“P” for Propaganda

entertainment, media, politics Add comments

It has been some time since posting here, and I apologize. The deluge of news, most of it bad, has left me at a loss for words. The sorry state of affairs in this country has sometimes made me ill, and sometimes extraordinarily angry. But my silence ends today.

Seems ABC and the folks at the mouse house are putting out a little mini-series this Sunday night called “Path to 9/11”. The “docudrama” is causing quite a stir, raising the ire of many on the Left while at the same time receiving accolades by many on the Right. Especially if you ask Rush Limbaugh, one of the lucky few who have actually seen the film.

Consider my ire sufficiently raised.

Before this tirade builds up any steam, let me address one thing. Some are already saying “What’s the big deal? Michael Moore made “Fahrenheit 9/11“? Why can’t we have our own movie.” Well if your among the 40+ percent in a recent CNN poll who believe Iraq had something to do with 9/11, you also probably don’t know the difference between a docudrama and documentary so move to the back of the line.

First of all “Fahrenheit 9/11” was a movie at the “movie” theater, that you had to PAY to see. Also there was no illusion that this film passed through the filter that is Michael Moore, a controversial and opionated documentarian often prone to hyperbole, as demostrated in his previous films. Also of note, Disney refused to distribute the film, as not to become entangled in the political process of an election year (allow me to lift one ass cheek in response as the gas, I mean hypocrisy begins to build).

The “Path to 9/11” however has a few notable differences. It will play on TV… not at you local cinema, for FREE, carried over the airwaves the FCC has so graciously licensed for our enjoyment. It is based soley on the 9/11 Commision Report (apparently) and purports to have the air of fact and truth about it. Its airing coincides with 5 year anniversary of the attacks of September 11, and also comes on the eve of what may be the most crucial midterm elections in this nation’s history. Depsite growing criticism, ABC/Disney is moving forward with it’s airing despite its pre-election timing (other cheek is now airborne, followed by a resounding “whoosh”).

Give me an F’ing break.

Let’s talk a little truth.

  • Only right wing media (in additional to the usual bevy of TV reviewing publications) have been allowed to preview the film and have subsequently praised it as gospel; the same media that slammed that Reagan film a few years ago which eventually aired on the sleep-inducing Lifetime network.
  • The film contains factual inaccuracies (dramatic license I’m sure), most notably a scene that never actually happened, and was improvised on the set. Said scene infers that the Clinton administration had the chance to capture Osama (essentially troops standing outside his door, awaiting orders to go in) but declined.
  • Its writer, Cyrus Nowrasteh, is a conservative activist, who has spoken out against Michael Moore and Bill Clinton, and praises the Patriot Act. The film is factually-based on the 9/11 Commission Report (at least up until yesterday). In addition, Nowrasteh has granted interviews only to right-wing sites, no mainstream of left-wing interviews to be found.
  • At least one member of the 9/11 Commision has denounced a key scene in the film.
  • Scholastic Press has pulled it’s “Path to 9/11” discussion guide from distribution in high schools, saying the materials “did not meet their high standards.”

You know I wouldn’t have much of a problem with this film if it was showing at the theatres, where people actually paid to see it, you know, like that other film. Many say that other film contains factual errors too. I feel however that “Path to 9/11” is imminently more dangerous then “Fahrenheit 9/11” (as viewed by the Right) ever was. It masquerade’s as historical fact, delivered into every home’s idiot box without cost but plenty of bias (smells like the “P” word). It could certainly affect the positions of those on the fence, particularly those mentioned in that earlier poll. And the timing of the film certainly plays into the hands of the Right desparately attempting to hold power past November.

If nothing else, with something as important as 9/11, ABC/Disney is seriously remiss in not telling a story as accurate as possible, and in doing so dishonors those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001. It also insults the intelligence of the 50+ percent in that poll who heard and understood when Bush said that Iraq hand nothing to do with the attacks on 9/11.

As of this writing it appears ABC may be re-editing the film to give it a more balanced view of the events. Too little. Too late. The damage is done.

Post by ILO on 09/07/06 at 11:59 pm