Union can’t handle the truth

Brian Lambert had the perfect event to advertise in the Sacramento Union. He wanted to put an ad in the local newspaper about a genuine 9/11 hero coming to speak in Sacramento: One William Rodriguez, who bills himself as the “last man out” of the World Trade Center’s North Tower.

Not only did Rodriguez personally save 15 people, he also guided firefighters up and down the tower’s stairwells, opening doors with his master key to save hundreds more. He was feted at the White House, and met with President George W. Bush several times.

Lambert says his initial conversation with the Union’s ad rep was very positive and that they were all set to go with a small ad, four weeks in a row at $75 a pop. But then the Union’s ad rep called Lambert back and said no deal.

“He basically said that William was trying to blame the government for 9/11,” Lambert told SN&R, recalling the conversation.

Let’s back up. Not only is Rodriguez a bona fide 9/11 hero, he also says things that are way, way outside the accepted (some would say “official") version of the events that day. Rodriguez says he heard explosions in the building, before the first plane hit the towers. He also was part of a RICO lawsuit against President Bush, charging that the government orchestrated 9/11. And Lambert is part of the local 9/11 Truth Movement sponsoring Rodriguez’s appearance.

Lambert was flabbergasted that the Union wouldn’t take his money, and surprised that the paper wanted to shy away from the controversial subject. After all, the Union just printed a Mark Williams column last month with the not-so-subtle headline “We need another 9/11.”

But the Union’s publisher, Jim Dutra, tells SN&R that Lambert wasn’t forthcoming about the subject matter of Rodriguez’s talk. It was only after Union staff Googled “William Rodriguez” that the truth came out.

“Do I want advertising? You betcha. But I thought the guy was not being straight with us,” Dutra explained.

Upfront, of course, has no such qualm. You can catch Rodriguez on Saturday, November 3, at 7 p.m. at the Coloma Center, 4623 T Street. Organizers are asking for a $5 to $20 donation for admission. Oh, and Mr. Lambert, you can just make that $75 check out to Cosmo Garvin.