August 17, 2005

What I'd like to see on television on September 11th.

Some network ought to simply run its original programming from the day. No re-editing to clean up the narrative or eliminate repetition, no reporters looking back on how they felt at the time, no analysis in light of subsequent events — just the feed we saw that day.


dax said...

You better find a very comfortable chair and sit back and wait for that to happen.

Matt Barr said...

I think that would be great, but among the reasons it will never happen, along with teevee networks liking their reporters looking back on how they felt at the time and analysis of subsequent events, is that no small number of goobers would think it was happening again.

BoneUSA said...

The real obstacle to an unedited reprise of the 9/11/01 broadcast -- recall how every TV channel repeatedly aired clips of the planes crashing into the Towers. The media has since decided that we, the unwashed, emotional, irrational masses, are not suited for viewing such footage.

Great idea, though.

michael a litscher said...

As much as I think this country could use a replay of that day's coverage, as others have said, it'll never happen.

I was in Chicago on business, so I only caught brief and occasional glimpses of the coverage that day, while it all happened.

Maybe one of the news channels could be convinced to produce a boxed set of DVDs of that day's coverage.

PatCA said...

It's a great idea but won't happen. The networks want to control the message not just report it.

Ann Althouse said...

C-Span could do it.

Barry said...

Some days I feel like I'm the only one with this point of view, but I think that's exactly what we don't need. Neither do we need the tripe they'll pass of as dignified rememberances of the day and the lives lost and the heroism etc. etc. I guess in either situation, it gives me another great reason to turn off the TV for a while.

We're living in a world where every day brings us reminders that our reality changed that day. We're at war. We're ever-vigilant. We're always told how much we're at risk for more attacks and how we've got to persevere in bringing justice and right-thinking to those who foster the kind of hatred that brought about this tragedy.

September 11 as a holiday smacks of too much nationalism and self-rightousness in the same way that the weeks and months of everyone flying little plastic stars-and-stripes off their car doors or the current trend of magnetic yellow ribbons to show how much you support the troops in your fossil-fuel guzzling machine. Politicians and idealogues seize on this as their new propaganda tool, and fight with the media as they try to control it as their ratings booster and advertising cash-cow.

By all means - remember the victims, celebrate their lives, and celebrate the heroic work of police, rescue-workers, and ordinary people from that day. And at the same time, do it respectfully and diginified and in perspective of the possibilities of a better future. And stop beating me over the head with it.

pst314 said...

Barry said: "stop beating me over the head with it"

You feel that my bumper sticker is beating you over the head? Then you really won't like my next bumper sticker. (And why do I suspect that you will never, ever complain about self-righteous leftie bumper stickers?)

Barry said...

"You feel that my bumper sticker is beating you over the head? Then you really won't like my next bumper sticker. (And why do I suspect that you will never, ever complain about self-righteous leftie bumper stickers?)"

Because a person can't be tired of self-rightous politicking from both sides of the aisle, could they?

It's not the single bumper sticker that gets to me. It's the mass of them everywhere. Along with the decree of the multitude that you can't support the troops but not the war. And the reminder from our administration that we are at war with soulless people who hate us for our freedoms.

And, at the same time, the whimperings from the left that it all would have been different if I would have voted for Gore in 2000. And that Bush is an idiot and someone else is obviously pulling the strings. And that the war is "all about" oil, as if anything as complex as foreign relations can boil down to a single thing.

I'm tired of it all because it's the extremes and the single-mindedness and the attempted manipulations from all sides. There's no debate - it's only repetition of the key points we have already heard. Again, I understand the desire or need for some to commemorate the devestating events of that day, but I think the risk is great that the commemorations are simply another platform for propagandizing and manipulation.

knoxgirl said...


I can sympathize with a healthy skepticism of the media, but such a blazing hostility toward stuff like ribbon stickers and "fossil-fuel guzzling machines" seems more appropriate directed at, say, terrorists.

The Dover Beachcomber said...

I'd vote for Jules and Gedeon Naudet's superb documentary "9/11", which first aired in the U.S. in March, 2002. The Naudet brothers were shooting a documentary on New York firefighters on September 11; the film took a decidedly unplanned turn when, in the background of a sidewalk interview, their camera captured the only known shot of the first jet striking the towers. They instantly switched gears and followed their firefighter subjects into the towers. The resulting footage is absolutely gripping.

And there's not a hint anywhere of "those nasty Americans brought it on themselves."

Obi-Wan said...

Along with the decree of the multitude that you can't support the troops but not the war.

Well, you can't, at least not in any way that doesn't make the word "support" meaningless.

The problem is that the troops are risking their lives for a cause, and by and large they believe in that cause.

If you do not support what they are doing, how can you claim to support them?

You can hope for their safe return, you can be happy they exist, you can be grateful for them in a bland, generalized sort of way, but don't try to claim that such constitutes support.

Yes, stating something like that makes many folks' heads explode, but might as well be straight about it.

XWL said...

I noticed Fox Network running promos for its Sunday line-up's season premieres and it seemed so jarring to see whacky dads night (War at Home, Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad) being premiered that Sunday. Just seeing the date written at the end of the commercial seemed like an odd and inappropriate juxtaposition.

I wonder how long before 12/7 seemed appropriate for commerce and entertainment? Or were people less sensitive to iconic dates then, without the anniversary obsessed media that we now have maybe those days passed with quiet reflection and all else was part of life going on, I really miss stoicism in the face of tragedy.