April 8, 2004

A Different 9/11 Family

The way the media makes it seem, the 9/11 families are all the same four women from New Jersey. But in the April 5 issue of National Review, Byron York has an article on Jimmy Boyle, a retired New York firefighter whose son Michael, also a firefighter, died in the North Tower of the WTC.

Only a part of it is online, but I'll try and excerpt some of what isn't, here.

.... Bush had reason to pay attention to Jimmy Boyle. Boyle is a past president of New York's Uniformed Firefighters Association, Local 94, the largest local firefighters' union in the country. He's also a lifetime Democrat who has never voted for a Republican for president (he was, in fact, head of Firefighters for McGovern back in 1972). But this year, Boyle plans to vote for George W. Bush, because Boyle wants the president to keep up the war on terrorism.

All that would be enough to make Bush grateful, but on that day in Long Island the president owed Boyle for another reason. In the week before the memorial ceremony, Boyle, acting not as a retired union chief but as a man who lost his son on September 11, took it upon himself to defend the president against charges that his campaign exploited memories of 9/11 in its first set of advertisements.


.... By the time the commercials actually appeared on Thursday, the story was not the ads themselves but the "controversy" over them. The Bush campaign was on the defensive.

That's where Jimmy Boyle came in. Boyle was at his home in Westbury, Long Island, early Thursday morning when he heard a report saying that September 11 families and firefighters were furious about the commercials. Boyle didn't know what was going on. "I said, 'Jeez, I'm a family, and a firefighter, too, and nobody ever mentioned anything to me,'" he recalls.

When he looked at the ads later that day, Boyle didn't see a problem. "I'm not knocking any family member who's against the president," he says, "but I felt that September 12 was a new world from September 11, and this guy George Bush stepped up to the plate and became a leader, and I want him to be able to finish this war." Boyle talked to a number of his friends who had lost relatives on 9/11, and they felt the same way.

Boyle decided to write an open letter in support of Bush. "A few of the voices of September 11 have been critical of President Bush's campaign advertisements that, in a respectful way, recall the incredible challenges we all faced," Boyle wrote. "Certainly we respect those voices and their opinions. Those few voices, however, do not speak for all of us."


Boyle also called Ken Haskell, a firefighter who lost two brothers, both firefighters, on 9/11. "I encourage [the president] to use those images," Haskell says. "It's important for people to remember what happened to us. People are going to be bitter for the rest of their lives for what happened, but they should blame the terrorists, not the president." (emphasis mine)

Boyle did all of his work unbidden by the White House. Indeed, the Bush campaign had no contact with Boyle until after the letter attracted a little press attention.

So when the press will only talk to 9/11 families that fit their agenda, remember that there are other voices and veiwpoints out there. But the liberal media doesn't think we need to hear about them.

Posted by Ithildin at April 8, 2004 5:40 PM | PROCURE FINE OLD WORLD ABSINTHE

Too true. Whatever happened to unbiased reporting? Seems that's a thing of the all too distant past.

Posted by: Da Goddess at April 8, 2004 10:37 PM

ith -- thanks for the post. My blood is boiling as a handful of blamethrowers dominate the news coverage.

Posted by: irishlass at April 8, 2004 11:56 PM

I was watching Hardball last night. Chris had these 4 women on with him. I am amazed at how many people allow such obvious one sided views to skew their thinking.

Posted by: JT_Hunter at April 9, 2004 5:54 AM

JT, Chris Matthews used to be an astute political observer and call it like it is regardless of being a longtime partisan Dem. But at some point he just went off the deep end. He has absolutely zero credibility left.

Posted by: Dave J at April 9, 2004 7:51 AM

I read this article I think in NR and I have not yet blogged about it...tis so true...this story could create shock amongst the people! The media suggested EVERYONE must be offended. Surprise.

Posted by: Jen at April 11, 2004 5:39 PM