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ABC's The Path to 9/11 Sacrifices Truth

Chris Dykstra sums up what's wrong with ABC's propaganda play. I believe a filmmaker has the right to dramatize and take creative liberties with anything in the world, including the tragedy of 9/11. However, we also have a right to pressure ABC not to air The Path to 9/11, a right-wing fantasy riddled with fabrications, intended to slam Clinton and the Democrats and indeed rewrite history for future generations.

ABC claims the docudrama is based on the 9/11 Commission Report. 9/11 Commissioners disagree. Scholastic dropped their original discussion guides, as they were full of neocon misinformation. Their new guides focus, rightly, on media literacy (i.e. distinguishing between fact and partisan propaganda).

9/11 takes a jab at freedom of the press, too - and gets it wrong. The film portrays a CIA analyst saying "ever since the Washington Post disclosed that we intercepted his calls, UBL [Usama bin Laden] stopped using phones altogether." Actually, it was right-wing rag Washington Times. Besides that, the whole notion is an urban myth.

Worst of all, the film makes it look like the CIA had Osama bin Laden in their sites, but the Clinton administration chickened out. Richard Clark says flat out that never happened.

September 11 deserves a truthful film. Tell ABC to tell the truth.

FUN LINK: Iraq's Alleged Al-Qaeda Ties Were Disputed Before War

September 9, 2006 at 12:59 PM in Current Affairs, Film, Media | Permalink

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Tracked on Sep 9, 2006 1:25:26 PM

Comments

I believe a filmmaker has the right to dramatize and take creative liberties with anything in the world

Hmmm. I'll probably agree with you eventually, but when taking "creative liberties" involves utterly propagandizing a profound tradegy in a blatant attempt to rewrite history, I'm not sure I would agree that it is a right.

Posted by: Michael at Sep 10, 2006 8:40:39 PM

In what way would you curtail this right, otherwise known as Freedom of Speech?

Note I didn't say there's any right or obligation to distribute such a work. In fact I'm saying here it's really our duty to dissuade ABC from showing it (too late now, of course). That's how things work in the marketplace and in a democracy.

But absolutely, anybody can create anything they want -- people can write whatever they want, scribble whatever offensive crap they want in their notebooks, make any kind of film. There's really only an issue once the creator wants to show other people, because then society starts to have a say. Potentially economics and the law have a say too, depending on the content.

For this reason, I will devote my life's work to cartoons involving Bush and Clinton taking turns raping each other. Edgy stuff, but really a deep statement if you think about it. I'M KIDDING! Remember kids - presidential rape is never funny.

Posted by: chuck at Sep 10, 2006 10:51:52 PM

Then again, there's this:


In criticizing ABC's decision to air "The Path to 9/11," Glenn Greenwald (1) quoted John Hinderaker of Power Line (2): " 'Artistic freedom' isn't normally construed as the freedom to lie about other people; certainly the First Amendment does not so construe it. However one views the role of the networks, it is hard to argue that part of their duty is to publish falsehoods about anyone, living or dead, public figure or not. ... [W]hen one is broadcasting a documentary about actual people, the threshold requirement is that the documentary be true." Oh, wait, that was Power Line on CBS' 2003 miniseries "The Reagans," which the network pulled.

Posted by: chuck at Sep 11, 2006 4:22:34 AM

Oh crap, I agree with Powerline? Shoot me now, please.

Seriously, though, he did make my point for me. Lying and calling it fact is not a right. Call it art and you are good. Call it art based on facts and we hit that grey area that disturbs me.

Posted by: Michael at Sep 11, 2006 4:05:21 PM

Yes, I agree with you there for sure.

Posted by: chuck at Sep 11, 2006 5:09:48 PM

Except I also support artists who manipulate what we think is fact... like Plain Layne, lonelygirl15, and -- OH GOD NO -- does that make neocons artists??? Never mind. I'm so confused.

Posted by: chuck at Sep 11, 2006 5:11:34 PM