Monday, September 05, 2011

Experts on 9/11: commemoration vs. exploitation

[How much is too much? Snapshot of USAT anniversary page, above]

Newspapers, television networks, magazines and others planning special coverage of Sept. 11's 10th anniversary have weighed issues like how much American audiences can stomach, and how much such a solemn occasion should be viewed as a business opportunity, The New York Times says in a story today.

"There’s no precedent for something like this,” New York magazine Publisher Lawrence Burstein told the NYT.

He initially did not expect to sell many ads in the 10th anniversary issue. But to his surprise, he found advertiser demand was strong, with the magazine experiencing a 46% increase in the number of ad pages in the Sept. 5-12 double issue, compared with the Sept. 13 issue last year.

How much anniversary news coverage is too much? And, USA Today asks in a story, is it harmful to our psyches to wallow in sadness?

"There's no doubt the anniversary is going to stimulate memories and anxieties," says Sharon Brennan, a psychologist in New York City. "Some people will probably embed themselves in the media and it will be almost like an addiction reliving this. Others will take a more a dosed approach."

Reflecting 1950s U.S.
As the nation prepares for the anniversary, Gannett's Army Times says, a look at how Americans marked the same milestone for Pearl Harbor shows that the way people commemorate events sometimes says more about their own times than a bygone era.

Related: history of Army Times and Gannett Government Media division.

Too much? Too little? Just right? How do you grade your 9/11 coverage? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. Sad? True.
    Atrocity? True
    Heros? True
    Infighting over the "sacred ground"? True.

    I've had enough!
    Way to much.
    This whole thing is "overboard".

    The reading of 3000 names? To much.
    Why not read the names of the people killed in Pearl Harbor?

    It gets sickening after a while.
    it's been 10 years-let it go!

    I live in NY, and I think it's disgusting.

    Move on.

    You may now burn me at the stake.

  2. I agree with 12:45. The spectacle is tawdry. It's motivated by exploitation and, yes, sentimentalism -- not remembrance -- to sell product only, just like every other profound event in American history.

  3. Maudlin and overbearing. People magazine's feature of kids whose fathers died was particularly obnoxious.

    Thousands die every day. The people who died at Cantor Fitzgerald ten years ago are no more heroes than the guys who get splattered in a construction zone by inattentive drivers.

    The mindless "support the troops" drumbeat is ridiculous too - perhaps we should fulfill our role as the fourth estate and question every administration and legislator on goals and results of the prodigious amount of talent and treasure we've dumped into overseas bottomless pits.

    Instead we run scoreboard results on elections and debates, whose value is up, whose is down and who's in whose pants. You know, when we can drag ourselves away from Gaga and Pippa Middleton's backside.

  4. It's only Sept. 6th, and they are bickering already.....
    Stop the madness!!

  5. Forgot to add the following:


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