Howard Stern 9 11 Broadcast Show
9/11 Retrospective by the Stern Show
2:18:00: Gary interrupts banter about Pam Anderson to report that a plane has hit the World Trade Center. No one hints at the severity of what is to come.
2:19:00: Howard jokes about feeling like Dan Rather, imitating a news anchor throwing it to a correspondent in the field.
2:19:30: Gary wonders out loud if terrorism is a possibility.
2:21:00: Crew resumes its discussion of Pam Anderson.
2:25:00: Just eight minutes after Stern listeners were made aware of the first attack, it’s reported that a second plane has crashed into the World Trade Center. Now there is no doubt: this is terrorism.
2:28:00: An angry Stern says, “I can’t say it, but I know who it is. They’re doing it over here now.” He is certain it’s a suicide mission by Islamic fundamentalists.
2:29:00: Stern says, “We are at war. But who are we at war with?”
2:31:00: Someone on the line thinks all the “towelheads” should be “thrown out of the country.”
2:33:00: A caller interjects a bit about Pam Anderson. His statement is dismissed.
2:34:00: Stern is the first to mention the name Bin Laden. The shock jock is ahead of so many on the thinking curve this morning.
2:59:00: It’s reported that a plane has crashed into the Pentagon.
3:09:00: Stern laments that not enough has been done to stop this shit and, in the process, calls France a bunch of “fakes.”
3:11:00: Stern tells Robin that her driver is leaving and “doesn’t care how she gets home.” It’s meant to add a shred of levity. No one is really sure whether they should leave anyway. Howard thinks out loud on several occasions about whether he should still be doing the show. The general manager assures him that the show is providing a service for everyone around the country listening through syndication. It’s giving callers a chance to talk about it.
3:13:00: Wack Pack member High-Pitch Eric calls in with his reactions. I have to admit I kinda laughed. That voice, man. He always sounds panicked anyway.
3:13:30: The south tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
3:43:00: The north tower of the World Trade Center collapses.
3:44:00: Someone asks, “What have we done to deserve this?”
4:03:00: Howard says that this is different than Vietnam, that he would enlist in a second. A caller says, “I’m right behind you.” I am reminded of a similar sentiment expressed by then Mets manager Bobby Valentine.
4:03:30: Gary wonders how he’ll explain this to his son.
In between there are erroneous reports about the planes: how many are missing, how big they are, where they left from and where they’re headed. The pieces fit now, but the audio file is a historic reminder of how long it took to glue them together, and the emotions we experienced during the mass confusion. It was, of course, the day of the unthinkable. No words on this page capture the human element of 9/11 as accurately as the audio file does.