This week in TV: Dozens of 9/11 retrospectives
By Kim Palacios
hollywoodnews.com: We’re still more than a week away from the ten year anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 attacks, yet the media blitz has already started. Most estimates are placing the number of documentaries, special editions of periodical shows, and live coverage of commemorative events at three dozen or more. Even channels that seem to have little to do with news and political affairs, such as Animal Planet and Showtime, have produced special programming. Most notable may be Nickelodeon, which has developed a special for children too young to remember the event. “What Happened? The Story of September 11th, 2001” aired on September 1st.
“It’s such a major event and story in our history that it’s very hard to ignore it and seem relevant,” said David Bushman, a curator with The Paley Center for Media in New York City, to CNN. “And yet there are lots of things that are difficult about it. One of the things, as crass as it sounds, is how do you do something that is distinctive from everyone else.”
Yet, some media experts spoke out against the excessive coverage. Said Brian Lowry in Variety, “So many networks have scheduled specials…that they risk trivializing the event…By dissecting the day from every conceivable angle — CNN alone has scheduled four documentaries; National Geographic Channel will devote a full week to it — the resulting din has become a noise-cancelling exercise.”
Yet, resistance abounded. Challenged Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker, “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?”
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