A Year Later
September 02, 2002
A society that is notorious for its inability to remember is about to do nothing else. America eats the past, which is why people eaten by the past run to it; but even the American creed of newness will pause on September 11, and learn its limitations. The yahrzeit is here, and the least lachrymose country on earth is devising its rituals of commemoration. The interesting question is whether the memory will have life outside the media. September 11 will be a test of the American sense of reality, for it marks the anniversary of a day on which reality bested every representation of it.
The View From the Tube
August 04, 1986
In 1968 a documentary producer at CBS News had the idea of creating a television show that would resemble Life magazine. The result was “60 Minutes,” the most popular TV news program in history. Its success transformed the television magazine from a conceit into a familiar journalistic form. Today these “magazines” include, in addition to “60 Minutes,” “20/20” on ABC, “1986” on NBC, and “West 57th,” a sort of yuppie cousin to “60 Minutes,” on CBS.
Mark Crispin Miller on television: 'The air if expectancy was bursting at the seams'.
August 22, 1981
Here it is, days after the exchange of vows, and I’m still groggy from having watched television’s coverage of the royal wedding. I thought the sun would never set on it. First there were all those preliminary “specials,” and then the day itself went on forever, a seeming eternity of coverage. From the dead of the night into the afternoon, the stalwarts of the news stayed on the job, really covering the whole occasion, like soot.