By Don Kaplan New York Daily News
Never forget? NBC’s ‘Today’ skipped live coverage of commemorative events tied to the anniversary of 9/11 in order [to] show viewers an interview with Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian’s mom.
Plane crash, what plane crash?
The “Today” show Tuesday defended its outrageous decision to treat viewers to a interview with Kim Kardashian’s mom, Kris Jenner — while millions everywhere else observed a somber moment of silence to mark the time of day the first plane slammed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center 11 years ago.
“They are well suited for each other, really, really happy,” Jenner said of her bootylicious daughter and her rapper beau Kanye West.
“And everybody who has kids knows when your kids are happy, you’re happy,” she said as “Today” competitors “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning” took viewers to the heartwrenching 9/11 memorial service where devastated relatives of the dead were holding a moment of silence.
In New York, the local NBC affiliate, WNBC, carried live coverage of the event, but in almost every other U.S. city, viewers were showered with Jenner’s inane jibber-jabber.
“The ‘Today’ show dedicated a considerable amount of time to September 11th coverage this morning throughout the entire show,” said NBC News spokeswoman, Megan Kopf.
Earlier during show, “Today” had aired a lengthy segment about 9/11.
“It’s such a shame and a disgrace that I’m left almost speechless,” said Frank Siller, 59, whose firefighter brother Stephen Siller died on 9/11 moments after he ran through the Battery tunnel to fight the fires at Ground Zero.
“I’m furious, I think the least that anybody can do is stop and reflect on what happened at that moment,” Siller said. “There are a couple points in the day where you have got to stop and remember the innocent and those that gave their lives in the line of duty.
“That they would show something [Kris Jenner] that means nothing in life is a show of such disrespect, I’m beyond words,” Siller said.
But the callous decision to ignore the moment of silence left even the “Today” show’s fiercest rivals in shock.
At “Good Morning America” — which is engaged in a fierce battle for viewers — producers were bewildered.
“It’s so typical,” sniffed a “GMA” insider. “Obviously they are more concerned about their ratings then anything else, but this just takes it to a whole new low.”
Others were equally horrified.
“It’s ridiculous,” said television industry analyst Marc Berman of TV Media Insights. “Ratings are ratings and of course they [NBC] is going to do whatever they have to do, but there are times when you have to put that aside and bite the bullet,” he said.
“What was important at that moment was to honor the heroes and victims of 9/11, what [‘Today’] did is just so unbelieveable – a huge misstep and it doesn’t bode well for their future.”
For the year to date, “Today” has watched its total audience shrink by 5 percent, while the ratings for “GMA” have swelled more than 4 percent.