From Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios and Amazon Music, “9/12” is trying to dissect everything about how the world changed post-9/11. The show was awarded Podcast of the Year at the 2022 Ambies. Host Dan Taberski is shifting the focus from the horrifying events of that day to the day after and the people who had to wake up on the 12th in a new world. He talks with families of victims, interviews people who were in the middle of the ocean that day, and chats with people who had no connection to the falling of the Twin Towers yet shouldered the blame. The “9/12” podcast is exploring the days, months, and years following 9/11 and the aftermath ultimately made the day after even more important.
Over seven episodes, Taberski looks at the story in seven different ways. He analyzes people’s memories of the day, the ever-shifting idea of freedom, to conspiracies, fear, extremism, and memorialization. Every episode features different guests: like the staff of The Onion to the Pakistani businessman in Brooklyn whose neighbors disappeared without a trace to a 20-year-old Minnesotan who becomes a cog in a war machine.
The “9/12” podcast is a catalogue of where-were-you-on-9/11 tales and a what-changed-after analysis. Taberski himself lost a friend in Manhattan on 9/11: the first episode is the only one that features soundbites from the news during the attacks. Every episode after that follows different people from around the world as they tried to move on. While its topic is dark, Taberski is surprisingly funny while taking on such a profound idea.
The first episode follows the strange story of a reality television show cast and crew that was sailing the Timor Sea between Australia and Indonesia. All but the captain were isolated from the outside world, who shared the news of the four hijacked planes with everyone aboard. Shockingly, when asked if anyone needed to leave the ship/show, no one did, instead choosing to live outside of a changed world.
Taberski chats with a family whose brother already suffered from mental health issues and forgot who he was. He talks with the staff of The Onion whose humor and daily news were based on tearing down the establishment, only to have the establishment still smoking in a pile at Ground Zero. Hear from George Carlin’s daughter about his stand-up show he recorded literally 48 hours before 9/11 titled I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die.
Now that it’s been 20 years since 9/11 and how we reacted to it, “9/12” is asking: Where do we put it in our memory? How do we tell that story? How soon is too soon? A full generation of children, some now adults, weren’t even alive for that day. Many more were too young to remember it. All of these questions and more are addressed through people’s stories we’ve never even thought about before. It is poignant, powerful, and shockingly light-hearted. #NeverForget is an interesting call-to-action when we can still feel the powerful waves of tragedy 20 years later.
All seven episodes of the “9/12” podcast are available wherever you get your podcasts.