Galaxy Watch 5 Galaxy Buds 2 Pro Android 13 Best Wireless Earbuds QLED vs. OLED TVs Air Conditioners Fitness Supplements Shower Filters
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you

Trump blames 'ancient' tech for lack of video showing NJ Muslims cheering 9/11

Technically Incorrect: The Republican candidate insists he saw Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11. It's just that technology wasn't then what it is now.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Can one great memory trump tech?

Right Side Broadcasting/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Everyone hallucinates sometime.

Memory is mischievous. It plays more tricks than a savant 4-year-old.

This, however, doesn't happen to Donald Trump. He has, by his own admission, "one of the all-time great memories."

Such a memory therefore wouldn't fool him into believing that Muslims in New Jersey held tailgate parties immediately after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Indeed, Trump continues to claim that "thousands" of Muslims in New Jersey were celebrating 9/11. He says he saw this play out on television. New Jersey public officials have disputed the claim, and so far, no television footage has turned up.

Why does there appear to be no video record of these celebrations? Technology, of course.

Appearing on Monday's "Morning Joe," the leading Republican candidate explained that in 2001 tech wasn't quite what it is now.

"Fourteen, fifteen years ago wasn't like it is today where you press a button and play a video," he said. Oddly, I seem to remember that it was just like that. VHS was going strong. Still, I don't have one of the great all-time memories.

"Fourteen, fifteen years ago, they don't even put it in files, they destroy half of the stuff, " Trump, an all-time expert on technology, continued. "You know if you look back, 14, 15 years, that was like ancient times in terms of cinema and in terms of news and everything else. They don't have the same stuff."

I'm not aware of mass technological media destruction back then. But, of course, it could have happened. Yet, there were surely at least a few TV stations that kept recordings of everything they'd emitted, if only for legal reasons.

Moreover, on this MSNBC broadcast, Trump insisted that he hadn't seen Muslims celebrating in faraway lands. This was most definitely in New Jersey.

It was clearly tech's doing that this had disappeared, he said.

"Today you can press a button and you can see exactly what went on two years ago. But when you go back 14, 15 years, that's like ancient technology," were his final words.

It must have been very ancient, as not one single modern human has yet found footage related to Trump's total recall.

If technology really was so bad back then, that would explain why there's no footage of me throwing that perfect game in a World Series, or of actress Jennifer Connelly insisting I was the only man for her.

Still, when I look at Time magazine's top inventions of 2001, I see painfully rudimentary objects such as the wind-up cell phone and the infrared smoke alarm.

So perhaps Trump is right that technology was so neanderthal that the very footage his great memory holds wasn't committed to any form of tape or disk.

There again, fellow Republican candidate -- and governor of New Jersey -- Chris Christie might also have an opinion on this.

Reporters with modern machines asked him on Monday whether the celebrations Trump (and an alleged few hundred others) remembers occurred had somehow slipped his mind too.

"It didn't happen," he said.