Main | Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ten Days Later

With the World Trade Center abruptly removed from the Manhattan skyline, video editors on all networks madly set about to removing any shot of the towers from their programming. Shows like Sex And The City and The Sopranos edited their opening credits to remove shots of the Twin Towers. Many other shows such as Law & Order and Friends edited the WTC out of establishing shots.

This move really bothered some New Yorkers, even a newbie like me. Were we supposed to pretend that the towers never existed? After a bit of an uproar, some of the scenes were restored, although many were not. A notable scene in an episode of The Simpsons, in which Homer's car is given multiple tickets for being parked on the WTC plaza is still often edited out by local stations.

On the other hand, magazines of all types were filled with cover-to-cover images of the Twin Towers. News magazines, entertainment magazines, even sports magazines were crammed with images of the World Trade Center in their pre-attack glory as icons of America's economic supremacy, and in their post-attack infamy as icons of America's security failures.

As someone who works in publishing, I can tell you that some magazines have very long lead times from the time the magazine is fully laid out (paginated), sent to the printers, manufactured, bound, and then finally shipped. In particular, the advertisements are positioned far in advance, in order to accommodate breaking stories which are then dropped into the "news hole" at the last moment before printing commences.

Ten days after the attack, I came across a couple of magazine ads that are chilling in their inappropriateness. Through no fault of the magazines, whom I won't name, and certainly through no fault of the advertisers, some regrettable copy managed to still make it to the newsstand.

I'm sure the folks at Cunard were appalled, and I feel quite sorry for the person who greenlighted an otherwise lovely image. However, jetBlue's ad, below, seems ominous in any circumstance. Today, it's just unspeakably creepy.


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