On the second anniversary of September 11, there wasn't half as much solemnity and national unity on network TV coverage as last year. Bush administration officials were hammered by the TV interviewers for somehow straying from the war on al Qaeda into Iraq. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was being served cups of homage along with the coffee. CBS's Hannah Storm cooed: "You've fought so much for the heroes of 9/11 ... Has enough been done for the heroes, the people who fought so bravely on that day?"
In other words, we're back to normal. The imbalance was not only stunning for Team Bush, it was unfair to the viewing public. Several authors are now reviewing the Clinton legacy on terrorism, and it's a sorry one. Their new books should have caused CBS and the others to ask Sen. Clinton: Why didn't your husband seize Osama bin Laden when he had the chance?
It takes the passage of time for a true historical verdict to be reached, but the Clinton legacy on terrorism is one virtually no one wants to discuss. When they do touch on it, the authors seem very sensitive to appearing to be too anti-Clinton.
On Sept. 3, author Gerald Posner came on NBC's "Today" show to discuss his new book, "Why America Slept." Katie Couric bluntly asked if he blamed Clinton for failing to prevent the attacks. Posner tiptoed and mumbled into a yes, "unfortunately." But he added: "If the Republicans had been in power, it would've been the same situation, Katie. I'd be talking to you today about nobody paying attention. It just happened to fall on Bill Clinton's watch, unfortunately." After changing the subject to the Saudi connection to al Qaeda, Katie underlined that Posner's book should be read with a jaundiced eye: "a member of the National Security Council and a senior intelligence official in this country says the whole thing is fantasy."'
Posner was back on TV the next day on the hot morning show "Fox & Friends," and the change in the author's tone was dramatic. Co-host Steve Doocy asked how many times Posner voted for Clinton (both times), and then asked if he would so again in hindsight. Posner not only said there was zero chance of that, he rebutted himself from the day before: "I thought anyone who was in office (would have failed), we weren't paying attention as a country ... But Clinton was particularly bad."