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Post 9-11 entertainment: what changed and why January 8, 2010

Part 1: television

One thing that is rarely looked at as far as how the world has changed after the horrible events of September 11 is how entertainment media changed. Whenever a major event or catastrophe happens, the entertainment portion of the media reacts.

Take for instance the current hit NBC show The Office. In the 2009 season, one of Michael Scott’s (played by Steve Carell) excuses for not being able to take a call is that he is at an “Obama fashion show.” This was no exception in 2001 in the days after 9/11 – albeit with a serious tone. Post-9/11 ratings for television show such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart soared. Some viewers proclaimed the show as their “bonafide news source.” Other comedy shows, such as The Late Show with David Letterman, opened with a more somber tone where a rather nervous and sad Letterman lamented to the audience about hwo the attacks “made any goddamn sense.”

Television was heavily afftected byy the attacks with a major blow producer David Angell, who was on board hijacked American Airlines Flight 11. Angell was a producer and co-creator of NBC’s Frasier. In Frasier’s final episode, Niles and Daphne have a baby and name their son David as a tribute to Angell.

Other television shows inevitably had to write in plots dealing with terrorism and grief. Shows such as The West Wing aired non-story arch episodes that dealt with the attacks. The West Wing episode Issac and Ishmael opened with a plea from the cast to donate to charities for those that were lost in the 9/11 attacks. Other shows, such as NBC’s Third Watch, directly dealt with the attacks by including them into their storylines.  The start of the fall season of television for new shows was delayed or it had to be altered due to the show’s content.

Other mainstay shows had to quickly pull episodes that dealt with some form of terrorism. Reruns of certain episodes of  shows such as Married……..With Children and The Simpsons were pulled from syndication. The Simpsons episode The City of New York vs. Homer, there are scenes that prominently display the World Trade Center. After the events of September 11, many thought that, despite the relative innocence of the scenes in question, that viewers might have been too sensitive to seeing images of the building intact (even in cartoon form), with the events of that day still fresh on the minds of the people. This episode has since been put back into syndication as time has passed. The episode in question in regards to Married…..With Children was the episode Get Outta Dodge where Al Bundy is approached by some Arabs who want to buy his old Dodge car and also ask Bundy for directions.

After September 11, 2oo1, FOX notified all of its syndicated carriers of the show about the episode in question and left the decision up to the discretion of the individual stations. A number of TV stations in the US did temporarily pull the episode and showed other reruns in its place. As time passed and sensitivity lessened, the episode began being aired again regularly.

Awards shows were also affected. The 2001 Emmy Awards were postponed twice due to the terrorist attacks, the then-impending US airstrikes against Afghanistan and the bakckout of Don Mischner Productions – who was producing the show. The telecast finally aired on November 4, but cost CBS millions of dollars. The 74th Annual Academy Awards held a tribute to New York-themed films hosted by Woody Allen.

Sources:

http://www.film.com/features/story/tv-after-911/16331988

http://www.guardian.co.uk/pictures/image/0,8543,-10404256105,00.html

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106004/trivia

http://www.twiztv.com/cgi-bin/transcript.cgi?episode=http://dmca.free.fr/scripts/thewestwing/season3/thewestwing-300.txt

http://www.imdb.com/Sections/Awards/Emmy_Awards/2001

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0313162/trivia

http://www.snpp.com/guides/lisa-5.html#5.2.7

http://www.bundyology.com/hpg/817.html

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“If we do not study history, we are doomed to repeat it” December 19, 2009

Imagine a world where……..

  • all of New York is crawling in fear.

    Here, the New York skyline shows off its marvel of architecture, the World Trade Center

  • you are notified via a PA system at a place called “The Happiest Place On Earth” that ” due to circumstances beyond our control, the Magic Kingdom is now closed. Please follow the direction of the nearest Cast Member.” However, there is not an impending hurricane.
  • the FAA grounds all outgoing and incoming airplanes.
  • thousands of people lose their lives by just going to work or leaving on a jet plane in Manhattan, Shanksville, PA, and Washington DC.

Unfortunately, this day did occur 8 years and 3 months ago, September 11, 2001; in New York City,The Pentagon in Washington D.C., and a field in Shanksville, PA when the World Trade Center

September 11, 2001

However, the twin towers ceased to exist as of September 11, 2001, which launced the United States into what has become known as the War on Terror.

and the Pentagon were hit by commercial airliners in an attempt by the Taliban and Osama Bin Ladin to bring America to her knees and cry. This birthed the post 9-11 world, the world that we currently reside in. The plane that crashed in Shanksville, PA was headed for the White House.

Once again, we have entered a pre-9/11 mindset. President Barack Obama has decided to shut down Gitmo and house the prisoners in Thomson, Ill. Also, a decision has been made by the Obama administration to try those accused of masterminding the 9/11 attacks in New York City which, in essence, gives them rights equivalent to a criminal in the US. To top it all off, the attacks at Ft. Hood have gone unavenged.

If the Obama administration keeps this up, they will put us on the fast-track to another terrrorist attack. Former President Bill Clinton did nothing to retaliate against those who lost their lives on October 12, 2000 when the USS Cole was attacked by Taliban suicide bombers. Clinton also did nothing about the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Nairobi, Kenya.

If we do nothing to evoke a harsher stance towards terrorism and keep the course in Afghanistan, we will indeed face another tragic day like September 11, 2001.

Sources: