As the anniversary is shortly upon us, we decided to revisit footage captured from live local media broadcasts on the morning of September 11, 2001.
On September 11, the nation watched in horror live as the second plane slammed into the World Trade Center, then later both towers collapsed into their own footprints live; essentially, the nation’s viewing audience watched thousands of people die on live TV.
As audiences are captivated by the nightmarish scenes of death and destruction replayed over and over and over again on 24/7 news channels, are they too traumatized in that instant to question anything they are being told with a critical eye? Are viewers simply terrified into readily believing everything that they see on TV?
This footage comes from a VCR recording taped on the morning of 9/11 by Popeye at Federaljack.com. Reviewing it now years later leaves us with fresh questions and definitely many more questions than it answers. (View the full video here: http://youtu.be/NRaflwtyIZU)
Our video only analyzes what was reported until around 11:30 a.m. that day, and thus, does not even include the fact that the BBC reported the WTC building 7 collapse 20 minutes early while the reporter is clearly standing in front of a live view of building 7 still standing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tGOt9…). Of the original, YouTube viewer Jsd8675 wrote,
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Best coverage… illustrates the feeling that every city was eventually going to be attacked, everything was closing, shutting down, the country was falling apart. Looking back we know what happened. Back then, we thought the entire country was falling apart.
The reporting of this event as seen above certainly mirrors that viewer’s sentiments; traumatic doesn’t even begin to cover it, and much more was being reported than just the attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the crash at Shanksville, Pennsylvania that comprise the official report.
After the space shuttle Challenger blew up live on television killing all seven people aboard, Joyce Nelson wrote:
On Tuesday, January 28, 1986, the two-minute TV clip dominated the airwaves of North America. Although the only network covering the Challenger launch live was Ted Turner’s Atlanta-based Cable News Network (CNN), within six minutes of the disaster, CBS, ABC and NBC, followed by CTC and CBC, broke into their regular programming and stayed with live coverage for five hours straight: playing and replaying again and again and again this eerie two-minute video clip. Time Magazine called it ‘a nightmarish image destined to linger in the nation’s shared consciousness’. Senior writer Lance Morrow stated: ‘Over and over the bright extinction played on the television screen almost ghoulishly repeated until it had sunk into collective memory. And there it will abide, abetted by the weird metaphysics of videotape, which permits the endless repetition of a brute finality.’