."

September 11, of course, means a particular day, an unforgettable day, a day when people woke up with one expectation of the world and went to sleep with another. There was a lot of panic, a lot of uncertainty, and a relatively small and insular community of webloggers used that medium to communicate with each other about what news they had heard. Matthew Caughey complains that reprinting a Metafilter thread would capture reactions adequately, and we're not being "balanced" because that's not the approach we're using. I think that's unrealistic:
Somebody with access to a TV please post details!! There's no getting into any of the news sites ----

A plane impacted the top of one of the WTC towers at about 10 minutes to nine this morning. While everybody was still trying to figure out was was going on, a second plane flew in a straight line into the second tower and impacted it at a height a little lower than the first collision. Both building are clearly on fire. The government has apparently received no warning or claims of an attack. The president will address the nation shortly.
posted by iceberg273 at 6:28 AM PST on September 11

the phonelines here are going crazy, ours just died. i can here ambulances heading downtown. the TV just said that FBI is already investigating. they're talking about a possible hijacking. bush is also supposedly going to talk soon. Tv just said that US officially declared this to be an act of terrorism.
posted by karen at 6:28 AM PST on September 11

I'm very glad to hear your father's okay Adam.
posted by cCranium at 6:29 AM PST on September 11

Holy fuck. It was a commercial jetliner according to MSNBC
posted by owillis at 6:31 AM PST on September 11

second plane looks like a boeing 737
posted by mich9139 at 6:31 AM PST on September 11

The second plane is an American Airlines 767 that took off from Boston, CNN is reporting.
posted by rcade at 6:32 AM PST on September 11

NY1 reports that the airports, tunnels and incoming traffic into Manhattan has been shutdown.
posted by riffola at 6:32 AM PST on September 11
This is perhaps historically interesting to see people relaying to the Internet what they're hearing on TV (and this is not an atypical sample of the thread Caughey cites) for the benefit of the fraction of a percent of the population that had Internet access but no radio or television. But it's not the book that we're putting together.

"September 11" also means a concept, the day that America realized that it was in a battle for its existence. It was a catalyzing factor (often together with the example of Glenn Reynolds) that encouraged people of all political persuasions, people without extensive computer backgrounds, people who had never heard of the little-girl-on-a-bicycle-story to start their own weblogs to share their exasperation with the traditional media outlets' faux "objectivity." It strikes me that a lot of the backbiting is really a complaint from long-time bloggers that the center of the weblog universe isn't where it used to be, but it's this political movement of the last seven-plus months that the book is largely about.

Is this a "narrow" view? Not to those of us who've read these weblogs: they include Nader voters, Gore voters, Bush voters, whatever-libertarian-finished-in-fifth-place voters, non-voters, and for all I know even someone who accidentally voted for Buchanan; they include Jews, Muslims, Christians, and the secular; Israelis, Australians, Canadians, Persians. A Chomskyite might think this is only the gamut from "A to B", as one e-mail accused me of attempting, but, again, all we've stated is that we're against terrorism, and that leaves plenty of room for debate. It's no less unbalanced than the hypothetical core-sample-of-weblogs-on-one-day-only book (as opposed to my example below of a core-sample-of-the-Web-as-a-whole), which would be biased towards voices in the computer professions.