Local TV keeping 9-11 in perspective

On the eighth anniversary of the 9-11 assaults, cable-news channels are in full-on flashback mode -- but not Denver affiliates. As I surfed from station to station in the hour prior to 6:46 a.m. Mountain time (the moment when the first plane hit the World Trade Center), I saw the forthcoming commemoration ceremonies mentioned in the context of the day's headlines, but they hardly dominated them. This approach is echoed on the outlets' websites. As of 6:40 a.m., only one of the four major news purveyors -- Channel 31 -- had a 9-11 link in the most prominent home-page position.

(The only thing "major" about the fifth area broadcaster with a news operation, The Deuce, is how embarrassing it is -- and I'm not talking about main anchor Kellie MacMullan's inability to name a single Beatles song the other night. The station's top item at the time noted above? "Great Vanity Plates," accompanied by one that reads, "UNZIP IT.")

Should these channels be offering wall-to-wall 9-11 remembrances today? Not in my view. Those who want to watch such material have plenty of places to find it. Denver stations need to acknowledged the anniversary, as they've done, but they also need to report about what's happening here and now.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts