Notable objects in 9/11 museum, and why one reporter was kicked out


phone The most tasteless thing inside the just-opened September 11 museum in New York City is probably this commemorative cheese plate. One of the most profound and moving objects may be this telephone, from the Pentagon. They're just two of many items on display in some 10,000 square feet of exhibit space.

Gothamist's Jen Chung was among the reporters who visited the memorial exhibition this week, reporting on items both sacred and profane, but was kicked out for asking questions of museum-goers. From her account:

Towards the middle of the exhibit, I overheard some loud voices. A young woman was berating a middle-aged woman who was talking on the cellphone. The middle-aged woman moved herself—and her conversation—to a corner of the room, her light, almost jovial phone chatter echoing loudly around the room. Finally, she got off the phone, and the young woman, who appeared to be disgusted, called her "disrespectful." I approached the young woman and said, "Hi, I'm a reporter. I was wondering, what happened just now?"

The young woman began to answer, but then a security guard interrupted us, asking, "What are you? You're a reporter?" I said yes, and he told me, "You can't ask any questions. You have to go through the 9/11 Memorial people." I said okay and left the woman alone.

I continued to walk through the exhibit, and a second guard came up to me. "You're the reporter?" he said. "You can't ask questions here. You can't." I said I understood and reassured him I had only spoken to one person, and she seemed perfectly willing to talk.

I exited that exhibit and went to the bathroom. When I emerged, a third security guard—he appeared to be more senior-ranking because he was wearing a white shirt—pulled me aside. He inquired if I was the reporter. I said I was, and then he asked for my name and organization. I presented my NYPD-issued press credentials and he started to write down my name on a pad. Then he took a picture of my press card before saying, "I'm going to have to escort you out of the museum."

Gothamist: "Taking Jen Chung's info to place it on a 'Do not allow inside museum' list"

Gothamist: "Taking Jen Chung's info to place it on a 'Do not allow inside museum' list"

[Images: Top, Gothamist; bottom, Washington Post]

Notable Replies

  1. You can't ask questions here. You can't

    rather stalinesque, they think that she was questioning the official story?

  2. Once again, Al Qaeda wins and our floundering mocks the Constitution we supposedly believe in...

  3. One of the most profound and moving objects may be this telephone, from the Pentagon

    That hits me hard and very close to home. I spent most of that day trying to find out if someone was killed in the Pentagon attack and he couldn't get in touch with any of us all day because the cell phone towers were overloaded along with other issues.

    He survived just by the luck of being elsewhere within the Pentagon outside of his office during the attack. But his office was hit and he lost coworkers that were dear friends of his and burned alive. One of which was very much like his own daughter in many ways. That very well could have been the phone she used for all I know. Ugh...

    What sickens me is I wonder how much of this will continue to be exploited to justify endless war to further enrich these evil shits at everyone else's expense.

  4. IMB says:

    Yeah, a reporter asking museum-goers to reflect on emotions or what they are experiencing is truly inappropriate and gauche. While having a GIFT SHOP in said place is perfectly copacetic, because free market and stuff.

  5. IMB says:

    It is no deflection, it is a comprehensive view. Either you consider this a somber environment away from the ordinary noise of the real world, where the event is treated with dignity and quiet solitude and reflection, and you follow that principal all the way through, or you stand as a remarkable hypocrite claiming free speech and freedom of the press is abhorrent, but hawking wears attached to a major tragedy is perfectly acceptable.

    It says a lot about our country in that freedom only refers to the ability to sell shit and make money, even if it is done through the blood of brothers. And THIS, in a place where we argued that the aggressors had a problem with our "freedom". They hit this target to begin with because it was a symbol of money, power, and international commerce. Irony, anyone?

    And this is without even addressing that the reporter had already ceased to ask questions.

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