Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Questions for ABC

by Kos

Jennifer Nix has questions about ABC's fictionalized take on 9-11.

- Why, if this is a non-partisan project, is only the Republican co-chair of the 9/11 Commission being asked to front this project?

- Why were many of the principals of this film, like Richard Clarke, not shown relevant scenes from the movie early on, so that research and scenes could be vetted--and corrected, if misrepresented?

- Why did you provide the movie to only right-wing bloggers and mainstream media in your advance outreach for this project, and not to left-wing bloggers and media?

- Was it the network's or the PR firm's idea to reach out in advance only to right-wing blogs, and to exclude left-wing blogs?

- If you were truly intending to provide a non-partisan public service to the American public, why not produce and air a true documentary actually based on the 9/11 Commission Report and vetted by both Democrats and Republicans?

- Did you know about Cyrus Nowrasteh's and David Cunningham's extreme conservative views?

- Will you consider pulling scenes proven to be false?

- Will you consider removing the "based on the 9/11 Commission Report" imprimatur from promotional materials, and from the miniseries itself on the air dates?

- Will you consider giving Richard Clarke and/or prominent Democrats, who disagree with this airbrushing of the 9/11 story, the opportunity to point out the movies flaws on network time?

- Will ABC News report on the controversy over this project in the one-hour news special scheduled to air on September 11, following the movie?

And questions for Tom Kean:

Did you have any reservations about promoting this movie without the Democratic co-chair of your Commission?

- Were you a paid consultant on this project, and if you were, do you have any misgivings at this point about trading in on your Commission role?

- Do you think it's in the best interest of this nation to offer up this docudrama, which directly contradicts your own report in several instances, as being "based on the 9/11 Commission Report?

- Did you recommend to the screenwriter, director and producers that there should be Democratic vetting of this project as well?

- Do you believe that American children should be treated to well-documented and balanced accounts about 9/11, or do you give your blessing to students being served up lesson plans based on this movie, which has been proven to directly contradict your own Commission's findings?

ABC is also pushing this mockumentary hard to high school students.

And Think Progress has an activist center so you can give ABC a piece of your mind.

The writer of the movie is an unabashed conservative named Cyrus Nowrasteh. Last year, Nowrasteh spoke on a panel titled, "Rebels With a Cause: How Conservatives Can Lead Hollywood’s Next Paradigm Shift." He has described Michael Moore as "an out of control socialist weasel," and conducted interviews with right-wing websites like FrontPageMag.

The problem isn't that Nowrasteh is conservative. The problem is that Nowrasteh and ABC are representing "The Path to 9/11" as an unbiased historical drama. Promos for the movie say it is "based on the 9/11 Commission Report." Nowrasteh claims he "wanted to match the just-the-facts tone of the report," and describes the project as "an objective telling of the events of 9/11."

Here's some of the objectivity you can expect: Nowrasteh says the film shows how Clinton had "frequent opportunities...in the 90s to stop Bin Laden in his tracks - but lacked the will to do so." He has referenced Clinton's "lack of response" to Al Qaeda "and how this emboldened Bin Laden to keep attacking American interests." A review today in Salon.com says the film paints Clinton "as a buffoon more interested in blow jobs than terrorists."
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