A misleading documentary about a misleading documentary about 9-11

Roundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits

Flash back to late summer 2006 -- remember that docudrama The Path to 9/11, which explicitly contradicted the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report in almost every area, in order to cast blame on the Clinton Administration? (Let's not relive all of the inaccuracies it contained, but see here, here, and here for just a few. Also, my Nation column on the issue, here, gives a bit more context.

Politico has a decided to return to that messy affair, asking at the top of their website today:"Who was blocking 'The Path to 9/11'?" Jeffrey Ressner writes of the"Disney censorship fiasco" around that documentary, asserting in his lead that ABC cut scenes and shelved a DVD"after complaints from political forces." The news peg is that another documentary has been released alleging that The Path to 9/11 was censored -- the director is"hopeful that his newest work will expose the machinations of Disney, Clinton and the Hollywood left."

In his entire piece, Ressner never mentions even one of the factual inaccuracies made by the film, framing them only vaguely as bones of political contention. He also shifts from reporting into editorializing throughout the story, such as in this idiotic paragraph:

"Blocking 'The Path to 9/11'" presents strong evidence that many of the original docudrama's harshest critics were also among its most ignorant. Ziegler smartly cuts together many of the Democrats -- including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid -- admitting they had not seen the film that they were complaining about."The Path to 9/11" was by no means a perfect docudrama, and the real-life figures certainly had a right to complain about their depiction and the way in which actual events were dramatized. But censorship is a dangerous thing, and"Blocking 'The Path to 9/11'" is a look at behind-the-scenes power struggles in Hollywood that few people ever see.

This story basically serves as a press release for conservative claims that 'The Path to 9/11' was somehow censored by the"Hollywood left" and/or the Clintons, which is a myth successfully inserted into mainstream dialogue elsewhere. This is all, of course, nuts. Democrats complained about it because it slandered them with wild inaccuracies. The Clintons don't have any veto power at ABC, and most importantly, while some scenes were removed, it still ran with a bunch of obviously wrong things anyway. That's a censorship fiasco how? I don't think Politico has fact-checkers, but if they did, would their titles be" censors?" The Politico claims that the right-wing politics of its owner do not influence its coverage. Well, something right-wing -- and ignorant -- is certainly influencing Mr. Ressner, adding further shame to everyone at ABC connected to the project, or who did not raise their voices in objection.

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