By the afternoon of September 11, entertainment executives were rushing to remove media products containing 'inappropriate' references from American television and movie screens. While references to terrorism were the starting point, their caution extended to themes of war and threats against America, all in the name of 'public sensitivity' and 'respect for the victims'. Simultaneously, uninterrupted news coverage was brimming with scenes of devastation and heartbreak. What makes fiction inappropriate when the equivalent fact is not? Can fiction help the viewer process fact, and if so, should it?