Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« Lindsay Lohan's Purse: STOLEN!... | Seattle, B.C. »

Friday, September 8, 2006

The Path to 9/11: The Latest

Posted by on September 8 at 10:31 AM

The New York Times reports that ABC/Disney is now re-editing certain scenes in the movie, while the same paper’s television critic seems unmoved by liberal complaints about the film. (Think Progress picks apart the review here.)

The Washington Post, in an article reprinted in today’s Seattle Times, ticks off the descriptors that former Clinton administration officials are using to describe the movie. Madeleine Albright: “False and defamatory.” Sandy Berger: “Flagrantly misrepresents my personal actions.” Bruce Lindsey: “Unconscionable.”

A Houston Chronicle editorial accuses ABC of fabricating history.

And Liberal bloggers today are targeting Disney board member and Apple CEO Steve Jobs, trying to get him to stop distribution of the film over I-Tunes. They’re also targeting George Mitchell, Disney’s Chairman of the Board; lower level phone-answerers at ABC and Disney; and Disney CEO Robert Iger. And, they’re urging people to sign the DNC’s petition calling on Iger to yank the film (the petition collected more than 100,000 signatures in its first 24 hours and is to be delivered to Iger today).

Meanwhile, Variety is hearing hints of a “bombshell”:

“The Path to 9/11” is looking a lot like “The Reagans, Part II.”

Bill Clinton loyalists are demanding wholesale changes to the upcoming miniseries — and while ABC is making some snips, the alterations, insiders say, may not please the Dems.

But a bombshell decision may happen anyway: Sources close to the project say the network, which has been in a media maelstrom over the pic, is mulling the idea of yanking the mini altogether.

CommentsRSS icon

RELAX. I heard the Sunday night episode is hard on Clinton; Monday night is hard on Bush.

You lefties are turning into some freaky "don't let the masses see what they shouldn't see" bunch - trying to prop up Clinton from his falure to apprehend Osama and his distraction wiht Monica. Americans know that already. Your rage is getting very hyprocritical and very ugly.

Just sit back, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the show. Geeez Louise...

Ah, that would be fine tradition of a Republican shifting the argument to fit their own bias.

At issue isn't which party the film is harder on or even if it is balanced. The issue is that many of the Clinton instances are FICTION. Not only are they fiction they are contradicted in the 9/11 report, which is supposed to be what the mini-series is based on.

The instance is the premise that Clinton was too distracted by Monica Lewinsky to properly act. This is refuted by 9/11 commission. However, a little new search will reveal that it was the congressional GOP that protested Clinton's efforts to deal with bin Laden saying he was simply trying to deflect attention away from his sex scandal. What are a few lives in the name of a political power grab.

It also seems that the film isn't going to even touch on the sacred cow Regan- who you can point a direct finger at for providing bin Laden with the infrastructure he used to build his terrorist organization. But why would the GOP producer of this mini-series want to do that?

The bottom line is that there is no need to fictionalize Clinton's action/inaction. However it is awfully convenient for mini-series that is condemning of Democrats stance on national security just happens to be coming about before the mid-term elections and that of a bi-partison investigation, only the GOP was consulted.

How much money did Disney give to the GOP?

Yes, It's really horrible when people who are not Republicans let their opinions be known.

Everyone knows that the GOP has always been on the ethical high ground, and never would stoop to trying to influence speech in this country. Their actions stand for themselves.

Their treatment of minorities, especially gays and blacks, has been a model for others, if only they would realize it.

Yes, it's just silly and extreme for people to question anything. Sit back and keep your trap shut. Voicing your opinion is SO 20th century. You're in good hands. Trust the corporations and the government.

"(Not Very Hairy) Reid and other leading Senate Democrats wrote to Robert Iger, president and CEO of ABC's corporate parent, the Walt Disney Co., urging him to "cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program." In fact Reid, Schumer, etc. went far beyond appeals and dununciations. They pointedly pointed out to Iger & to ABC that the licences of ABC affiliates are subject to Congressional oversight.

Yesterday we concluded here that First Amendment protections and censorship do not extend to commercial programming. Today, with the neoNixonian strongarming by Democrats in Congress (isn't it droll that Eli Sanders would fail to tell you about it?) we are absolutely in the zone of censorship.

And any minute now we should be hearing from Tim Robbins that a "chill wind" of repression is frosting the nuts off dissent & freedom.

Maybe Nixon tried to manipulate the media like this. JFK certainly did, but not as blatantly. Bush? Never. He's a dope, but he never tried to create the cold climate of fear that Robbins imputed to him. If you want to see real despotism, look to the fashionable fascism of the left. That's where it usually comes from.

oh please. if this film is so evenhanded/objective/not a big deal then WHY DID THEY ONLY GIVE ADVANCE SCREENING COPIES TO RIGHTWINGERS LIKE RUSH LIMBAUGH?

bill clinton, a former president, asked for an advance copy and was denied.

Has it ever occurred to you, Winston, that by the year 2050 at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we're having right now. The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact, there will be no thought as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking, not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

You should never disagree with a corporation.

You should never question what the TV tells you.

It's not you place to object to anything whatsoever.

Keep your mouth shut and just watch the thing.

By speaking up, you are threatening free speech.

Corporations have feelings too, you know.

Be a good sheep. Just be happy with whatever the TV tells you.


That's idiotic.

The GOP did the same thing with the Regan biopic. The GOP also has it long talking points for it's 'war on Hollywood' and takes money away from schools, museums and any other arts they can get their hands on for anything they don't like/don't understand. Bush manipulates the media and truth every time he opens his mouth.

The left does not have a monopoly on media manipulation or censorship, nor does the right. It usually in times of war that the 1st amendment takes a hit and censorship becomes prevalent. Wilson was guilty, FDR was guilty, Truman was guilty, Nixon was guilty and Bush is guilty. I am sure Clinton wishes he was more guilty.

However that is besides the point, since this about spreading misinformation, (very) arguably for political gain. It is not censorship is a major media outlet is broadcasting fiction dressed up like reality. A person or organization has the right to defend itself against slanderous lies.

I would never protest anything. That wouldn't be cool, besides it would take time away from activities I value, such as shopping.

This whole rights thing can be taken too far, and this is certainly an example of that. You have a right to have a cool car (if you can afford it) and fashionable outfits, and a bitchin' apartment, but really - that's about it. Why question anything? That's just making trouble, and there's trouble enough in the world.

Milhous is right. Leftists are the ones that always are causing problems. If the leftists had just kept their traps shut, we would have a much better government. One where corporations tell us what to think. Since they are rich, they must be right.

I blame the liberal professors that are supported by our tax dollars.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Let them roll it. We are smart enough to tear it to shreds without resorting to the kind of pathetic quasi-censorship that people on the right use to quell ideas they don't agree with.

Let's say the "best" thing happens and ABC pulls it due to left wing pressure. Does that not make the left look just like the screechy, reactionary assholes on the right? Voters in the political middle are tired of those tactics. I say we stay above the fray, and trust ourselves and our ability to persuade people that this "documentary" is a load of shit.

Have faith in your ideas, and the courage to withstand a lie.

Matthew, I agree with you. I think that ultimately this thing will have as much impact as the bird flu movie they did last year.

BUT I think it's also important that people call Bullshit on endeavors like this, and that the powers that be know that there are people out there who are onto them. Otherwise, we'll be treated to the revisionist history movie of the week.

Bush is now giving a 16 minute speech on Monday at 9pm Eastern. Won't this pre-empt ABC's docu-bullshit in the East and Midwest?

Why isn't anyone SUING them for the LIES?

God! I am just tired of the Republicans beating the 9/11 horse solely to influence the elections. If or when ABC airs this fictitous piece of shit, I hope someone sues them out of existence.

I don't understand. This is a docudrama, so some dramatization and fictionalizing is to be expected. Why are some of you so upset? I don't understand.

If I got to choose a bit of right wing hackery for ABC to show on primetime, I'd love to see a "docudrama" of the Ken Star report! Leave it to conservatives to create quite possibly the most expensive AND salacious government document ever.

It would be worth watching for the inevitable montage of Newt, Hassert, Delay and so many other moralists all cheating on their wives while writing it. Watch the congressional republicans bravely claim that Clinton was wagging the dog with airstrikes into Afghanistan! I think we could even “interpret” a scene in which Ken Star himself masturbates to the completed document.

A truly excellent way to demonstrate why our government sat idle during the gathering threat...

Who IS this 'Regan' that GDC natters about? If there was a Don-Regan biopic, I missed it. Can't imagine anyone wanting to watch it or censor it.

To repeat, and maybe you're willfully missing the point, the issue in play for Path to 9/11 is intimidation by a goon squad from the Clinton-Flynt Administration and by the left side of the aisle in Congress. The corporation in this case is/was merely trying to present the context of an event in which two administrations -- one 'Crat and one Go-Pee -- look bad. Only the 'Crat side is trying to prevent you from having the opportunity to make up your own minds, such as they are.

To repeat: Bill Clinton's Democrats have made a not-very-veiled threat to ABC that the licences of its affiliates will be on the line when Democrats take Congress. Democrats, not Republicans, are trying to stuff a serious film into Sandy Berger's pants, where it will never be seen in the light of day or night. Where's your outrage?

If you haven't heard, the main source for Path to 9/11 is not a Bush crony or a Limbaugh clone. The source is Michael Scheuer, the CIA's bin Laden expert for almost a decade who was also a main source for the 9/11 Commission. As the Author Formerly Known as Anonymous, Scheuer wrote Imperial Hubris, the hubris being Bush's invasion of Iraq.

But Scheuer, alas for you, never drank deeply from Clinton's Koo-Laid. And Scheuer, alas for you, had enough integrity that he wasn't conned by your boy Bill.

The parts of Path to 9/11 that 'Crat hacks are whining about are deliberate composites of some episodes and characters so that a complex story can be told in 5-6 hours. The composites are not falsifications: they truly make Clinton look bad on Sunday night, and they truly make Bush look bad on Monday ... just the was it was. And that's the truth.

Why are we upset?

Hmm. How about if I make a film about how the Americans picked on the poor Germans who were only trying to educate Jewish people in nice educational facilities and give them nice showers?

Do you get it yet? Both are LIES. Both are WRONG.

Thanks to Fnarf & Golob for running an excellent grad seminar on the Mossadegh thread. I suspect & fear that they better understand mideast policy than do the policy makers we entrusted with mideast policy. George Packer noted, for example, that the first critical period of our Iraq occupation was run by Garner & Bremer, almost utterly clueless about Iraq, & by gangs of Young Republicans & College Republicans who throught they could manage chaos from the Green Zone.

* Golob (who seems way off his game today) wondered when someone will try to make sense of the snakes' nest we call Saudi Arabia. Again I recommend Sleeping with the Devil, by Robert Baer. The Atlantic Monthly's excerpts of the book are better than the book, but it's a good place to go for an understanding of Saudi porno princes & paupers, & of our pathological entanglements with a pathological regime. You don't have to be papanoid about Carlyle to be very afraid that Saudi sickos are wagging our dog;

* Fnarf wrote that Iran could be the crucible for mideast democracy & progress. Sort of like saying that rattlesnakes could be man's best friend if only they'd learn to retract their fangs. For years I've heard about Iran's rampant renascent subset of closet progressives who are trying to push their nation and region into a glorious future, if only we'd let them, and for years Iran slides closer to brain-dead death;

* The left accuses the rest of not being able to let go of Clinton ... must be some kind of sublimated sex thing, they say, as if we're homoerotically infatuated with the fat slob. But meanwhile the left can't let go of Mossadegh or Arbenz. 53 years after they shuffled off the scene, Radical Radio & post-Marxist books are still thrashing over what went down in 19 and 53, a looooong time ago. Don't you think they'd be interested in a Democrat coup that happened only 43 years ago, the day before yesterday?

Ike knocked off Mossadegh & Arbenz in 1953 because it looked like they were going to sleep with the enemy. What excuse did JFK have in 1963 for knocking off Diem, an American ally. Think about it;

* Truman: The HST we recall with smiling nostalgia is the Truman of 1945 - 1949. His own private term, 1949-1953, was a disaster. Just like the one we've got now;

* Something or someone named Paulie Wingnuts is gunning for Fnarf. Paul's playing a sick game, and needs to back off.

If you don't like it, don't watch it. But trying to censor a television program you don't agree with is nonsense, no matter what side of the political spectrum you are on.


I'm mostly in agreement with you, nor do I think this should be outright censored. The problems for me arise given the delicate subject matter and this being presented as some sort of a historical re-enactment, including written materials for schoolchildren.

I am neither a fan of either Bush nor Clinton. Everyone has some blame here, and this exact subject has been given a far better journalistic treatment already. I would have no problem with a commercial free showing of the documentary “The Man Who Knew”, which covers the same topics, and lays its own blame widely.

The producers have explicitly stated on their blog their goal is to bring people to re-think the causes of 9/11. I don't think it is a stretch to say such a painful national re-evaluation should be done with an actual documentary, not fiction dressed up in documentary clothing. Is there any honest way of doing a fictionalized account of what lead up to 9/11 and not have it end up as propaganda?

Compare this production to "United 93", which used direct interviews with surviving family members, transcripts of calls and radio broadcast, and the actual surviving participants of the events rather than actors. Even that bordered on the line of taste.

Maybe in thirty or forty years something like this docudrama could be done properly, ala Tora Tora Tora, with participation of both sides.

Larding up the nations airwaves with more propaganda, particularly just before a crucial national election, seems in the least tawdry if not outright conspiratorial.

It's only propaganda if you buy into it.

And, at this point, it seems to me that everyone has pretty much made up their mind about who they want to blame for 9/11 and what they think about that incident.

So, if this 9/11 docudrama is truly about politics and not just a movie, then I think both sides will use it to play their game.

It really has no impact to normal, everyday people...only people who really want to get their knickers in a twist over it either way, in my opinion.

I'd love to live in a country where people don't buy into propaganda.

About half of Americans still believe Saddam attacked us on 9/11. This is despite the commission report AND the president (recently) explicitly stating that notion is false. I'm not sure if this makes your or my point. It could be that people simply have made up their minds already. Or it could be most people are too busy or lazy to have learned the facts that are available.

I fear for many people this will be their one and only exposure to the immediate history leading up to the attacks.

I am not interested in both sides playing their games. I'd rather be honest and serious about these topics and hopefully avoid a future attack.

I understand your point and it is well thought out. Thank you for sharing it.

It is definitely better to be serious about the issue but the real sticky area is in the censorship of it, no matter how factually incorrect it is.

Is it better to censor it and have that ruckus or show it and have that shitstorm?

I guess we'll find out after the fact.

Slander and defamation of national figures is very expensive.

KOMO-TV's license is up for renewal (see prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/

Indeed you do. Can smell 'em from here.

The last Fnarf comment above, #26, is not by me, it's by Crazy Paul.

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).