(Editor’s note: This piece has been republished from an earlier date, 9/11/2014.)
As I am prone to do, this morning, I had my television tuned to CNN while doing some work, and of course the dominant subject of the day is it being the anniversary of 9/11, which of course got me thinking about 9/11 and where I was on that day and in my life. For just about anyone alive right now, it’s probably the ultimate “what were you doing when…” moment. I can still remember it more vividly than I can remember this past Saturday night.
That said, for some reason, this morning, Howard Stern popped into my mind and I got to thinking, “I wonder what The Howard Stern Show was like on that day?” I was curious as to what went on on perhaps the most raucous, unserious entertainment program known to man — which broadcasts about two miles from the site of the attacks — on that dreadful day. So I checked YouTube to see if Howard’s team had ever uploaded audio of the show from that day and, as it turns out, they did a few months ago, along with video from inside the studio, as well, in addition to a few snippets of off-camera interviews featuring the show’s various players recalling their memories from that day.
The whole thing starts out at on 8:56 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001. Howard is discussing his chances of boning Pamela Anderson with Robin, Baba Booey Gary and Stuttering John. Then word begins to trickle in about what was had happened and what was happening. Callers start calling in with accounts from the ground. Everyone is shocked, confused and angry. It’s fascinating and surreal to watch and listen to, as the thoughts and feelings of everyone on the show probably reflects what we were all thinking and feeling at the time. Listening/watching is also a bit maddening and frustrating, as we all obviously now know how things played out in the aftermath. And to think that last night, President Obama had to take to the airwaves to address the new terrorist threat facing America, ISIS, a brutal outfit many believe would not exist had America not invaded Iraq in response to 9/11.
Everything about all of this, including the irony, is utterly heartbreaking.