How the Networks Handled It: an analysis of tv reactions

It’s sort of strange. For the first time that I can remember, all the major networks ran straight news for about a week without practically no commercials. Just continual news coverage. Nothing normal on. No Jay Leno, no David Letterman. That makes sense. What are they going to joke about in their monologues? They always grab headlines and poke fun, but it’s seems absurd for them to do something like that with the headlines coming out these days. [note: I caught a little Leno tonight. the Chin was somber as hell].As for cable channels like TBS, MTV, and VH1, most of them canceled all their broadcasts and instead broadcasted a sister station. For example, TNT was airing CNN (aol time warner related.) MTV for a couple of days was showing CBS coverage. This made sense as well. Usually when a big news story happens, the cable channels can ignore it and continue in their own little marketed universe.

However, this brought everything to a screeching halt, particularly MTV. There’s no way they could air bouncy teenager fluff-shows when downtown New York City is a war-zone. MTV is especially sensitive because their headquarters lies in Times Square. How could their flagship program TRL round up their teenage extras? Who the hell wants to talk about pop music? It’s odd, what MTV did in the days following. Basically, they took off all their stupid shows and aired straight music videos (with a red, white, and blue MTV logo in the corner.) with teenagers’ reactions to the wtf attacks in between videos.

In other words, it takes the destruction of the world trade center to get MTV to play music videos.

I bet the terrorist attacks have put a lot of things into perspective for a number of people. Think of those poor saps that work at Access Hollywood. For those who do not watch much TV, Access Hollywood is part-entertainment-news and part-tabloid show that is as vapid and braindead as you can get without becoming that Teletubbies show. I don’t know how you can watch thousands of people lose their lives on live TV, and then show up for “work” the next day to discuss whom Tom and Leonardo have been spotted kissing last weekend. And you have to be perky! All the time. This week’s also going to be tough for the E! channel as well. i’ve heard reports of E! anchors having to remove the chirper-ness from their voices and put on their “sad-faces”. Creepy stuff.

Basically, the wtc attacks have turned upside down every aspect of our lives. And it hurts.

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