Is our WTC news being censored?

I’ve been discussing the news with people from other parts of the world and they seem to be getting information that we’re not:

  1. By about noon PST on 9/11 Taiwan news was reporting that 5 planes had been hijacked and not 4 and local Taiwanese were telling me that the US censored this because they didn’t want the American public to know this. (This could have been just confusion on the first day.)

  2. On 9/11 Korean TV was reporting that there was looting at or near the WTC and the police were stopping it.

  3. Just a day ago I was told that English newspapers were reporting that they found an intact cockpit in the WTC rubble with the body of a hijacker inside, plus the body of a stewardess with her hands tied behind her back with wire. And that a firefighter was on the 83rd floor (?) of one of the towers and when it collapsed he fell with it and when it landed he was just on top of the rubble and walked off. It seems most incredible that US newspapers wouldn’t report this but I haven’t seen this on the news and my friend who told me he read it is in his 50’s and isn’t the type to be making stuff up, so what gives?

Any credibility to the above and anyone else heard foreign news that was not reported here?

Well, you could look on the web, all those countries would have web sites that have that info then you could link to it for us. Or get a 10 foot satellite dish & extract raw newsfeed from the satellites & then you can see what is consored by the news organizations.

i have been surfing as many sources as possible for information, including foreign new. i havent heard or seen anything i cant find right here on CNN. i find some of the claims you cite very hard to believe, especially the intact cockpit and the walkaway fireman (however, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction). i do recall hearing about a plane that had landed in cleveland that may have had hijackers aboard, but that story vanished (see other thread about disappearing news on SDMB).
maybe we aren’t getting the whole story, but i’ve certainly had enough!

Number 1 sounds like a case of the “fog of war”. It’s not too surprising that there would be confusion about the number of planes hijacked, especially with every plane in the U.S. ordered to land right away. But if there was a “fifth plane”, where is it? Where are the families of the people on the plane, demanding to know where their loved ones are? (I have a feeling conspiracy theorists will be talking about the “fifth plane” for a long time.)

Number 3a sounds rather improbable. An intact cockpit, from an airplane which rammed full speed into a building, which building then caught fire and burned very fiercely for about an hour, and then collapsed into a huge pile of rubble? I doubt it. And 3b sounds even more unbelievable. The U.S. media isn’t repeating those stories because they aren’t true. (Which isn’t to say the U.S media hasn’t reported a few stories which turned out to be untrue; see the comment on number 1 above about the “fog of war”.)

I suppose number 2 is the most credible as something which might have happened which we aren’t hearing much about. Nothing related to the attacks comes up on under a search for “looting” or “looters”, but this New York Times article (“Rescuers Race Against the Clock”, September 14, 2001, available for the time being with a free registration) does report that “For the first time since the tragedy, the mayor said a few looters had slipped into the banned area of Manhattan below 14th Street. One man was arrested carrying $3,000 in watches from a Tourneau store.” The article also reports a few other cases of people making false reports or pretending to be volunteers or setting up scams to collect fake “donations” from people. So, while stuff like that isn’t being emphasized–perhaps simply because it hasn’t been a major part of what’s going on–it has been reported by some American news outlets.

I heard the fireman story (although with the minor difference of him being on the 84th floor - if it’s true it’s likely he didn’t really know what floor he started his ride on) and I heard about the flight attendant’s bound hands. I have not heard anything on any of the other stories you mention. But I’ve also heard quite a few interesting things that have popped up and then either just disappeared or turned out to be inaccurate.

With the plethora of news cameras wandering N.Y., I doubt we’d miss it if widespread looting broke. And with those cameras and reporters and the internet, I’m not sure how successfully one could censor a story in the U.S.

The real problem is just the opposite - information overload with too few means of identifying the signal as opposed to the noise.

I saw an interview yesterday (day before?) where they interviewed the fellow that survived the 80+ story drop. He sid he pretty much rode the debris down. I guess he could have been lying.

Hopefully I am expanding on, not (for lack of a better word) “hijacking” this thread.

Why have no footage of the Pentagon crash been shown? Surely a govt. building of this calibur would have video cameras that cover every part of the building. I assume they will be released to the press in due time.

Many speculative reports get made in the “fog” of it all, but I too noticed that Telemundo and Univision seemed to play the latest video footage before the english commercial stations. As well as the more graphic. Of course, I do not have cable. C-Span may have been the quickest of all.

The fifth hijacked plane mentioned most likely either referred to the one in Cleveland, as already noted, or a Korean Airlines flight which was originally thought to be hijacked. It turned out to be a mistake.

The SDMB has provided a good source of links to real news and blind alleys. You can review in the World Trade Center Plane Crash and subsequent WTC Attack Thread 2. The first was closed due to size so the second was opened. It gives a sort of play by play of events, with people posting based on Media input from around the world. It can be a little hard on your stomach and heart to read through it, though.

These are both in MPSIMS, as well as a bunch of other little threads that deal on various aspects of the tragedy. There are also numerous questions posed during the past few days in GQ along the lines of is this true or did this happen.

Have you seen it again? All I’ve been seeing on the news is stories about how many dead firemen there are. Granted, I haven’t seen anything since yesterday afternoon because of burnout, but it seems like that would be the sort of story that would get repeated a lot. I mean, how many times have we seen the dust covered guy in the suit with bushy hair and a mustache performing a basically text-book snot rocket?


my comments on the theories posited in the title post in this thread:
~ ~ ~ ThÃt’$ SüÇh ßüllÇrÄP ~ ~ ~

Re the Pentagon, I see footage of it on the news all the time.

I think he is referring to footage of the actual crash. Not just footage of the aftermath.

I really don’t see why the Pentagon would have a camera pointed at it from a distance away, “just in case”
The international press is for the most part and certainly on the first day, getting their info second hand.

All those stories above sound bogus.

Can anyone collaborate the Fireman riding debris story?

Here’s a story supporting 3b from a UK news website. They never had a follow-up, so I assume it was just wrong. But other newspapers may have picked it up.

US news censored??? Umm, I don’t think so. Do you know how hard that would be? You trust foreign news to report what they see on our news? It’s just rumors, our news doesn’t report something until it is confirmed(cept on election night :), or it mentions that it is not confirmed. You heard from a person, who watched a secondary source, not very reliable.

Out of curiosity: why would it necessarily be that hard? Are you saying US news has never been censored in the past?

It’s a brave person who can proclaim to have completely uncensored news coverage in their country. I certainly can’t say that. Bravery or possibly naivete.

I have heard the story about the firefighter surving on a US network. They reported that he curled up ina ball and rolled down the stair as the debris came falling down. However, I haven’t heard this story since then, so it was probably just a rumor. Kinda like the story that 4 firefighters were found alive in an SUV that was later shown to be a rumor.

Eyewitness testimony and the presence of publicity seeking nutjobs are always a problem in huge situations like this. Combine that with the gaping maw that is television news (you gotta keep feeding it), and you have a recipe for the types of stories you’ve heard already (the firefighters rescued in the SUV, the police officers found in the basement of the WTC).

As for censorship, and speaking for someone who’s spent the last few days at a newspaper, there isn’t any that I’m aware of. During the Gulf War, and in some stories from Israel, there would be a notation that the reports came from a “pool” reporter and was censored by the military. But in the Gulf War, the military had a secure theater of operations, could dictate the rules of coverage, and closely monitor what reporters are doing. You got a very sanitized version of the war as a result. Contrast that with WWII, where you had reporters running around everywhere, moving with units, reporting from headquarters; everything was passed through a censor, but the newsgathering was not.

I can understand the frustation and sometimes paranoia about the media. Now that the situation has settled down some, you’re going to find the government a lot less willing to tell what it knows. They just had a major news leak when Senator Orrin Hatch revealed, right after a supposedly off-the-record briefing, that the US had intercepted a phone message from a man involved in the hijacking to one of Osmia’s associates. So, they’re going to be extremely nervous about letting anything else out.

Look, the only kind of “censorship” the government can impose in this case is restricting reporters access to the crash site, and deliberately releasing false information. They don’t go up to the head of the 3 major networks and say “We order you not to report that Mt. Rushmore was hit by the fifth plane”. It wouldn’t work. There’s CNN, there’s FOX, there’s thousands of newspapers, independent journalists, foreign journalists, websites, etc. How can they censor the news?

Makes no sense.

And why would Taiwan have more accurate news than the people on the scene?

  1. If they showed video of planes crashing into the towers, of them burning and collapsing and of the ruined Pentagon/wresckage of the fourth plane, I doubt there’d be much point in concealing a fifth plane story. It wouldn’t have hit anything major - no buildings or monuments or anything - and no families have come forward asking what happened to their loved ones (as someone said).

  2. The news reported that there was no looting on the first day. Admittedly, this is probably because looters were too scared to go near the area, but it’s true. Papers the past day or two haven’t claimed that there was no looting, and the cameras trained on the area show that there isn’t much, if any.

  3. Basically the cockpit thing is impossible. One firefighter (pictured in papers going up stairs in the WTC while everyone else was coming down) who was presumed dead was recently found alive, though I don’t know if he was dug out or simply ‘walked away’.