Decade 9/11: Suketu Mehta and Pete Hamill

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Suketu Mehta, New Yorker contributer, professor of journalism at NYU, and author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found talks with Tabloid City author and former editor-in-chief of the New York Daily News Pete Hamill about how New York and the world have changed since September 11th, 2001. 


EVENT: Suketu Mehta and Pete Hamill along with dozens of other journalists will be taking part in a day-long discussion on the Journalism of 9/11 tomorrow at NYU.   


Pete Hamill and Suketu Mehta

Comments [17]

Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

To Michael, After reading rose-ellen from jackson hts. comment, I suspect she was one of the people you observed at the hospital.

Sep. 09 2011 08:13 AM
Valerie from Westchester

Brain and Pete Hamill said something very profound today about how we know so much about each fallen person of that day, whether it was a worker in one of the buildings or a first reponders. That made me think about the fact that we have zero knowledge about any of the innocent men, women and children that we have bombed because we wanted to kill one man. One man who had NOTHING to do with 9/11, Sadam Hussein! Perhaps if we did, Americans would have said."Enought!" with the war in Iraq long ago, and we would not be as bankrupt as we are now.

No wonder they hate us. We have been bombing innocents since Desert Storm. A good read is Nelson De Mille's "The Lion's Game". Fiction of course, but a good way to understand how our actions create entire generations of terrorists. 10 years later and where are we???

Sep. 08 2011 08:16 PM
dbmetzger from upper west side

US Court Considers Islamic Law Ban
A push in the US to prohibit Oklahoma judges from taking Islamic law into account will go before court the day after the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Sep. 08 2011 01:28 PM
rose-ellen from jackson hts.

We hid behind dictators who we propped up for cheap oil, cold war interests, one sided support of israel, military bases . We supported saddam in his war against iran and kept silent about his gassing th kurds while the rest of the world was outraged ,only to resurrect that outrage when we wanted a new mili base and a new supply of oil after alqa gave us blowback for our policies toward them . We were nervous that the saudi regime might collapse and our oil gravy train and military base could be a thing of the past. Hence our desire to go into iraq.So in spite of our tauted belief in universal human rights and human freedom,it didn't apply to the arabs who were subjugated by dictators who supported our interests Alquada supported the arab spring uprisings against dictators that we backed,osama died believing that he did not start this war but was a freedom fighter for his people.He brought us to the knowledge that there were consequences for US for our hypocritical policies toward THEM. The days when we could act with impunity in the world were no longer a given. It was great hearing mehta say that the humanity of the iraqis we killed has never been considered in our narrative. By saying it he exposed the hypocrasy of americans who could dish it out [we've been bombing civilians throughout our history] but never expected to have to take it. It was good to hear meh diplomatically expose that fact.One has to treat the mass murdering americans gingerly since in their hubris they start the narrative of that most beautiful morning as if we were innocently minding our business [ignoring the first gulf war, the sanctions that led to civilians dying, the dictators who we propped and gave a green light to their torturing and murdering any dissidents, the glibness with which with a simple stroke of a pen we vetoed every UN reso that would have helped the arabs,. Our narrative that they attacked us because they are so irational that it suddenly bothered them that we're not muslims is a self serving lie masking our evil machinations in muslims lands a our much tauted values as fraudulent. [our real anger is based not on the fact that we value human life since we have no problem bombing civilians or propping up regimes who kill civilians ,but simply that they dared do to us what we have done through out the world to others]. They upset the power equation momentarily-how dare they-didn't God tell these people that we have the right to kill others ,not vice versa? Osama launched the new century of the people-all people, not nation states, not regimes not even imperialist hypocritical militaristic superpowers!. Yes, because of our might we, by invading ir and af and killing people, can reassert our power -but because of alq- we are not sure that we can act in world with impunity any more. We're always on the look out for blowback! there is a price to pay [if only being forever on our guard like criminals have to be] fr our polics.

Sep. 08 2011 01:18 PM
Maria from Manhattan

@ jgarbuz

I would imagine that \tThe reason why the NYT did those "portraits in grief" of each of the 2001 victims is because in addition to being a national newspaper of the US, it is a local newspaper of NYC and (by extension) the tri-state area, and, as the saying goes about news being local, those 2000+ people killed here on 9/11 were our fellow New Yorkers, and that part of the attack was local news.

Sep. 08 2011 12:17 PM
Heidi from Harlem

My husband and I moved our family to NYC the year after 9/11, against all the fears and prejudices of friends and family. After about a year (finding favorite businesses, a place of worship etc) we began to flourish. Without a doubt the people of our local and city wide community make it all worth while. We are honored that our children have a world view we never received. We jest that "bad things happen when you leave the island". As a former foster care child I can't tell you how much it means to me to find an entire city where I am finally at home.

Sep. 08 2011 11:45 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Why doesn't the media highlight the hundreds of thousands murdered by Saddam, by Khaddafi, by Assad and son, and the other Arab tyrants over the decades before the US military interventions?

Sep. 08 2011 11:38 AM
JR from NYC

I had been a New Yorker for about 8 years (originally came from Brazil) when 9/11 happened, but it was that day when I became an American.

I love New York more than ever and have been able to realize (most) of my dreams here. New York is the Best!

Sep. 08 2011 11:37 AM
tom from astoria


you can listen to or download the shows at

Sep. 08 2011 11:36 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

How about documenting the 150,000 Iraqis murdered by Saddam BEFORE the war?

Sep. 08 2011 11:35 AM
sam from nyc

it is strange that we don't hear of the Muslim families that had loved ones lost in the towers, these attacks are attacks on humianity without discrimination. also its sadly that the media fails to recognize and define terrorism.... this term is limited to be used when acts are being carried with people with arabic or muslim background??!!!

Sep. 08 2011 11:31 AM
The Truth from Becky

Michael - I don't know how you composed yourself on that day, I would have lost it on them!

Sep. 08 2011 11:31 AM
tom from astoria

The callers and guest have eloquently expressed the strength that held -- was proved strong, by 9-11. Our tradtion of bringing in new peoples, and above all our freedom. I think we have suffered more from the HIGHER areas of our society: the business leaders that massively move jobs overseas with no thought of patriotism; the financial big shots that caused the crisis on Wall St.; our politicians; Its the higher-ups that have shown weakness since 9-11

Sep. 08 2011 11:31 AM
marilyn foyert from new jersey

Came in late:

am hearing,

I heard some of the show re 911 memories. Where can I go to download a podcast of the shows -- to hear them in totality , now and in future?

re: Suketa and Hamill guests

Sep. 08 2011 11:31 AM
Brenda from NYC

I moved back (after a 10 year upstate exile) 6 years ago. I can't imagine being anywhere else now. Extremists exist everywhere. Why would I sacrifice living in the greatest place in the world, because of fear (even statistically improbable fear)?

Sep. 08 2011 11:29 AM

I was working at a Hospital in NYC during 9/11. The immigrants that I worked with were extremely happy on that day. They could not hide the joy that this cruelty was being inflicted upon the United states.
Weeks later , when resue workers came in to the hospital, they were extremely hostile towards these people.

Sep. 08 2011 11:28 AM
Maria from Manhattan

Am trying to get through on the phones.

I'm not a recent immigrant, I'm the daughter of 2 immigrants (from Ireland & Central Europe), but I am a born-and-bred New Yorker

I go to Ireland often, and to India about once a year because I have close ties to the Indian film industries in Bombay and Madras.

I wanted to ask both Pete & Suketu (both whom I've met) why do they think when NY has "only" been bombed twice, and Bombay & Delhi have been bombed so often, why do we in the US see SO MUCH media coverage, and prolonged coverage (papers, TV, documentaries, specials), that examines the minutiae of these events from all angles (esp. in-depth profiles of the victims, and the terrorists) and yet the Indian media seems to do more of a blitz approach at the time of the attack (I get several English & Hindi news channels via satellite at home) and then it fades quickly away.

Can both gentlemen comments on that from their perspectives of the US & Indian media?

PS - I flew through Colombo airport just 2 weeks before the Tigers made their big attack in 2001, and, strangely enough, when I commented to my Tamil driver on the way to the airport about the frequent military stops and checks, he said "If Prabhakaran wanted to attack the airport, he could."

thank you,

Sep. 08 2011 11:23 AM

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