Television viewers may get a peculiar sense of time warp if they tune in to MSNBC on Saturday night.
For two hours, MSNBC’s reporters and anchors will simulate how D-Day might have been covered if modern technology were in place in 2004. It’s part of special plans networks have in place for marking the 60th anniversary commemoration this weekend.
Reporters will be stationed in France, Washington, London and elsewhere. Military experts will pore over maps in the studio and attempt to explain what is happening. Someone “embedded” with the troops landing on the beaches of Normandy will report via satellite phone on what is “happening.”
They will follow the type of restrictions familiar to people who watched the Iraq war coverage by not revealing precise locations. They don’t show injured or dead Americans now and would not have then, said Bruce Perlmutter, executive producer of the broadcast.
“One of the most interesting challenges we have is that we know how the story ended,” Perlmutter said. “At what point do we have to draw the line and say, ‘This is how much we would have known at this moment in time?”’
MSNBC and CNN will also cover D-Day commemoration ceremonies for most of the day Sunday. Fox News Channel did not respond to a request for its coverage plans.
NBC’s Tom Brokaw will appear Sunday on “Meet the Press,” interviewing Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, makers of the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” Brokaw, author of “The Greatest Generation,” was also interviewing President Bush and French President Jacques Chirac during the weekend.
On a Sunday night special, “Tom Brokaw Reports: D-Day: A Leap Into History,” he’ll profile a French town where civilians suffered terrible consequences for backing American liberators.
For night owls, ABC News is covering President Bush’s remarks from the U.S. Cemetery in Normandy at 4 a.m. Sunday.
National security adviser Condoleezza Rice will be interviewed about D-Day on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday and Secretary of State Colin Powell will be on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”