Rice’s testimony to broadcast live

By Gus Bode

Show airs Thursday morning; available on Digital cable

On Thursday morning, Southern Illinois residents can watch live coverage of National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice’s testimony before a commission investigation the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

WSIU digital channel 40 will provide live coverage from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. However, viewers can only catch the live broadcast if they have digital cable. Candis Isberner, executive director of WSIU public broadcasting, said this sort of coverage would not have been possible without the new digital format implemented last year.


“In past years, before digital, we would not have elected to preempt our children’s programming,” Isberner said. “But now we can broadcast on multiple channels, we have more flexibility.”

WSIU-FM 91.9 will also cover the testimony, however it will run on a 1-hour tape delay.

“It is somewhat of a historic moment,” said News Producer Brad Palmer. “It’s not often someone in the president’s cabinet testifies. Because of the ramifications of Sept. 11, we feel the public will be interested. It’s our duty to provide this information to the public.”

Rice came under fire after a former counter-terrorist chief claimed the Bush administration could have prevented the attacks if terrorist possibilities were taken more seriously before Sept. 11.

At first President Bush did not want Rice to speak before the commission, but last week he agreed to let her testify under oath after bipartisan Congressional pressure.

According to the Baltimore Sun, during a visit to Charlotte, N.C., Bush told reporters he was confident in Rice’s testimony.

“[Rice] is a very smart, capable person who knows exactly what took place and will lay out the facts, and that’s what the commission’s job is meant to do and that’s what the American people want to see,” Bush said. “And, I am looking forward to people hearing her.”


The inquiry has become a focus during the presidential election campaigning, and Bush has offered to testify before the commission with Vice President Dick Cheney.

“It will be a great opportunity for them to ask both of us our opinions on the subject,” Bush said. “I look forward to sharing information with them.”