Discussion Forum

Days from Terror article

Posted by Ben Tordoff, Tuesday, 10th September, 2002

This message is in response to a Hebweb Bridge Web feature: Hebden Bridge Times and the Press Gazette - ed

Having read Izzy Shannons letter about my Days from Terror incident I would like to point out that the article says blatently that I was back home in the UK, hence the headline 'days from terror'. It did not point out that for three months before the attacks I was living in Doswell, Virginia, just 60 miles from the Pentagon. It also does not mention that I flew from Washington National airport which was closed for 3 months after the attacks due to its stategic importance as far as being about 3 miles from the White House and The Lincol Memorial etc.

It also did not include any details as to the people that my girlfiends family knew who perished in these attacks. My girlfriends mother is a natural gas trader on the Forex, a trading platform in the US and she spoke daily to similar traders who worked in the World Trade Center. I have visited Washington DC 6 times since 9/11 and am currently living in the same area. My roommate from living here who lives in Poland actually flew out on September 10th to Copenhagen from JFK and I didn't hear from him until September 20th. He told me the last thing he was going to do was visit the World Trade Center, I found out later that he had changed his flight from the evening of the 11th and was alive.

I think that the article showed tact not to give details and was respectful to those more than 2000 people who died that day. For an ex journalist to use the article as a weapon against the editor, irrespective that it was my mother, was unprofessional and showed how petty and degrading to the rest of the journalistic community one person can be.

The editor was trying to create a link to a more local story and in no way fabricated the truth as was suggested. Izzy Shannon is a much more mature and knowledgable person than I, but her remarks and unnecessary backlash about such a serious incident insulted my friends here in the US as well as the memory of thousands of innocent Americans.

In times of tradgedy such as these it is important to have perspective, no I wasn't in the towers or even in the same country at the time, but it would have been dishonouring the lives of the people who died not to have lead with that story on that day.

I believe that Izzy Shannon tried to professionally discredit my mother due to personal disagreements about who should be the editor of the paper, if she had done it to try and highlight a local issue why did she put it in a journal that no one in Todmorden or Hebden Bridge reads?

See also: Hebden Bridge Times and the Press Gazette

Posted by Mick West, Friday, September 13, 2002

The fact remains, Mr Tordoff, that many people thought that the HBT's article was fatuous and tangential, and one should not be too surprised at the common perception that the editor was hoping to capitalise on the "tradgedy", as you call it, and sell a few more papers. Also, it is staggeringly arrogant of you to assume that no-one local reads the Press Gazette. Mind you, I suppose "Thousand Of Miles From Terror" might not have made such an arresting headline.....still, at least we should be grateful that we've been spared any "Ben Tordoff - One Year On" articles!

Posted by John Morrison, Monday, September 16, 2002

Like mother, like son: first with the news, as always, hot off the press.