As the horror of 9-11 unfolded, Mike Francesa agreed any 'true' American must be ready to fight for their country | Bob's Blitz

As the horror of 9-11 unfolded, Mike Francesa agreed any 'true' American must be ready to fight for their country

The Paley Center For Media has a synopsis of WFAN's coverage of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks, beginning with Imus and into Mike and the Mad Dog. Some interesting notes from that record:

This tape presents (now removed) coverage of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the immediate aftermath, as aired on WFAN-AM's "Imus in the Morning" program, hosted by Don Imus. This tape opens with Mike Francesa talking about how he got to the studio today and describing the day's events as "like a movie."

He and Imus agree that any true American would be ready to fight for their country at this moment.

Next, Imus recaps the day's earlier events, while wondering if he'll be able to get home once the show is finished and also whether he will be able to eat any time soon. Lori McNicol comes on with some traffic information, noting that all bridges and tunnels are still closed into Manhattan. Imus comes back to give some statistics on the hijacked planes and also reports on Palestinian celebrations in the Middle East. Next, Anne Thompson reports from Ground Zero on what she saw earlier in the day, before she is forced to leave the area by a member of the N.Y.P.D. The program briefly cuts into "The Today Show" hosted by Katie Couric and Matt Lauer who discuss the current situation. Next, Imus talks with a former member of the N.Y.P.D. who worked at the World Trade Center. The man notes that the dust in the air from the collapsed buildings is probably dangerous asbestos. Imus checks back in with "The Today Show" feed to catch a clip of George W. Bush speaking from the elementary school in Florida where he was when he heard the tragic news. Next, Campbell Brown in Washington notes that no one knows where the President is going or where he has been. Imus breaks back in to talk about the city's depletion of blood supplies, before calling on people to donate at blood banks and various hospitals. Charles McCord comes on with further recaps, focusing on the Pentagon attack. The two men consider whether the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania and the one that crashed into the Pentagon where actually shot down. Next, Imus breaks into NBC's feed as hosted by Tom Brokaw. Brokaw speculates on the death toll and discusses the Code Red/National State of Emergency warning that has just been issued. He throws it to David Bloom in Manhattan who, at length, recaps the day's sequence of events.

Next, Pat Dawson at the Trade Center site discusses the rescuers' inability to find bodies in the debris. Another clip of George W. Bush is played, with him noting that the United States will "punish whoever's responsible for these cowardly acts." Imus and Francesa return and immediately begin castigating Bush for not "inspiring" them, while wondering aloud if it wouldn't be better if his father, George Bush, were actually leading the nation.

McNicol comes back to report that some subway lines as well as ferry service into Hoboken, New Jersey have just reopened. Imus leaves the studio for the afternoon and Francesa takes over, beginning by applauding Imus's yeoman work for the day. Francesa gives a long monologue on his thoughts for the day before the tape cuts out.

The Mike and the Mad Dog show time slot came up next. Francesa continued:

This special edition of the "Mike & the Mad Dog" sports talk show presents coverage of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath, as aired on WFAN Radio. Host Mike Francesa predicts that the attacks will entail thousands of casualties. He talks on the telephone with sports reporter Warner Wolf, who is watching the scene unfold downtown. Wolf describes what he sees at the World Trade Center, including the "tunnel of smoke" in the sky and the large number of rescue workers.

Warner and Francesa exchange ideas on the choice of the World Trade Towers as a target for terrorism, after which Francesa gets the first of a series of traffic reports for the chaotic New York City area. Wolf then describes his horror at seeing people jump from the burning towers and recalls the sight of the first airplane's crash into the World Trade Center during the morning. He and Francesa call the attacks an act of war.

Francesa then talks to a reporter named Kristy from the "Imus in the Morning" program, and the two announce that war ships are being brought into New York Harbor. They speculate about who may be responsible for the morning's attacks, naming Osama bin Laden as a suspect, and also discuss the possible U.S. response. Francesa then airs the audio track from on NBC News, where anchor Tom Brokaw is interviewing terrorism expert Neil Livingston about possible planners of the attacks and the nature of the planning for such an event. Brokaw then begins to interview former National Security Advisor Tony Lake, but Francesa cuts back in to give another recap of the events of the morning. He announces that the nation is officially in a state of emergency and that the armed forces are on the highest possible alert. Kristy reports that a passenger on United Flight 93 may have used his cell phone to report the hijacking after locking himself in a lavatory. She also reports that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was inside the Pentagon when the plane hit the building. Francesa cuts to a statement by President George W. Bush in which Bush offers assurance to Americans. Wolf then provides further description of what he saw when the airplanes struck the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York. He describes the huge billows of smoke now in the sky, and he and Francesa contemplate the mammoth rescue operation ahead. Francesa notes that the estimated death toll from the World Trade Center attack is currently in the thousands. Kristy finishes by reading reports on responses from world leaders to these attacks.

Host Mike Francesa reports that all commercial flights in the United States have been canceled and that the nation is in "threat condition delta" -- the highest level of alert for the U.S. military. "Threatcon" is short for "terrorist threat condition." Francesa then receives the first of a series of traffic reports for the New York City area. He reports the death toll from each of the four hijacked planes and then cuts to statements by New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Governor George Pataki. Francesa then announces contact numbers for people wanting information from American or United Airlines. WFAN personality Charles McCord then joins Francesa. The two discuss the planning and precision that appear to have gone into the attacks. McCord calls the towers of the World Trade Center "twin icons" because he sees them as representative of American values and achievement, suggesting that this quality may have made them targets. Reporter Kristy gives several updates on the status of life in New York City, after which all three personalities contemplate the day. Francesa and McCord recap the events of the morning, after which Francesa cuts to a statement from British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Francesa and McCord talk about the ideology of Muslim fundamentalist terrorists.

Francesa then speaks to sports anchor Warner Wolf via telephone. Watching the scene unfold downtown, Wolf explains that the Seven World Trade Center building is burning. He talks about the clean-up job ahead and praises the way in which people in lower Manhattan have responded to the crisis. Finally, McCord questions the efficacy of airport security in the United States.

Fascinating...Also fascinating? 7 emails to the Center requesting copies of said audio tapes went unanswered. A Twitter exchange indicated later that they were not available.

As always, if you have copies of these tapes or from 9/12/01 -- 9/21/01, email us at the contact address at the bottom of this page.

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