It’s sad, but predictable, that some on the far left have dismissed this film as a “right-wing” snow job. The first line of attack on the film came from loyal Clinton Democrats who are simply incapable of accepting any blame, or even a dollop of criticism over the mistakes leading up to 9/11 … These folks either haven’t watched the film, in which case they ought to remain silent, or have seen it, in which case they are being disingenuous.
“These folks” have asked to have the same preview rights as Rush Limbaugh but ABC has refused that request. To his credit, however, Bozell writes:
Serious scholars of current events, not to mention some of those named in the film, may take issue with parts of this presentation. The movie is based on the report of the 9/11 Commission, which itself is not infallible in its conclusions on what went wrong and what needs to fixed. Moreover, up front the moviemakers note it has composite characters and manipulates the time of events for a better movie experience. As a “docudrama” it has taken certain poetic license with history.
What a polite way of saying the film lies.
Update: Bob Somerby sees a silver lining:
For some Americans, this episode will break the back of that bewitching old claim, “liberal bias.” We’d guess that some Americans will finally say: “Wait a minute. Whatever we’re seeing played out in this incident, it isn’t some sort of lib bias.”
This controversy reminds me of how Sinclair Broadcasting created a buzz with its Swift Boat advertorial. We already have Faux News, which is blatantly a Republican propaganda machine – now this. Forget whether someone is a liberal or conservative. What bothers many of us is how certain pseudo news types just flat out lie to the public.
Update II: ThinkProgress (who has been leading the charge against the inaccuracies of this film) applauds Brent Bozell for something he said to Joe Scarborough:
BOZELL: Let me say this, I think that if you have a scene, or two scenes, or three scenes, important scenes, that do not have any bearing on reality and you can edit them, I think they should edit them.
SCARBOROUGH: And Brent, that seems very fair, right, if they are factually inaccurate here, you’d be calling for them to take it off the air too, right?
BOZELL: Yeah, yeah. I think where, if they are factually inaccurate and they can correct it, they ought to.
Good for him! As far as the “if they are factually inaccurate”, the folks at ThinkProgress have clearly demonstrated that there are.
Update III: Who is Hugh Hewitt kidding with this:
The story here is the backlash that the Disney/ABC execs experienced was completely unexpected and is what caused them to question themselves and make these changes at all. Had this been the Bush Admin pressuring, they wouldn’t have even taken the call. The execs and studio bosses are dyed in the wool liberals and huge supporters of Clinton and the Democratic Party in general. They had no idea any of this could happen. As I understand this, the lawyers and production team spent literally months corroborating every story point down to the sentence. The fact that they were the attacked and vilified by their “own team” took them completely by surprise; this is the first time they’ve been labeled right-wing, conservative conspiracists.
Thanks to AB reader Mike for the hat tip. Let’s say CBS was about to run a story documenting the real lapses of judgment of Condi Rice and George W. Bush prior to 9/11. The pressure from the rightwing would be intense. And if the executives of CBS got a call from the White House, I bet they would be very intimated by it. As far as “corroborating every story point down to the sentence”, Hewitt by now has to know this is not true given that there are at least three major scenes where this film just flat out lies.
Final Word: Leave it to Michael Ledeen to come up with the dumbest comment possible on this issue:
Have I missed something here, but haven’t the Senate Democrats launched a totally McCarthyite assault on ABC? And is there no Republican leader to call them by their proper name? Free press means freedom to screw up, among other things…this is just the usual intimidation by a party that no longer has a grip on reality.
Senator McCarthy terrorized Hollywood as well as average Americans by spreading false accusations about their character. His motive was raw partisan politics. So what are we Democrats doing? Simply asking ABC to not lie to the American people about the events leading up to 9/11. The motivations behind the smear of the former Clinton Administration is raw partisan politics. We should call things by their proper names – but before we do so, let’s try to get the story right. Could you please do so, Michael? Or maybe Michael has completely lost sight of what is real.