I was thinking that too, Wolfgang - since Woody said radio, he probably meant radio.
But I'd imagine that the radio and the newspaper would have used the same wire services, so the actual radio report would probably have been very similar, but maybe with extra details, like Los Gatos Canyon. Anyway, Joe's find gets us a lot closer to the event itself, and how it must have felt. After September 11th I think it's a bit easier to tune in. (There is an echo of it in the fact that there were probably large numbers of dead in the Towers who will never be known or identified, because they were illegals in borderline employment.)
And that first line - I think rott'ning, as quoted by rich r is actually more vivid than rotting. Going rotten. I think I'll use it any time I sing the song.