Monday, January 02, 2006

First 15 minutes of 9/11 attacks on the web

The Toronto Star has some original -- and riveting -- descriptions of the first 15 minutes of live TV/radio coverage of the 9/11 attacks.

The coverage of those fateful 15 minutes is among the most engrossing ever broadcast — and some of the most inadvertently telling, too, since it clearly reveals who among the anchors and correspondents got it right and who blew it, who could think on their feet and who couldn't, as the ultimate breaking news story unfolded.

There are surprises. For example, Charles Gibson, co-anchor of ABC's Good Morning America, did an unexpectedly fine job of covering the moment when the second plane hit and was the only anchor on the three major U.S. networks to immediately speak up and tell us what had happened. Others, like Bryant Gumbel, the now-departed anchor of CBS's The Morning Show, contributed astonishingly awful reportage...

"If Gumbel seemed to somehow miss the crash of the second plane, he was the only anchor who thought he saw non-existent third and fourth jets approach the burning towers at 9:41. "Hold it, hold it!" said a near-panicky Gumbel to his guest. "Two jets right now, approaching the World Trade Center! We're watching! Hold on!"

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