Photo: The Twin Towers Alliance
The February issue of Esquire includes the latest installment of Scott Raab’s highly selective history of rebuilding. He may think that the site is now at “The Beginning of the End of the Beginning” but the end of the beginning of the end may be more like it. Journalists are supposed to dig for all the facts before using their platform to mold opinion. But what the public got in the Scott Raab piece above was lots of moldy opinion and few facts.
Raab even has the nerve — and lack of shame — to accuse other journalists (lowly newspaper columnists) of “getting it wrong. Mr. Raab should stop shilling for Larry Silverstein by cherry-picking the facts — beginning with how little of his own money Silverstein has invested in the site and how the insurance money was spent.
For over a decade the public has been supporting Silverstein’s pretensions. People should know how a man who was obligated not just to replace 10 million square feet, but to rebuild the Twin Towers “if damaged or destroyed” to the “extent feasible” — at his own expense — got away with even taking back his original down payment and living off the public ever since.
Not only was honestly restoring the skyline with new state-of-the-art Twin Towers “feasible” — it was easily the most feasible and most cost-effective option — and the only one that had strong support from the public, first-responders, former tenants, and 9/11 family members.
The Port Authority — a/k/a the public — is now on the hook for at least $7.5 billion, as the region’s infrastructure crumbles, while Larry Silverstein’s investment remains minimal at best. Even the time and effort he has “invested” has immeasurably enhanced the Silverstein brand around the world with priceless free advertising.
Silverstein was also required to clear away any destruction at his own expense. It would be useful to know how much of the 2/3 of a billion dollars in clean-up costs came from him and how much from public coffers. MORE…
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