Skip to main content

Networks Follow Terrorism Chaos

News networks scrambled Tuesday morning to cover the crashes of hijacked
airliners into both towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in what
authorities are calling the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history.

After the initial crash, the networks captured video of an airliner crashing
into one of the World Trade Center towers, and about one hour later, they
watched both towers fall to the ground.

In Washington, fighter jets flew over the Capitol after the Pentagon was
attacked, and national and local news outlets reported that another hijacked
plane was in route to Washington. That plane was later reported to have crashed
outside of Pittsburgh.

Reporters for Fox News Channel, MSNBC and Cable News Network captured live,
surreal images of injured commuters in New York, covered in dust, running from
the World Trade Center.

FNC reporter Rick Leventhal interviewed victims just five blocks from the
WTC, telling one Emergency Medical Technician, 'This guy needs help,' before the
EMT took the victim from the scene.

On MSNBC, reporter Ashleigh Bedengfield described how she and an MSNBC crew
broke the window of a street-level apartment as they sought shelter from an
overwhelming dust cloud near the World Trade Center.

In New York, transmissions from The WB Television Network affiliate and
several other stations that used a broadcast tower located on the top of the
World Trade Center were knocked out Tuesday morning.

'How can you ever restore a sense of normalcy to the country? Will it ever be
the same?' retired General Wesley Clarke said on CNN at 11:30 a.m. Turner
Network Television, TBS Superstation and Headline News all simulcast the CNN

By noon, content on the news networks went from not only covering the chaos,
but asking how such an atrocity could occur. 'Where did we fail with our
counterterrorism efforts?' an MSNBC guest said.