No excuse to exploit victims; The Conspiracy Files: 9/11, BBC2, Sunday.
SO, another excuse to excite tender emotions by showing that footage of those jets scything through the blue Manhattan sky into the shimmering pillars of capitalism?
Or a balanced study of the crackpot theories dreamt up by obsessives with too much time on their hands?
Fifteen minutes in, this felt like a leftover from the questionable mid-September 06 scheduling, where film makers came up with all sorts of supposedly sympathetic but hollow programme ideas, and used them as a front to show shots of real bodies - no, real people - tumbling through the air to their deaths.
You could almost hear producers frothing themselves at the opportunity to pore over the images, speeding their reduction to a thing of perverse fascination.
Each play desensitises these images further, every time nudging our reaction levels closer to those experienced watching a Die Hard film.
Terrorism's snuff pornography.
Typically, this is the stuff of Channel Five, ITV and Channel 4, but, judging by the early moments of this documentary, it seemed even the BBC aren't exempt.
Their take on 9/11 porn included the sound of a hysterical woman leaving a voicemail message for the loved ones she knew she'd never see or speak to again.
There was audio footage - over and over - of those jet engines wailing as they strained to hit their target. Visuals of the same.
Cameras rummaged around a morgue of mangled metal - taxis, girders, three floors of WTC fused into one square metre - like old ladies at a jumble sale.
And then, as if we've been so desensitised as to forget about the global impact of 11/9/2001, we were reminded that of the THOUSANDS who died, 67 of them were British. The last desperate hook on the line.
Attention grabbed, we were invited into the altogether less-Hollywood worlds of a plooky 20-something with a laptop and a movie deal, a stout Texan shock-jock, and a silvery philosopher behind the Scholars for 9/11 Truth movement. Each has a theory that the US government was behind the attacks.
TheWorld Trade Centre was brought down by explosion. Flight 93 landed secretly and passengers were abducted.
George Bush is using the front of terrorism as a means for world domination. Surely even the Americans recognise if their leader can't pronounce 'nuclear' then even a man in a cave thousands of miles away has a better chance of pulling off a stunt as intricate as 9/11?
The programme finally showed its mettle by debunking the theorists, unpicking their arguments to conclude that the US government's crime was not taking the threat of Al-Qaeda seriously enough.
But so long as scenes of that day are manipulated to win viewers, then Bush and his oil-hungry men aren't the only ones guilty of trading on Manhattan's misery...
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|Publication:||Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Date:||Feb 22, 2007|
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