The Corner

Re: Adam Bellow & Doubleday

Adam Bellow’s email is heartening to me. As my piece suggests, the writings of OBL may have the potential to provide further information in how to destroy al Qaeda once and for all. I hope the project results in that, though I have my doubts. My piece was based on reporting by Reuters, and I should know that Reuters comes with its own baggage. Adam is correct that I did not contact Doubleday directly, and I may have “projected” my bias against the mainstream media’s view of the world onto Doubleday. The text of the Reuters article is linked to, but here is the relevant passage:

A spokeswoman for publisher Doubleday said it was important for Americans to understand the mind of their enemy. “This gives a direct perspective on their philosophy,” Suzanne Herz said on Thursday.

But some who lost loved ones in the Sept. 11 hijacked plane attacks objected.

“I do not want to give the terrorists any platform to forward their agenda,” said Jack Lynch, whose firefighter son Michael was killed at New York’s World Trade Center.

“I fear this book could ignite the lunatic fringe in this country who are sympathetic to al Qaeda,” he said.

Herz said Doubleday had “no intent to offend anybody who suffered at the hands of the terrorists” but hoped to “educate Americans and offer information useful to combat the enemy.” The company would donate any profits to charity, she said.

Shannen W. Coffin is a contributing editor to National Review. He practices appellate law in Washington, D.C.

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