[From the infographic, World Trade Center Reborn, History.com]
As those who know me or who read this blog will know, I will be viewing a lot of coverage of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. However, I’ve decided to focus my viewing on what should be some of the best programming, rather than the predictable run-up to the anniversary. One thing is certain: Other than the anniversary ceremony itself, I will not be viewing any of the cable news outlets. (I’m convinced there’s something about the cameras at cable news networks that makes anyone they point them towards sound stupid.)
I think I’ve found my most-likely viewing list, thanks to Washington Post critic Hank Stuever, who previewed 35 hours of the prepared 9/11 documentary programming and describes it as “barely a dent in what’s out there.”
His general take-away:
“TV is coming at us with much too much too much — content that is surprisingly rote, perfunctory and often unimaginative. A lot of what you’ll see on TV lacks the power to deeply study the events and their impact on culture. It’s as if most networks were afraid of getting too introspective or thinky about 9/11. Narrative trumps thought.Instead we get clip jobs and sound bites, with a strange mix of nostalgia and despair. The motto was ‘Never forget,’ and TV never did.”
I’ve decided to limit my viewing (my DVR is already set) to Stuever’s top recommendations:
- George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview (one hour) airs Sunday at 9 p.m. (8 central) on National Geographic Channel.
- 9/11: Day That Changed the World (two hours) airs Sept. 5 at 8 p.m. (7 central) on Smithsonian Channel. (Unfortunately, Comcast in Nashville doesn’t carry the Smithsonian channel.)
- Nova: Engineering Ground Zero (one hour) airs Sept. 7 at 9 p.m. (8 central) on most PBS affiliates, but check local listings to be sure.
- Two programs from the History Channel: 9/11: The Days After (two hours) airs Sept. 9 at 9 p.m. (8 central); Voices From Inside the Towers (two hours) airs Sept. 10 at 9 p.m. (8 central)
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