« Where is Airforce Major Jill Metzger? (Discussion Continued) | Main | Will ABC Broadcast "The Path to 9/11" or Will it Succumb to Democratic Pressure? »

Selective Outrage

Like one of Charles' readers, I am also on the mailing list of Tom McMahon, the Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee. I never asked to be on it, but I am nonetheless. It's given me a few laughs, one of which I shared with you fine folks last month, but mainly it's been a mild irritation.

This letter, though, really left an impression on me.

So, based on early reports (and not actual airings), Mr. McMahon wants to engage in prior restraint and keep ABC from airing this program? Because it has several "dramatic recreations" and uses "dramatic license" on certain key events? Why, in that case, how DARE they label it a documentary?

Oh, that's right, they're not. They're calling it a "docudrama," meaning it blends elements of both and should NOT be mistaken as a true documentary.

And don't even get me started on Mr. McMahon's citation of Sandy "the pants burglar" Berger as an authority on what happened. On second thought, maybe we should give him that credibility. After all, the documents that Berger -- Bill Clinton's National Security Advisor -- pleaded guilty to stealing from the National Archives and destroying very well might have corroborated his account of events. Pity we'll never know for sure.

Considering Mr. McMahon's outrage over this production, I would be intensely curious to hear his opinion on Michael Moore's magnum opus, "Fahrenheit 9/11." You know the one -- the "documentary" where Moore misrepresented facts, misled participants, jumbled his history, and out-and-out lied to present "his vision" of that terrible day. (See this analysis of the film for starters.)

On second thought, I don't think I need to hear his opinion. I think I can guess what it is readily enough -- the party which he directs put Michael Moore right next to former president Jimmy Carter at their last national convention, and top leaders of his party attended the film's premiere and had words of praise for it.

For the record, I'll most likely watch and record the ABC special. But unlike the sheep Mr. McMahon is apparently used to dealing with, I won't mistake it for a 100%-accurate depiction of reality.

But I'll bet dollars to donuts that it'll be a hell of a lot closer to truth than Michael Moore's fraud.

(Full text below the fold)

Dear Fellow Democrat,


Does a major national broadcast network want to stain itself by presenting an irresponsible, slanderous, fraudulent, "docu-drama" to the American public?

Not if you and I have the last word -- but either way, we're about to find out.

The ABC television network -- a cog in the Walt Disney empire -- unleashed a promotional blitz in the last week for a new "docudrama" called "The Path to 9/11". ABC has thrown its corporate might behind the two-night production, and bills it as a public service: a TV event, to quote the ABC tagline, "based on the 9/11 Commission Report".

That's false. "The Path to 9/11" is actually a bald-faced attempt to slander Democrats and revise history right before Americans vote in a major election.

The miniseries, which was put together by right-wing conservative writers, relies on the old GOP playbook of using terrorism to scare Americans. "The Path to 9/11" mocks the truth and dishonors the memory of 9/11 victims to serve a cheap, callous political agenda. It irresponsibly misrepresents the facts and completely distorts the truth.

ABC/Disney executives need to hear from the public and understand that their abuse of the public trust comes with a cost. Tell Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger to keep this right-wing propaganda off the air -- we'll deliver your message:

http://www.democrats.org/pathto911

This story is breaking quickly. The bias of the "docudrama" only became known when ABC began circulating previews recently. Less than two weeks ago, 9/11 Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste confronted a lead writer of "The Path to 9/11" after watching the first half of the miniseries at a screening, but most of what we know amounts to bits and pieces because ABC chose to screen the miniseries to conservative bloggers and right-wing media outlets exclusively. Almost none of the Democrats portrayed in the film have even been asked for their thoughts.

But we still know enough, thanks to news accounts and crack research, to fact check "The Path to 9/11" as a biased, irresponsible mess. Here's what you need to know:

Richard Clarke -- the counterterrorism czar for the Clinton administration, now himself a consultant to ABC News -- describes a key scene in "The Path to 9/11" as "180 degrees from what happened." In the scene, a CIA field agent places a phone call to get the go ahead to kill Osama Bin Laden, then in his sights, only to have a senior Clinton administration official refuse and hang up the phone. Sandy Berger, President Clinton's National Security Advisor, called the same scene "a total fabrication. It did not happen." And Roger Cressey, a top Bush and Clinton counterterrorism official, said it was "something straight out of Disney and fantasyland. It's factually wrong. And that's shameful."
Another scene revives the old right-wing myth that press reporting made it impossible to track Osama bin Laden, accusing the Washington Post of blowing the secret that American intelligence tracked his satellite phone calls. In reality, responsibility for that blunder -- contrary to "The Path to 9/11" -- rests with none other than the arch-conservative Washington Times.
The former National Security Council head of counterterrorism says that President Clinton "approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda," and the 9/11 report says the CIA had full authority from President Clinton to strike Bin Laden. Yet chief "Path to 9/11" scriptwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh, a friend of Rush Limbaugh, says the miniseries shows how President Clinton had "frequent opportunities in the '90s to stop Bin Laden in his tracks -- but lacked the will to do so."
ABC asked only the Republican co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean, Sr., to advise the makers of "The Path to 9/11". The producers optioned two books, one written by a Bush administration political appointee, as the basis of the screenplay -- yet bill the miniseries as "based on the 9/11 Commission Report."
This is a picture of bias -- a conservative attempt to rewrite the history of September 11 to blame Democrats, just in time for the election.

Tell Walt Disney president Robert Iger that you hold his company responsible -- and that this community demands that ABC tell the truth:

http://www.democrats.org/pathto911

ABC is trying to use of the airwaves -- airwaves owned by you and me, and loaned to broadcasters as a public trust -- to slander Democrats and sell a slanderous, irresponsible fraud to the American people, and they're shamefully doing it just weeks away from Election Day.

The Walt Disney Corporation could have given Americans an honest look at September 11. Instead, the company abandoned its duty to the truth -- and embraced the fiction known as "The Path to 9/11."

But ABC isn't the only company pushing this gross revision of history. ABC has enlisted the reputable education and children's entertainment company Scholastic, Inc. to send 100,000 letters to high school teachers, urging them to show students "The Path to 9/11". Scholastic has also created a discussion guide for teachers to use to encourage students and their families to watch this irresponsible fraud and then discuss it in school. The discussion guide does not in any way point out the concerns and criticisms that have been raised about the validity and accuracy of the film.

We've got to stop this now.

ABC/Disney must face an accountability moment. You can ratchet up the pressure on ABC by sending your own letter to Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger -- tell him to keep this propaganda off their air.

http://www.democrats.org/pathto911

We'll keep you up to date as this story evolves.

Thank you,
Tom

Tom McMahon
Executive Director
Democratic National Committee


Comments (27)

I wonder what he thought of... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

I wonder what he thought of the Reagan biopic that was made a few years ago...

Ed...Do you mean t... (Below threshold)
Big Al:

Ed...

Do you mean to say this ABC docudrama is slighting the achievements of the greatest warlord of the 20th century? I am speaking of Field Marshall W. J. Clinton. I am shocked that ABC could do this and you, editor, could even put this on your website. For shame!!!


I'm getting a certain amoun... (Below threshold)

I'm getting a certain amount of (admitted) satisfaction that Disney is the company involved. Their largest shareholder and de-facto boss is Steve Jobs, no rabid right winger by any Media Matters stretch of credulity, who installed Al Gore on Apple's board of directors.

He could have killed this project dead, but didn't, and I seriously have to doubt that after all this hype, he's gonna do so now.

This is a wonderful opportu... (Below threshold)

This is a wonderful opportunity to reopen some related issues... Jamie Gorelick... Able Danger... if Clinton, Sandy "my pants are classified" Berger, and Madeleine Albright want to have a substantive discussion on what they were doing (or not doing) pre-9/11 I think that's an excellent idea.

Laura? You're right on poin... (Below threshold)

Laura? You're right on point. By bringing up all these whiny complaints they are practically begging the media to do a proper vetting.

Which will kill them.

HMMMMM... So tell me this. ... (Below threshold)
Momof 3:

HMMMMM... So tell me this. If it's just an innocent docurama why is ABC treating it as it were the real thing ? I mean since when has ABC gone out of it's way to promote a docudrama by sending out FREE mailers,curriculum,downloads,talking points,etc,etc etc so school teachers around the country. I mean come on ,if they really and truley are touting it as fiction then why are they treating it as such a BIG deal . Also why not really put the facts of the 911 Commission in it ( true facts never hurt a docudrama)? Hmmmmm, I wonder why.Could it be because the person who wrote the screen play has touted himself to be the most "right winged" person in Hollywood ? Nothing wrong with that,but it is a bit curious. An election coming up and all.More people dying in Iraq and Pakistan. The backdoor draft.The economy going down hill (sure there are more jobs,but they're at Walmart).Now would be a GREAT time to have the people forget all about that silly stuff.Nothing better than beating the ole terrorist drum to whip the people up into a forgetful frenzy.
But thats just MHO..............

Uhm, Momof3, "The Day After... (Below threshold)
Lurking Observer:

Uhm, Momof3, "The Day After"?

Not only did it have all the press packets and the like, it had a dedicated "Nightline" episode so that folks could talk to the nation about their reaction to the program.

Of course, since that was during the Reagan Administration, another war-mongering President, complete with McJobs and the military-industrial complex rapaciously sucking down every penny, well, that's alright then.

RE: MM and F9/11 - Moore pu... (Below threshold)

RE: MM and F9/11 - Moore put his film in theaters, where it could easily be ignored. ABC is splattering everything in sight and running it commercial free on a substantial network. Apples and oranges.

As for the 'docudrama' moniker, David Cunnigham wrote "This is a movie or more specifically a docudrama. Meaning, it is a narrative movie based on facts and dramatized with actors."

Apparently that means "we can make shit up and you can't do anything about it." Which is fine, that's what television is for.

But the Scholastic Inc. tie-in of sending materials to schools based on a 'docudrama' is one step over. Imagine the torches and pitchforks if MM did *that* with F9/11. ;)

-GFO

Wait a minute! "Docudrama"... (Below threshold)
Jeff Moses:

Wait a minute! "Docudrama" as schoolwork? What's next? The history of California as depicted in "Blazing Saddles"?

They're calling it a "do... (Below threshold)
Brian:

They're calling it a "docudrama," meaning it blends elements of both and should NOT be mistaken as a true documentary.

Do you think that makes it responsible to take an acutal event performed by an actual person, based on actual historical record, and intentionally attribute that act to a different person? It's not like Berger represents an amalgam of various people making various decisions over time. This is a singular act that is portrayed inaccurately. How does saying "it's not a documentary" or "it's a controversial subject" make that a responsible thing to do?

I don't think that's something even Michael Moore has done.

Yo, Ohio? The Dems put Moor... (Below threshold)

Yo, Ohio? The Dems put Moore in the Queen's seat next to Carter. Sell your spin like the newbie at FDL, but facts is facts.

It was treated like it was Gospel script.

Brian: "I don't think... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Brian: "I don't think that's something even Michael Moore has done."

Umm, http://www.davekopel.com/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-in-Fahrenheit-911.htm

I guess it's easier to be a "democrat" when you're ignorant.

Yo, Ohio? The Dems put M... (Below threshold)

Yo, Ohio? The Dems put Moore in the Queen's seat next to Carter.

So and what? The Reps spiked Zell's water with LSD, and put him on the podium.

Point is, comparing "Path" and "Farenheit" is no comparison. ABC can 'docudrama' and 'fictionalize' or whatever - it's tv, that's what tv does. But the Scholastic Inc. tie-in is going too far. You see anyone pushing F9/11 in the classroom? No way.

"Farenheit" was a theatrical release - the risk was on the distributor, the theatre chains, the concession guy to make $. "Path" is on a substantial broadcast network, getting plenty of free media that's already paid for - no risk to anyone but ABC. And ABC is eating the commerical time, so it's already been written off as a loss.

Follow the money, it tells a different story.

-GFO

Ohio, Moore's propaganda ge... (Below threshold)

Ohio, Moore's propaganda gets taught as part of college curricula. It's taken as Holy Writ from Hollywood to Hofstra.

This is typical of Clinton ... (Below threshold)
S. Harrington:

This is typical of Clinton and his cronies -- more concerned about what people think of them and their "legacy" than dealing with the real threat of Islamic terrorism this country and all of western civilization faces. Though I have not seen the movie, I can only assume it is also critical of the Bush administration, and I have not heard a peep out of them. There is plenty of blame to go around in our country's past failings to deal with this threat seriously, starting with Reagan's poor response to the bombing of our Marine barracks in Beiruit. I assume ABC's promotion of this miniseries is that they want the public, including school children, to know that we face a serious threat and we need to correct the mistakes we made in the past if we are going to protect ourselves in the future. It is ridiculous that Clinton and his surrogates would want to suppress this important message so that they can save face. They'll have plenty of opportunity to "correct" whatever falsehoods they see in the miniseries after it airs. I'm sure there are a few talk show hosts who would be happy to air an interview with Clinton after the show airs.

Umm, ... I guess it's ea... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Umm, ... I guess it's easier to be a "democrat" when you're ignorant.

And I guess it's easier to be a "republican" when you have no reading comprehension. "F911 had inaccuracies!" is not a cogent response to my point.

Ohio, Moore's propaganda... (Below threshold)

Ohio, Moore's propaganda gets taught as part of college curricula. It's taken as Holy Writ from Hollywood to Hofstra.

Again, so and what? So does Rushdie's Satanic Verses and Hitler's Mein Kampf. You still have to pay to get in. Does Junior or Missy at the local high school get to pick what courses they'll take today? No way - the perfect captive audience. And you will never see MM's F9/11 as part of a tie-in with Scholastic in high school. Period.

Scholastic is hawking their shit for free, just like ABC is taking a loss on this little adventure. No risk for the producers, actors, underwriters. The Mouse picked up the tab, front to back. Again, no comparison to F9/11.

Your definition of 'holy writ' is interesting, however.

-GFO

" Though I have not seen th... (Below threshold)
Momof 3:

" Though I have not seen the movie, I can only assume it is also critical of the Bush administration, and I have not heard a peep out of them. "

UMMMM! No it does nothing to Bush and his ilk. They get off scott free and all is well with the world.....NOT!

As for the Day After.....
It had NOTHING to do with politics (No not even Dear Reagan).This "docudrama" is being pushed to the public like no other "docudrama" before. As for Moore you had to PAY if you wanted to see it(I didn't),but this one is FREE for all to see and we all know how gulible the public is.After all there were TONS and TONSof WMDs and oh lets not forget who really is funding this war fiasco. Yup our good friends CHINA. Gotta LOVE it.
Those "I support the War effort" should read "I support CHINA". MMMMMMMMMM DEBT IS GOOD.

momof 3 "UMMMM! No i... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

momof 3
"UMMMM! No it does nothing to Bush and his ilk. They get off scott free .."

Umm, it hasn't even aired yet. Have you seen it? The people that did see the pre-screening say that both Clinton and Bush get their share of blame.

When did you see it?

If this were anything other... (Below threshold)
RepublicansAreIckyBadThings:

If this were anything other than a right wing screed, it would have been prescreened by a bipartisan audience. However, prescreen copies were only sent to right wing pundits. Rush gets to prescreen the movie, Clinton doesn't. If that is not a clear indication of political bias prejudicing production, then what is?

Editor's note: commenter's chosen name Bowdlerized by Jay Tea; see note in James Cloninger's comment below for details.

Why don't we just say it is... (Below threshold)

Why don't we just say it is "fake but accurate" and call it a day?

As for the advance press and promotions, I learned of this movie via the intarweb, specifically blogs. I have seen nothing on the TV. My daughter has gotten nothing at school about this either. Maybe they are promoting it only in limited areas?

Lastly, does this movie/docudrama or whatever address Jimmah ... Jimmah Carter and his contributions to this war with Islamofascism? I hold Carter to be mostly to blame for the war with Islamofascism ... aka WW III, which began on his watch.

As for the Day After....... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

As for the Day After.....
It had NOTHING to do with politics

YOu must be too young to have watched it then. It was political as well as a warning...specifically the politics of the Cold War. I have the DVD right here, and I watched it last night. The only criticism I have about that film is it didn't go far enough--in fact, ABC (again) wanted cuts in the film, and took out some of more horrid aspects of nuclear war.

"Threads", however...

Furthermore, Nightline devoted a whole two-hours to the subject, and the Reagan Administration got a lot of flak on that show about heightening tensions vis-a-vis his nuclear policy/SDI.

It would be interesting if ABC once again did a "Nightline" show based upon this series. Maybe if the movie claimed that Bush pressed the big red "Tower destruct" button perhaps...


James...old enough to remember the Cold War.

v Rush gets to prescreen... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

v Rush gets to prescreen the movie, Clinton doesn't.

Then why is Clinton complaining about something he hasn't seen? No, screeners were sent to both sides. ABC pre-screened the movie for a select audience of both sides. (In fact, that's how this whole brouhaha started...some Clinton crony bitched about it right after the screening)

I'm not a big fan of the BBC, but I wish for those two nights, I can watch the movie there.

RepublicansAreIckyBadTh... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

RepublicansAreIckyBadThings

Love the handle, it brings visions of a 5 year old child throwing a temper tantrum in the middle of the cereal aisle in the grocer's because mum won't buy him the Frosted Sugar Smacks.

(Editor's note: the name on the comment James cites was altered by me. Originally the commenter called himself "RepublicansAreF***FacedA**holes," and I didn't care for the vile and crass language. I modified it to a more socially-acceptable term. I don't apologize for doing so, but in retrospect I should have noted that I had made that change. I will belatedly do so now.)

UMMMM! No it does nothin... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

UMMMM! No it does nothing to Bush and his ilk. They get off scott free and all is well with the world.....NOT!

Since you won't be here when it airs, I'll go ahead and laugh at you now, in advance, for being so patently and utterly wrong that it defies logic.

As for the Day After.....
It had NOTHING to do with politics (No not even Dear Reagan).

Yes, and "The Crucible" was only about the Salem Witch Trials.

Of course.

This "docudrama" is being pushed to the public like no other "docudrama" before.

Provided you ignore all of the ones that disprove your notion.

As for Moore you had to PAY if you wanted to see it(I didn't),but this one is FREE for all to see and we all know how gulible the public is.

Well, some people think Moore's film had an inch of intellectual integrity, so yes, there are gullible people out there.

So, your beef is that this is free? Got it.

I'll say it's more accurate than several news stories about Bush were in 2004 leading up to the election.

After all there were TONS and TONSof WMDs and oh lets not forget who really is funding this war fiasco.

There have actually been numerous findings of WMD.

Those "I support the War effort" should read "I support CHINA". MMMMMMMMMM DEBT IS GOOD.

OK. Let's cut federal education funding and Head Start to nothing.

Every little bit will help, right?

Right?

Point is, comparing "Path" and "Farenheit" is no comparison. ABC can 'docudrama' and 'fictionalize' or whatever - it's tv, that's what tv does. But the Scholastic Inc. tie-in is going too far. You see anyone pushing F9/11 in the classroom? No way.

Yes, pointing out that both Presidents were less than stellar in this situation --- but one had the excuse of being new to office and still trying to staff everything --- couldn't possibly lead to discussion in school.

No sir.

I love all of the "It's SO inaccurate" without, you know, instances of it being inaccurate. At least you aren't the type to prejudge what you have not seen nor know squat about.
-=Mike

Yes, pointing out that b... (Below threshold)

Yes, pointing out that both Presidents were less than stellar in this situation --- but one had the excuse of being new to office and still trying to staff everything --- couldn't possibly lead to discussion in school.

No sir.

Nice dodge - argue against a point that wasn't made.

However, Scholastic has since done the right thing and pulled back its materials for review. Meanwhile, Iger is laughing his ass off over the free pr - you can't BUY this much media attention.

-GFO

I'm sure he isn't loving th... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

I'm sure he isn't loving the threat to his broadcast license.
-=Mike




Advertisements









rightads.gif

beltwaybloggers.gif

insiderslogo.jpg

mba_blue.gif

Follow Wizbang

Follow Wizbang on FacebookFollow Wizbang on TwitterSubscribe to Wizbang feedWizbang Mobile

Contact

Send e-mail tips to us:

[email protected]

Fresh Links

Credits

Section Editor: Maggie Whitton

Editors: Jay Tea, Lorie Byrd, Kim Priestap, DJ Drummond, Michael Laprarie, Baron Von Ottomatic, Shawn Mallow, Rick, Dan Karipides, Michael Avitablile, Charlie Quidnunc, Steve Schippert

Emeritus: Paul, Mary Katherine Ham, Jim Addison, Alexander K. McClure, Cassy Fiano, Bill Jempty, John Stansbury, Rob Port

In Memorium: HughS

All original content copyright © 2003-2010 by Wizbang®, LLC. All rights reserved. Wizbang® is a registered service mark.

Powered by Movable Type Pro 4.361

Hosting by ServInt

Ratings on this site are powered by the Ajax Ratings Pro plugin for Movable Type.

Search on this site is powered by the FastSearch plugin for Movable Type.

Blogrolls on this site are powered by the MT-Blogroll.

Temporary site design is based on Cutline and Cutline for MT. Graphics by Apothegm Designs.

Author Login



Terms Of Service

DCMA Compliance Notice

Privacy Policy