Re: Pearl Harbor broadcast

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Posted ByWalt on November 07, 2001 at 18:54:37:

In Reply to: Re: Pearl Harbor broadcast posted byTanya Shaw on September 20, 2001 at 18:14:56:

: : : When people say that last week's tragic events were "just like Pearl Harbor", I think that it's interesting to note a BIG difference in the reaction of the American public. After the Pearl Harbor attack, radio comedy shows were being broadcast LIVE as soon as that very evening...They were being interrupted for news bulletins, but they were still being performed and broadcast. Last week, none of the major TV networks would have even THOUGHT of showing a comedy program (or ANY regular programming for that matter). Of course there are obvious differences in the two events, but it's interesting to note the dramatic difference in public and network attitudes as well.

: : In light of recent events, I have decided to use the shows of 11/30/41 and 12/7/41 for the October chat. You can download them through our chat announcement (see featured items on the home page).

: : --L
: In response to Gerry's letter about programs continuing
: after Pearl Harbor unlike last week, I think people
: of today expect nothing less than continuing coverage
: which I agree with. Gerry, you brought up a real
: interesting point about Jack's generation......I
: wonder what people 60 years ago thought about programs
: continuing on in spite the fact that Pearl Harbor
: had been bombed. I don't know this for sure, but
: I wouldn't be surprised if 3 years later, they had
: more continuous coverage of the D-Day invasion....I
: can imagine why they would.
: Last week on Tuesday, I was listening to a co-worker's
: radio and running periodically to another room to
: watch CNN on T.V. For me personally, there was
: something much more frightening about listening to
: it on the radio than seeing it unfold on T.V. Don't
: know why that is........

I don't want to sound unpatriotic because I bevieve strongly in our country, nor do I wish to sound uncaring because I care deeply...

I personally would not/could not sit in front of the tube watching the tragedy unfold. One reason was that in a single day, there was only a couple hours of real news. The rest was repeating the tragedy over and over ad nauseum (the Challenger incident comes to mind quite clearly) I would have preferred to have important bulletins interrupt the schedule and given the time needed to give the information necessary. An hour here, an few minutes there, when there was really something happening (4-5 hours at the beginning would probably have sufficed). But to stay on the air for days and watch the reporters repeat clips over and over just to fill the time was IMHO absurd. And many of them had to ad-lib so much when they had nothing to report that they made some very asinine comments.

During a tragedy, people need to step back periodically and recharge. But the news industry wouldn't let that happen. We needed to be updated as things unfolded, but they didn't have to do so to the exclusion of all else, IMO.

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