Mainstream Media Implodes on 9/11 along with WTC 7
TV Coverage of Remarkable Building Collapse Analyzed
The shocking collapse of the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7 on 9/11 caused great alarm, not only in the architectural and engineering community (among those who have become aware of it) but with mainstream media – right from day one. While Dan Rather’s commentary on the remarkable collapse (that it looked like it was knocked down by well placed dynamite) is more often quoted, Peter Jennings also had similar thoughts as he reflected on the shocking 47-story collapse shortly after the event.
Jennings showed the building coming down in slow motion. As he reflected on the enormity of it he said, “Well, there’s Building 7 coming down. When you think that part of the component of news coverage around the country every year is the excitement, the fun, that people get watching an old building being demolished, and they wire it very carefully for days. It’s a very careful operation in order to make sure a building comes down safely. I think the last one we saw was when they brought down one of the old casinos in Las Vegas. It’s just stunning to see these buildings come down...and now, number seven World Trade Center which is 47 stories tall.”
A valuable resource on the web is a collection of network TV broadcasts archived from the day of September 11, 2001, plus the two following days. Drawing from those records of the first evening, those time periods when the collapse of Building 7 is discussed can be categorized by the time they were aired, the length of time for the commentary, and the degree to which the commentary contains some reflection suggesting some extraordinary magnitude of force involved in the event. When viewed across all of the major networks, there appears to be a rather quick transition to the point where it isn’t mentioned at all. Some would say that this probably was because of the enormity of the other events of the day – and that a collapse of a building such as WTC 7, even as enormous as it was, did not command the news interest. Also, apparently, no lives were lost.
The following analysis suggests more reason to be suspicious. As an aid in comparing the various commentaries from the different networks, the following timeline shows three stages of transition between reflective commentary, and no commentary at all.1
Mainstream media transitioned through three stages of information quality in record time. 1: More time taken, plus some reflection other than just saying no one was in the building. 2: Short, less than 20 seconds, or with no reflective comments. 3: No mention of collapse at all.
DR: Dan Rather -- "For the third time today, it's reminiscent of those pictures we've all seen too much... when a building was deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite to knock it down." Dan Rather coverage of Building 7 collapse is here.
PJ: Peter Jennings – (see commentary earlier in this article.)
AB2 & MM: Aaron Brown & Maureen Madden -- "The whole south side of the building was engulfed in flames, at one time. They had been waiting for it to come down for the past half hour or so. At least they had some warning."
DS: Diane Sawyer – "As you know, within the hour, another building came down, a 47-story building."
AB1: Ashleigh Banfield – "Those people [tenants in Building 7] had all been cleared out of those buildings as soon as the first plane hit the WTC this morning. They were just waiting for that building to go down."
PH: Philip Hayton -- Shows collapse video. "Supposedly has been weakened because it was so close to the other buildings. Presumably, they were able to evacuate everyone."
ML & TN: Mike Landess & Tracey Neale – Shows Video of collapse. Landess says, "The information we have - this building was probably incredibly structurally damaged by the goings on right next door." Neale follows, "It is another building at the World Trade Center itself, number seven, World Trade Center. It had been evacuated this morning. So, structural damage probably led to this building coming down."
SP: Scott Pelley – "Thru the day, an inferno raged in Building 7, another massive office tower. Fire fighters feared it would collapse. And, a little more than 8 hours after the attack, the abandoned building fell."
DS-Int.: Diane Sawyer interviewed a volunteer from California (J.D. Halperim) reporting from near the WTC 7 collapse. "Well, at Building Seven, there was no fire there, whatsoever. There was one truck putting water on the building. But then, it collapsed completely
CG: Charlie Gipson -- One wrap-up sentence - "And then, at 5:20 PM, still another building collapses -- Seven World Trade Center."
In reflection on these widely divergent and short-lived commentaries, it is probably not unreasonable that the collapse of Building 7 quickly became a minor part of the overall day’s events. What is troubling though occurred over the months and years following, when significant findings by architects, engineers, and others, that should have raised serious and troubling questions about this event, did not break into the news. Yet, the “Stage 3” phenomena of silence on the subject of the collapse, in the face of overwhelming and explosive evidence that was amply provided to every mainstream media outlet, continued on indefinitely. The mainstream media silence is deafening.