"absurd products of the zeitgeist"
New York Daily News
WSJ vs. 'Jersey Girls'
by Lloyd Grove
Thursday, May 13th, 2004
Wall Street Journal pundit Dorothy Rabinowitz - who last month penned an acid assault on the "Jersey Girls," four 9/11 widows who've dared to criticize the Bush administration - received some payback yesterday at the hands of "Jersey Girl" Kristin Breitweiser.
The 33-year-old widow of portfolio manager Ron Breitweiser, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, gleefully shared with the Daily News Rabinowitz's intemperate and insulting response to Breitweiser's recent op-ed submission to the Journal enumerating "systemic" problems with government efforts to meet the terrorist threat.
In a message meant for Journal deputy editorial page editor Tunku Varadarajan, but was instead accidently E-mailed to Breitweiser on Tuesday, Rabinowitz wrote: "total and complete - not to mention repetitive - nonsense from people given endless media access to repeat the very same stupid charges, suspicions, and the rest...
"but this is just an opportunity for these absurd products of the zeitgeist - women clearly in the grip of the delusion that they know something, have some policy, and wisdom not given to the rest of us to know - to grab the spotlight. again. and repeat, again, the same tripe before a national audience.
"My thoughts - we don't publish nonsensical contentions that offer no news, no insight - solely on the grounds that those who feel attacked get a chance to defend their views. For that we have the letters column."
Shortly after getting that E-mail, Breitweiser received another one: "Rabinowitz, Dorothy would like to recall the message, '9/11 Widows' Response - the 'jersey girls.' "
Yesterday Breitweiser told me: "Frankly, I think it's shocking and atrocious. What kind of operation are they running over at The Wall Street Journal?"
Rabinowitz explained (this time via a deliberately sent E-mail): "The note was intended for internal consumption, and not for the recipient - all the result of hitting the wrong computer key."
Varadarajan, by the way, did Rabinowitz's bidding, advising Breitweiser to submit her essay to the letters editor.