Tuesday, October 16, 2001

KFWB radio reporting for Tuesday, October 16th, 2001

Yankees-Anthrax I 7:00 AM PDT

The lead story on news radio? The front page headline on all three of the city's dailies? The Yankees' victory in round one of the baseball playoffs last night.

The triumph by a sports team that was down two games to none in a best-of-five series was, of course, analogized... as sports so often is here... to the city's collective comeback. Team owner George Steinbrenner even told me last night that this was the greatest event in Yankee history because "the city needed it."

New York, as usual, needs to veer between the extremes: Anthrax at ABC gets second-billing to the Yankees. At the same time, the head of the city's letter carriers union is this morning threatening a job action of some kind unless the Post Office reassures him his members are not at risk.

Yankees-Anthrax II 7:00 AM PDT

"New York is made up of battlers," the man in the turtleneck told me. "I get up in the morning, I have to battle with Joe Blow for a cab. New York needs this."

The speaker? The owner of the New York Yankees baseball team, George Steinbrenner. Scoff if you wish at his inflation of the importance of his club's come-from-behind victory in the first round of the playoffs last night - it, and not anthrax, is the headline of each newspaper.

It is not all stiff-upper-lip stuff. At Yankee Stadium, pedestrian plazas were blocked off, for the first time ever, by dozens of concrete barricades. And at a dry cleaner's across the street from Red Cross headquarters, employees are suddenly all wearing latex gloves. "You never know," says the manager.

On the other hand, since September 11th, this city has had... more mayoral primary elections than anthrax infections.