LAST WEEK, the Port Authority announced that it was finally going to start cracking down on those vendors around the WTC site who were selling "unauthorized" 9/11 memorabilia. The t-shirts and postcards and Frisbees were upsetting, PA authorities said, as many of these souvenirs sported some truly horrific images from that day. Moreover, these vendors were blatantly exploiting and profiting from the deaths of 2700 people.
Wait a second-exploiting the attacks for personal gain is bad? Profiting from 9/11 is wrong? Says who?
If the Port Authority wants Ground Zero-area vendors to stop selling drinking glasses, playing cards and ashtrays with images of the towers and the attacks, might we suggest they also pay attention to others who have in the past and continue to exploit and profit from the same event. Some folks that come to mind are the entire Bush Administration and 2004 campaign staff, Gov. Pataki, former Mayor Giuliani and current Mayor Bloomberg.
This long list also includes former top cop and now very wealthy man Ray Kelly, as well as Ed Malloy, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. Both men make heroic cameos in the city's tear-stained, 562-page bid for the 2012 Olympics, recently unveiled by Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff. According to the Daily News, the manuscript is a text equivalent to the nauseating 9/11 highlight reel shown at the RNC, containing "numerous references" to the carnage and its aftermath.
Of course, this isn't exploitation at all. It's just business.
Considering all those who've exploited and profited from the attacks, last and least of those who deserve censure are the poor vendors trying to sell junk off card tables. If someone's going to exploit the events of that day, we'd much rather they do it in an obvious, upfront manner, and if at all possible in snow-globe form.