Thursday, September 07, 2006

OK, I'm Convinced: "The Path to 9/11" IS Blatant Right-Wing Propaganda

Cross-posted from my Daily Kos diary:

Aggh! A few days ago I saw some items in Daily Kos warning that "The Path to 9/11" was pre-election propaganda for the Right. But poking around the Internet, I saw other stories that suggested the film was mostly just dramatic and absorbing and neither liberal nor conservative in orientation. Michael Medved has convinced me of the error of my ways.

This evening I happened to be listening to a Christian Right AM radio station [WRFD, AM 880]. In ten minutes' time I heard Medved deliver two plugs for "The Road to 9/11." The second time I caught most of it on my digital recorder. Here's the transcript:

... The truth is that terrorist strikes against America began long before 2001, and a superb upcoming mini-series on ABC-TV, "The Path to 9/11," makes that point unforgettably clear. The five-hour dramatization begins with the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, highlighting eight years of confusion and passivity in the Clinton administration, while Bin Laden and colleagues intensified their anti-American jihad. As early as 1983 Hezbollah had killed 241 Americans in Beirut, and even four years before that, the embassy hostage crisis in Iran highlighted the new threat from Islamic extremism. Terrorism was hardly a response to the war in Iraq but that war was part of our response to a long series of atrocities reaching back more than twenty-five years. I'm Michael Medved.

That really tore it with me.

Next up was Hugh Hewitt interviewing the film's producer and one of its principal actors. Overtly, Hewitt made it sound like the film was just plain great drama, and the producer made it sound as if it was faithfully based on the 9/11 Commission Report. But taking the picture as it has now emerged -- the selective pre-screenings, Richard Clarke's assertion that at least one key scene is 180 degrees around from what actually occurred, and the smoking gun of the Medved plug, I've not only written ABC to protest, I'm not going to watch ABC again if they air this crap.

From one of many comments in response:

Howie Kurtz has written a pretty damning article about the film's brouhaha for tomorrow's edition (especially considering that it's coming from Howie!). This is becoming a big PR disaster for ABC/Disney. One juicy bit:

Top officials of the Clinton administration have launched a preemptive strike against an ABC-TV "docudrama," slated to air Sunday and Monday, that they say includes made-up scenes depicting them as undermining attempts to kill Osama bin Laden.

Former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright called one scene involving her "false and defamatory." Former national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger said the film "flagrantly misrepresents my personal actions." And former White House aide Bruce R. Lindsey, who now heads the William J. Clinton Foundation, said: "It is unconscionable to mislead the American public about one of the most horrendous tragedies our country has ever known."

Word is, the other networks are starting to jump ABC as well. Any publicity is good publicity? Not always, and I hope ABC gets it with both barrels.


Blogger Jill said...

Thank you very much for this Mark! I have the perfect anonymous commenter on my blog whom I hope will read your post.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Mark G. said...

I've written more about this, with updated links, at Cliopatria, the big history blog, where I'm a regular contributor.

8:51 AM  

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