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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 5:50 p.m., Thursday, September 27, 2001

Editor apologizes for column

By Dan Nakaso
Advertiser Staff Writer

The editor of a Washington newspaper that published a controversial column criticizing Hawai'i after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks apologized today.

Karen Spears Zacharias' column Sunday focused on three soldiers gathered around a flag-waving man in Waikiki who all wondered why more American flags weren't being displayed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Zacharias, who was stranded in Hawai'i because of the ban on commercial flights, quoted one of the men as calling the atmosphere "almost anti-American."

Ken Robertson, executive editor of the Tri-City Herald, said: "We wished we'd been more sensitive in how we handled this and we're sorry that we poked people in the eye who were already feeling like many of us are feeling."

The newspaper, based in Kennewick, Wash., does not usually post Zacharias' Sunday column on its Web site. But it did on Tuesday, in response to the outraged reaction of Hawai'i people who heard of her comments, Robertson said.

He is writing his own column on Sunday about the furor and plans to post it as well.