9/11 anniversary programming: Is there too much of it? Can you believe people are actually asking this?

The 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is an occasion being marked in a wide variety of ways by the TV industry. Between now and the 11th, the three major broadcast networks will devote hours of memorial coverage featuring their morning- and evening-news anchors. There’s a fictional drama starring Melissa Leo, The Space Between, about a young boy (Anthony Keyvan) whose father worked in the World Trade Center, that the USA network will air. And there are literally more than a score of documentaries that will be shown on channels ranging from Fox News and MSNBC to Nickelodeon and the Smithsonian Channel.

The scheduling of these shows and many others have already given rise to a backlash: It’s too much, some say. It trivializes the horrific event. It’s cynical business.

The argument against the volume of 9/11 programming, which has cropped up on various blogs and in newspapers such as The New York Post, has been articulated most reasonably by Brian Lowry in Variety. In a piece titled “Cacophony of voices dull anniversary,” Lowry writes, “So many networks have scheduled specials, movies, even entire themed weeks centered on Sept. 11 that they risk trivializing the event, making it equivalent to […] Halloween or Christmas episodes… networks with no logical connection to the story have piled on, defensively or opportunistically. Either way, it’s unnecessary.” Lowry concludes: “TV’s immersive approach to marking the anniversary unwittingly seems more reminiscent of another tower — the biblical one in Babel.”

I get Lowry’s point. The quantity might seem intimidating and the quality of this programming, like everything else on TV, is going to vary. But here’s what I say:

Too much? You mean, as opposed to airing Big Brother three times a week? Or the hours and hours of Bravo’s various Real Housewives franchises also coming this same week? It’s “too much,” too numbing, to replay footage of the planes going into the World Trade Center towers, but it’s not too much to air two hours of Bachelor Pad and two hours of America’s Got Talent, which combine to form four hours of entertainment that are numbing in a different way, not emotionally but intellectually numbing?

It’s not as though every citizen is going to sit and watch every one of these 9/11-themed shows for hours on end (though some may). People will do what they always do: Pick and choose among the offerings and watch shows that seem interesting, enlightening, and moving. They will avoid others that might upset them.

What the hell is wrong with devoting a lot of TV time to remember what remains one of the worst and, in its aftermath, one of the noblest, most vexed, complex, and influential moments in American history? Tell me.

Twitter: @kentucker

For more:

9/11 Specials: 10 shows to watch

9/11 anniversary TV specials


Comments (396 total) Add your comment
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  • Ash

    There is just something about the commercialization of a national tragedy that just strikes me as wrong.

    • Elizabeth

      Agreed… the line between “commemorate” and “joining in with something just because” really isn’t that thin. We’ve lost sight of how to be respectful in this country in an effort to all be a part of a tragedy. Show your support but everything doesn’t have to be about you.

      • Aaron

        Wow, and you call yourselves Americans? You call it a commercialization of the national tragedy? I look forward to this time of year to remember and pay tribute to those who were killed that day. Why don’t you try talking to someone who was affected by it and see if they just want the world to forget what happened? See how that conversation would go, imbecile. I think its what this nation needs, to stay reminded of what is most important, and that is staying unified. You people disgust me that you have the nerve to actually say “don’t air that footage” – you have no right whatsoever. Makes me sick.

      • CrabLooie

        15 times as many die every year from lack of health insurance in this crap country. I don’t see any programming commemorating them. So yeah, you make ME sick and I say don’t air THAT footage. You disgust me. Why don’t try talking to someone who has been affected by “our” murderous government and see how that goes, you imbecile.

      • Joe

        Hey genius, “lack of health insurance in this crap country” doesn’t appear on ANYONE’S cause of death certificate…

      • Sam J

        When I’ve had ‘too much’, I do this really cool thing where I TURN OFF THE TV!!!!

      • Aaron is a moron

        @Aaron – don’t throw the flag in our face, its ridiculous when other people accuse others of not being American – part of being American is our freedom to choose what we want to do with our time AND express our viewpoint. Quite honestly all of this coverage is overdone – a thoughtful quality show done in primetime by each of the big three networks would have been sufficient. Anything more is the network’s attempts for ratings/emmy bait

      • Bowery Boy

        @Aaron. Where were you while I was standing on the corner watching the planes hit the towers and seeing people leap out of the WTC windows? Probably asleep in another time zone. People like you bash New York all the time as being “too culturally elite” and then you go acting like you personally own the tragedy of 9/11. It’s doubful that you give a crap about all the people in New York & New Jersey (any beyond) who just had their homes destroyed by the hurricane. Go ahead and watch your little cash-in TV shows. That’s probably the closest you ever came to this horrible event. There are plenty of Americans from all 50 states and folks from all over the world who have shown their support for New York everyday since that horrible morning. We don’t need your self-serving, once-a-year token salute.

      • topazbean

        I agree that one program by each network would have been enough, and it would have forced them to make that one program count. The problem isn’t that we shouldn’t be thinking a lot about what happened – of course we should. But the issue here is that the networks are in competition with one another to respond most hysterically to the anniversary in order to attract viewers. In all likelihood they will be making a large number of identikit documentaries and specials to the ones on other networks in the hopes of pulling more viewers one way or another. If they were trying to honestly commemorate the event and honour the victims/heroes, they would have either 1. Co-ordinated their coverage with the other networks to ensure that each one created unique and thoughtful programs on different aspects of the tragedy and aftermath, aired at different times or 2. Decided to show their specials without adverts so that their coverage wouldn’t be influenced by advertisers who wanted to air during programs about 9/11 to push their patriotic credentials. They have done neither. Of course many in the USA often express their pride to live in a free market economy and perhaps by that measure the networks shouldn’t be judged for trying to profit from the anniversary. Really, it’s ratings gold, and how could they resist? And that’s the problem. A time like this can really expose the distasteful underside of that obsession with the bottom line.

      • To Aaron From Elizabeth

        If you had taken a deep breath and read what was said before you ripped the previous comments, the point I tried to make is we as a country have lost sight of how to commemorate, to honor and pay respect. But as an American, its your right to have your say. And pulling the “did you lose anyone” card, really? So not only am I a horrible person for feeling that some people are using this anniversary for reasons other than honorable ones, but I’m not allowed to feel sympathy that the victims are being exploited. Glad we cleared that all up.

      • Ash

        @Aaron, nobody is saying don’t air the footage. It crosses a line though when every single network is running footage just so they can say they ran something. I’d much rather have less programming that is of good quality than more that seems exploitative. Also saying that you look forward to 9/11 every year so that you can remember that day is sick. I don’t know about you but it’s been a rare day in the past decade that I haven’t thought about it. I don’t need the anniversary to remember the images of people jumping from buildings or running through the streets of New York as buildings collapsed.

      • Ap

        @Aaron

        I was there. And I’m still getting counseling for it. Everyone who was there has their own opinion about how this should be handled. It shouldn’t be forgotten, however I find it troubling that after the memorial service next Sunday the four major networks go to football games.

        But that’s my opinion.

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      • phil

        Aaron,

        People are not balking at commemorating the event, they’re just having problems with the way it’s being commemorated. Here, let’s stress the key word there: the WAY.

        I know simplistic dichotomies (i.e., it’s either this or that) make things easier to process and situate you at a point where you can exercise some self-satisfying righteous indignation, but sometimes you have to pass on these opportunities to get some endorphins firing and put in the minimal effort it takes to see something in a nuanced way.

      • @ Phil

        Very well said. Unfortunately, too many people react the way Aaron does for whatever reason. It’s reduced discourse in this country to levels rarely ever seen in our history. I’m looking forward to the day when it rises again. Still waiting…

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      • Stella

        Aaron,
        I see your point. It’s a day that I remember that I lost my husband. It’s forever imprinted in my mind. All the lives lost, the hope and unification of people, birth, death, health problems, wars, a nation that has folded under an economic hail storm. However, I do not want to be reminded of the towers falling as I knew my husband was gone. Bone by bone was picked in the months ahead.
        I want to hear uplifting stories and those who have struggled but not of people running terrified down the streets covered in ash or those who jumped.

      • Another @ Aaron

        I don’t know anyone who needs multiple hours of TV coverage to remind them of what happened. Honestly, anyone who was alive and cognizant that day is going to remember whether they are from NY, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Alaska, or any other state. It was a terrible day for the whole country. Sure, certain people were impacted much more than others but we were all impacted in some way. No one needs hours of tv coverage to remind them. I’m not against specials but they aren’t necessary for people to remember what happened or, frankly, what’s important. I don’t have an opinion on the programming one way or another other than what’s right for one person isn’t right for everyone.

      • Lois

        @Aaron, there is a difference between honoring 9/11 and exploiting it. I had a relative who died on 9/11 and do not plan to watch any coverage. I know what happened that day, and would rather go to church and be with my family than watch the events of that day played out over and over on TV.
        *
        @Ken Tucker, I don’t watch Big Brother, Real Housewives, Bachelor Pad, America’s Got Talent. But I agree that there is an overload of these cheap reality shows on TV. Give me a good scripted program any day.
        Yes, the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 is important, and therefore worthy of TV coverage. I just don’t want it to be them showing the planes going into the buildings over and over. If they talk about the people lost, and how their families are doing now, that’s OK. Talk about the effect the day had on the world, not just exploit the events of that day.

    • A

      Yes, but it is not like us Americans are celebrating it everyday! If you don’t wanna watch any television event of 9/11 turn your damn tv off! So no tv and bow your head in silence of the people who lost their lives that day!

      • ncmacasl

        I agree. This is much needed. So many young people still do not understand what this national tragedy was about. We must never forget!

      • mick

        I agree. If you don’t want to watch then don’t. I have watched several new ones on Discovery already on the building of the new Freedom Tower and the Memorial site that was fasinating to see. Then I’ve watched some of the shows showing that day again that have brought me to tears remembering the horror of what happened. I’ll continue to watch them and cry and say a prayer for the survivors, the people in NYC who lived through that nightmare and the people whole lost their lives and their families.

      • mick

        I wish ET would add an edit button to the comments so I could correct my spelling after I’ve posted. *oh boy*

      • Templar

        @A Celebrating?

      • George Hussein Obushma

        I think that the events of 911 are extremely relevant to this very day. There are many events on 911 that have never been explained. Why did fighter jets not intercept the airliners? How did the steel framed skyscrapers collapse with such near perfect symmetry when controlled demolitions must detonate charges within milliseconds of each other to achieve symmetric collapse? Why did building 7 collapse at free fall speed implying all resistance had been removed from the building? Why were multi ton steel i-beams ejected laterally from the building at over 40 miles per hour (and not merely in isolation)? How were iron micro-spheres (as documented by USGS) produced in the WTC towers when office fires cannot melt iron or steel? How was steel sulfidized as documented by FEMA appendix C?

        These are not trivial questions or mere anomalies. They are massive questions that cast a doubt on the “official story of 911″, the entire narrative of the War on Terrorism and indeed the foundations of American government. And they are questions that honest scientists cannot answer.

        To my knowledge there have been at least three scientific papers published in peer reviewed journals that have claimed that the World Trade Centers were brought down by some form of controlled demolition. Of these, the most accessible paper details the discovery of these so called “red grey” chips discovered in the dust from the WTC towers. After careful analysis a team of researchers lead by Niels Harriet of Copenhagen University determined that these “red grey chips” were indeed pieces of unreacted nano-thermite.

        To determine the composition of these “red grey chips” Harriet et. al. used techniques such as X-ray crystallography and differential scanning calorimetry. In particular, results of the differential scanning calorimeter showed a substance which has both high energy density and a very fast reaction time. In other words, a very destructive and dangerous material that might be used as an explosive or incendiary and certainly does not belong in a building.

        To read this paper, GOOGLE SCHOLAR SEARCH “ACTIVE THERMITIC MATERIALS.”

        I believe it is time for a real investigation concerning 911 and I think that millions of Americans agree. According to one poll, nearly half of New Yorkers would support a reinvestigation of 911.

        Of course there are those who say that 911 is a dead issue and that the enemies of liberty and justice have buried the truth in a sea of lies. To these people I would recommend a little research on the “House Committee on Assassinations”. Thirteen years after he was assassinated a third and final governmental investigation was conducted into the death John Fitzgerald Kennedy. At first it appeared as if this investigation was to be like the preceding two: members of the House were fed cherry picked evidence that seemed to confirm that Oswald was the only shooter. But then came these college professors who didn’t even have access to proper forensic evidence. They only had the audio recordings from a police radio left in the on position. And armed with this evidence they managed to convince the House Committee on Assassinations that there were at least two shooters who fired on Kennedy (and in other words Oswald was not a lone nut).

        It is now almost ten years after 911 and high time for a new investigation. Every day the evidence grows stronger and more people become aware of it. Mark my words, before the decade is over, there will be a new investigation and it will let loose an unstoppable wave of reform. With all due respect to Abraham Lincoln, you can trick some of the people all of the time and all of the people all of the time, but you can NEVER trick science.

      • Lil Jo

        George you are an A$$!..

      • Moli

        @George Hussein Obushma My questions to the ‘T’, why is no one answering any of the relevant questions. Yes, I have weep many a tear as a result of the heinous activities of Sept 11th of 2001, but I will NOT allow myself to have jaded memories. A couple of hijackers did not BLOW UP the 3 buildings.

      • The Truth

        The Kennedys were scum. They all got what they deserved …. the whale Ted got his four decades late.

      • Lois

        @George Hussein Obushma , your points have been debunked by many sources. Try Popular Mechanics to start.

      • George Hussein Obushma

        Your comment is patently false. For starters, the popular mechanics article you are referring to was published in 2005; the article I am referring to (Harrit et. al.) was published in 2009. No articles in scientific journals have refuted Harrit et. al.

      • maggie

        Popular Mechanics has updated their work as new information has come out. The 9/11 Conspiracy is a bunch of garbage.

    • Joe

      Won’t be watching any of it. Living through it was enough for me.

      • Lynette

        Agreed!!

      • Kieran

        I was in my apt. in midtown Manhattan (a safe distance away from the towers) on 9/11/01. I was very fortunate not to lose any loved ones who lived and worked downtown. I appreciate the reasons why there will be so much programming. Some will be sincere and worthwhile, whereas others will be money grabs (sad as it is to say). I won’t be watching any of it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t care. The physical reminders of the attacks remain here in NYC — and we have not grown numb to them. I don’t need special programming on any channel to remind me of the tragedy of that day.

      • Ace

        Agreed. I hate seeing photos and videos of the planes hitting the towers because it brings back some of the worst memories of my life. I agree that the occasion should be commemorated, but let’s keep it respectful, okay, for the sake of those who were MUCH more traumatized than I was.

      • LMNOP

        To Joe, Lynette and Kieran – my sincerest sympathies to all of you. I know it’s difficult to watch, and by no means should anyone tell you that you have to. But for many others who weren’t there, the reminder keeps it with us so that we don’t forget. Human defense mechanisms allow us to forget over time; otherwise, pain from tragedy would be too overwhelming.

        Not all of the shows being aired will be worthwhile, but a show I watched from Mayor Guiliani’s perspective on that day–learned a lot and it’s allowed me to remember the shock and pain of that day in a way that makes me a better citizen. In that, I find value. I hope others do as well.

    • joblo

      I find it interesting that so many here are already judging and condemning the 9/11 tributes before they’ve actually aired. How do you guys know it will be commercialized or done only out of greed? We remember these days because they changed the course of our history, and to honor those who gave their lives. It’s the same with commemorating Pearl Harbor. No one forces you to participate if you do not wish to, but neither should you mock those who do or judge their motives or intent before it even happens.

      • Liz

        It was horrific to see and live through. The first year anniversary, they aired a documentary from 2 brothers from France who were with a fire company. That was the only one I watched. I think they are doing a follow up, I’ll watch that also. I think everyone needs to decide for themselves what to watch, and the variety of the programs gives people that choice.

      • googliezoo

        Perhaps if the networks had no or limited commercial interruptions during these specials? It’s making money off ad revenue that I find distasteful.

      • thin

        It’s easy to judge them when you’ve seen them do this every anniversary since it happened. If you don’t believe that the networks are just filling up their hours with 9/11 programming solely because it draws viewers, you’re deluding yourself.

        With that said, I do think Ken Tucker’s question of whether or not that is worse than hours of Big Brother or other mind-numbing reality TV garbage is a good one. It looks to me like crass commercialization and exploitation of a national tragedy for profit, but I can’t honestly say that I’m convinced that’s more deplorable than so much of the trash that fills up the airwaves currently.

      • Lyn

        I’m sympathetic with those who will choose to limit their viewing of 9/11 commemorations, for whatever reason. But every year, people come of age who are ignorant of what happened that day — the enormity of it. I feel it’s important, for them, to have informative coverage in the media. And considering how much attention is paid to the “Jersey Shore” crew and all kinds of other mindless trivia, I won’t begrudge ANY attention that’s paid to the 10th anniversary of this major tragedy in our history.

      • katie

        Well said.

      • willow

        Discovery just aired a special last Thursday that I believed was tastefully done. It focused on the rebuilding of the WTC site and focused on the people who were directly affected and who are rebuilding those 16 acres. Mainly, it was about the memorial itself. I think it depends on the way these programs are delivered that matter.

      • Bennett

        The networks could avoid any perception of greed or exploitation by donating the profits from their 9/11 broadcasts to the victims’ families or charities to benefit the heroes. Why aren’t they doing that?

      • downtown diva

        Bravo for you in defending this. This year’s September 11th is, after all, the 10th anniversary of a major event in America that affected many different demographics of people. I can’t imagine that there is a network that would feel like it could afford not to have at least some commemorative and/ or tribute programming. I think the only way that any programming should be perceived as commercialized would be if it were a hastily scripted drama to cash in on ratings. There may be some of those, but I’d like to offer the benefit of doubt, that the majority of the programming will be respectful and somber, esp. since this year is the 10th anniversary.

      • Varsha

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    • Katie

      It’s too much. It would have been tasteful for the big 3 networks to air like an hour special of like Dateline NBC, 20/20, or whatever the heck CBS has in primetime and leave it at that. A week of specials is overkill. I’ll be working my Netflix overtime that week.

    • jodipo

      I agree with that, except this person is wrong to say having specials asking people to talk about what happened that day is not the commercializing of it. What is deplorable is seeing tshirts and stickers for sale with “!0th Anniversary 9/11 never forget” on them. Its completely repugnant.

    • Brigette

      Yep.

    • matthew

      @Aaron, You think that if there wasn’t this much media coverage of the anniversary, people would just forget what happened?? Um..no. Don’t think so.

      • Moi

        Yep, I think we’re fully capable of forgetting what we didn’t live through ourselves, and as the years go by, that will describe more and more people. Pearl Harbor, much?

    • Freemind

      Strikes me as very American.

    • Lex

      Farhenheit 9/11. etc. Making money off it as soon as the can I noticed.

      But it must be observed. It was a tragedy.

    • Yo

      Maybe instead of paying tribute to the dead, we should honor the first responders who are still paying the price for their good deeds. Perhaps we need a first responder telethon, as the governement is not enough “overwhelmed by tragedy” to pay the bills of the still suffering.

      • Lois

        Good idea.

    • ann

      I agree about Big Brother being on so much, Real Wives, and repeats of America’s Got Talent. With local weather, airline tragedies and memorials, which I am not unsympathetic, but 5 hours is overkill! I know they will continue to air for ratings but the only thing that needs to be reported is local weather conditions and active tragedies!

  • Heather

    I hope someone was smart enough to counterprogram all this for those of us who DON’T want to watch about 9/11 on ANY day of the year

    • west

      Yes, because god FORBID you would actually turn OFF the tv and go outside or read a book or visit friends or do something else useful with your life besides be glued to the TV for once. But you can always get out your DVDs of Jersey Shore and have yourself a marathon. Provided you have an attention span as long as snookies…

      • Heather

        who says I watch Jersey Shore…more like Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs usually, but Discovery is also on the “9/11 bandwagon”, so as I stated before, Wii it shall be

  • Stacy

    It was hard enough to go through the first time, and I don’t think anyone is ever going to forget where they were, what they were doing, etc. on 9/11. I also have a problem with the media (and society, really) expecting everyone to continue to grieve over and over (and over) in a politically correct, socially acceptable way.

    I don’t see this as a commercialization of the tragedy, but I do see this as a way to force specific agendas and make those of us who don’t curl up into a ball and do nothing but cry feel like we’re inhuman. I’m just glad we’re going to be on vacation and nowhere near the internet or a TV.

    • BillyD

      How dare you not adhere to the NEVER FORGET mandate. You might be deported for that.

      • Jun

        Owbalv on October 20, 2011 Oddly enough, i think a Bruce Almighty game would have been kinda cool. Go aornud and use your powers to help people or to help yourself to things. Who wouldnt want to play god?

    • Bringbackrocky

      “Forcing specific agendas?” Truly sad. Thank goodness your vacation won’t be affected. That’s what’s most important.

      • Stacy

        Why should it be? No one is allowed to enjoy life anymore?

      • Rebekah

        I’m with you Stacy. These tragedies teach us that life is meant to be lived. The best way I honor people who died is to live my life to the fullest, not wasting time watching something I find trite and manipulative.

        I’d rather contribute to the world, or even enjoy a day with my family, than sit, staring glassy-eyed at a TV that shows clip after clip of the planes hitting, in some cheap emotional ploy.

        If people find catharsis in those specials, more power to them. But I refuse to lie and pretend I do.

      • Donna Noble

        Gee, sorry Stacy. I guess those who lost families and friends on that day should just get over it so you can enjoy your f*cking vacation.

      • Alyssa

        Maybe she was saying that you guys should have closure and mourning in privacy. GET OVER 9/11??? September 11th 2001 will be around forever in American history. I was 12 when it happened I graduated from Highschool 5 yrs later and I took government my Senior yr. And guess what our brand new books had in them? A whole page devoted to 9/11. Its already in school history books, and gov. books.

        But there is a fine line between celebrating and honoring the fallen and commercialization.

      • Marty

        Don’t forget, “you are either with us or you are against us.”

      • toon

        Donna, you know that’s not what Stacy meant at all. So I don’t know why you’re being such a bitch about this. Everyone is going to have a different way about coping with 9/11 and I don’t believe that people should be forced to think about 9/11 in one form versus another. And it’s not like people are going to forget. Everyone still remembers Pearl Harbor even though it’s not shoved in our faces every December 7th.

      • Maddox

        I lost my (step)brother in the north tower. We were close, and there will never be a day when I don’t miss him and think about everything he was and would have become. I have said my goodbyes and come to terms with my loss, but I dread 9/11 every year, as it stirs up the pain, anger, and nightmares all over again. People should watch programs and attend vigils if it helps them. For me, it only makes it worse. I prefer to get through this by embracing my memories of my brother’s life rather than dwelling on the circumstances of his death.

      • Alyssa

        ^^^ That is a terrible way to think. We CAN NOT live the rest of our lives being afraid of different races, religions including the Muslim community. BUSH had that kind of thinking and look where it got us. The only thing to fear is fear-mongering itself. The whole Muslim religion did not bomb the two towers, and Pentagon. Or crash that Plane in Philly. It was an elite group of jihads working for OBL. So saying every Muslim is a Jihad terrorist is like saying every Christian is a Teabagger, every Wiccan has green skin, all Germans are Nazi – you get the idea. Stigma and Stereotypes.

        Unless that was sarcasm from you?

    • Julia

      Lived through it, worked in 2 WTC, lost friends and colleagues. Will I be watching any of the coverage? No. Will I observe 9-11? Yes, the same way I do every year, in prayer and with my family.

      • Maddox

        @Julia: My sincere condolences. Stay strong.

      • Tajah

        My condolences as well. Be safe.

      • Chris P.

        @Tajah Be Safe? From what? The terrorists aren’t going to bomb her house.

    • jessica

      No one is going to forget, you’re right. But no one is going to call you inhuman either if you don’t curl up and cry. The purpose of MOST of the programs, if you would have bothered to look at a description, is to follow-up on and for people who were directly and indirectlyt affected AND to inform those who weren’t alive and those who were actually too young to remember or care, that it happened, and that the entire world was affected by it. If you’ll recall, we’re living in a “Post 9-11 world”, where Federal Judges have to remind the government that it can’t just take our phone records with our specific whereabouts without a warrant, where hundreds of men and women die everyday to fight in wars that permeated out of the aftermath of the tragedy, and where you can’t go on vacation without waiting through heightened security for 2 hours (maybe you’ll be “forced” to remember that as you travel). Children may be aware of the “post 9-11″ circumstances, but are they conscious of the causes? Are they able to understand just what happened? Do they know the meaning of “pre 9-11″? My guess is no, and my hope is that among the barrage of programming, they’ll be enlightened with the answers to those questions, questions they probably didn’t know they had. We should not just settle for a one-hour program on each of the major networks, at least not in my opinion. One hour is simply not enough to commemorate or follow up on something so inherently, though in most cases unconsciously, present in everything that we do everyday.

      • MC

        Jessica, I share your opinion. The purpose of these specials (at least the good ones) will be to inform a new generation of young minds about the tragedy and the ramifications of it. People in post 9/11 NYC are ever alert to the daily presence of suspicious activity and have prevented bombs from exploding and other heinous acts just by being vigilant and observant.

      • Jun

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  • A

    I swear people are so mean and self -centered!

  • BillyD

    I don’t think there’s anything inherently *wrong* with a lot of anniversary coverage….IF it weren’t motivated by greed / ratings…which it is. And that, essentially, turns it into something akin to “Watch Big Brother three times this week! The most dramatic week ever!!” or “Superbowl XXIVI…dusk to dawn coverage!” or “Hurricane Irene…uninterrupted coverage while your town floods!!!” Networks, as a whole, have no ability to do anything with restraint and dignity. (Meaning, greed rules.)

    • jessica

      This whole “motivated by greed and ratings” argument is a bunch of crap. So what if LMN is making a dumb fictional movie about the topic? No one actively looking to remember the tragedy is going to watch it, and if someone looking for entertainment does watch it, then maybe they’ll feel inclined to seek out a different channel with some educational and informative value. It’s a win-win for everyone, and that’s a fact. It’s not like a 9-11 memorial at Ground Zero isn’t going to eventually be driven by money. What museum or memorial can you think of that isn’t constantly trying to ask for money from you? And aren’t you usually willing to dig into your wallets for the cause? I don’t see a difference here. I can see where those with the argument of greed might see a difference, but I can also look beyond that to see the true value of the programming.

  • Bringbackrocky

    There’s nothing wrong with it, Ken. You are right on point about this. I think too many people have forgotten the sheer horror of that day. Being reminded of it is a good dose of reality and should serve to remind us of what we went through as a country. Anyone who thinks otherwise has the same option we all do every day – change the channel or turn off the TV.

    • Mike

      I respect your first point, even though I don’t agree with it, but think you’re wrong on your second. So, the argument is that anything on tv is okay, since you can just turn it off? I personally think that it’s too much, too trivially done, and too much sensationalism. Rather than just not watch it, can’t I openly complain that the tv networks should be ashamed?

      • tommymommy

        I completely agree with you about this! I was not in Washington or New York, I was in the other side of the country when 9/11 happened and I was scared to death. Life changed so much for me after that day and I feel the need to remember everything about it. I will be watching most of these shows. I’ve already watched some of the things I had recorded when 9/11 originally happened. My earlier stuff is more real (no one had added too much spin yet) but I still like to remember what happened that day.

  • beth from li

    I think it’s too much…my husband was in Manhattan at the time and so were many of our family and friends. We here in NY don’t need any reminders of the horrific tragedy, we live it every day. I am only speaking for myself, I wonder how the people who lost loved ones feel about the constant barrage of 9/11 images in our local paper, the struggle to build the memorial, and now fictionalized accounts of the all-too-real tragedy of what happened that day. I know that for me and my family, it’s something we never forget or stop thinking about.

    • Donna Noble

      Very well said, beth. There are so many insensitive louts responding here; you made your point eloquently.

      • Voodoo

        YOU are one of those insensitive louts, Donna.

      • Robyn

        I agree Voodoo. Donna, u just tore a strip off someone for going on vacation during the 9/11 anniversary to get away from the constant reminders of what happened that day, and then you turn around and agree with someone who thinks it was too much. Seriously, get a clue you insensitive lout.

  • Joseph

    I would like to see more specials on Iraq and Afghanistan that focus on our troops overseas. 9/11 is horrible, but our country seems to have forgotten that we have men and women overseas fighting to prevent things like that from happening again. That’s my problem with these specials. 9/11 was horrible, but the dying didn’t end on that day. It’s still going on to this day, and perhaps that is the greatest tragedy of all.

    • Allison

      “Like” doesn’t seem to be the right word, but I agree.

    • JRE

      Thank you!

    • Bobbie

      Joseph, if you haven’t already seen it, I would highly recommend “Restrepo”, Sebastian Junger’s documentary about a group of our troops in Afghanistan – a very powerful and effective film that captures what they were and are up against over there.

  • Harry

    I can’t write what I really want to say since the Patriot Act still exists.

    • Freedom Costs $1.05

      THIS!!

  • Audrey

    I feel like people are trying to out-9/11 each other. I’m sorry, but when I see a breakdown of the 10 9/11 specials airing in the coming days on E! News, followed by Juliana assuring me that E! News will ‘NEVER FORGET’ with that fake-ass solemn look on her face, I get a little turned off. It happend. It was a tragedy. It totally changed the world and how we live today. But I don’t think there’s anyone alive in the U.S. today that needs all these specials to help us remember that. Let’s not wear our patriotism around like a badge of honor and try to out-9/11 each other.

    • Ap

      Agree with you here. Access Hollywood is doing something also followed up by (insert celebrity/reality star) scandal. I mean seriously?

    • Han Solo

      There’s a difference between the news and discovery/science channels doing coverage, and the fake phony entertainment shows like E or Extra doing it for commercial revenue. If the news / science / discovery channels are respectful and factual, they are providing a service for the younger kids who weren’t around when it happened. We should mark the anniversary every year, like Pearl Harbor, not to be crass but out of respect and to remember those who were lost. Though it’s probably difficult for those in NYC and NJ, out on the West Coast we don’t have as many reminders – we’re not exposed to it all the time. It’s important to honor the day and remind ourselves of what was lost.

  • Loni

    I would be very disappointed if the 10th anniversary of the greatest tragedy of my generation was not revisited, discussed, and remembered. For goodness sake, it’s the 10th anniversary! We, as a country, have forgotten about it and have let ‘political correctness’ get in the way like the disdain that was given to the people who were hesitant about letting a mosque be built in view of ground zero. Let’s remember and honor those who were lost, see stories of how their families are doing and re-focus on how we can continue to make the world more free.

    • Squishmar

      Make the world more free…. as long as that doesn’t involve building new mosques?

      • Allison

        If anything, the efforts to stop the building of the muslim center went directly against the work so many people did to increase communication and understanding between the faiths.

      • Alyssa

        All Muslims didnt bomb the Two Towers.

      • George Hussein Obushma

        Do we know for certain that the evildoers were Muslims? I think not.
        There are many events on 911 that have never been explained. Why did fighter jets not intercept the airliners? How did the steel framed skyscrapers collapse with such near perfect symmetry when controlled demolitions must detonate charges within milliseconds of each other to achieve symmetric collapse? Why did building 7 collapse at free fall speed implying all resistance had been removed from the building? Why were multi ton steel i-beams ejected laterally from the building at over 40 miles per hour (and not merely in isolation)? How were iron micro-spheres (as documented by USGS) produced in the WTC towers when office fires cannot melt iron or steel? How was steel sulfidized as documented by FEMA appendix C?

        These are not trivial questions or mere anomalies. They are massive questions that cast a doubt on the “official story of 911″, the entire narrative of the War on Terrorism and indeed the foundations of American government. And they are questions that honest scientists cannot answer.

        To my knowledge there have been at least three scientific papers published in peer reviewed journals that have claimed that the World Trade Centers were brought down by some form of controlled demolition. Of these, the most accessible paper details the discovery of these so called “red grey” chips discovered in the dust from the WTC towers. After careful analysis a team of researchers lead by Niels Harriet of Copenhagen University determined that these “red grey chips” were indeed pieces of unreacted nano-thermite.

        To determine the composition of these “red grey chips” Harriet et. al. used techniques such as X-ray crystallography and differential scanning calorimetry. In particular, results of the differential scanning calorimeter showed a substance which has both high energy density and a very fast reaction time. In other words, a very destructive and dangerous material that might be used as an explosive or incendiary and certainly does not belong in a building.

        To read this paper, GOOGLE SCHOLAR SEARCH “ACTIVE THERMITIC MATERIALS.”

        I believe it is time for a real investigation concerning 911 and I think that millions of Americans agree. According to one poll, nearly half of New Yorkers would support a reinvestigation of 911.

        Of course there are those who say that 911 is a dead issue and that the enemies of liberty and justice have buried the truth in a sea of lies. To these people I would recommend a little research on the “House Committee on Assassinations”. Thirteen years after he was assassinated a third and final governmental investigation was conducted into the death John Fitzgerald Kennedy. At first it appeared as if this investigation was to be like the preceding two: members of the House were fed cherry picked evidence that seemed to confirm that Oswald was the only shooter. But then came these college professors who didn’t even have access to proper forensic evidence. They only had the audio recordings from a police radio left in the on position. And armed with this evidence they managed to convince the House Committee on Assassinations that there were at least two shooters who fired on Kennedy (and in other words Oswald was not a lone nut).

        It is now almost ten years after 911 and high time for a new investigation. Every day the evidence grows stronger and more people become aware of it. Mark my words, before the decade is over, there will be a new investigation and it will let loose an unstoppable wave of reform. With all due respect to Abraham Lincoln, you can trick some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can NEVER trick science.

      • Squishmar

        That was my point exactly. Loni was saying that there shouldn’t have been disdain towards those that *objected* to the mosque being built… and then she talks about making the world “more free.” I was pointing out her hypocrisy.

    • maggie

      ‘political correctness’ wasn’t the reason that people had distain for the rally against the Community Center. As someone who worked in that area, the building where they are going to build the Community Center, which included a prayer space (AKA “Ground Zero Mosque”) can’t be seen from Ground Zero. And there already is a mosque in that area that is closer to Ground Zero than the Community Center will be. That mosque was there before the WTC was built. The neighborhood has a large Muslim population, and they simply wanted to build something were they live. The outrage against the Community Center was started out of political motivations and mislead people.

  • Kathy

    Ken, having lived through it, I am tuning out everything. I have no need to see special never before seen photos, or hear reminiscences. I can’t even go down to the site. When is enough enough? Honor those who were tragically murdered, but lets not honor the event with shows ad nauseam. I was furious when I saw “Remember Me,” w/out knowing it was a 9/11 film. I need none of it to remember or honor the dead. I do it every day I wake up and still live in New York City.

    • kelset

      I agree. Even the idea of 9/11-themed programming makes me feel uncomfortable and queasy. That day needs to be honored, not exploited.

  • Trey

    After this year, I seriously hope they cut back on the amount of 9/11 specials aired every year. It was really tragic, but let’s move on, ok?

    • thin

      I don’t even think that we necessarily have to “move on.” It just needs to stop being exploited so mercilessly, year after year.

    • Bennett

      America should never “move on” – this was the biggest tragedy in our history on our own soil.

      • Caroline

        Bennett – by not allowing America to “move on” from the tragic – murderous events of 9-11, we are still being held hostage by the terrorist in one of the worst ways: Fear. I will never forget what happened – I pray for the families of the victims – the children, spouses, parents and friends.

        What I would like to see is Americas focus turn to the living: the soldiers that are over in Middle East and the ones that have come home having left a part of themselves back on the battlefield. Also to focus on the people who are suffering on our own backyards.

      • Jane

        And stop sending robots to murder women and children.

      • Frank

        Depends on how you personally define tragedy. More people died on the Trail of Tears and in several natural disasters. Only a few hundred fewer died at Pearl Harbor. Some might argue that the Civil War or slavery were bigger tragedies. Attempting to “rank” tragedies only diminishes all of them.

      • George Hussein Obushma

        We cannot move beyond 911 until know exactly what happened on 911. See my previous comments for the exact reasons as to why I doubt our government’s explanation as to what happened on that fateful day.
        Or just do your own research and google scholar search: ACTIVE THERMITIC MATERIALS.

  • Neil

    The REAL issue here is that a good portion of our society thinks conspiracy, or thinks denial, or thinks of the event in terms of cinematic gratification (it blowed up real good!) For them the time factor is irrelevant.

    • George Hussein Obushma

      I don’t know how many “911 deniers” there are, but I think your comment is in general a good one. However, I don’t think that a few TV programs will solve the huge rift that exists between the ~65% of Americans that have faith in the “official version” of 911 and the ~35% of Americans that think some form of foreknowledge was involved.

      As a disclaimer, I will begin by saying that I am not impartial to this debate; I very strongly support a new investigation because, as I explained in my previous comments, the “official investigations” simply have not answered any of the most puzzling questions.

      However, leaving my own opinions aside, I don’t understand why anyone would OPPOSE a new investigation. Everyone must acknowledge that further investigation leads us closer to the truth. So why oppose it?

      • Nigel

        A very, very, thorough investigation of 9-11 has already been done. Ditto the JFK assassination. Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman. The airplanes brought the towers down. Another investigation will come to the same conclusion, at which point, the new investigators will be accused of complicity in the original conspiracy! Stop it. Common sense will tell you that the number of people required to pull off the “inside job” theory is so vast, it’s comical. All with clockwork precision. Nobody overslept, got stuck in traffic, changed their minds? Nobody noticed workmen rigging tons of explosive charges next to their office cubicle? C’mon. People cannot keep their mouths shut for even the most frivolous secrets, let alone something of 9-11 magnitude. Your motives may be commendable, but the conspiracy theory you advance is impossible.

      • shut up

        you are an idiot. get a life.

  • jackson

    I completely agree with you EW! Its idotic to even think airing “specials” on that day is too much, when we need to remember and have those who lost loved ones in our thoughts and prayers.

    • LOL

      Let’s just have George W. Bush reading My Pet Goat on an endless loop.

      • CC

        You’ll need to teach him to read first.

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