Wash. Post article called Giuliani "America's mayor," referred to his "triumphal leadership on Sept. 11"

››› ››› BEN ARMBRUSTER

The Washington Post referred to Rudy Giuliani as "America's mayor" and suggested that after his "triumphal leadership on Sept. 11" Giuliani "transcended the life that was," including controversies involving his friend and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik as well as controversies in his personal life. The Post article repeated a tendency by some in the media of touting Giuliani's actions as mayor of New York on 9-11 or labeling him "America's mayor" without mentioning that his performance before, during, and after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has been questioned and criticized.

A November 17 article in the Style section of The Washington Post referred to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) as "America's mayor" and suggested that after his "triumphal leadership on Sept. 11" Giuliani "transcended the life that was," including controversies involving his friend and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik as well as controversies in his personal life. In doing so, the Post article repeated a tendency by some in the media -- which Media Matters for America has documented in numerous instances -- of touting Giuliani's actions as mayor of New York on 9-11 or labeling him "America's mayor " without mentioning that his performance before, during, and after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has been questioned and criticized.

The Post article began by stating: "Before deciding to run for president, Rudy Giuliani might have consulted the late William Faulkner, who studiously said, 'The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.' If America's mayor didn't know that before, he certainly knows it now." It then reported that Giuliani's "friend and former police commissioner Bernard Kerik was hit with a 16-count indictment last week on various charges of corruption and mail and tax fraud" and detailed a lawsuit by Kerik's former mistress Judith Regan claiming that "two executives at her imprint's parent company, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., told her to lie when investigators questioned her about Kerik":

Before deciding to run for president, Rudy Giuliani might have consulted the late William Faulkner, who studiously said, "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past." If America's mayor didn't know that before, he certainly knows it now.

They keep coming, don't they? Those hauntings from the past. First, his friend and former police commissioner Bernard Kerik was hit with a 16-count indictment last week on various charges of corruption and mail and tax fraud. Then, this week comes Judith Regan, once a Kerik mistress and former publisher of ReganBooks, claiming in a lawsuit that two executives at her imprint's parent company, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., told her to lie when investigators questioned her about Kerik. The lies, she says, were meant to protect Giuliani's presidential bid.

[...]

Giuliani knows all about that. His colorful life even includes infamously comical episodes when he performed at political roasts dressed as a woman.

"Rudy's led a tabloid life," says New York historian and author Terry Golway. "Let's face it. When your wife has a press conference to address the state of your marriage, that's tabloid material. He's invited that kind of thing." (Said wife, Donna Hanover, found out about her separation from Giuliani when the then-mayor held a news conference of his own.)

The article concluded, however, that after Giuliani's performance on 9-11, he "transcended the life that was":

But late in 2001, Giuliani transcended the life that was. After his triumphal leadership on Sept. 11, Giuliani posed for a photo that would define him -- and perhaps more importantly, the idea of him -- for years to come. He'd been selected Person of the Year by Time; his photo would grace the magazine's cover.

And there he was -- standing with the city, his city, as the backdrop -- a monument to strength and fortitude, a man transformed. That is the Rudy Giuliani that much of America knows.

Yet Giuliani's performance before, during, and after 9-11 has been both questioned and criticized. As Media Matters has documented, New York City firefighters have been critical of Giuliani for what they see as his failure to ensure that the New York police and fire departments had interoperable radios. According to an August 7 Village Voice article by senior editor Wayne Barrett, co-author of Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 (HarperCollins, 2006), a 1995 sarin gas drill conducted by New York City officials highlighted the radio interoperability problem that "would be identified years later in official reviews of the 9/11 response."

Giuliani has also been criticized for selecting the 7 World Trade Center building as the site of his emergency command center, reportedly because the location was within walking distance of City Hall. Barrett and co-author Dan Collins reported in Grand Illusion that the site was chosen after Giuliani "overruled" warnings from former police commissioner Howard Safir and NYPD chief operating officer Lou Anemone not to locate it there, "[r]ejecting an already secure, technologically advanced city facility across the Brooklyn Bridge" because Giuliani "insisted on a command center within walking distance of City Hall" (Page 41). That building, 7 WTC, ultimately collapsed on 9-11. Thus, Barrett and Collins concluded that if the command center had not posed such a safety risk to Giuliani, "all the dramatic visuals ... would instead have been tense but tame footage from its barren press conference room" (Page 41). Barrett's August 7 Village Voice article reported that Anemone "had done a detailed vulnerability study of the city for Giuliani, pinpointing terrorist targets" and that Anemone said that "[i]n terms of targets, the WTC was number one."

Additionally, on August 9, Giuliani claimed that he "was at Ground Zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers" participating in the cleanup. Giuliani later attempted to clarify his remarks, saying, "I think I could have said it better. ... You know, what I was saying was, 'I'm there with you.' " The New York Times reported on August 17 that "for the period of Sept. 17 to Dec. 16, 2001," Giuliani spent "a total of 29 hours" at the WTC ruins "often for short periods or to visit locations adjacent to the rubble." The Times added that, "[i]n that same period, many rescue and recovery workers put in daily 12-hour shifts."

Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
Stories/Interests
Rudy Giuliani, 2008 Elections
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