John Ydstie After covering the economy, Wall Street and federal budget issues for two decades, John Ydstie is now applying his reporting and interviewing skills as a roving national correspondent.
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Some tension has developed between the 9/11 Commission co-chairmen Democrat Lee Hamilton and Republican Tom Kean. As they plowed through their investigation of the government's failures in the run-up to Sept. 11, Hamilton and Kean formed a mutual admiration society. Former Indiana Congressman Hamilton called Kean, the former governor of New Jersey, "one of the pre-eminent public servants of our day, bar none." That was before Kean became the co-executive producer of the ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11 that's aired the last couple of nights. Yesterday, at a Sept. 11 forum at the National Press Club, Hamilton directed some sharp words at the so-called docudrama. The miniseries had already come in for sharp criticism for falsely portraying the actions, or inactions, of Clinton administration officials as the terrorist threat grew in the years before Sept. 11. A number of the most controversial scenes were edited out after pressure from the Clinton folks, but that didn't keep Hamilton from speaking his mind. With Kean standing next to him, Hamilton said, "It's either a documentary or it is a drama, and to fudge it causes me a great deal of concern..."
Now that I've got my second cup of coffee from NPR's 7th floor commissary, let me tell you about what I found out at the morning editorial meeting, where all the NPR News show and desk editors gather. Not surprisingly, today's news cycle will be dominated by the 5th anniversary commemorations of Sept. 11. Of course, NPR News is covering the president's remarks, beginning in New York, moving on to Shanksville, Pa., where hijacked United Flight 93 went down, and then to the Pentagon, where American Flight 77 crashed. We'll also cover the president's speech from the White House at 9:00 tonight...
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