Wednesday, September 07, 2011

11.S '011: Live from Mexico

Because our editorial board was in Manhattan on Sept. 11 '01, we were unable to witness firsthand Mexico's coverage of the event. But now, thanks to archive.org's brilliant online collection of Sept. 11 TV coverage, you can follow TV Azteca's coverage minute-by-minute (or, more accurately, divided up into slightly annoying 30-second chunks). We were amused to see that at a few minutes after the first plane hit, TVA's morning news program was sticking with a Spitting Image-like puppet sketch featuring Querétaro's own Jefe Diego.

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This is followed by a commercial for treatment of premature ejaculation from Boston Medical Group. We have a clever joke here about Logan Airport, but it's still too soon.

Then, at 8:55 EST, they come back from commercial with the burning North Tower up on the screen. The feed is quickly cut, to the evident confusion of the anchorgal, who recovers nicely and says, "Well, if you think exercise is boring, this gymnasium offers something very different!" cuing up a minutes-long story about a gym in Los Angeles that specializes in some kind of aerobic dry-humping.

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(Okay, so it's an easy shot. We were listening to New York's 1010WINS 9/11 radio coverage recently, and at 8:45 they were still jabbering excitedly about Michael Jordan's rumored return to basketball.) At 9:02, when the second plane hit, TVA was again showing commercials. At that point, they more or less ditched the ads for the morning. At 9:59, the anchors are confused as the South Tower falls, believing it first to be another explosion, but quickly figuring it out. (We think they're listening to CNN's Aaron Brown in the background.) "La pesadilla maxima!" says the anchor - the worst nightmare.

At 10:28, with a split-screen from Washington and Nueva York, the North Tower comes down.

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We can't help but be charmed by the way they keep calling New York the "Manzana Grande."

We haven't watched all the way through, so we're not sure when the "local angle" gene kicks in. We usually make fun of this, but at least 15 Mexicans did die that day. Anyway, it's some pretty fascinating television here.

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