My Word for October 22, 2001

I am absolutely mystified by some of the email I've been getting from people who insist that we at Fox and the journalists at the other networks are making much too much of the anthrax scare.

It just blows me away. We actually had a situation where a man walked into a hospital and dropped dead. He showed up saying his flu symptoms seemed especially bad. He was told to take two aspirin, go on home and have some chicken soup. And then he died.

The hospital's excuse? Well, he didn't say he was a postal worker.

So remember that. If you can't seem to shake that flu, be sure to mention you work in some profession which might be targeted by terrorists.

We have some 42 people in the country who have either been exposed to or have anthrax. A total of three have died. I realize this is a nation of 280 plus million people, and that more people die in car wrecks, yada yada yada ...

But these anthrax-laden letters show that there are people out there who are trying to kill us. These are not accidents. Not smoking deaths. Not heart attacks.

Can they kill a lot of people? No, probably not. But there's a Johnny Appleseed of terrorism wandering around the country with his little sack of anthrax, dropping spores into envelopes and sending them off to kill God-knows-who and God-knows-when.

So what are we going to do about it? Warren Rudman, who studied the terror problem for former President Clinton, says that we need to seal the borders. I agree. I've been saying it for a week, and I've been getting hammered for it by a few emailers who say I'm a racist and insensitive to the feelings of visitors.

Thirty million non-immigrant visas are issued a year. That includes 500,000 student visas, 16,000 of which are issued to people from the seven terror nations. We're training Syrian pilots in Texas, and Syria is on the terror list.

Surely we can stop handing out visas to the Saudis, the Yemenis, the various Middle Eastern visitors who come from nations we know breed terrorists. Surely we can do that little. We'll still have 25 million visitors a year. We'll still have a few hundred thousand students from other places.

What is so wrong with that? What is so wrong with asking Muslim-Americans to go out of the country to visit with their relatives for a while until we can get this straightened out?

If Muslims find this so oppressive, maybe they can help us out by looking around their mosques and delivering us the criminals responsible for these terror attacks.

We've got to do something here, and just hoping the goodness of people will take care of things just won't do it.

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