Thursday, September 07, 2006

Path to 9/11 - update

The story of ABC's Path to 9/11 continues.

  • Media Matters reports that a study guide for Path to 9/11 prepared for teachers and distributed by Scholastic — the school book people — has the same inaccuracies as the ABC series. Moreover, a part of the guide encourages students to debate items that are part of the Bush administration's "talking points".

    The study guide is no longer on Scholastic's web site, but a spokesperson said that it would be back up. No comment was given as to whether the guide would be changed.

    The Media Matters report: http://mediamatters.org/items/200609060008

  • Media Matters also points out that while the major news media were quick to jump all over the inaccuracies in the CBS "docudrama" on Ronald Reagan back in 2003, they have been very slow to look into the Path to 9/11 controversy. It's been mentioned once by The New York Times and twice by MSNBC.

    Conservative pundits have been lauding the story as the "truth". (I guess the story is "truthy", not "facty". What a week for Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart to be out on vacation.)

    Here's the Media Matters story: http://mediamatters.org/items/200609060009

  • Think Progress reported that the writer of Path to 9/11, Cyrus Nowrasteh, is an avowed conservative who once described filmmaker Michael Moore as an "out of control socialist weasel". We now know why obscure conservative bloggers got advance copies of Path to 9/11 when actual participants in the events did not.

    The Think Progress article: http://thinkprogress.org/2006/09/01/
    nowrasteh-conservative-activist/

  • Cyrus Nowrasteh, the writer, now admits that the controversial scene about Samuel Berger, which I mentioned yesterday, was "improvised". So much for accuracy! This in spite of the fact that ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson once said, "When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right."

    Here's Think Progress' story about it: http://thinkprogress.org/2006/09/07/accidents-occur/

  • An ABC insider told conservative blogs that while there may be a few tweaks here and there before the docudrama is aired, "The message of the Clinton Admin failures remains fully intact."

    The e-mail by the insider is quite fascinating. He claims that, "the lawyers and production team spent literally months corroborating every story point down to the sentence." Odd, since the writer now admits that the Berger scene was fiction. He goes on to say, "The changes are done only to appease the Clinton team - to be able to say they made changes. But the blame on the Clinton team is in the DNA of the project and could not be eradicated without pulling the entire show."

    The Think Progress article is here: http://thinkprogress.org/2006/09/06/abc-assures-bloggers/

    The e-mail, sent to conservative blogger Hugh Hewitt, is here: http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/g/
    9367b3cd-be2a-40a3-b927-1854a0115108

If you are disturbed by the controversy, Think Progress has a page where you can write ABC president Robert Iger an e-mail: http://www.ThinkProgress.org/TellABC

3 comments:

Michael said...

I had completely missed out on this until I read it here. (See my previous comments about network TV news.) I gather, from my reading today, that The Washington Post has done at least one story.

Up in the GWN, as near as I can tell, anyway, it's pretty much a non-story. Today's Globe and Mail mentioned the controversy only in the context of a generally favourable review of the miniseries as entertainment. The reviewer in question thought the series was as harsh on BushCo as it was on Clinton's folks.

Since I am boycotting all media coverage of this spurious anniversary, the issue is largely irrelevant to me anyway.

Allan Goodall said...

I had completely missed out on this until I read it here.

Wow, I've become... useful!

I gather, from my reading today, that The Washington Post has done at least one story.

According to ThinkProgress, it went wide in the media yesterday. I mentioned CNN's coverage of it.

The irony is that if the producers hadn't released the series to right-wing bloggers in the first place, liberal bloggers would not have heard about the inaccuracies until after the series had aired. After that the damage would have been done; the majority of American viewers would have taken it as gospel.

I love how they keep calling it a "docudrama". I remember when a "docudrama" was called "historical fiction".

The reviewer in question thought the series was as harsh on BushCo as it was on Clinton's folks.

Of course the Globe and Mail tends to be pretty conservative...

Michael said...

The Globe & Mail is certainly conservative when compared against The Star, but that difference probably wouldn't stand out so much against U.S. papers. And anyway, the review was in the "Review" (Arts) section. When I worked in newspapers I worked for one of the right-wing-populist Sun papers, and our arts department was as, if not more, pink as our competition's.