It amazes me to this day how liberals still moan and groan about President Bush’s immediate reaction to learning the Twin Towers had been attacked. Bush has said more than once that the reason he kept his cool was because he didn’t want to jump up and scare the kids in the Florida classroom he was visiting. Liberals like this idiot have insisted for years that his reaction was not befitting of a CIC who had just found out his nation had come under attack. Some of the kids who were in the classroom that day believed otherwise:
“The president he just sat there, and his face — he just went dead,” says Jaimie, who was among the second graders in the classroom where President Bush learned of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
Jamie’s one of the kids featured in Nickelodeon’s Linda Ellerbee news special, “What Happened?: The story of September 11, 2001,” which debuts Sept. 1.
But, that president, George W. Bush, gets a few days jump on Jamie to defend his apparent facial blankness, on National Geographic Channel’s “George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview,” premiering Aug. 28. It was, he says in that special, a conscious decision to project calmness.
The two shows are among a slew of programs across the TV landscape that will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Towers and Pentagon. Ellerbee and Peter Schnall, producer of the Bush interview, came to Summer TV Press Tour 2011 to talk about their specials.
Bush’s reaction in the classroom on that day, when news of a second plane hitting the World Trade Center was whispered in his ear, was caught on videotape has been sometimes used to ridicule him. Jamie’s reaction to Bush’s expression is just one of the comments made by kids on the Nick special, including Sarah, whose sister was a passenger on hijacked United Airlines Flight 93, and another girl who says she heard 9/11 never happened.
Time Magazine did a story back in May on the children who were in the classroom with Bush on that fateful day and here’s what they had to say now:
Seven-year-olds can’t understand what Islamic terrorism is all about. But they know when an adult’s face is telling them something is wrong — and none of the students sitting in Sandra Kay Daniels’ class at Emma E. Booker Elementary School that morning can forget the devastating change in Bush’s expression when White House chief of staff Andrew Card whispered the terrible news of the al-Qaeda attack. Lazaro Dubrocq’s heart started racing because he assumed they were all in trouble — with no less than the Commander in Chief — but he wasn’t sure why. “In a heartbeat, he leaned back and he looked flabbergasted, shocked, horrified,” recalls Dubrocq, now 17. “I was baffled. I mean, did we read something wrong? Was he mad or disappointed in us?”
Similar fears started running through Mariah Williams’ head. “I don’t remember the story we were reading — was it about pigs?” says Williams, 16. “But I’ll always remember watching his face turn red. He got really serious all of a sudden. But I was clueless. I was just 7. I’m just glad he didn’t get up and leave, because then I would have been more scared and confused.” Chantal Guerrero, 16, agrees. Even today, she’s grateful that Bush regained his composure and stayed with the students until The Pet Goat was finished. “I think the President was trying to keep us from finding out,” says Guerrero, “so we all wouldn’t freak out.”
One thing the students would like to tell Bush’s critics — like liberal filmmaker Michael Moore, whose 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 911 disparaged Bush for lingering almost 10 minutes with the students after getting word that two planes had crashed into the World Trade Center — is that they think the President did the right thing. “I think he was trying to keep everybody calm, starting with us,” says Guerrero. Dubrocq agrees: “I think he was trying to protect us.” Booker Principal Gwendolyn Tose-Rigell, who died in 2007, later insisted, “I don’t think anyone could have handled it better. What would it have served if [Bush] had jumped out of his chair and ran out of the room?”
I think he made the right call then, and again and again in the months after the attacks of September 11. Even most on the left agreed, at least in the immediate aftermath of the horrific terror attacks on our soil that Bush performed admirably. But time has seen that opinion on the left wither. Even today they still talk about Bush’s alleged failure to “act decisively” in the ten minutes after he’d learned we’d been attacked, even though there is virtually no dispute that he indeed did just that in the weeks and months that followed as a shocked America looked for vengeance and retribution.
It says alot – and none of it good – about today’s liberals that the kids who were in that classroom, now teenagers, can show more poise and maturity about this issue than many on the left. Then again, there are so many issues out there where the left displays similar juvenile behavior (like anything pertaining to race, for example), so I shouldn’t really be too surprised …