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The Path from 9/11
September 6, 2006 6:59 PM   Subscribe


 
i didn't think it was possible for me to become any more cynical about politics and politicians.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 7:16 PM on September 6, 2006


And just how would a left-wing activist, producing an inaccurate docudrama, claiming it was based on the 9/11 commission report, ever gotten it aired? Liberal media, my butt.
posted by toma at 7:18 PM on September 6, 2006


right wing, you mean?
posted by null terminated at 7:25 PM on September 6, 2006


The right wing guy managed to do it. I can't imagine the opposite. Richard Clarke's memories.
posted by toma at 7:28 PM on September 6, 2006


ABC thinks only Republicans care about September 11, only reaches out to GOP bloggers.

Are Disney and ABC becoming willing tools of the right wing?

Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY-28), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, released a statement condemning the program's "documentary" billing:
"ABC has a responsibility to make clear that this film is not a documentary, and does not represent an official account of the facts surrounding the September 11th attacks," Rep. Slaughter said. "Disclaimers noting that The Path to 9/11 is a docudrama should be shown throughout its airing. We have yet to establish the impartiality and accuracy of the people behind this film and the claims it advances, and the American people need to know that...But what is far more important is the timing of this movie," Rep. Slaughter continued. "The anniversary of the attacks is an emotional time, and it is wrong for anyone to play on those emotions and use them to advance a political agenda."
Tell ABC to Tell the Truth About 9/11.
posted by ericb at 7:31 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]




Yep, this is sickening.
posted by Justinian at 7:34 PM on September 6, 2006




Déjà vu! Someone please help me out, I know I've seen this before...but where?

"The anniversary of the attacks is an emotional time, and it is wrong for anyone to play on those emotions and use them to advance a political agenda."
posted by taosbat at 7:39 PM on September 6, 2006


"ABC's disclaimer, which they say will run 'throughout' their 9/11 movie
'The following movie is a dramatization that is drawn from a variety of sources including the 9/11 Commission Report and other published materials, and from personal interviews. The movie is not a documentary. For dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, as well as time compression.'
Network officials have sent a statement affiliates are supposed to read to viewers who write in or call to complain. And basically the statement is just a recitation of this disclaimer.""...the local affiliates who are actually owned and operated by ABC parent company Disney. Here's the list of all of them. But the rest -- listed here -- are independently owned. They don't have to run the ABC 9/11 bamboozler if they don't want to....

"ABC local affiliates owned by Hearst...
Boston, MA WCVB
Manchester, NH WMUR
Pittsburgh, PA WTAE
W. Palm Beach, FL WPBF
Portland-Auburn, ME WMTW
Kansas City, MO KMBC
Milwaukee, WI WISN
Oklahoma City, OK KOCO
Omaha, NE KETV
Jackson, MS WAPT
Fort Smith/Fayettville, AR KHBS/KHOG
Albuquerque, NM KOAT
Honolulu, HI KITV"
posted by ericb at 7:40 PM on September 6, 2006


Remember when in 2003 "CBS cancelled plans to run a two-part miniseries about the presidency of Ronald Reagan after the Republican National Committee complained the docudrama was too critical and inaccurate."
"CBS' decision was applauded by fans of the former president, who were worried the film scheduled to air Nov. 16 and Nov. 18 would distort Ronald Reagan's legacy."
I guess the victors do get to write the history!
posted by ericb at 7:47 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm not clear on who's seen the film already. It hasn't aired yet, right?
posted by smackfu at 7:48 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


(Or is this like Fahrenheit 9/11, where that doesn't matter?)
posted by smackfu at 7:48 PM on September 6, 2006


ericb, dailykos is two doors down, on the left.
posted by mathowie at 7:48 PM on September 6, 2006 [2 favorites]


I'm not clear on who's seen the film already. It hasn't aired yet, right?

Advanced preview copies have been already viewed -- mostly by right-wing conservative groups, but also by media critics/commentators.
posted by ericb at 7:50 PM on September 6, 2006


mathowie -- thanks for the directions...but, I don't visit that website.
posted by ericb at 7:50 PM on September 6, 2006


ericb, dailykos is two doors down, on the left.

Are you sure it's not on the right?
posted by scottreynen at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2006


ericb, dailykos is two doors down, on the left.

I don't get it.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2006


I'm not clear on who's seen the film already. It hasn't aired yet, right?

Right. Some right-wing bloggers and critics have seen it. Curiously, Albright, Berger and Clinton have not been allowed to see it, despite their requests.
posted by homunculus at 7:59 PM on September 6, 2006


if this place is further to the left than daily kos we must all live on a mobius strip.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 7:59 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


Let the swiftboating continue, I guess. Something reeks! Must be election time.
posted by clevershark at 8:00 PM on September 6, 2006


Damn tags.
posted by homunculus at 8:01 PM on September 6, 2006


BushFilter.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:02 PM on September 6, 2006


The real question is whether Clinton's testicles hang to the left or the right. It sounds like this informative documentary might provide the answer.
posted by homunculus at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2006


homunculus -- that all depends on whether he wears boxers or briefs.
posted by ericb at 8:08 PM on September 6, 2006


I am going to boycott ABC, except I went to their web site and looked at their schedule and realized that, with the possible exception of Lost (which I don't watch anyway), they don't have a single damn show worth watching. Easiest boycott ever.

Has anyone posted a list of ABC sponsors yet?
posted by MegoSteve at 8:15 PM on September 6, 2006


BullshitFilter
posted by ZachsMind at 8:16 PM on September 6, 2006


whatever happened to the idea that if it happens on your watch, you're the one responsible? ... and why, for pete's sake, does anyone still care about clinton? ... he's history
posted by pyramid termite at 8:28 PM on September 6, 2006


I guess the victors do get to write the history!

Osama Bin Laden will get to write history now? Dang. That guy is on a streak.
posted by tkchrist at 8:43 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


As a significant shareholder of ABC/Disney stock -- What Should/Would Steve Jobs Do Regarding "The Path to 9/11" Mini-Series?
Note: This is not a link to DailyKos.com.

posted by ericb at 8:45 PM on September 6, 2006


Mythology is a powerful tool for legitimizing government. It has been so since the Greek epics, and will continue with this pile of garbage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:46 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


oh there can be now doubt this whole thing is clinton's fault. *clasps hand over mouth to silence laughter*
posted by nola at 8:51 PM on September 6, 2006


and by that i mean this movie , yeah, it's clinton's fault.
posted by nola at 8:51 PM on September 6, 2006


Just glancing over the links I can't quite make out what the fuss is all about, can someone enlighten me? What changes have they made in the sequence if events, or in the events themselves, that merits a petition?

I'm not being beligerent, I'm honestly curious.
posted by Vindaloo at 8:52 PM on September 6, 2006


Pyramid termite, I'm asking myself the same thing. I mean, did the Monica thing even matter at the time?
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 8:53 PM on September 6, 2006


Ok, finally came accross the Bin Laden-Clinton episode, is that it or is there more?
posted by Vindaloo at 8:55 PM on September 6, 2006


ericb, dailykos is two doors down, on the left.
posted by mathowie


Wow. matt, your credibility with me just took a hit. Maybe if I'd ever seen you snark like this with one of the MeFi RRWW (Resident Right Wing Wackos), this wouldn't stick out so badly. (Feel free to provide links if I'm mistaken)

This TV movie is very significent for its promotion as a 'big event' and its dishonest and blatantly propagandistic content, and I don't use those terms lightly. The largest media entities' growing tolerance for lies from the more powerful yet not more popular side of the political spectrum is saddening but unsurprising.
posted by wendell at 8:58 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


It must have been hard for Clinton to find the time to plan 9/11, when he was already so busy murdering his enemies.
posted by washburn at 9:03 PM on September 6, 2006


Why isn't there a "Bush Body Count" on the Web?
Oh, not enough room.
posted by wendell at 9:07 PM on September 6, 2006


ditto wendell. ericb brought up a good parallel matt.

vindaloo
from what I've read it basically fabricates a few instances where Clinton could have prevented it and glosses over the mistakes Bush has made.

And these bastards at ABC make me sick. So much for Lost.
posted by slapshot57 at 9:13 PM on September 6, 2006


It must have been hard for Clinton to find the time to plan 9/11, when he was already so busy murdering his enemies.
posted by washburn

washburn: to paraphrase our host, little green footballs is two doors down and to the right.
posted by SteveTheRed at 9:15 PM on September 6, 2006


PS.: I would have said said free republic, but I've had that mapped to localhost for a long time.
posted by SteveTheRed at 9:19 PM on September 6, 2006


What wendell said.
posted by taosbat at 9:20 PM on September 6, 2006


Ibid.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:22 PM on September 6, 2006


ABC 9/11 Movie Slams 'Washington Post' for 'Washington Times' Report
"One of the most blatant factual errors in the ABC miniseries next week on the 9/11 attacks...is a claim that The Washington Post ruined a valuable form of surveillance of Osama bin Laden by disclosing that the U.S. was monitoring his cell phone calls.

Indeed, that charge has been made -- but the alleged wrongdoer was a different paper, The Washington Times.

In part II of the docudrama, 'The Path to 9/11' -- which has been knocked by liberal bloggers and some Clinton offiicials, and hailed by conservatives -- a CIA analyst shortly before the terrorist attacks on the U.S. complains to a colleague that 'ever since the Washington Post disclosed that we intercepted his calls,' bin Laden has ended that form of communication and is 'using couriers now, like they did a thousand years ago.'

It's a good plot device but, for one thing, the paper in question was the conservative Washington Times. That paper's Aug. 21, 1998 edition reported on bin Laden's use of satellite phones and computers.

In addition, many observers strongly doubt that the newspaper blew the surveillance method. Bin Laden's use of a satellite phone, they say, had already been widely reported by August 1998.

On Dec. 22, 2005, Glenn Kessler reported in The Washington Post that 'it appears to be an urban myth. The al Qaeda leader's communication to aides via satellite phone had already been reported in 1996 -- and the source of the information was another government, the Taliban, which ruled Afghanistan at the time.'"
posted by ericb at 9:23 PM on September 6, 2006


Did Scholastic Books yank 'Path to 9/11' teaching materials ("propaganda")?
posted by ericb at 9:28 PM on September 6, 2006


Here's my Open Letter to ABC:

More Lost, and AFV!

Less Extreme Makeover, Boston Legal, Desperate Housewives, According To Jim, George Lopez, and Jimmy Kimmel.

No Wife Swap, Ugly Betty, Dancing With Stars, Brothers & Sisters, Bachelor, Greys Anatomy, Men In Trees, Knights of Prosperity, Help Me Help You, Primetime News, Supernanny, Nine, or Six Degrees.

..about the same amount of 20/20 and Sports.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:31 PM on September 6, 2006




he was already so busy murdering his enemies.

I was kidding. kidding.

But parenthetically: if the Clintons *did* have a talent for murdering people, I'd sure wish they'd be a bit more public-service minded about their little hobby.
posted by washburn at 9:35 PM on September 6, 2006


No Wife Swap, Ugly Betty, Dancing With Stars, Brothers & Sisters, Bachelor, Greys Anatomy, Men In Trees, Knights of Prosperity, Help Me Help You, Primetime News, Supernanny, Nine, or Six Degrees.

Hey! Half those shows haven't aired yet either.
posted by smackfu at 9:36 PM on September 6, 2006


Here's my Open Letter to ABC:
More Lost, and AFV!*
posted by ZachsMind


AFV?* Wow. Zach, your credibility with me just took a hit.

AFV is short for America's Funniest Home Videos, for those of you who don't own a TV. Don't ask me where the H went. I think it's a Right Wing plot.
posted by wendell at 9:37 PM on September 6, 2006


Vindaloo: there are three main things which piss me off about this: 1) it's factualy incorrect, like the bin Laden scene you mentioned, 2) they showed it to right-wing bloggers in advance, but refused to let liberal bloggers or Albright, Berger and Clinton to see it, and 3) they're trying to market it to schools as a historical documentary. It's a stunningly blatant exercise in propaganda bullshit.
posted by homunculus at 9:39 PM on September 6, 2006


Or what wendell said.
posted by homunculus at 9:41 PM on September 6, 2006


For what it's worth, here's an interview with the writer from Libertas, the right wing film website.
posted by maryh at 9:45 PM on September 6, 2006


I'm with ZachsMind on this one. Those are the only two good shows ABC has, in my opinion. That fucking According to Jim confirms that the wrong Belushi died.
posted by bob sarabia at 9:50 PM on September 6, 2006


If you don't understand how serious this is, Matt, I can only conclude you don't bother to read, or can't be bothered to understand the content of your own damned site!
posted by jamjam at 10:09 PM on September 6, 2006


I don't care as much about the propaganda aspect as I might, if I had taken ABC seriously to begin with. I don't think anyone can rightfully call Disney anything other than an entertainment industry. It seems improbable that anyone's mind will change as a result of watching this program.

But it's really disgusting that they are leveraging public emotion stemming from 9/11 to make money. That's the bottom line, no? It says in that e-mail -- $40 million. That's what they invested. They must be expecting big ratings. I wonder how much ads near and during the program cost. It's just vile. I guess I won't get to see Pirates 3. :(
posted by owhydididoit at 10:12 PM on September 6, 2006


ABC-owned KGO 810AM in SF's lineup gives enough indication of the slant of this particular slice of media:

Prime-time slots:

AM drivetime: Ronn Owens, yer basic AIPAC mouthpiece
PM drivetime: Gene Burns, reasonably reasonable small-l libertarian-type, but with his moments of Glibertarianism.
10-1: What's-his-face, the left-wing loudmouth crank
1-Zzz: Ray Tagliefero (sp?) even leftier crank

They also have an emo gay-ish guy handling weekends, and the inestimable Dr Bill Wattenberg, who in 2003 was telling me we had found the WMDs in Iraq (luckily my car stereo headunit faceplate isn't detachable, or I would have chucked it out the window). Meh. The only person worth the spectrum they take up is Dr Dean Odell, and the weekend lawyer guy.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:23 PM on September 6, 2006


As a significant shareholder of ABC/Disney stock -- What Should/Would Steve Jobs Do Regarding "The Path to 9/11" Mini-Series?
Note: This is not a link to DailyKos.com.
posted by ericb at 11:45 PM EST on September 6 [+] [!]


That's hilarious. I'm surprised people really care what Jobs thinks or does. Almost as astounding as the nonsense from ABC.
posted by juiceCake at 10:23 PM on September 6, 2006




I don't know, I rather like Grey's Anatomy. Cute guys (and cute gals).

The 9/11 docu-drama sounds dreadful (with the only vaguely cute guy being Clinton, who is apparently slandered).

(Naively?) optimistic thought: If it's not good, comes across as propaganda, and/or assembled by ideologues/committee, etc., it may not do very well with audiences. Certainly the criticism of the piece is getting some play.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:24 PM on September 6, 2006


I wonder how much ads near and during the program cost

They're not running ads for this. They've got bigger fish to fry here, apparently.


posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:24 PM on September 6, 2006


I don't care as much about the propaganda aspect as I might, if I had taken ABC seriously to begin with... It seems improbable that anyone's mind will change as a result of watching this program.

owhydididoit; did you miss the part about how they've partnered with Scholastic books to produce and distribute teaching kits for schools, and that these teaching kits contain the same distortions and falsehoods?

This is how propaganda works. A typical Metafilter participant may be well-read enough to see around the party line*, but when it's the only line presented on television that's another matter, and when it's taught in school, that's another kettle of fish entirely.

(This, by the way, is why the educated are always among the first to be demonized -- generally leading to far worse -- by an oppresive regime. And you will note how hostile the right is to academia...)
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:25 PM on September 6, 2006


It seems improbable that anyone's mind will change as a result of watching this program.

You really think Moron America can't be swayed by primetime propaganda?
posted by bob sarabia at 10:27 PM on September 6, 2006


You really think Moron America can't be swayed by primetime propaganda?

Saddam Hussein + WMD = September 11, 2001 + 15 suicide bombers from Saudia Arabia/Al-Qaeda.


"Be vewy, vewy afwaid!!!"
posted by ericb at 10:33 PM on September 6, 2006


these teaching kits contain the same distortions and falsehoods ... [t]his is how propaganda works [George_Spiggott]

Okay never mind I'm depressed again. (Having looked at the [PDF] teaching materials linked to ericb's link above.)
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:35 PM on September 6, 2006


This, by the way, is why the educated are always among the first to be demonized

Amen to that George_Spiggott. Pity there are so few of them in America (i.e., educated people) that is becoming increasingly easy to discredit them.

Lacking a decent education, I decided my best defense was to get rid of my TV. Turned it off an threw it out 10 years ago and discovered these things called books. Best thing I ever did.
posted by three blind mice at 10:35 PM on September 6, 2006


The comment about dailykos was directed at ericb, who seems to pop into every anti-bush thread and post 12 links of news in 12 comments free of any context, following up on every possible anti-bush angle as if that's how anyone else acts on mefi. This isn't a left-wing political action committee bulletin board.

It's not about the movie, it's about annoying user behavior. Sorry to snark in the thread, but that's what the joke was about.
posted by mathowie at 10:39 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


GS: I must have misread about Scholastic Books; I got the impression that they weren't using the fictitious bits after all. Regardless, you're right that it should matter more. The textbook industry is extremely politically compromised, and it is alarming. I wasn't properly considering that aspect of this ill-conceived manuever.

I'm still going to boycott Disney/ABC productions. Is there another practical recourse?
posted by owhydididoit at 10:44 PM on September 6, 2006


"Student resource sheet" on Happy Afghanistan: After the downfall of the Taliban, members of the Northern Alliance became heavily involved in the newly established democratic government of Afghanistan. A new constitution took effect in January 2004. In December of that year, Hamid Karzai was elected president of Afghanistan. While coalition soldiers remain in Afghanistan, fighting pro-Taliban forces, the country continues to grow more independent and stable under the transitional democratic leadership.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 10:44 PM on September 6, 2006


I'm surprised people really care what Jobs thinks or does.

Off-topic, but wanting to know what he thinks/does...

Wall Street Journal: Steve Jobs Should Address Options Scandals. ; )
posted by ericb at 10:45 PM on September 6, 2006


You really think Moron America can't be swayed by primetime propaganda?

I think anyone who is swayed by propaganda is already happily aboard the Bushwagon.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:45 PM on September 6, 2006


it's about annoying user behavior

My apologies for my eidetic memory and an interest in posting media reports relevant to personal interests in a timely fashion.
posted by ericb at 10:49 PM on September 6, 2006


mathowie -- how are my contributions to this thread "free of any context?"
posted by ericb at 10:55 PM on September 6, 2006


This isn't a left-wing political action committee bulletin board.

BTW -- I am not a member of any political action committee -- left, center, or right. I do admit that I am an American citizen who has an interest in the current climate of our nation and world. If my participation on MetaFilter is a detriment to discussion here, please e-mail me and we can caht online or by telephone.
posted by ericb at 10:58 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


*as we can chat online or by telephone*

Fuck the OCD is kicking in ... *must not try to correct oneself at every error/misteak*

Shit/fuck -- *mistake.*
posted by ericb at 11:00 PM on September 6, 2006


Go three blind mice! I've been without TV for nearly two years, except for when I house sit for my friend who has nine cats. She has a big screen TV and cable, and the cats pile on as soon as you settle into the couch. It's horrendously mezmerizing.

I don't get my news from TV, but it looks like ABC is adding a disclaimer, so a reasonable person would have to consider it, at best, truthy.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:06 PM on September 6, 2006


And why not be depressed, ClaudiaC? Try this from the 'teaching materials' on Afghanistan: "99 percent of Afghanis are Muslim." So, 99 percent of the state coin, the Afghani, is Muslim? What religion are America's Pennies? Whoever wrote this is an idiot, the people of Afghanistan are Afghans. And how about this for strange language: "As part of the 'War on Terror,' President Bush has led the U.S. into Afghanistan and Iraq." Oh I see, he just led us there, I guess we were lost until then. This is infuriating propaganda.
posted by toma at 11:19 PM on September 6, 2006


Haywood Magroot, you ignorant slut.

Ronn Owens 9-Noon
Gene Burns 7-10PM
(if these are your 'drive times', you don't fight much traffic)
Bernie Ward 10PM-1AM
Ray Taliaferro 1-5AM
Owens & Taliferro have been on KGO since 1975 and 1986 respectively, long before Disney owned it. They tried to push more Right Wingers onto the San Francisco station a few years ago, but it was the one place they couldn't draw an audience, so ABC followed the audience and the money.

Here are the line-ups for ABC's Talk Radio stations in New York and Los Angeles (definitions in parentheses are from the stations' own website):

WABC NY
5-10AM Curtis Sliwa & Ron Kuby (right vs. left)
10AM - 1145 John Gambling (non-political)
1145 Paul Harvey
12-3PM Rush Limbaugh (his home base)
3-6PM Sean Hannity (right)
6-8PM Mark Levin (conservative)
8-10PM Jerry Agar (conservative/libertarian)
10-1 Laura Ingraham (right)
1-5AM George Noory (Art Bell's protoge)

KABC LA
5-9AM Doug McIntyre (conservative/libertarian)
9-11AM Bill O'Reilly
11AM-1145 & 6-9PM Al Rantel ('conservative at heart but suprisingly liberal') [advertising talk for moderate conservative]
1145 Paul Harvey
12-3PM Sean Hannity [see WABC]
3-6PM Larry Elder ('fiscally conservative/socially liberal') [false advertising, very conservative]
9-10PM Mark Levin [see WABC]
10-1 "Mr. KABC" Mark Germain ('humor/information') [I'd say he's liberal]
1-5AM Kevin James ('former prosecutor and entertainment lawyer') [haven't heard him; don't know]

If you judge a megacorp like Disney on their talk radio stations, this one leans wa-a-ay right.
posted by wendell at 11:24 PM on September 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


My apologies for my eidetic memory and an interest in posting media reports relevant to personal interests in a timely fashion.

Because of such I've even been branded as a "bot" -- "ericb? Dude's a bot. Honestly." by Kwantsar.
posted by ericb at 11:26 PM on September 6, 2006


I've been without TV

I did a quick comparo between DSL+NetFlix vs. Comcast, and NetFlix won handily.

'course it helps that I can cycle 10 DVDs a week on the 5 dvd plan.

It's been 4 months now, and I don't miss TV at all.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:27 PM on September 6, 2006


What is the point of a docudrama? Maybe ABC should hire James Frey to write a mini-series on drug addiction, or, I guess, 9/11 since they don't seem to care about it.
posted by Staggering Jack at 11:30 PM on September 6, 2006


I dunno...for whatever reason, this is the one-in-a-million instance where my gut reaction is optimism. I think this will just end up being another steaming pile of offal to be thrown on the heap of increasingly outrageous lies that the right is putting forth in an attempt to draw attention away from the abject failure of the current administration.

The thing is, I don't think it's working. Are people going to buy this distraction any more than they're buying the idea that they're all essentially nazi apologists?

I say, keep it coming. It still hasn't gotten weird enough for me. I think, the weirder it gets, the more people are going to WTF their way right out of this mess. All the lies are finally going to set us free.

But, you know, I've been sniffing a lot of glue this week.
posted by Brak at 11:43 PM on September 6, 2006


The comment about dailykos was directed at ericb...
I know.
...who seems to pop into every anti-bush thread and post 12 links of news in 12 comments free of any context...
On casual review, I've got an average of 7-8 links, usually 2-3 to a comment, then he just joins in the arguing and namecalling... the links are usually relevent to the discussion; maybe I see context you don't.
following up on every possible anti-bush angle as if that's how anyone else acts on mefi.
He does it, so we don't have to! I know where he's coming from; heavy-handed, sometimes annoying, but I LIKE more links in general, and in this topic, his were MORE informative than his usual. YMMV.
This isn't a left-wing political action committee bulletin board.
And if it were, liberals would NEVER win an election. :)

It's not about the movie, it's about annoying user behavior.
I haven't been nearly annoying enough lately. I'll see if I can find the time. This is the first time I've seen multiple "what wendell said"s in years.
Sorry to snark in the thread, but that's what the joke was about.
Sorry to snark back. No, wait, I'm not. I'm still waiting for ZachsMind to respond to my comment about him.
posted by wendell at 11:48 PM on September 6, 2006


What's the point of teaching materials for a docudrama? Oliver Stone really missed out on this one. CD Universe, incidentally, in a listing of popular docudramas, has "Triumph of the Will" at #33.
posted by toma at 11:51 PM on September 6, 2006


so this is simply an anti-bush thread, mathowie?

you know, i know that's your particular axe to grind, but it ain't that fucking simple. if you don't see the problem with this and to you it's just partisan anti-bushery, you need to pay a little more attention.

The comment about dailykos was directed at ericb, who seems to pop into every anti-bush thread and post 12 links of news in 12 comments free of any context

you mean he SUPPLEMENTS THE POST with additional READING OF INTEREST FROM PRIMARY SOURCES without EDITORIALIZING AS TO HIS PERSONAL OPINION? that seems to me like good poster behavior.

kind of like when someone gets called on their bullshit when someone else goes "links, please"? ericb is all about the links. please.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:51 PM on September 6, 2006


The comment about dailykos was directed at ericb, who seems to pop into every anti-bush thread

Is this thread "anti-Bush," or a commentary on how 9/11 should best be remembered -- truth, or fiction?

It is one in which there are those who seek to point out and document the commentary and reporting of the events of that tragic day 5 years ago -- on the Web, as well as traditional media outlets. There are many who seek an accurate representation of events prior to, during and after the devestating events if September 11, 2001. None of which should such be viewed as "annoying user behavior, because of "pop[ping] into every anti-[B]ush thread and post[ing] 12 links of news in 12 comments free of any context?"
posted by ericb at 11:52 PM on September 6, 2006


Maybe the reason they didn't show an advance copy to Sandy Berger is that there's a fictional scene in the movie that shows him hanging up on U.S. personnel on the ground in Afghanistan, and that never happened. The screenwriter says:
"Sandy Berger did not slam down the phone," Mr. Nowrasteh said. "That is not in the report. That was not script. But you know when you’re making a movie, a lot of things happen on set that are unscripted. Accidents occur, spontaneous reactions of actors performing a role take place. It's the job of the filmmaker to say, 'You know, maybe we can use that.'"
Mr. Nowrasteh is a conservative activist.

Roger Cressey, an NSC counter-terrorism official for Clinton and Bush, says "what ABC has done here is something straight out of Disney and fantasyland." In this 2003 Washington Times op-ed, Crassy said, "Mr. Clinton approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al Qaeda."

Richard Clarke and 9/11 Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste have also complained about the film's inaccuracies.

The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz point out two more fabrications: the movie falsely claims that Madeline Albright warned Pakistan about a 1998 cruise missile strike against al Qaeda camps and that Clinton was distracted by the Republican drive to impeach him, when the 9/11 Commission found that he wasn't.

ABC claims that the movie was "based solely and completely on the 9/11 Commission Report." Former 9/11 Commission Co-Chair Tom Kean, a Republican and paid advisor on the film, says the movie is based on multiple sources, including Reckless Pursuit, John Miller's The Cell, Peter Lance's 1,000 Years of Revenge, and "a number of other books, articles, and interviews."
posted by kirkaracha at 11:54 PM on September 6, 2006


matthowie: anti-bush thread [...] left-wing political action committee bulletin board.

Anti-Bush does not equal left-wing.
posted by oncogenesis at 11:56 PM on September 6, 2006


during and after the devestating events if September 11, 2001

*after the devastating events of September 11, 2001*

OCD -- and proper spelling/typing wins!!!
posted by ericb at 12:15 AM on September 7, 2006


AFV is short for America's Funniest Home Videos, for those of you who don't own a TV. Don't ask me where the H went.

Rumour has it that Clinton shot it all up.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:16 AM on September 7, 2006


Hmmm, not to pile on Number One here, but ericb has long been one of my favorite Mefi posters - lots of great links that I've generally thought were relevant to the topic at hand, and often more informative and with greater context than original FPP links. ($0.02)
On topic, I would assume this TV treatment of 911 to be crap anyway, no surprise really. Of course, it's still pathetic to be further propagandizing it.
And yeah, no commercials during the broadcast.
posted by zoinks at 12:22 AM on September 7, 2006


This program and the efforts behind it look to be execrable partisian pablum, but is it really that different from the other garbage they show on ABC? It's difficult to understand our national predicament until you attempt to watch ostensibly popular television programs. Then it all makes a little more sense.

While it's tempting to think that Rove and Co are pulling the strings here, the sad truth is that they don't have to anymore. This shit is lucrative. Any major media outlet has got to look at Fox News and want a piece of that action. The market favors right-leaning programming because it delivers the viewers. If this program was tilted the opposite way, would anyone on the left actually watch it? Hell no, they'd be split between Daily Show, Futurama, Mythbusters, and a Project Runway Rerun. Maybe Dog Whisperer. They wouldn't watch some lame-ass docudrama on ABC no matter how accurate it was.

I think the comment upthread about anyone swayable by this sort of thing already done been a-swayed is right on the money. This is symptom, not cause.

Plus, we're all here talking about it. Somebody at ABC is getting a raise.
posted by ulotrichous at 12:25 AM on September 7, 2006


Was I really dense, or was tddl played by #1 last year?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:46 AM on September 7, 2006


"Somebody at ABC is getting a raise"

Not if the movie is demonstrated to have no contact with reality before it is aired.

Remember how Showtime's 9/11 movie flopped after it was shown to have no basis in fact?

Most of that opinion came from people interested in seeing factual representations of what ocurred howling at the top of their lungs about myths, fabrications, and outright lies being attached to something that people felt that had witnessed.

The events of 9/11/01 were very personal to the people that felt they were involved, and since it was such a dramatic morning many people around the country that only watched on TV felt intimately involved. Believe me, I was fishing in Canada, without any access to TV, and I will never be able to understand what everyone here went through. When we got back it seemed like everyone had been shot at while we were out of the country.

I could very easily understand where someone who was a big Bush supporter could easily be very offended by someone attempting to bend the facts about what happened relating to that day.

Some things should be above tampering.

But then, 9/11 to me will always be the day that when we came back to the docks, our Canadian host(and elderly gentleman who always met us when we returned) told us as we docked "Something terrible has happened", and when we asked what, looked to the other Americans running down from their cabins to inform us, simply said, head bowed, "They will tell you", and suddenly looked 100 years old as he walked away down the dock.

I wasn't even anywhere near it, bear none of the trauma that most of you think you did not actually carry from viewing it in real time, only found out later that acquaintances had died, so I'm not anywhere near as strapped to this as a lot of you are, personally.

But manufacturing bullshit for whatever reason about it strikes me as so reprehensive I can't even imagine a mind so warped.
posted by dglynn at 1:08 AM on September 7, 2006


It seems improbable that anyone's mind will change as a result of watching this program.

You have got to be kidding me.

People get a huge amount of their "facts" about the world from watching television programs and movies (both fiction and non-fiction). How guns work, how space physics works, what is beautiful or not, what's possible in the martial arts, what the typical forensic investigation looks like, what the technological capabilities of the local FBI office are -- people have all kind of wrong ideas about how the world works based on "facts" they saw on some show somewhere.
posted by moonbiter at 1:20 AM on September 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


3) they're trying to market it to schools as a historical documentary. It's a stunningly blatant exercise in propaganda bullshit.
posted by homunculus


Yikes, isn't there some sort of election or vote about to happen in the US soon, could this be tied to that in some way?
posted by Vindaloo at 4:32 AM on September 7, 2006


Yes, that's why reading this letter to teachers from Republican Senator Tom Kean that is included in the Scholastic teaching materials for The Path to 9/11 touting the film's "commitment to accuracy" and "sincere respect for the subject" is so infuriating. It's a hatchet job.

Kean says:
As Chair of the 9/11 Commission, I worked closely with the filmmakers and the network to ensure the miniseries accurately reflects both the facts and the spirit of the Commission's findings. In addition to my input, the film reflects the guidance of many people who were involved in the events depicted -- from the CIA, the FBI, the Secret Service, and the White House.
Meanwhile, the writer and director are explaining away all the historical inaccuracies by trying to claim that it's a docudrama, not a documentary.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:19 AM on September 7, 2006


"...this scene — which makes the incendiary claim that the Clinton administration passed on a surefire chance to kill or catch bin Laden — never happened. It was completely made up by Nowrasteh."
I just want to see the scene where Bush accepts the hundred thousand dollar campaign contribution from bin Laden. That scene will really set up the tension later in the film.
posted by verb at 5:40 AM on September 7, 2006


ericb, dailykos is two doors down, on the left.
posted by mathowie


Gotta agree with everyone else, this was uncalled for. What ericb does is provide additional links; if you don't like 'em, don't click 'em, but I'm surprised (and depressed) that you have more of a problem with that than with those MeFites who contribute nothing but snark and dumb jokes.
posted by languagehat at 5:44 AM on September 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Propaganda by Edward Bernays
posted by sonofsamiam at 5:44 AM on September 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Between this nonsense, the ridiculous non-coverage of the Pakistan story yesterday and some other whitewashes over the past 6 years that are too numerous to mention... How does our media differ from the Soviet state-run news agencies that we all used to mock in the 80's??

We have become what we loathe.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 6:05 AM on September 7, 2006


I want to run a Photoshop contest a la Fark, which would depict Clinton as the responsible party for ALL major disasters throughout time, except ABC would probably use it as source material for a documentary.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 6:17 AM on September 7, 2006


What strikes me as bizarre about this is that the networks don't want to replay the footage from that day, but scholastic wants students to watch the dramatization.

In the 80's, ABC ran a TV movie called "The Day After". It was the height of the Cold War, nuclear tensions, etc. This movie was about the day after a nuclear war. In school we had to take a note home to our parents warning them about the movie and that its graphic depictions of nuclear war might scare students. This was the only time the school ever did anything like this.
posted by Pastabagel at 6:36 AM on September 7, 2006


This was the only time the school ever did anything like this.

That's because we didn't have access to Threads. Threads made The Day After look like a Disney cartoon.

In the 80's, showing Threads to a classroom would have resulted in 30 therapy bills. Even today, it'll guarantee you a few sleepless nights back to back.
posted by davelog at 6:55 AM on September 7, 2006


I hope this docudrama accurately portrays the heroism of George W. as he single-handedly stops Al Qaeda from crashing a hijacked plane into the White House.
posted by JJ86 at 6:56 AM on September 7, 2006


The controversy, albiet incredibly necessary to raise, overshadows the other major problem in that we're using a movie as a teaching aid in public schools about current events that are being discussed on the news. Somewhere, a few teachers lost their understanding of what "primary source" means.

This isn't like screeing Roots or a Ken Burns documentary, for goodness' sakes. 9/11 was five years ago. Yes, many high-schoolers were pre-teen at the time, but it's not like 99% of them had parents who were too young to remember it. Many of them probably watched it happen, or saved the newspapers about it. The news is still talking about it. Christ, CNN is running the actual footage of the events on their website. An even semi-fictional movie about this is not necessary; it's arguably the most-documented true event in the history of this generation. If a student doesn't remember 9/11, they don't need a four-hour "special movie event;" they need to spend four hours in the goddamn library.

That PBS and Discovery have made several facts-only documentaries about Bin Laden, 9/11, and the War on Terrorism in the last few years and none of these are being considered as legitimate educational viewing materials as opposed to a commercially-produced miniseries from the Disney Corporation isn't as much a testament to right-wing media influence as it is corporate media influence in general.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:07 AM on September 7, 2006 [2 favorites]


Heaven forbid airbrushing over graffiti stains.
posted by prostyle at 7:27 AM on September 7, 2006


Between this nonsense, the ridiculous non-coverage of the Pakistan story yesterday and some other whitewashes over the past 6 years that are too numerous to mention... How does our media differ from the Soviet state-run news agencies that we all used to mock in the 80's??

See ulotrichous' comment for an explanation of the difference. This isn't being directed by the state. It's being directed by the market. How well something will sell basically trumps any morals, ethics, standards--or any other priorities for that matter--when it comes to the media in this country.

Truth? Not such an important factor in marketing these days.
posted by Brak at 8:12 AM on September 7, 2006




wendell: "AFV?* Wow. Zach, your credibility with me just took a hit."

SINCE WHEN DO I HAVE ANY CREDIBILITY??? ROTFLMAO!

Hey. AFV is funny. The people featured aren't fake people made by Hollywood to pretend to be real. I'd take a nameless baby farting talcum powder over Shiloh or Suri any day of the week.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:27 AM on September 7, 2006


While the event itself is notable, the form of the FPP is a little weak. The FPP should have listed a lot of the links so the reader could figure out what was going on, rather then simply one link to an 'open letter'.
posted by delmoi at 8:34 AM on September 7, 2006


I want to run a Photoshop contest a la Fark, which would depict Clinton as the responsible party for ALL major disasters throughout time, except ABC would probably use it as source material for a documentary.


/got nothing
Now with voting!
posted by eddydamascene at 8:39 AM on September 7, 2006


I just wanted to say I too like ericb's post.
posted by dame at 8:39 AM on September 7, 2006


s
posted by dame at 8:39 AM on September 7, 2006


smackfu: "Hey! Half those shows haven't aired yet either"

I know. I read about them. They suck.

BobsArabia: "According to Jim confirms that the wrong Belushi died."

Amen. I fear Jim represents what John woulda been like had he been clean and sober. Has anyone heard from Michael Keaton since he cleaned up his act? I rest my case.

wendell: "I'm still waiting for ZachsMind to respond to my comment about him."

Sorry to have kept you waiting *snark*
posted by ZachsMind at 8:59 AM on September 7, 2006


What we need are a list of advertisers. The only thing the right wing loves more than propaganda is money. Hit them where it hurts by boycotting the advertisers.
posted by dejah420 at 9:07 AM on September 7, 2006


"A furious Bill Clinton is warning ABC that its mini-series 'The Path to 9/11' grossly misrepresents his pursuit of Osama bin Laden - and he is demanding the network 'pull the drama' if changes aren't made.

Clinton pointedly refuted several fictionalized scenes that he claims insinuate he was too distracted by the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal to care about bin Laden and that a top adviser pulled the plug on CIA operatives who were just moments away from bagging the terror master, according to a letter to ABC boss Bob Iger obtained by The Post."
posted by ericb at 9:11 AM on September 7, 2006


The same story is on Fox, surprisingly un-spun.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:13 AM on September 7, 2006


ericb: "Saddam Hussein + WMD = September 11, 2001 + 15 suicide bombers from Saudia Arabia/Al-Qaeda."

Last night on Katie Couric's interview w/George Bush, I had to laugh when he was freakishly trying again in vain to connect Al Quaeda to Iraq. He talked about Nine Eleven and how that led to us attacking Iraq, and she said almost trying not to say it (I mean it sounded like it was coming out of her mouth and she didn't mean to say it she just couldn't help herself) "They were Syrian" in reference to the seventeen terrorists who hijacked the planes. Bush's response was very backpedally. It was adorable.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:15 AM on September 7, 2006


I was wondering how long it would take for the network pileon to begin. ABC is being so stupid.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:17 AM on September 7, 2006


This isn't being directed by the state. It's being directed by the market.

is there a difference anymore?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:19 AM on September 7, 2006


JJ86: "I hope this docudrama accurately portrays the heroism of George W. as he single-handedly stops Al Qaeda from crashing a hijacked plane into the White House."

I hear GW is being portrayed by Charlton Heston. The big finale is Heston standing on the roof of the white house staring down the plane as it barrels towards the white house, and by sheer force of will he causes it to bank left and accidently hit the Pentagon instead. Very rivetting.

Oops. Sorry to have ruined the ending for everybody. It really is quite a spectacle. Must See TV and all that... or is that NBC?
posted by ZachsMind at 9:27 AM on September 7, 2006


A little late to the game I guess, but to add to wendell et al., I came here yesterday afternoon, and then back this morning, to see if there was a thread yet on this so that I could keep track of the latest links to new developments in the story courtesy of ericb.

No, not everyone wants to use Mefi that way, granted, but it's one of the things that makes Mefi valuable and pretty close to unique. You can call it annoying (yes, ericb does tend to post two separate comments for every one that's called for, and I've smacked him for this before) but for me and I suspect for many others it's one of the things we love about Metafilter.
posted by soyjoy at 9:32 AM on September 7, 2006


What we need are a list of advertisers. The only thing the right wing loves more than propaganda is money.

The sneaky devils thought of that: ABC is running the whole thing without commercials.

frecklefairie's link spells out the dollar amounts: Disney didn't release Farenheit 9/11, which went on to make $200 million, but they're willing to eat the $30 million cost of The Path To 9/11 by running it commercial-free.

You'd think they were trying to make some kind of point, here.
posted by BoringPostcards at 9:39 AM on September 7, 2006




ABC is running the whole thing without commercials

Some people are putting pressure on ABC's partner, Scholastic, to pull their support for the film.
posted by ericb at 9:49 AM on September 7, 2006


let me nth the support of ericb and the information he provides.

in fact, i nominate ericb for president. make 'em clap to this.

i know it won't do much, but is there anyway to contact abc and express disapproval? i looked on the abc website and couldn't find any contact info: it's well-buried if it's there.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:54 AM on September 7, 2006


This attempt to fictionalize 9-11 is not intended to convince anyone, but to provide some emotional reinforcement to the dwindling ranks of Bush supporters. In other words, through insinuation and fabrication, to perpetuate the meme that "Demon-crats" are to blame for everything bad that's ever happened. The whole Scholastic thing just demonstrates that they really are in this for the long haul - they want to establish the basic framework of discussion so that even individuals who would dispute the veracity of the narrative will be dragged into a "yes it is - no it isn't" debate which distracts everyone from the actual roots of 9-11. Look at this list of National Security Whistleblowers - long-term career professionals who were either gagged or censored by the 9-11 Commission for an example of where I'm going with this...
posted by dinsdale at 9:56 AM on September 7, 2006


When they broadcast something commercial free, does that mean they couldn't find any advertisers to sponsor it?
posted by ZachsMind at 9:56 AM on September 7, 2006




...is there anyway to contact abc and express disapproval?

There is an e-mail campaign for contacting ABC regarding the "docudrama."
posted by ericb at 11:11 AM on September 7, 2006




JJ86: "I hope this docudrama accurately portrays the heroism of George W. as he single-handedly stops Al Qaeda from crashing a hijacked plane into the White House."

Well, to some American voters, that's really not that hard to believe:

"There are some people, and I'm one of them, that believe George Bush was placed where he is by the Lord," Tomanio said. "I don't care how he governs, I will support him. I'm a Republican through and through." [Emphasis mine]

Nothing truly surprises me these days.
posted by NationalKato at 11:14 AM on September 7, 2006


I hear GW is being portrayed by Charlton Heston.

Charlton Heston is so passé. I'm pretty sure they got Chuck Norris to play the part.
posted by Brak at 11:19 AM on September 7, 2006


XQUZYPHYR, I agree with you 100%.
What purpose could this movie serve, especially when so many ACTUAL primary resources are so easily available? I mean there is real live footage, coverage, text, video, commentary, documentery work, ect, all these things could have made a greater impact then some fluffy disney movie... and all these things are out there now. There was no need to produce an entire 6 part mini series from scratch... to spend all that money, unless there was an alternate agenda behind it. And to push it on educators, to push it ahead of actual truth... it's disgusting.
posted by LoopSouth at 11:34 AM on September 7, 2006






The saddest part of all of this is that Harvey Keitel is in the movie.
posted by xmutex at 11:53 AM on September 7, 2006


"Clinton pointedly refuted several fictionalized scenes that he claims insinuate he was too distracted by the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal to care about bin Laden"

If this was the truth, wouldn't that make the right mostly to blame for 9/11?
posted by oraknabo at 11:57 AM on September 7, 2006


So is it a docudrama, rather than a mockumentary, because it isn't funny? I really wish we could call it mockumentary...
posted by owhydididoit at 12:02 PM on September 7, 2006


"wouldn't that make the right mostly to blame for 9/11?"

Exactly. To anyone with a hint of critical thinking skills it should be obvious that a sleazy blowjob is nothing compared to 3000 people dead.
Great work guys!
posted by 2sheets at 12:06 PM on September 7, 2006


I really wish we could call it mockumentary...

Just pretend like that's what it was all the time. "Have you seen that Path to 9-11 movie? That shit werz hilarious! David Cross ghost wrote on it!"
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:13 PM on September 7, 2006


Wait - an oversimplified jingoistic movie about a national tragedy playing on TV on the anniversary of the national tragedy? And they're able to sell commercial time for this? I mean, how could they possible try to exploit a national tragedy for gaurenteed financial gain? Are they capitalists or something?
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:33 PM on September 7, 2006




I really wish we could call it mockumentary...

GOP-du-drama.

Congress passes anti-terrorism bill, April 18, 1996:
The measure, which the Senate passed overwhelmingly Wednesday evening, is a watered-down version of the White House's proposal. The Clinton administration has been critical of the bill, calling it too weak.
...
But Sen. Don Nickles, R-Oklahoma, while praising the bill, said the country remains "very open" to terrorism. "Will it stop any acts of terrorism, domestic and international? No," he said, adding, "We don't want a police state."
President wants Senate to hurry with new anti-terrorism laws, July 30, 1996:
President Clinton urged Congress Tuesday to act swiftly in developing anti-terrorism legislation before its August recess.

But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.
...
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting and said, "These are very controversial provisions that the White House wants. Some they're not going to get."
posted by kirkaracha at 12:39 PM on September 7, 2006


*yawn* Think I'll be watching a DVD that night. You guys let me know how it turns out.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:41 PM on September 7, 2006


The real question is whether Clinton's testicles hang to the left or the right.

Why doesn't someone just ask her?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:04 PM on September 7, 2006


People are calling/e-mailing Scholastic corporate offices in New York.
posted by ericb at 1:59 PM on September 7, 2006


Wait - an oversimplified jingoistic movie about a national tragedy playing on TV on the anniversary of the national tragedy? And they're able to sell commercial time for this?

As above, 'ABC to air Sept. 11 film commercial-free'
"ABC, after exploring all advertising avenues, has decided to show its upcoming two-part U.S. film, 'The Path to 9/11,' commercial-free when it airs next week.

ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson said his network made the decision to air the $30 million project without commercials or sponsors after all such options appeared inappropriate given the sensitive Sept. 11 material involved, said Daily Variety.

'We looked at different scenarios (and) talked to possible (advertising) partners, and none of it made sense,' said the network head. 'This is the most respectful way to present this.'

In yet another surprise move, ABC has revealed it will also offer both parts of the film as a free online download at Apple`s iTunes Music Store and stream the miniseries on its own Web site, ABC.com.

McPherson said the online offerings, which will be paired with a audio broadcast of the film on XM Radio, were created to help inform the public of the findings of the Sept. 11 Commission that acted as the basis of the project."
Unfortunately, some of those findings have been distorted as a result of fabricated events.
posted by ericb at 2:10 PM on September 7, 2006


Greg Mitchell, editor of 'Editor & Publisher':
"The screenwriter says it wasn’t in the script, and it was improvised on the spot–he sort of liked the way it looked–it went over well when it was being filmed so they left it in. It seems like an appalling thing to admit for a film on such a serious subject.–It is definitely slanted against the Clinton administration…It does not hit the Bush administration much at all. So, ummm–I understand that they are probably editing it heavily now. It’s interesting that they now say today that they said the complaints of the film are irresponsible because they’re still editing the film. Yet, they were very happy to send out review copies. Reviews have already started to appear in magazines–certainly they thought it was finished enough at that time to send it to reviewers, but now they’re saying it’s irresponsible to critique the film when they’re still editing. It’s a well made movie, but it’s incredibly flawed and raises real problems about how this subject is being tackled."
posted by ericb at 2:14 PM on September 7, 2006


Scholastic Veers from "Path to 9/11"
"Educational media giant Scholastic, Inc. announced it's dropping its original classroom companion guides to a controversial new docudrama about the events preceding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks -- and replacing them with materials stressing critical thinking and media literacy.

'After a thorough review of the original guide that we offered online to about 25,000 high school teachers, we determined that the materials did not meet our high standards for dealing with controversial issues,' said Dick Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO of Scholastic, in a press release.

The original materials had been criticized for oversimplifications and failures to address flaws in post-9/11 policies, including the invasion of Iraq."
Good for them.
posted by ericb at 2:18 PM on September 7, 2006


Rep. George Miller, Senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee: Teachers Should Not Use Controversial ABC Docudrama With Students.
posted by ericb at 2:20 PM on September 7, 2006


This is on the BBC on Sunday/Monday night.
posted by fire&wings at 2:42 PM on September 7, 2006


scholastic drops relateted teaching material. Looks like teachers won't get the chance to use 'em.
posted by delmoi at 3:05 PM on September 7, 2006


The saddest part of all of this is that Harvey Keitel is in the movie.

Hey, he was in Mother, Jugs and Speed, too, and that didn't present an accurate portrayal of independent ambulance companies on the west cost in the 70s at all. So, you know, there's precedent.

Oh, and about that ericb thing? I hate his posts, and he sucks.

not really, but I'm all about being fair and balanced, and most people here seem to be supporting him... so...
posted by davejay at 3:06 PM on September 7, 2006


The troubling thing to me in this thread is mathowie's reaction to ericb. This, coupled with #1's apparent surprise at Bush's presentation in a recent thread (W's talked this way since 2000), gives me pause. I know I'm "new" here, but I've read the site fairly regularly for the last three years. Yes, it must be upsetting to see your baby "hijacked" by political discussion and the like, but the world (and america in particular) has changed a lot since this site got off the ground. To expect that to not be reflected in an online community is naive.

I don't watch tv, and ABC's actions don't surprise me. But I am incredibly bothered by trouble in 'filterland. Sorry to interrupt; now more scanned cats.
posted by landis at 4:42 PM on September 7, 2006


My previous question still stands: Since when do I have any credibility? When did that happen? Cuz if that ever happened I missed the memo, was out of town, and, well I have a reputation to uphold in The Blue. If rumors start spreading that I actually have credibility, it'll ruin my street cred, y'know whut I'm sayin'?
posted by ZachsMind at 4:46 PM on September 7, 2006


Good information here -- thanks, all, especially for the updates. What a tale, and changing as we read. And freavensakes mathowie makes one and a half slightly cranky comments, let it go. I'm not thin-skinned, nor are most people here, I don't think.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 4:57 PM on September 7, 2006


I think this airing would be perfectly fine if, instead of as a documdrama, ABC re-packaged this as a Saturday morning live action fantasy.

Or else, they could provide quickly edit in a disclaimer beforehand:
While this story is based on true life events, some of the facts presented herein were changed, distorted or fabricated to conform to a right wing agenda.
I'd be okay with that, I guess.
posted by Hypnic jerk at 5:14 PM on September 7, 2006


Conservative Author Richard Miniter: ‘There’s Zero Factual Basis’ For Key Scene In Path To 9/11.

There are e-mail campaigns directed at Disney’s Chairman of the Board -- former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME) -- seeking "to remind him that 9/11 was a national tragedy, and that politicizing and flagrantly misrepresenting the facts about 9/11 is wrong."
posted by ericb at 7:42 PM on September 7, 2006


The whole "it's not a documentary, it's a docudrama" excuse is pathetic ... it's just a license to make things up. So if I made a docudrama about Walt Disney that implied he was a pedophile, I guess that would be okay with them because, hey, it's not a documentary.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:01 PM on September 7, 2006


who seems to pop into every anti-bush thread and post 12 links of news in 12 comments free of any context, following up on every possible anti-bush angle as if that's how anyone else acts on mefi.

Wait, so let me get this straight. When ericb participates in threads of a certain topic, he posts links related to the topic, and this is somehow bad? I've always thought that the ideal comment included more links about the subject matter, but I am, apparently, wrong.

Perhaps you'd rather he wrote about pancakes?
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:34 AM on September 8, 2006


...as if that's how anyone else acts on mefi.

Ahhh yes, how naive of me to forget that homogenization of the community is ideal. Got to keep the loonies on the path.
posted by prostyle at 7:01 AM on September 8, 2006


I feel bad for the news division. They've been doing some good work lately, especially Brian Ross, and now everyone's saying "Boycott ABC!"
posted by smackfu at 7:10 AM on September 8, 2006


I just received this in my email. Yes, I get NM state press releases.

Seal Of The State Of New Mexico
State of New Mexico
Office of the Governor

Bill Richardson
Governor

For immediate release
September 8, 2006

Governor Richardson Issues Statement on Upcoming ABC "Road to 9/11" Film

(Santa Fe, NM) – As he traveled to Khartoum, Sudan to meet with Sudanese President Lt. General Umar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir and urge him to release journalist Paul Salopek and two colleagues on humanitarian grounds, Governor Bill Richardson released the following statement today on the ABC TV film, "The Path to 9/11" slated to air nationwide this weekend.

"I am very concerned about reports I have heard of fictional events inserted into ABC's upcoming "Path to 9/11" film. As a former senior member of the Clinton Administration, I know first hand of the efforts that were made to capture and eliminate Osama bin Laden. This includes the trip I made as United Nations Ambassador in April 1998 to Kabul, Afghanistan. During this trip – the first by a U.S. cabinet official to Afghanistan since 1974 – I met with high ranking officials of the ruling Taliban regime and directly requested that bin Laden be expelled or extradited. The Taliban refused, but I know this sort of muscular diplomacy got bin Laden's attention since he threatened to kill me.

This was only one of many, many efforts made by the Clinton Administration to combat terror at home and abroad.

On the fifth anniversary of the worst attack our nation has ever experienced, we shouldn't be pointing political fingers; we should be recommitting ourselves to the sort of strong, bipartisan diplomatic efforts that have served our country well in the past."
posted by taosbat at 9:41 AM on September 8, 2006


missed this thread previously and would like to weigh in with a thumbs up for ericb and his relevant links.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:27 AM on September 8, 2006


ericb is a wonderful poster who (gasp) links to things he remembers reading instead of just ranting from memory unsourced like dios, Den Beste, et. al.

Mathowie, this is your community telling you to go fuck yourself. HAND.
posted by blasdelf at 1:28 PM on September 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'm glad Scolastic bailed on this one, and not only bailed, but replaced the previous "teaching" materials with materials about knowing the difference between fact and propaganda. On the one hand, I'm pissed at ABC for producing and promoting such a biased and bullshit film on the anniversary of such an event, but at thew same time, they've got the right to do so, and I hate seeing the left on the offensive against free speech and press.

The best possible thing would be for NBC to hire Ken Burns and Aaron Sorkin to put together a competing docudrama of their own, but since there's no time for that, the only thing we can do is to drown out the lies coming from Disney with a consistent barage of how full of shit they really are.

And as for the claim that anyone feeble enough to be swayed by this has already been swayed, look at polling data now versus two years ago. These people swing both ways with a hearty frequency.
posted by Navelgazer at 5:10 PM on September 8, 2006


Mathowie, this is your community telling you to go fuck yourself. HAND.

well, no, I do not want to be counted in that number ... mathowie is generally patient and good-natured to a degree that is almost preturnatural. But it is precisely because of this even keel that his remark stood in such stark relief and surprised me greatly - and probably many others. But he cuts all of us a ton of slack and we should be as gracious.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:04 PM on September 8, 2006


ABC is owned by Disney. The largest single Disney stockholder is Steve Jobs. (sjobs at apple dot com). I'll include Apple in my boycott if Steve doesn't, at the very least, come out and say something about this.

"Think different", hardly equates to "Push the Regime Propaganda" in my mind, but if it does to Steve, then I surely don't need to give me any more of my money.

I'm also researching the companies headed by all the other members of the Disney board. I'd be happy to share the boycott list when it's compiled, if anyone else is interested.
posted by dejah420 at 7:33 PM on September 8, 2006


er...give *him* more of my money. I need to give *me* all my money. Hee.
posted by dejah420 at 7:34 PM on September 8, 2006


Mathowie, this is your community telling you to go fuck yourself. HAND.

What? I guess some people really do believe that "you're either with us or against us".
posted by smackfu at 7:48 PM on September 8, 2006


Yeah I can't get behind this sudden dark backhanded slap at Mathowie's genital area. What is this? The sequel to Jackass? BlasDelf is going out on a limb with that one. I got a saw if anyone needs it. I'm staying over by the trunk where it's safe.

*tree gets struck by lightning*

Then again...
posted by ZachsMind at 9:16 PM on September 8, 2006


Here's an interesting read:
"The Path to 9/11" is produced and promoted by a well-honed propaganda operation consisting of a network of little-known right-wingers working from within Hollywood to counter its supposedly liberal bias. This is the network within the ABC network. Its godfather is far right activist David Horowitz, who has worked for more than a decade to establish a right-wing presence in Hollywood and to discredit mainstream film and TV production. On this project, he is working with a secretive evangelical religious right group founded by The Path to 9/11's director David Cunningham that proclaims its goal to "transform Hollywood" in line with its messianic vision.

posted by dejah420 at 9:55 PM on September 8, 2006


Since when was Jesus ever right wing or conservative?

"The people bitching loudest about being persecuted for their Christianity aren’t Christians at all. They’re demagogues and conmen and scolds, and the only thing they worship is power." - Bill Maher
posted by ZachsMind at 10:00 PM on September 8, 2006


Kean blows off blogosphere ‘grandstanding.’

Now that's just mean.
posted by homunculus at 11:47 AM on September 9, 2006


The international trailer for the film is out, and it makes it clear that these scenes were not merely throwaway scenes, but the lynchpin of the film. The promos bill the events as factual and feature a pic of Bill Clinton.

Part of the voiceover for the YouTube haters:
the official true story ....How they could have whacked Bin Laden out, they didn't - but why? How one decision changed our world ...
posted by madamjujujive at 3:06 PM on September 9, 2006


I know that public figures have a huge and nearly impossible hurdle to face for libel or defamation, but would Disney/ABC's promos billing the film as "fact" provide legal footing for Sandy Berger and perhaps Madeline Albright to sue? Many people have already gone on record saying these scenes are purely dramatizations and not factual, yet the promos bill the film as fact and as "official."
posted by madamjujujive at 3:13 PM on September 9, 2006


American Airlines might want to consider suing, since the movie blames them for one of the attacks and the movie names the wrong airline.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:41 PM on September 9, 2006


I think one of the most interesting things about this is how ABC and the right-wingers behind PT911 calculated the strategic rollout of this "buzz/controversy" in pre-blog time rather than in accurate, up-to-date blog time.

On the schedule of old media, as of, say, 2002, sending out screeners to key opinion leaders a little over a week before broadcast was the perfect timing for the buzz (positive and negative) to be peaking on September 11. Once the broadcast was done, any quibbles that emerged about accuracy would be water under the bridge. "Move on!", etc.

But they had little to no consciousness of the speed of cascading information in the blog world, and the buzz machine they were pitching to already peaked early in the week, while this other arm of the operation, the negative, "controversial" buzz has ballooned wayyyyy out of the scale they expected, probably because they hadn't examined just how far out there, and obviously so, the movie was.

Because of the movie's deficits and the blog world's ongoing catalogging and shit-stirring of them, the story now is already overripe and turning rotten: Namely, the network's refusal to back down from showing something that, by the time it airs, most of the media world knows, and an increasing cohort of the general public is finding out, is riddled with (even essentially based on) politically-motivated inaccuracies and fictions.

That can't have been part of the plan, I'm thinking.

Also: What mjjj said.
posted by soyjoy at 11:25 PM on September 9, 2006


Also, can someone explain this to me...

ABC's disclaimer, which they say will run 'throughout' their 9/11 movie:
'The following movie is a dramatization that is drawn from a variety of sources including the 9/11 Commission Report...


How does this entire paragraph run "throughout" the movie?

Certainly they're not going to have it supertitled onto the screen through the whole thing, on top of every shot. That is a completely unbelievable scenario.

If it were being shown with ads "throughout" would make sense, meaning as they come back from each commercial break, but this has no commercials. So again, how?

If by "throughout" they mean it will be shown once at the beginning of each of the two installments... isn't that kind of like Orson Welles famously putting the disclaimer on War of the Worlds at the beginning and then letting it run on as ostensible reality once he knew people had tuned in?
posted by soyjoy at 11:30 PM on September 9, 2006


That's a valid point Soyjoy, the thing about not calculating for blogspeed. But as he dinosaurs die, and the next generation moves into power, the studios won't be making these sorts of mistakes again.

The disclaimer, as you guessed, will only be shown at the beginnings of each episode. My boycotts of all Disney owned media is not abated by their silly "this will keep us from getting sued" technical disclaimer.
posted by dejah420 at 10:00 AM on September 10, 2006


Right. Especially since the ad campaign in America still says "Based on the 9/11 Commission Report" and the overseas tagline is "The Official True Story." Talk about having your cake and eating it! But too much cake will give you a severe case of indigestion...
posted by soyjoy at 10:23 AM on September 10, 2006


American Airlines might want to consider suing, since the movie blames them for one of the attacks and the movie names the wrong airline.

American Airlines is now considering suing ABC.
"I think it is important for you to know that ABC had factual errors in
its dramatization, and we are looking at possible legal actions as a result.

According to the 9-11 Commission report, it was not American Airlines, nor was it even the right airport that was depicted. In reality, it was another airline, flying out of Maine.

Please know this was a tragic incident in our company's history and we hope you will be
sympathetic to our employees and our airline on this day especially.

Again, we are outraged by this situation, and we alerted ABC about its gross error. It is very unfortunate."
posted by ericb at 11:51 AM on September 11, 2006


No surpise at all that that worm Horowitz had his greasy fingers in this.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:56 AM on September 11, 2006


Television Week: 'American Airlines Threatens Legal Action Over ABC's 'Path to 9/11':
"ABC's airing of its 'Path to 9/11' docudrama last night has drawn its first lawsuit threat, and the surprise is that it's coming not from angry Democrats but from an 'outraged' American Airlines."
posted by ericb at 3:48 PM on September 11, 2006




"The roots of 9/11" = Iraq continues...

In Prime-Time Address, Bush Says Safety of U.S. Hinges on Iraq:
"Mr. Bush spent roughly one-fifth of his 17-minute address making the case that the United States’ safety hinged on success in Iraq, even as he implicitly acknowledged there was no link between Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11 strikes."
Once again Bush articulates the so-called Bush Doctrine: “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Hey, George -- Report: Saddam and Al Qaeda Enemies, Not Collaborators.
posted by ericb at 8:32 PM on September 11, 2006


American Could Pull Ads From ABC
"American Airlines is prepared to pull its advertising from ABC in order to protest its portrayal in the network's recently aired movie The Path to 9/11, according to a source. The carrier also said it is considering legal action against the network.

...The airline spends $25 million annually on broadcast TV ads; it could not immediately determined how much is spent on ABC, but according to one source, 'It's extensive.'

Roger Frizzell, vice president, corporate communications and advertising, American, confirmed that the client is mulling its legal options."

[AdWeek | September 12, 2006]
posted by ericb at 7:35 PM on September 12, 2006


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