This Week in the News…

Posted: September 13, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Sunday, Sept. 8, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Slave Reparations Effort Seems Destined to Fail

“Critics of the new round of litigation say the lawyers know their efforts are unlikely to succeed. ‘The problem, of course, is both slaves as well as their owners are all dead,’ says Walter Williams, chairman of the economics department at George Mason University in Virginia. ‘Thus punishing perpetrators and compensating victims is out of the hands of the living.'”

Monday, Sept. 9, Saint Paul Pioneer Press

E-Mail Archive Holds Initial Reactions of Some to Sept. 11 Attacks

“The September 11 Digital Archive project, organized by technology-minded historians, wants to preserve the hundreds of thousands of e-mail messages, Web pages, pictures, video, audio and other media that sprang up after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon a year ago. ‘Sept. 11 was the first major event of the Internet age,’ says Tom Scheinfeldt, director of the September 11 Digital Archive. ‘It’s the first time historians have access to real-time and spontaneous reactions to an event as it was happening,’ he says. Scheinfeldt, a historian who studies technology, heads up a group that has squeezed its Linux servers and Windows and Macintosh computers into a building the size of a double-wide trailer at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.”

Monday, Sept. 9, Legal Times

Pillsbury Winthrop’s War of Words

“If Pillsbury is forced to defend itself in a courtroom, it is expected it would claim that all of its statements were truthful. ‘Truth is a defense,’ says George Mason University law professor Michael Krauss. ‘That’s the obvious mud that’s going to be slung.'”

Tuesday, Sept. 10, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Web Site Provides ‘a People’s History’ of Sept. 11 Tragedy

“The September 11 Digital Archive at goes beyond the written word to tell the stories of the national tragedy, from video tributes to the heroes who responded to the emergency after the assault to humorous or dramatic ‘digital creations’ that blend music and pictures into multimedia presentations that tell stories. It’s an evolving collection shaped by individual contributors from around the world…. The [City University of New York’s] graduate center along with the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., are coordinating the effort with a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The archive went online in March and has received digital contributions–including e-mail, photos, movies–from about 20,000 people so far.”

Wednesday, Sept. 11, New York Times

Real Solace in a Virtual World: Memorials Take Root on the Web

“At the archive,, visitors can browse through more than 1,000 personal accounts, as well as e-mail, instant message logs and other digital artifacts of the event. Financed by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the site is essentially seeking to memorialize the Web’s memorials by creating a permanent digital archive of them. ‘For the first time in history we have grass-roots, spontaneous records of how people were feeling and how they reacted and what they were saying during this kind of major event,’ said Tom Scheinfeldt, the site’s co-director and a historian at George Mason University. ‘But with the touch of a delete key, it could be gone forever.'”

Wednesday, Sept. 11, New York Times

The Capital as 3 Cities, Each One Now a Fortress

Catherine E. Rudder, a professor of public policy at George Mason University, said, however, that those concerns were less prominent among ordinary Americans. ‘One thing 9/11 did was to make Americans a little less reflexively supportive of civil liberty,’ she said. ‘That has emboldened the administration.’ She cited closed immigration hearings, and prisoners being denied attorneys.”

Wednesday, Sept. 11, Christian Science Monitor

At Logan Airport, a Year of Security Gains

“All in all, it’s tough to judge whether these and other efforts are really working–other than to say there have been no successful airline attacks since Sept. 11. That’s because airport security is ‘a little like wrestling with … jello’–hard to get a firm grip on–says Kenneth Button, an aviation expert at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. But Mr. Button insists airports have gotten smarter about security.”

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