NBC won't apologize for airing Kardashian interview during 9/11 moment of silence

The New York Times

NBC forwent a moment of silence for 9/11 victims Tuesday. It filled that minute instead with an interview with "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" mum Kris Jenner, who talked about her onscreen decision to renew her breast implants: "It was so important healthwise to remind women that, you know, check your expiration date," Jenner said.

Megan Kopf, a spokesperson for Today, told Bill Carter the moment of silence "is not a tradition on our show" and hasn't been since 2006, except for 2011's show on the attacks' 10th anniversary. ("Tradition" in television programming is an elastic term.)

NBC's not apologizing for the editorial decision, Kopf tells Carter, and pointed out the show earlier interviewed Pasquale Buzzelli, who survived the 2001 attacks.

The New York Times made its decision not to front any 9/11 coverage on Tuesday on Monday, Margaret Sullivan said in a Poynter chat. In a news meeting Sullivan attended, she said, "there was certainly discussion of the coverage planned. But I don't think it was considered a strong contender for the front page."

Andrew Phelps, who will join The Times' staff next month, tweeted his support for the decision:

Sullivan wrote a blog post Tuesday afternoon that responded to questions about an op-ed by former Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald the paper ran Tuesday, which she said had "no major news elements in it." She spoke with Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson:

Ms. Abramson added, “I can’t say with authority that there is nothing new in it.” But if there were an important nugget of news, she said, The Times would follow up on it.

In regard to Tuesday's front page, Abramson also told Sullivan "In terms of genuine newsworthiness, our stories and coverage were appropriate to the occasion.” Wednesday's front page has a big photo throwing to a story about a ceremony for New York victims of the attacks.

Related: Wolf Blitzer talks about losing his cousin in the attacks (TVNewser)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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