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MTV plays videos?
September 12, 2001 7:54 PM   Subscribe

MTV plays videos? It took a national tragedy, but it looks like their normal programming has been replaced with non-stop music videos without veejays. That would be weird enough, but all the videos seem to be positively-themed and spanning genres. They're occasionally breaking for original news reports and commercials.
posted by waxpancake (18 comments total)

 
its about damn time
posted by jmd82 at 8:13 PM on September 12, 2001


I was wondering about this earlier today during what I assume must have been the time they were having meetings about it. I had MTV on for background noise, and after a while noticed that it was being extremely repetitive. I figured they were going through their playlists to determine what might be a bad idea to show. I was literally seeing the same 6-8 videos over and over and over.

Let's avoid the easy comments about that being normal operations; it's not actually that bad, usually.

I hadn't noticed there were no VJs, though. Wasn't paying that much attention.
posted by Su at 8:13 PM on September 12, 2001


A lot of the VJs don't live in Manhattan, and a lot of transportation is still not running. That could be a factor.
posted by anildash at 8:20 PM on September 12, 2001


On Tuesday neither MTV nor VH1 played any videos, just a news feed from another station. I noticed that many of the cable stations were doing the same thing - I remember specifically that the NBC shopping channel was showing MSNBC news, TBS and TNT had CNN news, and HGTV and Food Network had a message of support and sadness. QVC showed a message of support alternating with Red Cross information.
posted by xsquared-1 at 8:27 PM on September 12, 2001


i was amazed that vh1 showed the foo fighters pilots-tripping-on-acid video TWICE this morning.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:32 PM on September 12, 2001


One thing I noticed yesterday was that one of the few cable channels showing regular programming was Nickelodeon. Which makes sense, if you think about it; I'm sure that many a parent was very grateful for those cartoons yesterday afternoon.
posted by bcwinters at 8:33 PM on September 12, 2001


We have been very grateful for the continuation of children's programing. My 3.5 year old knows that something is amiss in the world but I am sparing him the endless repetition of the images that I cannot yet even face. He came into our bedroom early this morning, about 3:30 am, something he rarely does, and told us he "just wanted to be a family." I have been told I am sensitive to people's emotions over the years and perhaps he has inherieted something of that.
posted by dewelch at 8:42 PM on September 12, 2001


Who would have thought that MTV could offer some kind of mind-numbing salvation?
posted by ed at 8:51 PM on September 12, 2001


Comedy Central has also continued with regular programming, as has Nick at Nite/TV Land. This has been a boon when I needed some mindless refuge from the news -- like right now, I'm watching the fantastic Alan Cumming-hosted SNL.

Unfortunately, E! has also continued regular programming. There's something especially unsavoury right now, I think, about Howard Stern continuing with his normal lesbians, strippers and drunken guys schtick.
posted by Dreama at 8:56 PM on September 12, 2001


Last night I watched NY coverage until I could not even think anymore and thankfully I discovered that AMC was showing a John Wayne film that I had yet to see. It is the only reason I could go to sleep.
posted by bargle at 9:17 PM on September 12, 2001


There's something especially unsavoury right now, I think, about Howard Stern continuing with his normal lesbians, strippers and drunken guys schtick.

Those are probably old shows. If you listen to his radio show, he is ONLY talking about the attack. Yesterday, he stayed on the air till about noon reporting various eyewitness accounts and information the whole time.

The ones to blame may be E! execs. who are putting the old shows on the air, not necessarily Stern himself.
posted by Rastafari at 9:47 PM on September 12, 2001


Much Music in Canada changed the tone of their videos as well, plus the VJs are hosting call-in/comment from the audience interstitials from their viewers. On the surface it sounds trite, but they've been making heart-felt pleas to Canadian youth to ease up on anti-Muslim sentiment.
posted by likorish at 10:03 PM on September 12, 2001


Frankly, I'm thankful for stations like MTV or Cartoon Network or Comedy Central or even E!. There needs to be more of the (oft-mentioned) "normalcy" returning to our lives; from pro sports coming back to getting the regular TV programs on, because there's no need for ABC and NBC to do non-stop 24/7 coverage when there is less news to update and just more and more talking heads and pundits spinning messages of fear and revenge and terror, simply to fill all that air time.

Indeed, I believe that the longer we have these bowtied knuckleheads speculating wildly, the more we won't be allowed to develop a sense of getting beyond this. Sadly, it looks like the media is going to give this the full Lewinsky/Columbine/McVeigh treatment, sucking all the meaning and reality out of what happened, removing the ability to properly grieve and reflect and replacing it with an increasingly vapid media blitz and "disaster porn" from the cable news channels.
posted by hincandenza at 10:22 PM on September 12, 2001



One thing I noticed yesterday was that one of the few cable channels showing regular programming was Nickelodeon.

This was indeed intentional on Viacom's part. They decided little kids didn't need to deal with the drama.

I figured they were going through their playlists to determine what might be a bad idea to show. I was literally seeing the same 6-8 videos over and over and over.

Most music stations - TV and Radio - have, or at least used to have, meticulously detailed plans to be implemented during periods of local or national emergency. They usually start out by going all-news or all-talk, to give an outlet to the audience. Then after a couple days, they start playing music again, but only somber stuff. Then a little more uptempo music gets mixed in for a few days, etc etc, and eventually back to normal.

Rick Sklar, the man who basically invented top 40 radio, wrote a book around 15 years ago called Rocking America. In addition to being a wonderful history of the early years of pop radio in the US (1950s-60s), he goes into some detail about the emergency plans he drew up for WABC-AM when he was running that station (by far the number one station in the country during those years), and how well the plan worked when he had to implement it on 22 Nov 1963.
posted by aaron at 11:57 PM on September 12, 2001



Two thoughts in my head:

1. If the timing gap between the two planes was deliberate to ensure TV cameras would be there to catch the second impact.

2. All this talk of channel surfing.

Who gives a f*ck what MTV is doing. Get some perspective.
posted by snowgoon at 1:15 AM on September 13, 2001


Sorry for trying to resume our lives. We'll go back to trawling the web for more pictures and videos of people jumping out 100th story windows, and making our kids look at them now now.
Because that'll make us all feel better.

I was not directly affected by this, Snowgoon. Skip the patriotic "attack on your country" speech; it's a given. I'm talking family, friends, and my essential posessions. I have other, immediate, things at the moment like joblessness, rent, and someone I cared about having been diagnosed yesterday with Kreutzfeld-Jakob to deal with, and I'd like to get back to those concerns.

I don't really give a fuck what MTV does, nor have I for a long time, but it's good generic audio and visual background noise. If I actually like the music I'm playing, I get distracted listening to it. But the excessive repetition was noticeable, and sparked my curiosity, which was the basis of my comment.

Incidentally, thank you, Aaron for the info on broadcaster's contingency plans. I wasn't aware they were that organized about these things.
posted by Su at 3:05 AM on September 13, 2001


1. If the timing gap between the two planes was deliberate to ensure TV cameras would be there to catch the second impact.

This seems unlikely to me. The attacks were really about as simultaneous as you could possibly expect from two different hijacked planes. There was only a small window between when the first plane crashed and when the authorities would have realized what was going on, so I imagine the hijackers would have tried to get the second plane in there as close as possible to the first one so we wouldn't have time to scramble jets and shoot it down.
posted by straight at 8:49 AM on September 13, 2001


The demand for mental health counseling in increasing dramatically in New York and elsewhere, and being plugged in to the breaking news 24/7 is not healthy. The TV news has at times actually asked people to turn the TV news off.

Keep focused, yes. But stay healthy, people.
posted by teradome at 10:21 AM on September 13, 2001 [1 favorite]


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