July 12, 2012

The most "universally impactful" televised events.

But it's based on a survey, so here are some things that people think were more powerful than the Kennedy assassination:
3. O.J. Simpson verdict (1995)...
6. O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase (1994)...
9. BP oil spill (2010)
10. Princess Diana's funeral (1997)
11. Death of Whitney Houston (2012)...
13. Barack Obama's acceptance speech (2008)
14. The Royal Wedding (2011)
The Kennedy funeral is a separate TV presentation, comng in at #20, right after the Casey Anthony verdict.

ADDED: The shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald, live on TV, was a separate event, not on the list at all.

98 comments:

Pogo said...

"Death of Whitney Houston"?

The survey is skewed by immediacy, certainly, but also by idiocy.

X said...

was the survey confined to recent passengers of the turnip truck?

rhhardin said...

They closed work when Kennedy was assassinated so I went out to the airport and went flying.

I didn't see the big deal.

Some politician.

It must be a girl thing.

Matthew Sablan said...

I always think I saw the news reporting on the Challenger disaster. But I was only two, so that is impossible for me to remember.

Tank said...

This is a "people are too young to remember" thing. I'm 59 and just barely remember when Kennedy was shot.

That was a BFD.

The only thing close mentioned by Ann might be the OJ verdict for it's role in waking so many white people up to the fact that blacks don't think the way they do, at least about the police. Still, Kennedy was a much bigger deal.

X said...

that first step on the Moon might have been more universally impactful than the Casey Anthony verdict

Chip S. said...

Stupid list.

Obviously, Game 4 of the 2004 World Series was the BIggest FD in tv history.

No. 2 on my list would be FDR's speech to the nation after the stock market crash of 1929 if I'd been around then.

jrberg3 said...

I don't see how Hurricane Katrina was an impactful TV event. Sure the images were dramatic (and the tragedy was horrific), but it's not like people rushed home to watch or were glued to the TV for hours watching it. I could be wrong, but when I think of impactful television 9/11, the Challenger explosion, Columbine, Oklahoma City bombing and the white Bronco OJ chase are what I think of.

The Casey Anthony verdict in the top 20??? Are they serious! What, did they survey a bunch of Nancy Grace viewers?

Christopher in MA said...

It's lists like this that make me wish for a second Obama term. To paraphrase the Joker, this country needs an enema.

jrberg3 said...

"The survey is skewed by immediacy, certainly but also by idiocy."

What Pogo said.

I would also include in my list the San Francisco earthquake that occured during game 3 of the World Series. Horrifying event occuring in front of a large audience on live TV.

traditionalguy said...

The first night of Desert Storm was a bigger one.

The ratings for Katrina are an example of that mind control oprtation by TV. Sure it had cat 3 winds in a normal hurricane that came into the gulf coast doing serious damage over a 100 mile wide area of storm surge and winds along a 2200 mile coast line.

But the TV vision that was broadcast 24/7 was of the 1500 miles wide swirl of thunder storm clouds around the hurricane. Those only rained a lot.

But that image was used as a tool to scare people and it effectively began the real estate values collapse in Florida when insurance companies used it as an excuse to raise rates 1000%.

In reality hurricanes are local events that are insured against. They do tear down electical lines with tree limbs over a wider atea, just like DC's thunderstorms did recently. But wind and storm surge damage is a very local and very rare event.

The New Orleans dikes failed a day later because they had been defective all along and Bush could be blamed for local incompetance.

David said...

Chip S. said...
Stupid list.

Obviously, Game 4 of the 2004 World Series was the BIggest FD in tv history.

No. 2 on my list would be FDR's speech to the nation after the stock market crash of 1929 if I'd been around then.


President Hoover might have had some words on the issue too, if you and television had been around.

Henry said...

17. Bush - Gore election results? What? Are they talking about election night? That wasn't impactful. That was deadly boring. Hours and hours of dead air that had to be filled by morons in suits who didn't know what was going on. I went to bed.

You have three qualifiers here: 'impactful', 'televised', and 'events.' Since everything is televised now, it seems like all you need is 'impactful' and 'events'. Since people are silly, 'impactful' and 'events' can mean just about anything.

Bob_R said...

I have a very distinct memory of seeing Oswald shot on TV and my mother shooing me out of the room. (I was six at the time.) However, my mother assures me that this never happened. And I've been told that the Oswald shooting was not broadcast on the Philly stations that we got at the time. I must be some sort of combined/constructed memory. (It's amazing how fragmented my memories of my early childhood are.)

Tim said...

This is helpful.

I now have additional insight as to how 53% of the electorate was dumb enough to vote for Obama.

They're just dumb.

We're fucked.

chickelit said...

A new "most important televised event" does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see its importance, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

Tim said...

"No. 2 on my list would be FDR's speech to the nation after the stock market crash of 1929 if I'd been around then."

Exactly!

Well played, sir, well played.

Curious George said...

"traditionalguy said...
The first night of Desert Storm was a bigger one."

Yep. First time in history that you actually had live television of the start of a war.

But I would have to say 9/11.

DannyNoonan said...

Of course the Kennedy thing isn't higher. Most of the people that saw that on TV are dead.

Patrick said...

My wife used these as bookends of sorts. If you were old enough to remember 15 or too young to remember no. 4, you were out of dating consideration.

David said...

I didn't see Oswald get shot or watch the Kennedy funeral because I had gone to Washington for the funeral.

Challenger I learned about a week after it happened while crossing a river on a ferry in east Africa.

The moon landing I watched in my basement.

First night of Desert Storm went live as I watched in a bar in Union Station Chicago.

9/11 I was working out in a gym. Heard about it on the way home on the radio.

White Bronco Chase I watched in a country club locker room with a bunch of over served guys after a golf outing.

Bobby Kennedy assassination I missed because I was studying for a law school contracts exam. King assassination I learned about in the law library from a friend.

I'm so old I remember the Army-McCarthy hearings (my father was transfixed) and the broadcast (delay on film) of the first H-Bomb explosion. For the H-Bomb I was at my aunt's house "helping" her make donuts.

It's always interesting what you remember and how you remember it. My strongest recall of all these events is the emotions they generated.

Joe said...

Seems that the respondents are identifying memorable television events, not "impactful" ones.

leslyn said...

Tim said...
This is helpful.

,I>I now have additional insight as to how 53% of the electorate was dumb enough to vote for Obama.,/I>

Tim, did you happen to READ the rest of the list? Or are you just dumb?

EMD said...

Casey Anthony will be but a mere footnote in history.

But JFK ... blown away ... what more do I have to say?

Ann Althouse said...

"They closed work when Kennedy was assassinated so I went out to the airport and went flying."

RH is older than I would have thought!

I was 12 when Kennedy was assassinated, and I must admit that I didn't understand how big a deal it was. There was chorus practice after school, and I showed up and found out that it had been canceled. It wasn't obvious that it would be canceled. I went to church on Sunday and missed seeing Oswald get shot live, and that bothered me.

Now... men walking on the moon. I didn't care. I felt like America was showing off, doing something pointless. You know the old line "Let's not and say we did." I thought: Why bother with that? You could do it. You understand how to do it. Why isn't that enough? Why go there and plant the flag? That's embarrassing. How about helping the poor? I didn't watch that show.

Scott said...

Strange that the "universally impactful" events all centered on the United States.

No fall of the Berlin Wall? No Moon Landing?

cassandra lite said...

Where was the JFK assassination on TV? The aftermath was, of course; as was the funeral. But I don't think even in Dallas it was on TV. If it had been, then we wouldn't have needed to fetishize the Zapruder 8mm all these years.

Ann Althouse said...

Something I did watch on TV that made a huge impact on me was the 1968 Democratic Convention, with the whole-world-is-watching protests in the streets of Chicago.

I note the lack of Vietnam material on the list.

Icepick said...

No. 2 on my list would be FDR's speech to the nation after the stock market crash of 1929 if I'd been around then.

I see what you did there.

Chip S. said...

Why go there and plant the flag? That's embarrassing. How about helping the poor?

Aha! So that's why we still have poor people in the US.

leslyn said...

traditionalguy said...

The ratings for Katrina are an example of that mind control oprtation by TV. Sure it had cat 3 winds in a normal hurricane that came into the gulf coast doing serious damage over a 100 mile wide area of storm surge and winds along a 2200 mile coast line.

Are you nuts??

Does "serious damage" include:

It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States.[3] Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall. At least 1,836 people died in the actual hurricane and in the subsequent floods, making it the deadliest U.S. hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane; total property damage was estimated at $81 billion (2005 USD).

Eventually 80% of the [New Orleans] and large tracts of neighboring parishes became flooded, and the floodwaters lingered for weeks.[5] However, the worst property damage occurred in coastal areas, such as all Mississippi beachfront towns, which were flooded over 90% in hours, as boats and casino barges rammed buildings, pushing cars and houses inland, with waters reaching 6–12 miles (10–19 km) from the beach.

The hurricane surge protection failures in New Orleans are considered the worst civil engineering disaster in U.S history Wiki

Of an estimated 1,464 victims officially recognized by the state of Louisiana, more than 500 names have not been publicly released. And Louisiana's once-ambitious efforts to tackle dozens of related cases of missing persons and unidentified bodies ran out of money in 2006 and has never been revived.

John Mutter, a Columbia University professor, has been gathering personal testimonials and public records of those killed in Katrina for an effort he calls Katrinalist. Mutter estimates the true death toll will top 3,500 if those killed by the storm and by its many after-effects are accurately tallied. And yet other counts put the toll at an estimated 1,800. HOUSTON CHRONICLE, Published 05:30 a.m., Monday, August 30, 2010.

I've often thought that you really don't care what you write about, you just enjoy being a provocateur.

Or is this an example of compassionate conservatism?









But the TV vision that was broadcast 24/7 was of the 1500 miles wide swirl of thunder storm clouds around the hurricane. Those only rained a lot.

EMD said...

Now... men walking on the moon. I didn't care. I felt like America was showing off, doing something pointless. You know the old line "Let's not and say we did." I thought: Why bother with that? You could do it. You understand how to do it. Why isn't that enough? Why go there and plant the flag? That's embarrassing. How about helping the poor? I didn't watch that show.

That's a shitty sentiment.

Tank said...

Ann Althouse said...

***

I was 12 when Kennedy was assassinated, and I must admit that I didn't understand how big a deal it was.


I knew it was a big deal because my father came home from work and cried. I never saw him (1) come home from work during the day or (2) cry before.

Ann Althouse said...

"I knew it was a big deal because my father came home from work and cried. I never saw him (1) come home from work during the day or (2) cry before."

I don't remember my parents showing emotion. We had the TV on, but I don't remember any emoting. Maybe they prioritized not upsetting us.

I remember their going through the Cuban missile crisis with complete stoicism. At school we were given a memo to tell our parents to explain to us how to walk home in the event of nuclear war. My parents made the memo disappear and never did the school's assignment.

I think they put their effort into keeping adult matters from burdening children.

Reminds me of the way Bush acted in front of the children on 9/11.

And Roberto Begnini's character in "Life Is Beautiful."

Patrick said...

At school we were given a memo to tell our parents to explain to us how to walk home in the event of nuclear war.

Did your school have any idea what nuclear war is?

edutcher said...

The same as those lists of the 100 Greatest (whatever) in TV/Movie History and only 2 are in B&W (if that many).

Ann Althouse said...

I don't remember my parents showing emotion. We had the TV on, but I don't remember any emoting. Maybe they prioritized not upsetting us.

My own reaction (15 and I did get the significance, although I was no Kennedy fan) and that of my family was that we were mostly stunned. This was America, stuff like that didn't happen here - at least not any more. Assassinations were things that happened in the Middle East or Latin America.

I think they put their effort into keeping adult matters from burdening children.

That generation was more stoic. They'd gone through the Depression and WWII (and, in some cases, Korea) and didn't "wear their hearts on their sleeves".

YoungHegelian said...

Is it just me or does any one else have the uncontrollable impulse to impact upside the head anyone who uses the word "impactful"?

"Interface" used as a verb gives me the willies, too, but since it's used all the time by the IT world, I've had to learn to restrain my violent tendencies.

Chip S. said...

YH, It's not just you.

bagoh20 said...

In the most impactful, there is really only one: 9/11.

We watched most of it live. It led to over a decade of continuous war, economic collapse, widespread fear and a complete change in the minds of billions.

The death toll is probably over 1 million and counting.

No second place.

Ann Althouse said...

"Did your school have any idea what nuclear war is?"

I think they imagined a situation in which children without access to the usual buses would want to try to get home to their parents before all hell broke loose, and the teachers and school employees wouldn't want to stay to take care of these confused and doomed young ones, and it would be every man, woman, and child for himself, and the parents needed to know that and give the information that would allow the child at least to believe he was on his way home to mommy and daddy.

Ann Althouse said...

I think the school officials wanted to be free to get in their cars and get back to their own homes.

Maybe some of them had bomb shelters. Unlikely. But I think they wanted to be able to say, school's out and leave.

Cedarford said...

I think they put their effort into keeping adult matters from burdening children.

Reminds me of the way Bush acted in front of the children on 9/11.

================
There are times when adults really must put adult things ahead of "not burdening a child".

In hindsight, I suspect even Bush knows he screwed up by not telling the kids he was reading "My Pet Goat" to that "SOmething very important just happened and I need to do some Presidential things. Sorry we won't get to finish "My Pet Goat" together."
Then headed for the nearest room where he could get some phone calls on the enemy attack going on and get more in the situation loop as he waited for transport back to Air Force 1's comm center and evacuation......

I suspect that HW Bush, when Reagan was shot, would not have continued to read "My Pet Carp, Iguro" to Japanese schoolkids while waiting to later to find out what the heck was going on with Reagan and the chain of command.

(I am a little biased as a former volunteer firefighter. I got a Pager on a 2 alarm factory fire, all available respond as PRI 1 ...and left 4 very upset young girls inc my daughter who were all ready to go to the beach with me with a grotty but trustworthy old lady neighbor. Headed to he major fire. (Until my wife could contact their parents and pick our girl up 3-4 hours later).
3 employees died in that fire. We evacuated out to 1/3rd a mile.

leslyn said...

bagoh20 said...
In the most impactful, there is really only one: 9/11.

We watched most of it live. It led to over a decade of continuous war, economic collapse, widespread fear and a complete change in the minds of billions.

The death toll is probably over 1 million and counting.

No second place.

_________

Agree, bagoh20.

Not nominating for "second place," but the US financial collapse has resulted in a world that is still struggling.

Patrick said...

You know, that makes quite a bit of sense. I guess if I knew there were half an hour left, I'd like to be able to spend it with my kids, and would appreciate some effort on part of the school to get my kids home. Of course, my kids walk to school.

I retract my snarky statement.

leslyn said...

There are times when adults really must put adult things ahead of "not burdening a child".

Agree, Cedarford.

Comparing the beginning of "Life is Beautiful" to Bush reading to schoolchildren while planes flew into the towers and Pentagon is grossly of context.

Christopher in MA said...

Why go there and plant the flag. That's embarrasing. Why not help the poor?

And why not do both? We used to be a nation of confident strivers. But why seek out the Indies, Columbus? Why not help the lepers here in Madrid?

I didn't watch that show.

Years of work, millions of dollars, three deaths and some of the finest engineering work the world had ever seen, all leading up to that one July of 1969, to that launch into the final frontier. All just a show to you. Because you were more impressed by the antics of a bunch of filthy trust fund malcontents in Chicago.

Pathetic.

Cedarford said...

bagoh20 said...
In the most impactful, there is really only one: 9/11.

We watched most of it live. It led to over a decade of continuous war, economic collapse, widespread fear and a complete change in the minds of billions.

The death toll is probably over 1 million and counting.

No second place
======================
Only from an America-centric perspective.
Other events in the last 50 years are cosidered more consequential than a small enemy attack, as enemy attacks at the start of a war go.
And some of the folly following 9/11...Bush declaring that the only thing that concerned him was chasing down a few thousand Evildoers and nation-building the Noble People of the Relligion of Peace......did make Bush and many of our leaders oblivious to the coming fiscal meltdown, economic collapse, and loss of our jobs overseas.
But it is hard to state that there is a direct cause and effect..
That 911 forced us to do nothing while 40% of our manufacturing base disappeared under free trade --that no one had time to look at the growing danger the Wall Street bankers and international financiers had begun to put us in. The "Evildoers who hijacked the Religion of Peace" did not cause the housing bubble or create credit default swaps or go around saying "debt doesn't matter, so the important thing is more tax cuts, "free" wars we don't have to pay for now, and more free drug and housing and free medical care and mo' welfare entitlements.

(Before Obama, Bush grew the ranks of Hero government employees and pushed up the rate of Fed spending more than any President since LBJ. But at least he has all those statues the Noble Iraqi Freedom Lovers built for him...right?)

leslyn said...

Patrick said...
You know, that makes quite a bit of sense. I guess if I knew there were half an hour left, I'd like to be able to spend it with my kids, and would appreciate some effort on part of the school to get my kids home,\.

Story: I was working in DC during 9/11. In fact, I had the day off. When my sister called to alert me that the Pentagon was burning, I threw a change of clothes in the car and a box of frozen pizzas and took off for work.

By the time I got to the Anacostia bridge, outgoing traffic was in gtridlock, and people were streaming out of the city over the bridge on foot.

I'll never forget the silence in the traffic.

I got to my office, called all my instructors who were teaching at remote sites that day, and told them to get their kids and go home. The one guy on duty holding down the fort was about to go out of his mind. What a great job he did, sticking with his duty! I got him and 23 other people out the front gate past the Navy guard (no easy feat) and then bunkered in. My last staff member wouldn't go home until he found his wife. I was with him when she came in after walking two miles from the State Dept. He burst into tears.

In cases like these, the most important thing is to let people be with their families, if they can. Essential personnel will remain at work, and they know who they are. If you have to order a public service employee to remain in an essential position during a national emergency, they're not worth keeping.

Ralph L said...

Now... men walking on the moon. I didn't care. I felt like America was showing off, doing something pointless
Sounds like a teenage girl reacting to a teenage boy. But at 19, you were looking for a college man.

I don't see what Bush was supposed to do in six minutes. As it was, Cheney gave the key order to shoot down any unresponding planes while Bush was in midair. Thankfully, our country doesn't wait for one man.

bagoh20 said...

Cedarford, the subject is single TV events, not the fevered conspiracies of your mind. That's more of a long-running reality series kind a thing.

Bender said...

"The Sept. 11 tragedy was . . ."

It wasn't a fucking "tragedy," it was an attack, a war crime.

X said...

what kind of maroon misses the moon landing but tunes in for every American Idol?

Patrick said...

Sounds like you did well that day, Leslyn. Your employees should be grateful.

Cedarford said...

leslyn said...
There are times when adults really must put adult things ahead of "not burdening a child".

Agree, Cedarford.


------------------
I had forgotten all about that huge factory fire and ditching my daughter and her big day with friends to 4 hours of the grotty old neighbor. That happened over 22 years ago.
Until my daughter brought it up a few years after 9/11, with me. In context with Bush and "My Pet Goat". Thought I did the right thing just yelling Emergency!!, people are dying in a big fire, I gotta go and all 4 of you are going to have to stay with the neighbor until you can get picked up. No beach."
How all 4 of them were so confused, pissed off, sad, upset at the time.
Until the next day. When at age 7-8 at the time they all sort of "got" that the big beach day was not ruined by me, but by a conflagration that killed 3 and could have killed a lot more.

She thought Bush was lame.

"You were a hero!"
(And she learned I never even saw the fire until it was out. I was half a mile away diverting road traffic with some black cop obsessed with stating reasons why each of the female drivers or passengers we stopped and turned around were either fuckable or were not meriting fuckability. Impressive range though - fuckability scoring from grannies to jailbait...all races.)

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael said...

Ah, "My Pet Goat"! Always on the ready on the tongues of fools. Shorthand. It survives when Gitmo does not. Odd that.

Tim said...

leslyn said...

"Tim, did you happen to READ the rest of the list? Or are you just dumb?"

It couldn't possibly be that I was commenting on Ann's comment about "some things that people think were more powerful than the Kennedy assassination," could it?

No, that couldn't possibly be that.

Just not possible. At all.

That, or someone else just outed themselves as dumb.

Again.

Let me guess: you voted for Obama?

Michael K said...

The absence of any history in the so-called minds of the generation under 40 is the most impressive aspect of this story.

I missed the Kennedy funeral and the Oswald shooting because that was the opening weekend of pheasant season but I heard the Oswald event on the radio.

First things first.

Cedarford said...

BTW leslyn, good work on 9/11.

I was on a business trip that day, outside New Haven CT.
And we actually heard the sonic boom of one of the F-15s coming off Long Island Sound from Cape Cod being routed to NYC before we heard the news.
I sort of wish I was closer and in a position to help some people, like you did. But all I did was check to see if my brother who worked in NYC and an old friend on Wall Street were OK.

Tim said...

"Reminds me of the way Bush acted in front of the children on 9/11."

Give it a fucking rest.

What did you want him to do?

Commandeer a jet fighter and go all "Independence Day" on the now crashed hijacked planes?

Grab an M-4 and parachute into North Afghanistan?

Sort through the rubble of the twin towers?

Fucking morons.

Tim said...

I wonder what FDR did after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Thorley Winston said...

The absence of any history in the so-called minds of the generation under 40 is the most impressive aspect of this story.

Why is this list somehow an indictment of “the generation under 40”? I’m under 40 and my first thought was “where’s the moon landing?” which was one of the most widely watched televised events in human history.

Patrick said...

Tim, as you likely know, to a certain segment of the population, there is no action that Pres. Bush could have taken that would not have resulted in harsh criticism.

Chip S. said...

I wonder what FDR did after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

I think he did one of his famous fireside live chats.

Patrick said...

No, it was an internet chat.

Cedarford said...

Tim said...
"Reminds me of the way Bush acted in front of the children on 9/11."

Give it a fucking rest.

What did you want him to do?

Commandeer a jet fighter and go all "Independence Day" on the now crashed hijacked planes?

Grab an M-4 and parachute into North Afghanistan?

Sort through the rubble of the twin towers?

Fucking morons.

=================
Sorry Tim, it is a fair knock on Bush.
It stuck in the craw of even many of us who supported Bush back then at the time, and continues to.

Its expectations. We expect certain people with certain duties in an emergency to react to events that call for them dropping what they were doing to get up to speed on what was going on and how they would get to their duty role in the situation.
A doctor and a nurse and a tech are addressing a grade school class on the great medical careers they could have if they study hard - and get notified that a shooting spree just happened and they are needed - they don't finish their careers talk to "avoid disturbing the peaceful tranquility of the wee children".

They say, sorry, something important has happened and we have to go.
Not to personally save people from the gunman, not to talk the gunman into stopping, not to save each and every victim. But immediately seek to understand what happened, the facts, and be available if they need the oncologist, the pediatrics nurse, the x-ray tech notified. It is possible they would all rush to the hospital and find they were unecessary.
But they all would drop that grade school session instantly and go to performing what we all expect is their higher duty.

Bush did not.
Just that simple.

It's not a huge ding, but one that he will never shake in later histories as a "WTF was he thinking staying to read "My Pet Goat as Commder in Chief in an enemy attack!" moment.

Bender said...

Impact -- the day the world changed forever.

The morning of September 11, 2001, I was at the Arlington Courthouse, waiting for cases to be called in both circuit court and general district court. During a break, I popped down to the clerk's office for something and, while I was there, the phone rang and the clerk answered it. After a moment or two, he told us that a plane had just crashed into the Pentagon, which is about two miles or so to the south.

We thought that that was odd, to say the least. National Airport is almost right next to the Pentagon, but still, how could a plane crash into it?

I next went up to circuit court, where there was still a break, but the judge was on the bench talking to the clerks and bailiffs, saying that "this is war." Still not comprehending (not knowing anything about New York), I went down to general district court to see if my case down there could be called.

A few moments after I entered the courtroom, I saw sheriff's deputies running up to the bench, saying something to the judge. The judge then announced that all the cases were being cancelled and that an evacuation of the building had been ordered for safety reasons. (Apparently this was when there was a plane approaching D.C. (Flight 93). The deputies and police were also needed for mass mobilization to the Pentagon and throughout the area.)

Once outside, I talked to one of the prosecutors who said that he had seen a very low-flying plane over in the direction of the Pentagon.

As I got into my car to drive home, there was a report on the radio of an attack at the State Department, but that was later determined to be false. There was also talk about an attack on the World Trade Center and something about a collapse or possible collapse. In my mind at the time, I was thinking that they meant some of the facing had come off or something like that.

When I got home (about a mile away) and turned on the TV, I don't remember when it was that I first saw that the WTC building or buildings had collapsed entirely. I don't have any recollection of "Oh my God," but I must have had a response of that type. I was definitely stunned enough to not really remember my reaction, considering that I believed at the time that 25-30,000 people had just died, maybe even as high as 50,000.

After sitting in front of the TV for a few hours, I walked out of the house and went over to Lee Highway, which leads directly to the District. There were long lines of crowds of people walking down the sidewalk, they were federal government workers evacuating D.C. on foot because the Metro (subway) had stopped running.

In the days that followed, heavily armed military personnel began to populate many of the street corners. We were happy to see them.

bagoh20 said...

No it's not a "fair knock on Bush.

It's a petty attack, where there is nothing. It was just a very short distraction. He was told we were under attack. We have thousands of people who know what to do, and are not waiting for him to do anything. He knew that. Some people don't. Nothing Bush did would make any difference in that short time. He doesn't walk out of the room and start calling in doctors, or jump in a fighter plane, or really do anything but have people secure him away. If you want to make the argument he was taking an unnecessary risk by delaying his own safety protocol, then you might have something, but if your aim is to attack Bush you don't go there. That tells me where this comes from.

Col Mustard said...

Only from an America-centric perspective.
Other events in the last 50 years are cosidered more consequential than a small enemy attack, as enemy attacks at the start of a war go.


In terms of casualties, it was about as 'small' as the attack on Pearl. In terms of surprise, it was complete. In terms of symbolism, it hit the bullseye. In terms of outrage, its victims were nearly all civilians.

Its impact was not limited to the US - it was worldwide and it continues.

frank said...

i'm a boomer [i apologize to posterity for that fact]. on 9/11 i was awoke by a phone call from my gf in moscow asking me if i heard. she then said, 'turn on the TV, all of russia is in tears for america's loss.' remarkable empathy, remarkable woman.

edutcher said...

Tim said...

Reminds me of the way Bush acted in front of the children on 9/11.

Give it a fucking rest.

What did you want him to do


Precisely.

Dubya showed more class that day than any of the Lefty heroes would have - Willie, Zero, name one.

Patrick said...

Cedarford, you accurately point out that MDs and nurses would leave immediately. Their particular skills are needed immediately. The President has entirely different skills and responsibilities.

MadisonMan said...

what kind of maroon misses the moon landing but tunes in for every American Idol?

Someone who has lived in two different decades?

Cedarford said...

Bagho20 - " He was told we were under attack. We have thousands of people who know what to do, and are not waiting for him to do anything. He knew that."

Yes and no. Technically, he could have had confidence that the whole thing could be handled by subordinates - and could have spent the rest of the day reading kids books, having a nice lunch, followed by a nap or round of golf and not really made much of a difference one way or the other.

But he was Commander in Chief. Meaning if he wasn't going to physically act..I believe most Americans thought he had an obligation as Commander in Chief to drop the trivial shit he was doing with gradeschoolers. To get informed in that 1st hour, and perhaps have some command oversight where he would have at least known that Cheney ordered fighters to shoot down suspect aircraft, that Mineta had ordered all civil aviation grounded, DC was being evacuated as he talked about the goat eating the posies. That the Pentagon was still the center of military command and had ordered a higher defense level and had issued new orders for air and naval defenses.

Cedarford said...

Patrick said...
Cedarford, you accurately point out that MDs and nurses would leave immediately. Their particular skills are needed immediately. The President has entirely different skills and responsibilities.
======================
Agree. And sometimes they compete as responsibilities.

1. Be a nice guy to the teachers and gradeschoolers that invited him, and not disappoint them by leaving the classsroom.

2. Act as Commander in Chief being informed of an enemy attack, and immediately begin briefings on the situation and access to the highest levels Decisions Loop..

Bush made a decision which was more important at the moment.

Sorry, it was not of earth-shattering consequence that he finished "My Pet Goat", but it WAS the wrong decision.

prairie wind said...

Huh. Read through all the comments and nobody mentioned Baby Jessica. That surprised me.

Whitney Houston's funeral? Please. (And I loved WH.)

Christopher in MA said...

Oh, for fuck's sake, not "My Pet Goat" again. Nothing like a bunch of armchair CinC's to tell us how badly Bush screwed the pooch on 9/11.

Do you remember what Andy Card whispered in Bush's ear? We are under attack. No who or how or when or where (save for the first comment by Card that a plane had flown into WTC1). So Bush has no knowledge of what's happening, but he's supposed to jump up and immediately demand details from his aides, who themselves did not know what was happening?

How many damned minutes did it take Bush to finish reading and excuse himself as he waited for Air Force One, which Cedarford is at pains to tell us? If he'd immediately jumped up and ran, would it have saved even one life? Is keeping calm now a character flaw?

Christ on a crutch, but I hate this stupid criticism. But what the hell, I'm not president. I'm not a first responder. I don't know what I'm talking about.

leslyn said...

bagoh20 said...
No it's not a "fair knock on Bush. It's a petty attack, where there is nothing. It was just a very short distraction. He was told we were under attack. We have thousands of people who know what to do, and are not waiting for him to do anything. He knew that. Some people don't. Nothing Bush did would make any difference in that short time. He doesn't walk out of the room and start calling in doctors, or jump in a fighter plane, or really do anything but have people secure him away. If you want to make the argument he was taking an unnecessary risk by delaying his own safety protocol, then you might have something, but if your aim is to attack Bush you don't go there. That tells me where this comes from.

It's not an attack on Bush per se; it's not an attack on anyone's politics; it's not a fantasy that he could act like a firefighter or a jet pilot.

It's a criticism of the Commander in Chief.

The fact that the Vice President had to take over means we were fortunate Cheney had a sense of military urgency.

leslyn said...

Sorry Cedarford, I came in at the middle and then went straight to the end. Missed your on-point comments.

SteveR said...

Not at all a coincidence that people who generally don't like GWB for all sorts of reasons, think he mishandled the 9/11 book reading. Its the litmus test that unites all Bush Haters.

Ann Althouse said...

""Reminds me of the way Bush acted in front of the children on 9/11." Give it a fucking rest. What did you want him to do?"

Why are you talking to me with that hostility? I didn't even criticize Bush (or Roberto Begnini). I compared him to my parents. I was only saying that's a type of behavior some people have with respect to children and I'm familiar with it. It's not abnormal. I wasn't recommending it or criticizing it. I was in the context of observing that my parents didn't act emotional over the JFK assassination.

leslyn said...

Tim said...
I wonder what FDR did after the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Not a damn thing. The Germans didn't attack Pearl.

However, on Dec 7, 1941,

"President Franklin D. Roosevelt was in his study working on his stamp collection while talking to close aide Harry Hopkins when news arrived of the surprise attack."

[...at around 1:30 p.m., President Franklin Roosevelt is conferring with advisor Harry Hopkins in his study when Navy Secretary Frank Knox bursts in and announces that Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor. The attack killed more than 2,400 naval and military personnel....

[In her account of Roosevelt and first lady Eleanor during the years of the Second World War, No Ordinary Time, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin recounts the scene at the White House on that tragic and pivotal day: Eleanor had just finished hosting a luncheon and walked into FDR's study just as he received confirmation of the attack via telephone. While aides and secretaries scurried around the room, Eleanor overheard some of her husband's conversation and knew that, in her words, "the final blow had fallen and we had been attacked."

[Although Eleanor, who knew Roosevelt best, later recalled her husband's demeanor on that day as "deadly calm," she knew that he was incensed by the attacks....

[As the day wore on, Roosevelt displayed a calm and steady efficiency: He consulted with military advisors, enlisted his son James' help to work with the media and spoke by telephone with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who told him "we are all in the same boat now." Early that evening, Roosevelt dictated a speech to his secretary, Grace Tully, which he planned to deliver to Congress the next day.]

"The day would be consumed with meetings ("Where were our patrols?" demanded one angry senator) and grim reports from the smoldering port. It was not until shortly before 5 p.m. that FDR had a chance to work on the speech to Congress he would give the next day.

"He summoned his secretary, Grace Tully, into his study. He was alone behind his desk, she later recalled, with two or three piles of notes neatly stacked in front of him. He lit a cigarette. "Sit down, Grace," he said. "I'm going before Congress tomorrow. I'd like to dictate my message. It will be short."


That's what FDR did when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Looks like he put his stamp collecting aside.

leslyn said...

SteveR said...
Not at all a coincidence that people who generally don't like GWB for all sorts of reasons, think he mishandled the 9/11 book reading. Its the litmus test that unites all Bush Haters.

Cedardford?? hahahahahahahah

P.S. I don't "hate" Bush either.

Tim said...

"...access to the highest levels Decisions Loop.."

Dear God in Heaven, do you have to be this dumb?

The president of the United States, by the mere fact he is the Commander in Chief, is in fact the highest level of the decision loop.

Let me guess...you didn't serve, and you hate Bush for his unforgivable sin of supporting Israel?

leslyn, on the other hand, is just another lefty idiot.

Tim said...

"Not a damn thing. The Germans didn't attack Pearl."

Clue: there's a joke in there, buried deep. Keep looking, you might just find it.

But probably not.

MadisonMan said...

Whitney Houston's funeral?

I didn't even realize it was televised. I live in a bubble.

SteveR said...

leslyn: A distinction without a difference and regards Cedarford, you haven't been around very long, I can tell. hahahahaha

bagoh20 said...

If it made no difference, then it made no difference, and it did make - no - difference. Therefore, the criticism is by definition stupid, partisan or both.

I wonder, if Bush was on the toilet and mid-shit, should he finish, or just jump up and get to work with his pants down. Are kids less important that a clean shit?

You guys are really silly, even compared to me, which should embarrass you deeply.

XRay said...

Just so you know, ya' know. You are in no way silly, Bagoh, except when you intend to be. IMO you're one of the more consequential thinkers in the comments.

Bender said...

Let's see -- what should or could have been done that was not done during that time-frame?

9:05: After brief introductions to the Booker elementary students, President Bush is about to begin reading The Pet Goat with the students when Chief of Staff Andrew Card interrupts to whisper to the president, "A second plane hit the second tower. America is under attack."[18] The president stated later that he decided to continue the lesson rather than alarm the students.

9:06: The FAA bans takeoffs of all flights bound to or through the airspace of New York Center from airports in that Center and the three adjacent Centers — Boston, Cleveland, and Washington. This is referred to as a First Tier groundstop and covers the Northeast from North Carolina north and as far west as eastern Michigan.

9:08: The FAA bans all takeoffs nationwide for flights going to or through New York Center airspace. ABC reports later that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the agency that runs the New York-area airports, asked the FAA for permission to close down the New York Center airspace.

9:11: The last PATH train leaves the World Trade Center. The station is vacant when the towers collapse.

9:13: The F-15 fighters from Otis Air National Guard Base leave military airspace near Long Island, bound for Manhattan.

9:14: President Bush returned to a holding room commandeered by the Secret Service shortly before 9:15. The holding room contains a telephone, a television showing the news coverage, and several senior staff members. The president speaks to Vice President Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, New York Governor George Pataki, and FBI Director Robert Mueller, and prepares brief remarks.


In those eight to nine minutes, in what way was the ball dropped here??

Note that Flight 93 was not hijacked until about 20 minutes after that, while the Pentagon was not hit until about 22 minutes later. The decision about shooting down aircraft did not come until the President was on Air Force One, but experiencing serious radio communication problems.

Ann Althouse said...

"'Now... men walking on the moon. I didn't care. I felt like America was showing off, doing something pointless. You know the old line "Let's not and say we did." I thought: Why bother with that? You could do it. You understand how to do it. Why isn't that enough? Why go there and plant the flag? That's embarrassing. How about helping the poor? I didn't watch that show.' That's a shitty sentiment."

My later self would have watched it. That's how I felt as a teenager. And my college friends were the same way. Cheering about the flag on the moon was like rooting for Nixon.

Trying to impress us, America? We are not impressed. It was 1969, and here's a song from back then that expressed how we felt:


We are all outlaws in
the eyes of America
In order to survive we
steal cheat lie forge
fuck hide and deal
We are obscene lawless
hideous dangerous dirty
violent and young
But we should be together
Come on all you people
standing around
Our life's too fine to let it die and
We should be together
All your private property is
Target for your enemy
And your enemy is
We


I'm quite serious.

You probably would not have liked 18-year-old Althouse. I'm not defending her. I'm just telling you the truth.

leslyn said...

Tim said...
"Not a damn thing. The Germans didn't attack Pearl."

Clue: there's a joke in there, buried deep. Keep looking, you might just find it.

Yeah, Tim. I still thought it was an interesting question and decided to look it up anyway.

Even if it didn't have any Germans.

rhhardin said...

The reason they closed work when JFK was shot was that the mail girls were all out of commission, as far as I could tell.

Tim said...

"In those eight to nine minutes, in what way was the ball dropped here??"

Exactly, Bender.

But the point will be lost on the perpetually angered/aggrieved/bitter/partisan/stupid who, despite all reason, think within those critical eight-to-nine minutes, Bush (or even better, that "let-loose-the-chankras" tool Al Gore) could have done something visibly all Commander-in-Chiefy-like and changed the world.

Somehow.

If only.

He had stopped reading the book.

In those critical eight-to-nine minutes.

Something.

Fucking morons.

Bender said...

I felt like America was showing off, doing something pointless.

I must have missed the part where Armstrong went into some jingoistic moondance after slaming the flagpole into the moon's surface like a big middle finger to the rest of the world.

The greatest technological feat of all of mankind -- one that we today could NOT repeat for probably twenty years -- and that is how it is viewed, with the sentiment of spitting, if it were possible, on the Apollo 11 plaque "We came in peace for all mankind" because it was signed by President Nixon?

Sad.

bagoh20 said...

BTW, Thanks XRay. You have uncommon good sense, and are clearly a person of exceptionally good judgement.

bagoh20 said...

Yea, but they should have left out the Nixon part. If there is one man's name on the moon, that should not be it.

Maybe Benny Hill. I bet he's much better known among any visiting aliens, and better exemplifies what it truly means to be human.

XRay said...

You are welcome. And, actually, I do. :)