Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

“Ignore The Man Behind The Curtain”

” America will never be destroyed from outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” ~Abraham Lincoln

The popular American collective memory of September 11, 2001, is of 19 “evil-doers” who perpetrated unimaginable and unpredictable deadly terrorist acts against America. The memory is framed with words and images of mass destruction, Osama bin Laden, death and heroism. Mainstream media vehemently projected that imagery and message onto the American public by reporting only those stories or events that reflected such. Susan D. Moeller (2009), for example, wrote how NBC, CBS and FOX showed footage of individuals jumping out of the WTC forever etching the image of death upon the American collective memory.

Meanwhile, significant and meaningful news/events that contradicted or disrupted the collective memory, were rarely, if ever, given proper attention or referenced to again.

As a case in point, David Griffin, a professor of philosophy of religion and theology, emeritus, at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, points out, just after 9/11, the New York City Fire Department (NYFD) recorded approximately five hundred oral histories. Firefighters and emergency personnel spoke of their personal experiences that tragic day. The oral histories documented eyewitness accounts describing explosions and controlled demolition. NYFD Firefighter Thomas Turilli explained, “it almost sounded like bombs going off, like boom, boom, boom, like seven or eight” (Griffin, 2005b).  Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick says, “It looked like sparkling around one specific layer of the building … My initial reaction was that this was exactly the way it looks when they show you those implosions on TV” (Griffin, 2005b). The NYFD oral histories were not included in the 9/11 Commission report (Griffin, 2005a) nor have they been brought to light by mainstream media.

Are mainstream media journalists restricted from covering events that contradict the gatekeeper’s message and imagery of  September 11th, or are they simply the unwitting messengers for the propagandists? Regardless, doubt and mistrust of media has breathed life into a movement in search of the truth. Many scholars, investigative journalists and average citizens are attempting to bring evidence to light that debunks some, if not the entire official conspiracy theory. Nevertheless, the gatekeepers appear to be keeping vigilant watch preventing these stories from seeing the light of day. As a result, independent media outlets in radio, television and Internet bear the weight of bringing the truth out from the shadows of censorship.

The US government’s official and original conspiracy theory is that “9/11 was planned and executed solely by al-Qaeda terrorists under the guidance of Osama bin Laden” (Griffin, 2005). The al-Qaeda terrorists successfully hijacked four US commercial jetliners and skillfully crashed two of them into the World Trade Center (WTC) Twin Towers (causing them and WTC 7 to collapse) and one into the Pentagon. The fourth jetliner was crashed into a field in Pennsylvania by the daring and dramatic efforts from the passengers, which prevented the terrorist’s successful completion of their fourth and unknown target.

Sadly, the shadows of censorship were cast within a couple of hours of the tragic events and continue to this day. For example, immediately after the first tower collapsed, a local CBS 2 reporter Marcia Kramer stated, “CNN is now reporting that there was a third explosion at the World Trade Center, probably an explosion from the ground that caused World Trade Center 1 to collapse on top of itself” (Watson, 2010). She continued, “Again there was a third explosion, it is unclear what caused it…. But CNN is reporting that there was a third explosion that caused World Trade Center 1 to collapse within itself” (Watson, 2010).

Additionally, several unidentified news reporters interviewed three NYFD firefighters moments after the collapse of the first tower. The firefighters reported while staging in the lobby they heard a total of 3 different secondary explosions “then the whole lobby collapsed on the lobby inside” (Watson, 2010).

On face value these 2 examples could easily be explained away. The first CBS report could be retracted as a simple reporting error and the firefighters could have been mistaking because of the chaos unfolding around them. Yet, these two stories carry significant weight towards the truth and the darkness of media censorship. First, when a person experiences a traumatic event they make spontaneous statements without having time or a chance to reflect back on the event to fabricate a false statement. Spontaneous utterances are inherently truthful and extremely difficult to fabricate. Every person speaking in the news clips are obviously still in some state of shock and distress from the events they just witnessed. Their spontaneous statements lend credence to the factual bases from which they came from.

Secondly, and most importantly, the United States government, within hours of their original live broadcasts, confiscated the above referenced video clips. They were withheld from the American public until min-2010 when a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit mandated their release (Watson, 2010).

Notwithstanding the American media censorship, The British Broadcasting Company perpetuated the dark shadow of misleading information as well. At approximately 4:35pm (New York time) BBC reporter Jane Stanley reported that WTC 7 collapsed 20 minutes before it actually collapsed (Watson, 2010). During her live broadcast, WTC 7 can be seen in the background behind her left shoulder as she reports the collapse of the building and the effect it is having on everyone (Watson, 2010). Is this a case of misreporting or was this a break down of the propagandists’ control of their unwitting messengers? Regardless, doubt and mistrust of media is now pandemic.


ENHANCED VERSION: News Reports WTC7 Fell Before It Happens!
youtube.com

Yet, while discussing 9/11 with Frida Hedenstedt, a Swedish family member, she indicated that 9/11 was covered in great detail by her national and local media mediums. Frida explained that 9/11 was the primary story covered for several weeks following the attacks. She also stated the coverage focused on al-Qaeda, terrorism and the victims. In regards to information contradicting the official story coming to light over the last several years, she said her country’s news mediums have not brought a lot of attention to the topic. She added, she has not heard much about it herself either.

These examples are just a few among hundreds of significant and meaningful news/events that contradict or disrupt the collective memory. This information was rarely, if ever, given proper media attention. The roll of mainstream media has been one of censorship and image control. Whereas the roll of the independent journalist and news media has been that of truth seekers and asking the hard questions: what really happened on 9/11 and why has the world been lied to about it?

Ask yourself, “What happened to WTC 7? ” “Why did it collapse?”  Take a look at the following still photographs taken from: 4409 — (Unseen Footage) Tower 7 blasted into rubble from NEW angle! [www.keepvid.com] and see for yourself.

Maybe the leaseholder of WTC 7, Larry Silverstein, answered the questions for us in an interview in September 2002 for a PBS documentary “America Rebuilds”:

“I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, “We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.” And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.” (Source: http://www.serendipity.li/wot/wtc7newspaper.htm)

Reference

Griffin, D. R. (2005a). The 9/11-commission report: Omissions and distortions. Northampton,

MA: Olive Branch Press

Griffin, D. (2005b, Oct.). The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot be True. Retrieved from 9/11 Review Web site: http:911review.com/articles/griffin/nyc1.html

Harnden, T. (2001, September 18). Bin laden is wanted: Dead or alive, says Bush. The Telegraph retrieved from http://bit.ly/dqMABE

Moeller, S. D. (2009). Packaging terrorism: Co-opting the news for politics and profit. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Watson, P. J. (2010, October 15). CBS report on 9/11: Ground level explosion cause WTC to

collapse. Retrieved from http://bit.ly/csNEXH


9/11 Reflection: BBC News – “America’s Day of Terror”

It’s a scared, scared world. Post 9/11-society has brought with it an amazing abundance of changes. From the way news outlets around the world cover terrorist attacks – or perceived terrorist attacks – to the cautionary reactions of international governments one thing it clear: the world has moved toward a direction we never perceived possible on that clear September day. To Americans, it was the day that everything changed, that seemed impossible. To the world, it was a day that rocked a stable nation to its core, and shocked countries big and small. On a global scale the terrorist attacks of September 11 were met with equal bewilderment as a nation panicked, and the world watched.

One way to truly comprehend the world’s reaction is to look at one of the largest international platforms for news. The British Broadcasting Corporation, henceforth known under its familiar title “BBC”, not only has a monopoly in Britain, but is responsible for providing the world with its news as well. Today millions globally turn to the BBC for its breaking news and reporting, including countries where international coverage is considered a luxury. Though the BBC operates primarily via television and radio, the following examination focuses on the presentation of 9/11 from an online media perspective. Read more

9/11 Reflection- Grace Srinivasiah

Before the attacks on September 11th, the American media was undeniably known for its tendency to aggrandize current events. But once these devastating attacks occurred, sending the country into a tailspin, what remained intact (and was probably further exacerbated) was the media’s sensationalism of such a horrific event. Although reports on the situation occurred on news stations 24 hours a day immediately after the attacks, the constant American press was no match for foreign news organizations, which have been hailed as being more reliable sources for coverage on the attacks than the American media. On the contrary, most major American news Read more

Coverage of September 11 in German newsmagazine Der Spiegel

The German newsmagazine ‘Der Spiegel‘, or in English, “The Mirror” was established after World War II in 1947 as a commercial magazine.  The style of Der Spiegel is noticeable for being a cross between a newspaper like the New York Times (NYT) and Newsweek magazine;  Each edition is published weekly in magazine format, with article content similar to the NYT.  The advertisement to content ratio is usually two to one, low for magazines.   Der Spiegel is owned by the German magazine company Spiegel-Verlag; Spiegel-Verlag expanded the bran with SpiegelTV and spinoff magazines.  Der Spiegel is the most widely read news publication in Germany, circulation about a million.   Widely regarded as Germany’s premier newsmagazine since 1950  for uncovering a bribery scandal that may have influenced the location of the West German capital. Read more

Context Matters: A Look at 9/11 Coverage in the U.S. and Abroad

American news reporters on the morning of September 11th, 2001 found themselves in a context that most, if not all of them had never experienced before. Some unknown, evil force was attacking their nation, targeting iconic symbols of America’s towering capitalistic power, along with all of the innocent civilians inside. In that environment of extreme stress, grief, and even anger, it becomes clear that external factors can greatly influence the media’s ability to present an objective report of the news. Examining the coverage of 9/11 and the U.S. retaliation in Afghanistan in October 2001 further shows that the relevant context does not only include human emotions. Factors such as geography, ideology, history, and public expectation must also be considered. Read more

9/11 Coverage: Filling the News Hole and the Idea of “Media Flow”

With the attacks of September 11th, news media around the world was given a unique platform from which to inform the public about the dramatic events unfolding in the heart of New York City, the fields of Pennsylvania and the Pentagon. The normal daily news cycle was interrupted, giving television audiences 24-hour, wall-to-wall coverage in which normal programming and advertising restraints were lifted. (McDonald, 2004) With this increasingly large ‘news hole’, Americans and people around the world saw images of disaster, eyewitness testimonies, and government officials along with countless other stories intended to fill the information void. Given the unusually large amount of time alloted for media coverage immediately following 9/11, the American media response became increasingly focused on giving reports that limited the scope to just the disaster, leaving out a larger context in which the events could be viewed through. American media also tended to promote a government-supported framing of the events, which in turn was either challenged or reflected in countries around the world.

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9/11 Coverage and Norwegian Newspapers

Covering terrorism at the beginning of the 21st century is one of the greatest challenges media around the world are facing. Already “accustomed” to covering great natural disasters or wars, the media needed new skills to cover terrorism acts such as 9/11 attacks that changed the image of today’s world and influenced lives of their audience. And the development of this new set of knowledge was happening under the large pressure from the same audience mainly because of the fact which former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher formulated in the definition that “the publicity is the oxygen for terrorism”[1]. Read more

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Terrorism and the Press

This blog is an integral part of a special section of Honors 394 Spring 2010, Arizona State University. Rather than a routine history course this dynamic, interactive seminar explores the interplay between terrorism and television, and other media sources on-line and in print. 26 students and their global pen pals comprise the bloggers. We welcome all to share their opinions, pertinent observations, insights, comments, feedback. Please post in a responsible manner.