(crossposted at The Blue Herald)
The more I hear about ABC's upcoming "documdrama" The Path to 9/11 (Al Franken had David Brock of Media Matters on this morning) the more infuriated I get. It is propaganda. It not just a hack job, it is a hatchet job. I would not object so much if it was appearing in movie theaters, where viewers could attend or ignore it as they wished, but it is appearing on ABC and claims to be based on the 9/11 Commission Report, yet directly contradicts that same report on key issues in order to smear Clinton and his team while ignoring and whitewashing the Report's findings (and subsequent findings) on Bush and his team's performance. What's appalling is that when CBS was going to show The Reagans, a TV-made biopic of the famous couple, conservatives were outraged over Ronald Reagan being depicted as being callous and indifferent to the plight of gays with AIDS, with the line, "Let those who live in sin die in sin." While I despised Reagan's politics and the immense harm his policies inflicted, and it's fair to say he was callously slow to address the AIDS crisis (as he likely would not have been had its victims not been mostly gay men), I agree with the criticism that that line of dialogue was unfair. (I still question, though, how much weight anyone should or would give to most TV biopics, since most are godawful.) However, let us now see the double standard in the "liberal" media. Conservatives can complain about a single line in a TV biopic, but it's fine to re-write history while simultaneously presenting it as fact. ABC's docudrama is being presented as honest, true, accurate, and serious. As such, the standards for it are much higher, and perhaps an extremely conservative, personal friend of Rush Limbaugh's is not the best person to be making such a piece. Perhaps when conservative activists, bloggers and pundits are given advance copies to talk it up, and liberal and non-partisan sources have been largely banned from seeing it, something stinks to high heaven. What the hell is wrong with ABC and Disney? How can Harvey Keitel be involved in this?
This is not a trivial issue. This is exactly the sort of crap that has influenced the past two presidential elections, and the reason why so many Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. ABC has chosen to pander to the far right at the expense of truth. And why, or why, make such a horrendous pander right before a crucial midterm election? It's not as if there are no mildly conservative, responsible filmmakers out there. This was heavily reviewed and approved. And how can Thomas Kean, always shy about critiquing Bush, have any credibility anymore if he signed off on this as an advisor, when he knows it cites his work to promote outright lies?
Here's the ABC site for "The Path to 9/11" ("Keeping it honest" is a hoot). Editor & Publisher managed to obtain a copy of the piece and gives a summary here . Media Matters has a piece here. Firedoglake has so much coverage on this you'd best just hit the site and scroll back through, but expert researcher and bullshit detector Sheldon Rampton outlines some of the basics here, Jennifer Nix poses a great list of questions here, and Jane Hamsher provides some links to take action here.