The White House asks the cop show for help in nabbing the nation's 22 most wanted terrorists

By Gary Susman
Updated October 15, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
George W Bush: APTN/AP Wide World

America's Most Wanted

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A month ago, politicians on the left and right were decrying the television networks as the violent corruptors of America’s youth and destroyers of America’s moral fabric. Today, however, the government is enlisting broadcasters in the patriotic fight against terrorism, both to help catch suspected conspirators and to help defend the U.S. against anti-American propaganda.

On the law enforcement front, the effort kicks into high gear Friday night with a special episode of Fox’s ”America’s Most Wanted,” scheduled and produced in just 48 hours at President Bush’s request (airing at 9 p.m.). ”This was something we wish we had more time to put together, but it seemed quite important to the FBI and White House that we do this as soon as possible,” Fox TV chairman Sandy Grushow told Variety. To air the special ”AMW,” Fox is pulling a new episode of its soap ”Pasadena.”

”AMW” has already devoted considerable time to exposing potential terrorists after the Sept. 11 attacks, but Bush wanted specifically to use TV to expose the 22 suspects the FBI named on Wednesday. ”The evidence is clear that the show catches criminals,” a White House spokesman told the New York Times. ”The show can be of help in the president’s desire to bring the terrorists to justice.” Even Fox rivals CNN and MSNBC are promoting the show in order to help catch the suspects.

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America's Most Wanted

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  • TV Show
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  • In Season
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