Not only am I appalled and dismayed at Steven Levitt’s post on his New York Times blog – I am also utterly disgusted by words he claims may actually help Americans ward off terrorists and protect their/our nation. If you missed the story, allow me to clue you in. Levitt, the coauthor of the book Freakonomics, posted an entry entitled, “If You Were a Terrorist, How Would You Attack?” And yes, it’s as bad as it sounds. Aside from posting his own thoughts on what a terrorist “with limited resources” could or would be plotting, he actually has the audacity to invite viewers to post their own ideas too! I don’t get it; is he sense-retardant? Here’s just a glimpse into this atrocity:
“The basic idea is to arm 20 terrorists with rifles and cars, and arrange to have them begin shooting randomly at preset times all across the country. Big cities, little cities, suburbs, etc. Have them move around a lot. No one will know when and where the next attack will be.” - Steven Levitt
Oh, but it gets worse.
His post is one of the most irresponsible pieces I’ve ever read. And to think, he believes that this is actually a good thing for America – that the public should log on and share their ideas with the world. No Mr. Levitt. If you truly want to fight terrorism, enlist in the military or do work on the ground (i.e. start a non-profit that monitors terrorist activity).
Or, you could even try writing about serious issues associated with terrorism – or if you’d really like to “educate Americans” as to how they can protect themselves, send them to useful resources – not sensationalized verbage put together to draw attention to yourself, thus inflating your bankable income.
I truly hope that he doesn’t really believe that his actions were valiant. Someone of his education and caliber must know better, right?
This was simply lazy “journalism.” It was a typical off-the-cuff post designed to turn around mass specimens of hate-mail and media. And unfortunately he has succeeded (take this post, for example). While I normally wouldn’t shed light on a publicity-hungry blogger, this is simply too unbelievable to ignore.
I hope he’s happy with himself (if you go to his blog I’m sure you’ll see him bragging about all of the hate mail he’s received; despicable). See what other sensible Americans are saying about this.
I’m one who’s all for freedom of speech, but where do we draw the line?