One in this series of early morning programs featuring interviews, special features, and news. This installment presents coverage of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as aired on NBC's "Today" show beginning at 8:50 am. The tape opens to find anchor Matt Lauer in the middle of an interview with Howard Hughes biographer Richard Hack. Lauer interrupts Hack to say that he understands that a breaking story is taking place at the World Trade Center. After a moment of confusion, the network cuts to a still photograph of a car and plays the song "The Living Years" by Mike and the Mechanics. When the program returns, Lauer and his co-anchor Katie Couric are commenting on a live shot of the smoldering north tower of the World Trade Center. They take a phone call from Jennifer Oberstein, a hotel public-relations spokeswoman who delivers an eyewitness report from Battery Park, not far from the disaster site. As Lauer ponders the unknown origins of what appears to be a plane crash into the tower, another plane hits the second tower. The anchors take more eyewitness phone calls, and someone in the background says something about the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The anchors then call on reporters Bob Kur and Jim Miklaszewski. Kur mentions that President George W. Bush is in Florida while Miklaszewski says that his sources in intelligence tell him that the government knew of no threat. Lauer and Couric then speak via telephone to reporter David Gregory, who has been following the president on his trip to Florida. He tells Couric and Lauer that Bush is about to speak, and the network airs the president's brief remarks. Next, reporter Andrea Mitchell reveals that an inside source has said that one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center was a hijacked American Airlines jet. Couric then speaks to Larry Johnson, former deputy director for the State Department's department of counter-terrorism. Johnson says, "There's a possibility that this isn't terrorism. . . . It could have been some kind of suicide pact that had nothing to do with politics." In the middle of the interview, Miklaszewski interrupts to say that he just felt a large explosion in his office at the Pentagon. "Today" cuts to an aerial shot of the Pentagon building, which shows the edifice ablaze. The hour concludes as evening anchor Tom Brokaw arrives in the studio to participate in the broadcast.


  • DATE: September 11, 2001 Tuesday 8:50 AM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:03:54
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:69077
  • GENRE: News
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Disasters
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1952-


    • Tom Brokaw … Anchor
    • Katie Couric … Anchor
    • Matt Lauer … Anchor
    • David Gregory … Reporter
    • Bob Kur … Reporter
    • Jim Miklaszewski … Reporter
    • Andrea Mitchell … Reporter
    • George W. Bush
    • Richard Hack
    • Howard Hughes
    • Larry Johnson
    • Mike and the Mechanics
    • Jennifer Oberstein