ABC Can’t Stop Lying About the Path to 9/11

Imagine, if you will, that weeks before an election, ABC decided to air on the public airwaves Michael Moore’s Farenheit 9/11, without ad revenue. Imagine that they paired with Scholastic to hand out teachers guides in the public schools that endorsed the film, and that they offered the film free to anyone who wanted it on itunes, investing $40 million into its promotion.

That’s what they’ve done with a new partisan “docu-drama” by conservative activist Cyrus Nowrasteh. The film is called “The Path to 9/11” and contains many outrageously slanted fictional scenes that defame people like Madeline Albright and President Bill Clinton.

ABC admits to the fictional nature of these defamatory scenes, but refuses to fix the blatant inaccuracies – even those clearly contradicted by the findings of the 9/11 Commission.

They even get the little stuff wrong, reportedly blaming a leak on the Washington Post that actually came from the right wing Washington Times.

Marc Platt, the film’s executive producer, said that although it “does contain composite and conflated scenes and representative characters and dialogue, we’ve worked very hard to be fair. If individuals feel they’re wrongly portrayed, that’s obviously of concern. We’ve portrayed the essence of the truth of these events. Our intention was not in any way to be political or present a point of view.”

Of course, this flies in the face of a leaked memo from an ABC insider who reassured conservative bloggers that “the blame on the Clinton team is in the DNA of the project and could not be eradicated without pulling the entire show. A $40 million investment on the part of ABC is enough to stem even Bill Clinton’s influence.”

Now, if Bill Clinton is at fault for a terrorist attack that occured nine months into the tenure of another administration, let the chips fall where they may. But the central scenes of the movie intended to convey this blame are not based on the 9/11 Commission Report and in fact are contradicted by its findings.

For it’s advisor on the 9/11 commission, the film only used a Republican commissioner whose son is running for office as a Republican this election, and when one of the Democratic commissioners saw a screening of the film and objected, he was ignored. An FBI agent consulting on the film, quit in disgust because film-makers were “making things up.”

Add to this the fact that the film was promoted and distributed in advance only to conservative radio talk shows, bloggers, and other right wing outlets. Democratic and liberal bloggers and media outlets were shut out of the promotion of this reportedly ‘non-partisan’ film, and both Madeline Albright and President Bill Clinton himself were denied access when they requested advanced copies. They, like the rest of us, had to find out about this film through the prism of a right wing promotion campaign.

So, the jig is up. It’s time for ABC to come clean and fix the mess they’ve made. The anniversary of September 11th is too important to play these divisive games.

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