TODAY {TERRORIST ATTACKS} (TV)

Summary

One in this series of early morning programs featuring interviews, special features, and news. This installment presents next-day coverage of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Anchors Katie Couric and Matt Lauer open the show with a video detailing the chronology of the previous day's events. Couric then notes that some of the rescue workers in lower Manhattan have reported that cellular phone calls have been made and received below the mountain of rubble at the World Trade Center.

Lauer reports that the other significant development overnight has been the claim that a car believed to belong to some of the hijacking suspects was seized at Boston's Logan Airport. Next, NBC re-broadcast's President George W. Bush's address to the nation from the previous night. The subsequent report comes from David Bloom, who says that rescue workers at the site of the defunct Twin Towers are faced with three major problems. First, fires continue to burn in the wreckage. Second, some authorities fear that other buildings in the area may still collapse. Third, the amount of debris is so great that the process of reaching any living victims might take too long to find them alive.

Couric and Lauer discuss comments made by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-S.D.) the previous evening to the effect that the United States intercepted transmissions from associates of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden that featured conversations about the attacks. Couric then interviews two men who managed to escape the destruction in New York: Michael George, who worked in the north tower of the World Trade Center; and David Reck, who was disseminating campaign literature outside the World Trade Center when the first plane crashed into the building. Lauer speaks via satellite with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani about the earlier reports that cell phone calls have emanated from the rubble; Giuliani confirms the report. Giuliani also speaks about the death of New York Fire Department chaplain Mychal Judge.

Couric speaks with FEMA director Joseph Allbaugh, who pledges the agency's support and resources to the city of New York. Couric also interviews Secretary of State Colin Powell about steps the government is taking to plan a response to the attacks. Lauer says that an unconfirmed report suggests that six new survivors have been pulled from the rubble in Manhattan. While the anchors try to verify the report, a chronological video of recent events at the Pentagon building is shown, prepared by Jim Miklaszewski. Andrea Mitchell reports that, around the State Department, "everybody is talking bin Laden."

Couric and Lauer then speak to St. Vincent's Hospital representative Dr. Richard Westfall, who says that he has heard the rumor that six people were pulled from the rubble but that no such patients have been brought to the hospital. Couric later talks with NBC aviation expert Bob Hager, who speculates about how the terrorists may have gotten knives aboard the airplanes they hijacked. The next report, from Chris Hanson in Boston, concerns reports that officials are investigating whether a terrorist cell could have been operating in the Massachusetts capital. After Hanson's report, Lauer speaks with L. Paul Bremmer, former State Department ambassador at large for counter-terrorism. Bremmer states that the only way to make intelligence work for the United States would be to put "unsavory" people on the payroll.

Next, Ann Curry reports from the foot of the rubble in New York City that there is still no definitive word on the five or six firefighters who are rumored to have been rescued earlier in the morning. Lauer interviews Alice Hoagland, the mother of Mark Bingham, a passenger from United Airlines Flight 93. Hoagland explains that she spoke to Bingham via cellular telephone before the flight crashed in Pennsylvania, and her son told her that the plane had been hijacked. "That phone call has to be thought of as a gift," Lauer tells Hoagland.

Kelly O'Donnell turns in a report from Chicago's O'Hare airport about the impact of the attacks on the midwest. Next, Lauer speaks to William Cohen, who served as secretary of defense under former President Bill Clinton. Cohen says of the reaction to the attacks, "Hopefully, this will serve as a galvanizing force to consolidate the American spirit." NBC runs a videotape of Clinton's comments to the media from the previous afternoon, and Lauer speaks with another former Clinton cabinet member, former Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrook. After that interview, two tapes are shown that deal with international reaction to the attacks. The first, by Martin Fletcher, describes response in Tel Aviv; the second, by Keith Miller, details response in London. Lauer then interviews yet another former Clinton aide, national security adviser Sandy Berger. Lauer asks Berger to speculate on the current scene in Bush's situation room.

A chronological video narrated by Jane Pauley follows, after which Couric interviews two men who made it out of the World Trade Center after the initial plane crash, Derek Schwartz and Harry Crosby. Crosby and Schwartz describe their thoughts during the chaos that erupted after the first plane crashed into the tower. Couric shows still photographs in which people are seen leaping to their deaths from the burning towers. She adds that she heard reports that some of the people who jumped landed on others below, killing them.

Miklaszewski then reports from the Pentagon that fires are still burning in that building, making rescue operations impossible. NBC replays an earlier press conference by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who was in the Pentagon when the plane crashed into it. Next, George Lewis narrates a report about Los Angeles International Airport, to which three of the hijacked airplanes were originally headed. After Lewis's report, O'Donnell tells Couric and Lauer that an airplane has just been allowed to take off from Chicago's O'Hare Airport. It is not carrying any passengers, she reports; it is simply headed to its original destination. Lauer then interviews Clifton Cloud, who captured vivid videocamera footage of the second airplane's crash into the World Trade Center. He was filming his young son's first day of preschool on a Brooklyn rooftop when he heard the plane headed straight for the skyscraper.

Couric subsequently interviews General Norman Schwarzkopf via satellite. Schwarzkopf says, "The toughest part about dealing with terrorists is finding out where they are." After this interview, NBC runs a videotape of an interview by Gabe Pressman with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. Peres says that he agrees with Pressman's assertion that the attack was "a cataclysm of biblical proportions." Lauer speaks with the former deputy director for the State Department's office of counter-terrorism, Larry Johnson, but their conversation is cut short when NBC runs a live press conference by Giuliani. Lastly, the anchors speak with Dominic Capello, author of "Ten Talks Parents Must Have with their Children about Violence."

Details

  • NETWORK: NBC
  • DATE: September 12, 2001 Wednesdasy 7:00 AM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:02:15
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:69080
  • GENRE: News
  • SUBJECT HEADING:
  • SERIES RUN: NBC - TV series, 1952-
  • COMMERCIALS:

CREDITS

    • Katie Couric … Anchor
    • Matt Lauer … Anchor
    • David Bloom … Reporter
    • Ann Curry … Reporter
    • Martin Fletcher … Reporter
    • Robert Hager … Reporter
    • Chris Hanson … Reporter
    • George Lewis … Reporter
    • Jim Miklaszewski … Reporter
    • Keith Miller … Reporter
    • Andrea Mitchell … Reporter
    • Kelly O'Donnell … Reporter
    • Jane Pauley … Reporter
    • Gabe Pressman … Reporter
    • Joseph Allbaugh
    • Sandy Berger
    • Mark Bingham
    • Osama bin Laden
    • L. Paul Bremmer
    • George W. Bush
    • Dominic Capello
    • Bill Clinton
    • Clifton Cloud
    • William Cohen
    • Harry Crosby
    • Michael George
    • Rudolph Giuliani (See also: Rudy Giuliani)
    • Orrin Hatch
    • Alice Hoagland
    • Richard Holbrook
    • Larry Johnson
    • Mychal Judge
    • Shimon Peres
    • Colin Powell
    • David Reck
    • Donald Rumsfeld
    • Derek Schwartz
    • Norman Schwarzkopf
    • Richard Westfall