Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Celebrity Boob Jobs More Important than the Victims of 9/11? NBC Thinks So

Over the past few weeks, a number of ThinkInkers (myself included) have been spending a lot of time sitting in airport lounges, in cramped seats at 35,000ft, emailing from the back of taxis or shepherding clients through a series of trade conferences in different time zones. To say we’ve been busy would be a gross understatement.

So I haven’t been keeping up with my vigorous daily digesting of news. Naturally, when I did get some time to pore through last week’s newsfeeds, I couldn’t help but groan when reading about NBC’s blunder on the 11th anniversary of 9/11.

While all the other networks cut away from their regularly-scheduled morning programming at 8:46 am on Tuesday, September 11th to observe a minute of respectful silence for the thousands of innocents who lost their lives that horrific day, NBC’s “Today Show” skipped the brief tribute and kept rolling an interview with 
Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner, who rambled on about her breast implants.

Really, NBC?

Naturally, the network earned itself an avalanche of criticism for the inane decision and now sports a serious PR shiner. Social networks and the comment sections on dozens of news sites lit up with outraged readers launching their verbal slings and arrows at the network. And who could blame them?

Few, if any, events have had a more thorough and absolute impact – beyond the 3,000 lives lost that day – on so many aspects of American life in the 21st Century than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
After the Al-Qaeda hijackers flew their planes into New York City, Washington DC and a Pennsylvania field, the government sent our armed forces into two wars. Those wars have deprived 298,000 people of their lives and have cost American taxpayers a whopping $4 trillion, according to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

It’s because of 9/11 that we have to take off coats and shoes, haul laptops out of bags, give up our bottled beverages, endure intrusive pat-downs and even subject ourselves to scans that show all our nooks and crannies to get through airport security.

And it’s because of 9/11 that so many innocent Muslims, as well as non-Muslims who “look Arab” or wear turbans, have been the targets of ramped-up verbal and physical attacks by ignorant, frightened bigots.

NBC has defended itself by saying it stopped observing the minute of silence in 2006, with the exception of last year’s 10th anniversary. That may be. But the network dropped the ball by replacing a moment so meaningful to so many with mindless fluff about a member of the vacuous Kardashian clan.

And that single minute of misjudgment has cost it a conviction in the court of public opinion. I wonder how they’ll try to make up for it next year?

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