Sunday, September 10, 2006

What Price Agenda?

Why? Seriously... why? A madman directed a bunch of madmen to attack America and they did. And, they got lucky, taking down the Twin Towers. The government screwed up. They screwed up in tracking the growing threat in the 1980s, the 1990s and so on up until 9/10/01. Did the Clinton administration do all they could do to stop Al Queda? Probably not, but 20/20 hindsight is usually 100% accurate. Did the Bush administration do all they could during the transition and their first year in office? Probably not, though ignoring a memo that says Al Queda is determined to attack the U.S. puts the level of probability closer to 100%. And, their actions since 9/11 often leads me to wonder if there is anything this administration puts above politics... and I do include national security in that question. Take a look at Ron Suskind's book The One Percent Doctrine for more information on that.

But why come out with a movie that puts much of the blame on the Clinton Administration? And, why on ABC? ABC is, after all owned by Disney... a company that refused to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11 on the grounds that it didn't want to get into politics so close to an election. As if we're not 60 days out from the very important midterm elections, The Republicans would like to keep the House and Senate and are not above leading the public to believe that 9/11 was all the fault of the Clenis (Clinton's penis) to get there.
And, now it seems that the producers of this docudrama have an agenda. The writer, Cyrus Nowrasteh, has been called a good friend of none other than Rush Limbaugh. The director, David Cunningham founded The Film Institute, which has as its goal... "Godly transformation and revolution TO and THROUGH the Film and Television industry." If these folks don't have an agenda, then NAMBLA is just out for a good time.

Someone at ABC was asleep at the switch. Who vetted this docudrama for accuracy? And, if it doesn't matter that it's not accurate... if the emphasis is on the drama, rather than the docu, then why focus so much attention and press time on the fact that this was based on the 9/11 Commission report? If at least five of the Commissioners charged with writing this report claim numerous inaccuracies and only one commissioner is publicly behind the film (and as a paid consultant on the film, he also stands behind a sign blinking conflict of interest) isn't there something wrong? Who was in charge of publicity? Was it ABC's decision to send previews out to conservative bloggers/pundits, but not to those on the progressive side of the aisle? As we learned in the New York Post, an actor, Harvey Keitel, ended up hiring his own researcher and did his own rewrites to add accuracy. When this was happening, didn't ABC wonder why? Where was the executive in charge? And, how can ABC be so stubborn that they would ignore the public outcry and the private correspondence they've been receiving from people like President Clinton and Madeleine Albright?

I'll be honest. I don't think I would have watched this film, even without the controversy. Except for the CBS documentary by the Naudet brothers in 2002, I haven't been able to bring myself to watch any of the 9/11 programming on TV or any of the features in the theaters. So, this isn't strictly a political decision on my part. Maybe I will be able to watch such programming one day, but not today. Still, all things being equal, I hope when I am ready to watch, I don't have to worry about the agenda of the producers. Because, seriously, don't the victims of 9/11 deserve better?

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