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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11/08

All of the New York City-based TV stations this morning covered the annual 9/11 commemoration at the Ground Zero - a ceremony during which the names of those who died at the World Trade Center were read in alphabetical order.

CNN and Fox showed the ceremonies at all three attack sites - Ground Zero, the Pentagon (where a new memorial was unveiled) and the field in Shanksville, Pa., where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed.

MSNBC, however, spent the morning, inexplicably, rebroadcasting NBC's as-it-happened-coverage from the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 - so, just in case you'd forgotten how awful the events of that day were, you could watch, again and again, the planes crashing into the twin towers, the towers collapsing, part of the Pentagon burning, people running for their lives from government buildings in Washington, D.C., interviews with shell-shocked people in lower Manhattan and so on. And you could relive the terrified reactions of such NBC personalities as Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw.

What, exactly, was MSNBC trying to accomplish? There certainly was no fresh news element to its broadcast. And did the network execs really expect people to plant themselves in front of their TV sets this morning and spend hours rewatching something that was too painful to watch the first time around?

The network's attempt to broadcast a "You Were There" kind of retrospective came off, instead, like a cheap and tasteless self-promotion - a morning-long reminder of how NBC covered the events of that day rather than a commemoration of the tragedy and a tribute to the people who died.

There's plenty of time for broadcasters to massage their egos the other 364 days of the year. This is the one day that the focus should be entirely on the news, and not at all on the people who report it.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Jeremy Blaber said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 12, 2008 at 12:41 PM 
Blogger Jeremy Blaber said...

Which is why MSNBC continues to finish dead last out of all the cable news networks. Fox and CNN beat them consistently, they just don't get it.javascript:void(0)

September 12, 2008 at 12:42 PM 

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