National Geographic Presents Interview with Former President GW Bush on 9/11

Later this month, National Geographic Channel will present a week of programming dedicated to the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington. To anchor the programming, NatGeo will present a one-hour special featuring former President George W. Bush giving his recollections from the day that changed the United States forever.

Bush XVI will provide a first-person account of when he was first informed of the attacks on the World Trade Center and then learning of the attack on the Pentagon. Plus, he shares his thoughts on the killing of Osama bin Laden, an event that took the day before the NatGeo interview took place. We have a press release and a video for you.





Premieres Sunday, August 28, at 10 PM ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel; Anchors Week of Programming Remembering 9/11

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  As the nation prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of the day that changed America and the world as we know it, the National Geographic Channel presents GEORGE W. BUSH: THE 9/11 INTERVIEW. 

The world premiere documentary, airing Sunday, August 28, 2011, at 10 PM ET/PT, reveals exclusive, first-person insight into the man at the epicenter of our government’s decisions in the face of the deadliest terrorist attack launched on American soil.  Taped over the course of a two-day interview, President George W. Bush opens up with candid details and personal experiences on the grueling hours and pressure-packed days following the attacks.  George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview also opens a new window into his personal account, with never-before-released archival footage and exclusive materials directly from the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

After its U.S. premiere August 28, the film will premiere globally on National Geographic Channels worldwide in early September, reaching a total of 370 million homes, 188 countries and 37 languages.Until now, the former president has never discussed on camera what he was thinking and feeling, and what drove his real-time, life-or-death decisions in the first minutes, hours and days after the attacks.  In the most in-depth televised interview he has ever given on the subject, he provides intimate detail on what he grappled with as both commander in chief charged with protecting his fellow citizens, and as a family man concerned for his loved ones.

Through the two-day interview, President George W. Bush tells his first-person story, starting with his morning jog before a school visit where he first learned the nation was under attack.  We hear what facts he weighed when Andrew Card first whispered in his ear; the impact of his situation in a classroom full of children and the press corps; his first efforts to communicate with the nation at large; the concerns of the Secret Service for his safety on Air Force One; the flow of information from the military, intelligence agencies and news outlets; and his historic trip to Ground Zero in New York in the aftermath of this unprecedented moment.

From the air it looked like … a giant scar.  But when I actually got to the site, it was like walking into hell,” President Bush said of his Sept. 14 visit to Ground Zero.

President Bush also shared the personal concerns that many Americans had that day — for his parents, his children, his wife.  Hear in intimate detail as never before what the president was feeling, not only as the president but as a man worried for his family.  “One of my concerns, like the concerns of other husbands and wives, was, ‘Was my spouse okay? Was Laura okay?’ And my second concern was ‘Were our girls okay?’”

Coincidentally, the day before NGC’s two-day interview with President Bush, the announcement that the United States had killed Osama bin Laden was made by President Obama. Bush gave his real-time reaction to those fresh events on camera: “And President Obama called me [and] told me that Osama bin Laden had been killed. And my response was, I congratulated him, and the special operators that conducted a very dangerous mission.… And so I was grateful. I didn’t feel any great sense of happiness or jubilation. I felt a sense of closure. And I felt a sense of gratitude that justice had been done.”

The in-depth interview and candid observations by the former president illuminate his personal journey through one of the most unforgettable moments in modern American history. “There were no politics, no agenda as he recalled what happened that day,” explains Peter Schnall, executive producer and director, who conducted the two-day interview. “What you hear is the personal story of a man who also happened to be our president. Listening to him describe how he grappled with a sense of anger and frustration coupled with his personal mandate to lead our country through this devastating attack was incredibly powerful.”

Eventually, September the 11th will be a day on the calendar; it’ll be like Pearl Harbor Day,” President Bush concludes. “For those of us who lived through it, it’ll be a day that we’ll never forget.

In the U.S., the film begins Remembering 9/11, a week of programming that includes the premieres of Inside 9/11: The War Continues (also premiering Sunday, August 28), a new chapter in NGC’s critically acclaimed, definitive four-part documentary on the attacks; CIA Confidential: 9/11 Mastermind (August 29), chronicling the CIA’s dramatic story of the quest to capture Khalid Sheik Mohammed; and 9/11: Where Were You (August 30), offering fresh stories of life-and-death decisions people made amid the chaos on the ground in New York City and Washington, D.C., the day of the attacks.

George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview is produced by Partisan Pictures for National Geographic Channels worldwide. For Partisan Pictures, director/producer is Peter Schnall; producer/writer is Don Campbell; editor is Connie Rinehart; coordinating producer is Whitney Johnson; associate producer is Kyle Giddens. For National Geographic Channels, executive producer is Allan Butler. Senior vice president of programming and production is Michael Cascio.

And we have this video preview of the program.

George W. Bush: The 9/11 interview airs Sunday, August 28 at 10 p.m. East/West on the National Geographic Channel.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.