Our readers fear 9/11 TV.

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Sept. 7 2002 11:26 PM

Judging Dread

Our readers react to TV coverage of 9/11.

Weekend Bar-b-que: In the Television Fray, Elbo Ruum expected to get flamed for "not giving a s---" about 9/11, but got only support (so far).

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In her blog on 9/11 television Virginia Heffernan noted early on that "I haven't met anyone with full-blown Viewer Dread, however, and I suspect the dread actually belongs more to programmers than to viewers." Well, several Fraysters have it, and plan to turn off and tune out (or play golf). Not even going to work as usual can help Kendra:

Full-blown viewer dread? I have it. I am also very, very angry at the hyping and hawking of everything from 9/11/01 superimposed over an American flag pin (my office which has seven offices here and in Europe has paid some jeweler to make these pins for distribution throughout the firm, accompanied by a "message" from the chairman of the firm reminding us what the REAL 9/11 was all about and instructing us to wear our pins in solidarity on the great day). My office in D.C. has planned an action packed day of festivities urging all employees to wear red, white and blue for the day. A special breakfast will be served featuring red, white and blue bagels. There will be moments of silence, a trip to an Episcopal church within walking distance of our office and two TV sets will carry all of our fondest memories brought to us by courtesy of ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and C-Span. Our managing partner will also explain to us what the REAL meaning of 9/11 is.

I can't bear to think about the bagels. On to the TV. Demi Moaned questioned the facile theodicy of PBS's "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero":

The subtext that God's existence is entirely compatible with the abject poverty, disease and crime that are the ordinary living conditions of more than a billion people, but somehow comes into doubt when a few thousand Americans die a relatively quick death after lives of comparative comfort is too childishly self-centered to be of the slightest interest intellectually or spiritually.

But is this an attack on the theology or the psychology of trauma, which grants victims the reality of their experiences in order to help them move on? Or is it an attack on theology for becoming an extended arm of psychology? See the whole post and decide ...

Rudy boys update: The Assessment Fray is heating up now that Suellentrop's look at Rudy Giuliani out of office is featured on msn ... 8:20 p.m.

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Friday, Sept. 6, 2002

Rudy can't fail: Chris Suellentrop's Assessmentlamented Rudy Giuliani's absence from the political stage. The Fray is small (thus far) but the early posts are very good, claiming Giuliani either has no expertise to contribute to public debate, has no obligation to contribute it, or both. (Find a selection at the bottom of the article.) Geoff's offered a sarcastic Invocation to St. Rudy:

Blessed Saint Rudy, Patron of Disasters, please, rain your wisdom down upon the United States of America, in this, our hour of darkness and shield us with your stoic benevolence.

I have another hypothesis, which I prefer to Suellentrop's ideal of the recalcitrant Messiah … Giuliani might be silent on burning political issues out of deference to the old maxim, "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent", and we'll hear from him if and when he feels like he has something to say.

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