TCA 2011: Former President George W. Bush to relate his side of 9/11 in National Geographic Special
Former President George W. Bush will reveal his exclusive first-person insight into the terrorist attacks of 9/11 on the National Geographic Channel's "George W. Bush: the 9/11 interview," a documentary that will highlight a week of programming dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the cable network. The special will premiere Aug. 28.
In an interview taped over two days, Bush gives his personal account of the events leading to and after the attacks on the World Trade Center, starting with his morning jog before a school visit when he first learned that the country was under attack. He discusses his reaction when it was whispered in his ear during his appearance in a classroom that a plane had crashed into the center.
Peter Schnall, executive producer and director of the special, said the interview was conducted without advance questions being provided and that Bush did not use any notes during the sessions. He will be the only person heard during the special, and he will be the only person on camera.
"He takes us hour by hour, day by day, what he was going through and what he was really thinking," Schnall said. "What's so surprising is how personal he is."
The interviews were conducted soon after he learned that Osama bin Laden had been killed.
Schnall added that Bush became emotional when he spoke about the loss of lives during the attacks, including people leaping to their deaths from the towers.
Other specials that will air on the channel during that week include "Inside 9/11," a four-hour look at the events that precipitated the terrorist attacks.
— Greg Braxton
Photo: Peter Schnall speaks about his National Geographic Channel documentary at the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour. Credit: Fred Prouser / Reuters