September 26, 2002
Gregg Easterbrook, in an otherwise interesting New Republic article about how biological and chemical weapons are overrated as “weapons of mass destruction,” can’t resist offering futher proof of William Jefferson Clinton’s well-known intellectual laxity:
Richard Preston’s sci-fi thriller The Cobra Event depicted a biological weapon capable of killing everyone in New York City in 24 hours. Since Preston had previously written a more-or-less nonfiction best-seller, The Hot Zone, which claimed Ebola could kill millions unstoppably, his Cobra Event was said to have deeply disturbed President Clinton—even though it was a sci-fi novel.Italics, needless to say, The New Republic’s.
Evidently, it’s not necessary to argue that The Cobra Event was intellectually or aesthetically flawed. It was a sci-fi novel. That’s all you need to know. [10:06 PM]