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We Interrupt This Broadcast Profile

We Interrupt This Broadcast

English, Social, 2 seasons, 19 episodes, 11 hours 39 minutes
From six-time New York Times bestselling author Joe Garner, and based on his groundbreaking multimedia book, “We Interrupt This Broadcast,” comes a 12-episode, audio docu-series hosted by broadcast legend Bill Kurtis, and narrated by NBC’s Brian Williams. Each episode unfolds with the brisk pace and tone of a thriller while presenting an in-depth look into the reporting of, and reaction to, the extraordinary events that became the benchmarks of the American story. It is said that “breaking news” is the first draft of history. “We Interrupt This Broadcast” marks the first time the stories of these historical broadcast news events are told exclusively by the broadcasters and TV journalists whose work created those drafts in real-time. Credits Hosted by Bill Kurtis & Narrated by Brian Williams Created, produced and directed by Joe Garner Written by Mark Rowland, Brian Williams, Colin Madine, and Joe Garner Sound engineering and design by Paul Bahr, Peachtree Sound Additional audio engineering provided by Beowulf Rochlen, Two Squared Media Productions Website and graphics designed by George Vasilopoulos, 921 Associates Executive Producers are Brian Williams, Ron Hartenbaum, Scott Calka, and Joe Garner A very special thank you to Donna LaPietra and Diane Anello A Production of i4 Media Ventures, LLC (
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The Tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School

Friday, December 14, 2012. It was a clear, crisp, and trouble-free start that morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Classrooms filled with kids excited for Christmas, just 11 days away. The school day started, as they always had, with a comforting routine. 9 A M, children settling into their classrooms. 9:10 A M, the pledge of allegiance. 9:15 A M, outside doors…locked. Then came 9:30 A M, when the day and the children’s innocence was shattered. On this 10th remembrance, Brian Williams shares the story as you’ve never heard it before. Told by the by the journalists who covered it, and the parents who suffered through it. Contributors:Chris Jansing, anchor for MSNBCChris Hansen, former correspondent for Dateline NBCConnecticut U S Senator Chris MurphyAli Velshi, MSNBC anchor, former correspondent for CNNNicole Hockley, parent of first grader, Dylan Hockley. Co-founde
14/12/202250 minutes
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The 2000 presidential election - “…Nobody knows for a fact who has won Florida” – (November 8, 2000)

It was the election that did not decide the presidency, and the biggest media debacle since “Dewey Defeats Truman.” The 2000 campaign between presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore was shaping up as a cliffhanger. Pundits predicted that its outcome would hinge on results from a few key states - Ohio, Michigan, and most of all, Florida. On election night, television news organizations staged a collective drag race on the crowded highway of democracy, recklessly endangering the electoral process, the political life of the country, and their own credibility.Broadcast audio licensed from CNN/WarnerMedia, CBS News, NBC NewsContributors:Tim Russert, Washington Bureau Chief and Senior Vice President at NBC News (Garner Audio Archive) David Bernknopf, Former CNN Vice President, News Planning, 1980 – 2001Marcy McGinnis, Former Senior Vice President, Special Events News Coverage, CB
20/07/202133 minutes
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JFK Assassination - “In Dallas Texas, three shots were fired…” – (November 22, 1963)

He was a man in the prime of life when he traveled to Dallas, Texas in November 1963, on a routine political fence-mending mission to help shore up his chances for re-election as president the following year. At about twenty five minutes past noon on November 22, he was riding in an open convertible with his wife through downtown Dallas, waving to cheering crowds, when the unthinkable occurred - an unforgettable event that would haunt and define the turbulent decade to come. Broadcast audio licensed from CBS News Contributors: Don Hewitt, Former CBS News producer (Garner Audio Archive) Walter Cronkite, Former CBS News anchor (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at Dan Rather, Former CBS News anchor, KRLD Dallas reporter (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at TelevisionAcademy
20/07/202132 minutes 37 seconds
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The passing of the 19th Amendment - “Tennessee House gives women the right to vote” – (June 4, 1919)

As long and vast as the history of our country may seem to us, the right of women to vote is shockingly new. Many of us had parents or grandparents who were born before women’s voting rights were codified. In fact, you just heard the famous suffragette Alice Paul report the news: The State of Tennessee ratified the 19th Amendment to the Constitution by just ONE VOTE.. and that deciding vote was cast on August 18th of 1920.Cast:Alice Paul, the Suffragette News Network (SNN) is played by Jillian Lee GarnerRepresentative Harry Burn is played by Jason MarsdenAnti-suffragist J.B. Sanford, Chairman of the Democrat Caucus in California is played by Wally WingertSuffragette Carrie Chapman Catt is played by Jennifer CihiTennessee House Speaker Seth M. Walker is played by anonymous.Rep. Joseph Hanover is played by Paul Bahr Laura Jones, SNN correspondent is played by Michelle SchulmanCarol Tilson, SNN a
20/07/202118 minutes 29 seconds
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The Death of Princess Di - “Princess Diana has died…” –(August 31, 1997)

She was a princess who never lived happily ever after - and the world loved her for it. Diana Spencer became a global celebrity when she wedded England’s Prince Charles in July 1981. But the fairy tale marriage soon unraveled, and, after no end of adulterous revelations and public separations, finally ended in divorce. But Diana remained a princess in the hearts of her millions of fans - and of the mass media, who faithfully chronicled her every move. Ultimately, it was the pursuit of an image with the highest bounty that lead to her tragic death. The lingering legacy of the death of Princess Di is how media must operate within this ambiguous territory, without overstepping perceived notions of privacy, yet also serving the insatiable appetite of editors and the public. Broadcast audio licensed from CNN/WarnerMedia, BBC Contributors: David Bernknopf, Former CNN Vice President, News Planning, 1980 – 2001 Kevin
20/07/202144 minutes 38 seconds
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9-11: America Under Attack - “This has to be deliberate” – (September 11, 2001)

September 11, 2001 dawned crisp and blue in New York City. The gathering hum of a seemingly ordinary workday began taking shape in lower Manhattan. Then the ‘ordinary’ was shattered by the extraordinary. The world changing event that unfolded that morning was unimaginable and unprecedented. It was a sneak attack of epic proportions on American soil, terrifying the nation while thrusting the news media into uncharted territory. Not even the most seasoned news director or reporter at the time had anything in their arsenal of experiences that could have prepared them for their task that day.Broadcast audio licensed from CNN/WarnerMedia, NBC News, and courtesy of WINS and WOR Radio.Contributor(s): Tom Brokaw, Former anchor for NBC News (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at Rather, Former anchor for CBS News (Courtesy o
20/07/202150 minutes 6 seconds
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President Reagan shot - “The president was [not?] hit,” – (March 30, 1981)

When Ronald Reagan was elected president in November 1980, he hoped to defy an unusually grim circumstance of that office. In the seven previous even-numbered decades, every U.S. President had died in office - four times from assassin’s bullets. A few months later on March 30, 1981, as President Reagan strolled outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, he nearly met the same fate. Broadcast audio licensed from ABC News Video Source Contributors: Sam Donaldson, Former Chief White House correspondent, ABC News Susan King, Former White House correspondent, ABC News reporter. Ross Simpson, Former correspondent, Mutual NewsDavid Prosperi, Former Assistant Press Secretary to President Ronald ReaganSee Privacy Policy at and California Privacy Notice at <a href="ht
20/07/202139 minutes 28 seconds
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Apollo 11 Moon Landing - “One Small Step…” – (July 20, 1969)

It was the finale to a decade of turbulence and upheaval, but this time it was an event through which a nation could put aside its differences and stand together to marvel at the achievement. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy had pledged that before the sixties were over, an American would walk on the moon.The enormity of the mission aside, one question remained, how to get a television signal 240 thousand miles from the lunar surface onto televisions in living rooms around the globe. Robert Wussler, Walter Cronkite's producer, called it "the world's greatest single broadcast" in television history.Broadcast audio licensed from CBS NewsContributors: Walter Cronkite, Former CBS anchor (Courtesy of the Television Academy Foundation Interviews. See the full interviews at Nafzger, Former engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center responsible for getting the te
20/07/202139 minutes 33 seconds
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D-Day Invasion “…about to embark up on a great crusade” – (June 6, 1944)

It was the biggest overseas military operation in the biggest war in world history - and its best kept secret as well. D Day demonstrated radio’s ability to carry news with clarity and immediacy. And while reporters like Robert Trout, Edward R. Murrow, and Richard C. Hottelet became household names, it was the ingenuity of an NBC stringer reporter named Wright Bryan, who finagled his way aboard a flight of paratroopers and became the first to report the landing.&nbsp;Contributors: Howard K. Smith, correspondent, anchor, and original member of “Murrow’s boys”Daniel Schorr, three-time Emmy winning correspondent, Senior News Analyst for National Public Radio, and part of the later generation of “Murrow's Boys.”Michael Freedman, Former General Manager of CBS Radio Network News. Professorial Lecturer, GWU School of Media and Public Affairs; Immediate Past President of The National Press ClubDr. Michael Biel, Renowned broadcas
20/07/202132 minutes 33 seconds
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The Nat Turner slave uprising of 1831 - “Band of rebels on a killing spree” (dramatization) – (August 21, 1831)

A 31-year-old enslaved man named Nathanial “Nat” Turner, who was both literate and a preacher in the Virginia slave community, led a bloody two-day uprising in Southampton, Virginia. Known as both “preacher Nat” and “general Nat” to his followers, Turner and six other hatchet-wielding disciples began their rebellion by killing Turner’s own master, Joseph Travis, along with his wife, nine-year-old son, and a hired hand -- all as they slept in their beds. They secured guns and horses and set off across the countryside in a murderous rampage. His initial group, along with an estimated 75 followers, murdered at least 55 citizens in the area. After the insurrection, Nat Turner was on the run for over 6-weeks, a fugitive from the authorities. While they were searching for him and his accomplices, the terrible details of the insurrection came to light through news reports and witness statements.Cast:Nyah Pierson, reporter for the Liberat
20/07/202122 minutes 48 seconds
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L.A. Riots following the Rodney King verdict - “Can we all get along?” – (April 29, 1992)

The first reports from Los Angeles had an all-too familiar ring - a black motorist who had been stopped by police for drunk driving was pulled out of his car and beaten by several white officers. But this time, the entire incident was captured on a bystander’s video camera, then broadcast via television around the world. When the offending officers went on trial, an all-white jury saw things differently. After announcing a deadlock on a single assault charge and acquitting the four police officers, the city erupted in an eerie replay of the Watts riots thirty years before which had left much of Los Angeles’ inner-city community in ruins. It all began with a hand-held video camera and ended with the whole world watching a great city going up in flames. And just how much had television’s wall-to-wall coverage fanned those flames. Broadcast audio licensed from NBC Radio; KTLA/Nexstar, Inc.Contributor: Bob Brill, Former st
20/07/202138 minutes 15 seconds
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The Hindenburg explosion – “Oh, the Humanity!” – (May 6, 1937)

The Hindenburg was an engineering masterpiece, an airship as large and as grand as the Titanic - and as doomed. On May 6, 1937, a young radio reporter named Herbert Morrison was on hand to record the Hindenburg’s arrival at Lakehurst, New Jersey. Instead, Morrison helped radio to broadcast one of modern history’s great disasters, as it suddenly unfolded in all its terrible glory. But even as Morrison’s eyewitness report chronicled the end of one era, it signaled the beginning of another - an age in which electronic media would routinely report shocking events in the moment that they occurred. In addition to the story of the Hindenburg, this serves as a preview of Season 1.Broadcast audio courtesy of Marc Garabedian, Mark 56 RecordsContributors: Herbert MorrisonDr. Michael Biel, renowned broadcast historian.Mike Freedman, President of National Press Club, Professor at GWU –Don Hewitt, former CBS News producer (Garn
20/07/202132 minutes 11 seconds
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The Columbine tragedy - “Shots fired at Columbine High School” – (April 20, 1999)

It was the darkest nightmare of every parent come to life - and it happened in the land of “It can’t happen here.” The setting was Littleton, Colorado, a comfortably middle-class suburb of Denver, a place where people come to raise a family, and where the arch over a hallway at local Columbine High School is inscribed with the motto: “The finest kids in America pass through these halls.” But on April 20, 1997 - the halls of Columbine suddenly became the scene of a murderous reign of terror. Coverage of the shootings was intensified by the ubiquity of 24-hour cable news, and its constant need to come up with fresh information - often incorrect. The media quickly realized they simply had no protocols for a mass casualty incident of such dimensions.Broadcast audio courtesy of KOA Radio, Denver, CO, ABC News Video Source, CBS NewsContributors: David Bernknopf, Former VP CNN, A founding employee of CNN Jayson Lube
20/07/202141 minutes 48 seconds
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18/06/20212 minutes 25 seconds