Article Title

The Terrorist Event


In his article "The Terrorist Event," Bill Nichols examines how the US media attempted to make meaning of the events of 9/11. How were news anchors and producers to explain an event that escaped their comprehension? Without context or historical equivalence in the US, news outlets groped for a narrative in which to frame the event even if that meant creating the meaning themselves. In their attempt to create meaning, what sorts of fetishes and fantasies did they draw-on and in turn create? The result is that the US excuses itself from its own past and future barbarism as it sets a course, "under the banner of 11 September," as the "crusading force of Good at war with the terrifying face of Evil." Nichols focuses in his essay on the role that the media played in shaping public consciousness of the terrorist attacks. Most importantly, he analyzes the role that the media plays in ratifying certain narrative tropes used to define extraordinary events.