Who is Osama bin Laden? What does he want? What is the United States’ relationship with the Middle East? Who are our allies and our enemies? How and why did the events of September 11 happen, and what do they mean for Americans in the future? Last week’s surprise terrorist attacks on the United States broadsided the American public, raising an endless stream of questions about our personal safety, our national security and our global affairs.
Perhaps no segment of our population has more questions – or more at stake – than young people. Premiering on Friday, September 21 at 5:00 PM, with repeat airings throughout the weekend, this MTV NewsNow Special Report speaks directly and frankly to young Americans about the origins and implications of last week’s bombings.
Hosted by MTV News correspondent, John Norris, the special attempts to unravel the preconceptions, misconceptions and conflicting reports, allowing viewers a clearer understanding of where the United States stands in the wake of this tragedy, and the challenges that lie ahead. Featuring seven distinct reports from MTV News correspondents Kurt Loder, Sway, Gideon Yago, Iann Robinson, and SuChin Pak, the 1/2 hour program will examine the current crisis from a variety of perspectives, from historical, cultural, and religious to political, economic and social. The special will weigh in on how the events of September 11 have precipitated an unfortunate rise in discrimination and violence committed against Arab Americans on our college campuses and in our neighborhoods, despite calls from President Bush for tolerance. A companion report will examine the foundation and tenets of the Muslim religion and differentiate the beliefs held by most of the Muslim Arab community from the extremist policies of terrorist organizations like that of Bin Laden.
The special will also address the questions so many of us have about the political and cultural climate in the Middle East, and the nature of U.S. involvement there. In addition this segment breaks down the United States’ global relationships, delineating who are our allies and who are our adversaries. With President Bush preparing the nation for a protracted retaliation, the program then turns its focus to what may be the most looming questions on everyone’s minds: Are we going to war, and what does this mean for the young men and women in the United States military? This portion of the program examines the implications of war for the countless college-aged men and women who have stood on call for military duty as reservists. The segment will also shed light on the draft, looking at its history and whether it would even be re-instituted in the near future. In yet another report, the special will meet with many of the young people who have pulled together in the face of this crisis to make a difference. Finally, the program will take a closer look at the effect of last week’s tragedy on the entertainment industry. Featuring first-hand reactions to the bombings from recording artists and actors, this segment demonstrates the wide-reaching impact Tuesday’s attacks.