The last time I was awoken up to a major news story was in 1994 for the Northridge Earthquake. A strange feeling. Both of my scheduled activities – a visit to the LA County Fair and my tryout for the Weakest Link were cancelled. I actually got a nice phone call from NBC telling me to stay home.
As someone who is constantly fascinated by media coverage of disasters, it was interesting to see how the events unfolded. To emphasize the severity of the events at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in rural Pennsylvania, one only needs to look beyond the news networks. Channels such as VH1, MTV, TLC, and BET were broadcasting footage from their news counterparts. Home Shopping, QVC, Home and Garden, and Food Network among others only aired messages that said due to the tragedy there would be no programming.
The tragedy has really been brought home by a friend of mine, Chris Lanphere. Chris is an EMT technician in Boston who was on duty when the first plane crashed into the first tower. Soon thereafter, he was sent to New York. Moments ago, he called the house and I spoke to him. He described a scene that is much worse than you see on TV. Hundreds of bodies are outside his emergency room entrance. Everyone is covered in soot. When he was going to the hospital from JFK, he could see people fleeing the city. He says part of the city is without power. I tried to comfort him as much as I could, but what kind of solace can you give someone on the front lines. I just told him that we will be thinking of him and that I hoped that it would be able to give him strength.