Five months—almost to the day—after September 11, the consensus on the terror attacks and their aftermath, The Story according to the media, suddenly changed. Of course, it was never on the cards that the original Story, of American heroes chasing down and eliminating fanatical foreign evil-doers, was going to last. President Bush may himself have hastened its demise with the phrase in his State of the Union address about the “axis of evil.” However popular that description of some of the prime sponsors of terrorism or developers of terror-weapons may have been with the majority of Americans, it was decidedly not a hit with journalists—any more than it was with foreigners, to whose opinions journalists tend to be more sensitive than the rest of us. Neither journalists nor foreigners much liked Bush’s foray into what the European Community’s commissioner for foreign policy, Christopher Patten, described as...


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