September 10, 2006

It's too late to decide to attack Bin Laden, so let's attack this TV show.

ABC's "Path to 9/11," we're told, by those who want it yanked, portrays the Clinton adminstration making a strategic decision not to take out Bin Laden in a military attack. With hindsight, after 9/11, it's easy to say that was the wrong strategic decision. The question I want to raise is whether it's the wrong strategic decision to cry out about "The Path to 9/11" because of the way it portrays the Clinton administration. To say the portrayal is inaccurate is to focus everyone on the issue, to highlight how sensitive you are about it, and to set off a vigorous effort to show that it is accurate.

Perhaps we were leaving the past behind, saying things like "9/11 reset the clock for me," but now we're distracted -- distracted? like a President caught in a sex scandal... -- and we start wondering why they are making such a stink about this: Are they trying to imprint the national mind with a new story, that Clinton did no such thing and there's some vast right-wing conspiracy to subvert ABC to slander him?

No, no, no, the strategy is to imprint the national mind with a new story, that Clinton did no such thing and there's some vast right-wing conspiracy to subvert ABC to slander him, not to make you ask whether they are trying to do that and certainly not to encourage you to go rummaging through the old evidence -- what's left of it -- and feel like looking at something like this:



Now, why in hell did you look at that? Don't look at that! What repulsive right-wing prurient urge made you want to look at that Limbaugh-style political porn star... Tom Brokaw.

ADDED: And everybody also wants to look at the very parts of the show that most rile its opponents.

MORE: How insanely repressive. You know, mainstream politicians really should worry about bloggers. Ironically, the bad judgment shown by bloggers here is about wishing for hardcore repression of speech, but free speech is our lifeblood!
Clearly Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, Madeleine Albright and American Airlines have good cause to sue Disney/ABC, the BBC, Australian and New Zealand television, and any local affiliate that broadcasts the show. How can we further help their lawsuit? I think a first step is paying close attention in each country to how the show is being marketed. Get us copies of ads, promotions, etc. that show local broadcasters and others promoting the show as true and non-fiction. How else can we help their suit?
Oh, yeah, bloggers really ought to want to encourage lawsuits by public figures who think something inaccurate has been said about them. This is the worst case of myopia I've seen in my years of blogging. You guys are complete idiots.

AND: This post is getting a lot of links. Let's check them out. Glenn Reynolds calls the original post the "best take yet" on the contoversy. Blue Crab Boulevard calls this post "pure art" (and long time readers know that I'm in this for the art). Looking at the "You guys are idiots" addendum, Dr. Sanity wields her expertise as a psychiatrist:
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the psychological mechanisms involved--DISPLACEMENT and SPLITTING-- both of which allow these idiots (I am allowed to call them that because this is a deliberate, self-imposed psychological state to maintain their denial, delusion, and hatred ) to behave in this clueless and revolting manner with regard to a TV miniseries.
Go read the analysis. Tigerhawk agrees that "the legal part of the strategy is not even slightly in the interest of bloggers" and has a lot of discussion of other blog posts, which you should read. Lawhawk hates the idea of lawsuits.

MOREOVER: Ruth Anne Adams has 11 reasons why she's watching "The Path to 9/11," one of which is that Donnie Wahlberg is giving her a Jack Bauer vibe.

192 comments:

David said...

Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea are celebrating a belated birthday in Canada. Bill is probably promoting his charity version of the 'Save The World' (Aids, terrorism, and global warming) and didn't need this distraction from his fundraising activities.

I'll wager things are frosty in that royalty suite in Toronto!

The Drill SGT said...

Ann,

Good job with the Brokaw video. In 5 minutes of NBC news footage it does an executive summary of the first episode of the ABC docudrama, but with real footage.

1. OBL was striking US interests with impunity
2. we knew he was our enemy.
3. We had opportunities to kill OBL, but they might fail. don';t risk embarrassment abroad. we're embarrassed enough at home.
4. we passed the White House was looking for law enforcement solutions and the requirement was to capture him
5. we didn't listen to the military
6. Berger, Clinton and Albright, don't want to talk about it

lee evans said...
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Simon Kenton said...

Lee Evans -

Frank Rich's column, however excellent you find it (curiously enough, he's often cretinous, but perhaps he's been taking his potassium iodide) is a damnable waste of electrons. Use a link and surround it with your comment-droppings.

Ron said...

The arc absurdity of this whole thing requires a comedy of some type to be made, but where are the comedians of that stripe today?

Fatmouse said...

For the first time I can remember, Lileks managed to genuinely piss me off with flippant aloofness.

"Just so you know: 9/11 reset the clock for me. [...] I’m interested in what people did after that date"

Whatever happened to learning from your mistakes? If you don't want another 9/11 to happen, figure out what caused the last one! I don't mean play the blame game, but identify things that let (prior to 9/11) the situation occur and take care of them. You don't get that by "resetting the clock" and pretending you're starting off with a blank slate.

To me, this is like saying, "Gasp! I have lung cancer, what could have caused it? Hmm, no need to think about what happened before, I'll just have another Lucky while I think about how to take care of it."

And that AmericaBlog is priceless. Oh no, Disney made anti-nazi propaganda cartoons in the 40's! Clearly this shows they're in cahoots with Bushitler!

noah said...

Martin Amis has an excellent essay on islamism today (link at Instapundit)..."horrorism".

And yes there is something for everyone...he bashes Bush and Rumsfeld!

Properly understood, could an appropriate primer for digesting ABC's docudrama.

Moneyrunner said...

And there you have it Ann: the pluperfect specimen of Liberalism and his talking points in one Lee Evans. All the talking points neatly woven – no terrorist links to Iraq, the horrible internal repression we are facing (can you say Bushhitler?), the demand for tax hikes (to make Americans sacrifice), the complaint that Bush identified himself with 9/11 (the nerve), and ending with the sly hint that Bush was complicit in the attack on 9/11.

What’s frightening about this is that so many totalitarian movements have had as their leaders and foot soldiers people who have lost their grip on reality and live in a world of conspiracies led by the Jews or some other easily identified scapegoat. This is no longer strange or interesting, it’s becoming scary.

Troy said...

In Lee Evans' worldview "Loose Lips Sinks Ships" is a fascistic call for censorship.

Unfortunately, his Stalinistic call for censorship, passes his loose lips with no sense of irony.

Fenrisulven said...

but toward partisan goals stealthily tailored to his political allies rather than the nearly 90 percent of the country that, according to polls, was rallying around him.

What a bunch a crap. And how ironic that Bill Clinton, Sandy Berger, and the New York Times [source of the Wilson "Bush Lied" meme] are lecturing us about truth.

The same people who told US inspectors in Iraq not to push Saddam at the time, because Clinton wanted to keep him simmering on the back burner in case he was needed to distract from domestic issues. Partisan goals indeed.

I guess thats why more than 50% of New Yorkers think the government had prior knowledge about the attacks.

If that stat is true [doubtful] it says more about New Yorkers than Bush. Bets that they are still counting down "24 business hours" till Rove's indictment in the Plame flameout. Can't really blame them, cosidering that a rag of a Gray Lady is their information source.

altoids1306 said...

At the risk of sounding condescending, I've noticed that when Althouse considers herself unfairly attacked, she tends to double-down and latch on to that issue (Pajamas Media, Barrett, Path to 9/11).

BTW, I agree completely with this post. The shortsightedness of the Left is astounding. The zeal to prosecute the Valerie Plame leaker (or, should I say, sudden lack of zeal), and the current move to gag ABC.

This firestorm is a lose-lose for Dems. Any rational voter can compare the Bush reaction to Farenheit 911 and the current Clinton reaction, and draw appriopriate conclusions.

Old Dad said...

Ann,

I'd add "megalomaniacal" to your "idiots" charge. All power to the nutroots. The Mouse won't know what hit him because nothing will.

We'll watch this evening and tomorrow and wonder WTF? We blew it. What else is new?

And Clinton and his cronies will look silly, and more than a little heavy handed. The nutroots gang already look foolish. They'll simply move on to the next fantasy.

The Drill SGT said...

altoids1306 said...
At the risk of sounding condescending, I've noticed that when Althouse considers herself unfairly attacked, she tends to double-down and latch on to that issue (Pajamas Media, Barrett, Path to 9/11).


WRT Ann's behavior here, I think you are seeing multiple effects that reinforce themselves.

1. All have a free speech, academic freedom, liberatarian cast
2. Ann blogs for her ability to talk about whatever she wants at a given day (e.g. reality TV, Security Moms (I think of her as that among other things), squirrels, etc
3. Althouse.blogspot is also a media outlet and does care about ratings. ;)

RogerA said...

The whole tawdry episode is a caricture of the modern american left: they apparently dont even recognize they are calling for prior restraint of speech. Free speech for me, but not for thee seems to be view.

And this episode really makes me wonder what Sandy Berger was stuffing in his skivvies.....

And Lee Evans: the PDB of 6 August re hijacked airplanes can be operationalized exactly how? and with what effect? Would you suggest stopping air transportation at the very mention of the possibility of an airline hijack? I am glad you dont work for homeland security. I will say you did manage to encapsulate all of the dem talking points in one posting.

Fenrisulven said...

The nutroots gang already look foolish. They'll simply move on to the next fantasy

Nope, they're stuck on stupid. Currently they are Google-bombing the show's title so that joe-six-pack's internet search for the film is redirected toward KOS/DU talking points.

Not illegal, but the equivalent of shouting down your opponents in a debate. Unethical. Pathetic. Transparent to the swing voter.

I vote for giving them more rope.

Derve said...
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John Henry said...

Lee Evans said:

"I guess that might be the reason that Bush was so afraid of releasing the "historical" 8/6/2001 PDB, Bin Laden determined to strike US, will hijiack planes in the process."

Lee, have you actually read the PDB? It doesn't actually say what you claim it says. You can find the full taxt, actually a PDF of the original document, here.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB116/index.htm

Now, why don't you be a good boy, go read it, and then tell us why you should not apologize for positng the nonsensical comment that you did.

John Henry

The Drill SGT said...

Ann,

In case you didn't notice, you're linked to, over at Glenn Reynold's site and will get lots of new posters again today.

Fenrisulven said...

Derve: Enough with the letter writing campaigns, the blog posts, and the verbal complaints. Sure just yesterday, I said free speech survives because we have counter speech. But you know me, I change my mind as often as I change my underwear... which is often readers!

Thats a cheap distortion of her position. You are a dishonest shill. She's against government interference [Senate Dems] of the film, and in favor of the letter writing campaigns, the blog posts, and the verbal complaints, even though she thinks its a politcally unsound move.

Yep, I come here because it's cheap entertainment. Certainly not for the consistency or the classy, educated level of debate.

Hah. You just outed yourself as a fraud. Whats next? You going to tell us how big your penis is?

Ann Althouse said...

Derve: You've missed the point. My complaint is about the attempt to force ABC not to show its movie and specifically, in what you quote, against encouraging defamation lawsuits. I favor more speech and have not complained about the fact that they are arguing with the ABC's presentation of the story. I support that. So I'm marking your attempt at satire D-, but I'll accept a rewrite. More speech, you know.

Fenrisulven said...

Ann, In case you didn't notice, you're linked to, over at Glenn Reynold's site and will get lots of new posters again today.

Lets hope they are of more er substance than Derve's snarky little ad hom masquerading as parody. It was very limp.

Ann Althouse said...

Drill Sgt: Yeah, I noticed the link. I watch the traffic, but I've got a feeling the Instapundit crowd has been here before.

Ann Althouse said...

As for not talking about Lee's comment. It looked like a garbled mess, so I didn't read it. Can someone rewrite it in a crisp two lines? Did he have a point? I saw he was dumping Frank Rich text. How dull is that?

noah said...

Derve, itching to bash ABC, bashes AA instead. Cad! Have you no decency?

BTW...Ann ever thought of switching to a word verification scheme like Jeff Goldstein's...the whole TW thing is part of the fun there!

TW: "dhxma"?

Fenrisulven said...

See what I mean? So classy.

You are the one who's trolling. Whats wrong? Are you too intelligent to discuss the topic at hand? Or is your snarkiness covering other shortcomings?

noah said...

Ah, Dhxma...psoriasis medicine for dhimmis?

Derve said...
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altoids1306 said...

Drill SGT:

Good point(s). Each of the three issues has a free speech element to it.

Derve:

What purpose do your posts serve? To discredit Althouse? Ridicule her? If you think you are helping your cause, I hope you continue to believe so.

MadisonMan said...

Drill Sgt, thank you for noting the link. I was wondering who are all these people!?

It seems to me way too much effort is spent attacking this TV show rather than focusing on what's really important. I think the same could have been said in 1998: Way too much time was spent focusing on the blue dress rather than on things that are really important. But that's the way politics run these days.

Old Dad said...

Derve,

Stop with the hijack already. Ann's trolls are usually more sophisticated.

The Drill SGT said...

MM,

for better or worse today, it's going to be a bumpy ride maaan.

Ann may be ready to move up to headline editor at the NYT. well maybe the NY Post ;)

Limbaugh-style political porn

bound to draw flies and links all over the blogosphere.

Fenrisulven said...

Just pointing out inconsistency.
Which when you respond, makes one a troll.


Yes. You are trying to derail a thread [obviously, you don't want us talking about it] with a petty 'gotcha' that I could care less about. Troll.

At least you are amusing - you think you are being clever.

dearieme said...

American Democrats living in Britain have been asked to protest against the show being broadcast there. Even better, they've been asked to use British spellings (e.g. "programme") to give the impression of being British. That's the way to campaign for honesty and accuracy, eh?

Ann Althouse said...

Derve: You paraphrased the first paragraph of his long comment. I got that far. What was all the other crap? Your reading is so poor. Get things right. Think before you write. I'm giving you another D-. Shape up.

SippicanCottage said...
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Ann Althouse said...

Drill Sgt: "Limbaugh-style political porn" is a phrase taken from DailyKos.

Also, there is some serious trolling here. We've had the problem in the past of people who make the comments thread about them instead of debating the issues. I just deleted a comment and I'm going to be doing some more deletions, especially if this warning isn't understood as a requirement that people shape up and stay on topic.

Derve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

Stay on topic. The finger of deletion is heavy today. Derves and dorks take note.

Derve said...
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MadisonMan said...

sippican -- it continues to function, Yes. But so did Clinton's, and look what it missed! Now, as to what Bush is missing, well you don't know what you're missing when you're missing it. More simply, time will tell.

vnjagvet said...

Derve is not interested in talking about Tom Brokaw's five minute news article. That's because a fair viewing at least tends to undermine the Berger-Clinton-Albright talking points.

Instead a snark attack on the messenger.

Derve, it won't work here.

But your hijacking attempt is noted.

Derve said...
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stephenb said...

From Americablog: What other legislation can we push to ensure that companies like Disney/ABC never again try to unethically influence an American election?

Funny, they weren't so hip preventing CBS from unethically influencing an American election. Rathergate, anyone?

Ann Althouse said...

"And to prove my consistency, let me link to the post where I held the same exact view on those who tried successfully to pull the Reagan TV biopic, which was forced to run on pay cable... "

Yeah, damned inconsistent of me to fail to blog about that back in 2003, when I wasn't blogging.

Derve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vnjagvet said...

And had been noted before I refreshed the thread. Sorry for the me, too comment.

Derve said...
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Derve said...
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Ann Althouse said...

Let's refocus on the topic. Don't respond to trolls. They're set on changing the topic, for a reason easily inferred. And the likelihood of my deleting whatever you've taken the time to respond to is very high on this one. If you've been deleted, you need to change your style or you're wasting your effort posting. You will be deleted quickly. Everyone else, please continue on topic.

Derve said...
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Freeman Hunt said...

Where is Freder?

Wasn't he asserting in one of the other threads that the Clinton admin had never had a chance to get OBL?

Derve said...
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downtownlad said...
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downtownlad said...

OK - Let's see what we have here.

Ann says the following:

1) Bloggers who call for public figures to sue are "complete idiots."

(I happen to agree with you on that front by the way).

2) Bloggers who call for the editor of the New York Times to be executed because he published a story that about how the government is tracking wire movements to track terrorism..... Well actually, Ann, you were pretty silent about those calls for him to tried for treason. And it wasn't just bloggers it was major columnists like Ann Coulter who were calling for him to executed.

I dunno. I think #2 is 100 times scarier in terms of crushing free speech.

downtownlad said...

And why is everyone ignoring the big picture.

Which is that Bush has had a chance to get Osama Bin Laden for the last five years, but he hasn't because he's been focusing all of his energy on Iraq, which has had nothing to do with 9/11.

Talk about taking your eye off the ball.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ironically, the bad judgment shown by bloggers here is about wishing for hardcore repression of speech, but free speech is our lifeblood!

I agree and I'm surprised. I thought that strong support of free speech was pretty much universal among bloggers.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think #2 is 100 times scarier in terms of crushing free speech.

A columnist vs. actual government entities threatening the use of actual government power? You think that these are equivalent?

Fenrisulven said...

Anyone else hear a faint echo? Whiney and shrill? Thanks for the clean-up Ann. I wish Capt Ed did that more often.

From Americablog: What other legislation can we push to ensure that companies like Disney/ABC never again try to unethically influence an American election?

Do they have any idea where that will lead? No more CBS. No more CNN. No more Micheal Moore. No more New York Times. How can any American be so clueless?

MKL said...

I seriusly doubt that Clinton, Albright, and Berger would sue. They'd have to do a deposition right? Not sure about lawyer stuff but I'd think Berger would have to say exactly what documents he took from the archives...

The Drill SGT said...

Freeman Hunt said...
Where is Freder?


FF is a lost cause. I'm hoping Elizabeth will see the clip. She's sane ;)

She and I have had several exchanges where we both were disppointed that the ABC show wasn't more history and a bit list drama.

I think it's a shame that this clip wasn't used as the basis for a set of scenes in the ABC show, but I guess it has NBC written all over it.

anyway in my mind it destroys the whole "vast right wing conspiracy to discredit the Clinton record on the fight to bring OBL to justice" meme that Ann was addressing in this post.

Clyde said...

Let's not get all Mark McGwire "I'm not here to talk about the past" about this. The folks who should have been alert for prospective terrorist attacks against America were clearly asleep at the switch. We were so busy keeping the CIA and the FBI apart to preserve our civil liberties from another Nixon that we kept them from talking to each other and connecting the dots.

That said, there's no use crying over spilled milk. We ALL missed it, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike. Finger-pointing now doesn't do a bit of good. Instead, we should be doing our best to prevent future attacks, and to deal rationally with those who may be our enemies. This means putting an end to lunacy like "no ethnic profiling" when the people who want to kill us are almost always Muslim men between the ages of 15-50. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims.

downtownlad said...

Freeman,

What "government entitities" are you talking about? There are of course "elected representatives" that are free to see whatever the hell they want to, just like columnists do. They are not held to a higher standard than journalists and should not be. They are people who are free to speak their mind. If the people don't like what they're saying, then they will not be re-elected.

You're trying to crush the free speech of Senators and Congressmen. Why the hell should they be forced to be silent about certain issues?

There are local representatives in Alabama who want to ban any books that portray gays in a positive light from the local library. The guy who sponsored that bill was hosted at the White House five times, including after he sponsored it. But somehow conservative bloggers think banning books from libraries is not censorship. In fact - their real goal is to get this ban applied nationwide.

That's why I think you're all a bunch of hypocrites.

Fenrisulven said...

Which is that Bush has had a chance to get Osama Bin Laden for the last five years,

Dates, times, and locations please. Describe the "chance" for each instance. Tora Bora is the only mistake I see, and thats saying with hindsight that it was a bad move to turn over clearing ops to the locals.

but he hasn't because he's been focusing all of his energy on Iraq, which has had nothing to do with 9/11.

Suicide bombers seeking WMD support from rogue nations. It had everything to do with preventing another 9-11 on a much larger scale. Imagine the consequences of jihadists self-detonating with Sarin/Mustard Gas cannisters all over Times Square and the New York Subway. We were in a race to deny terrorists material from tyrants who had a history of supporting terrorist operations against the West.

downtownlad said...

There's a very simple compromise here.

ABC should ditch the show and they should show it on Showtime instead.

Then everyone will be happy, right?

Freeman Hunt said...

You're trying to crush the free speech of Senators and Congressmen. Why the hell should they be forced to be silent about certain issues?

No one is asking them to be silent. We're asking them not to sling their government power around making threats.

That's why I think you're all a bunch of hypocrites.

I've never supported a book ban in my life. Be careful where you throw that "you."

The Drill SGT said...


MKL said...
I seriously doubt that Clinton, Albright, and Berger would sue. They'd have to do a deposition right? Not sure about lawyer stuff but I'd think Berger would have to say exactly what documents he took from the archives...


Yes, depositions would not be fun. I would hope that ABC's lawyers could make a backward link from the Berger charge that his actions weren't accurately reflected in the show to Berger's destruction of those records to avoid revealing his actions, etc etc.
------- going further field---
I don't know what the National Archives policies are for safeguarding those Top Secret Code word files that Berger stole, but I was a TS documents custodian once long ago. The principles that we operated under was that TS documents ALWAYS were under 2 person control. meaning that you didn't let a single man have access alone. I would not be surprised that if they let Berger go into a room alone to review the documents, that they had closed circuit TV. Very embarrassing at a slander trial. Further, there would be testimony about which 3 copies he destroyed and who had been the margin notes authors on each. That could in fact be a smoking gun to further embarrassments.

Fenrisulven said...

downtownlad:That's why I think you're all a bunch of hypocrites.

Your reasoning is not sound, and I have tried for days to get you to see past this blind spot. One more time:

There is a difference between Senators using free speech to criticize media VS Senators using the powers of their office to threaten government action if the media doesn't parrot their talking points.

downtownlad said...

And where do you live fenrisulven? I'm just sure that terrorists are trying to get you in your hick state.

I live less than a mile from Ground Zero, so I don't need some hick lecturing me on how Bush is making me safe.

I, along with 75% of New Yorkers, realize that Bush has done nada to actually make us safer than we were five years ago. Clinton, of course, did nada either after the WTC bombing in 1993.

The solution to make us safer is very simple - get the hell out of hte Middle East and that will stop the breeding of terrorists. They hate us, because we are there. And sorry - that's not "liberal". Because Pat Buchanan has been saying the same thing.

Fenrisulven said...

downownlad: ABC should ditch the show and they should show it on Showtime instead. Then everyone will be happy, right?

That would be fine by me. Problem is, Clinton's people and the nutroots don't want the flim shown without their approved edits. Simply moving it over to Showtime wouldn't appease them.

Although its a moot point. Those 900 original DVDs are about to become 90 million :)

JSF said...

I left the Democratic Party in 1992, not because of Clinton, but because I saw the early rise of anti-semitism within the party. The modern democrats today are all for anti-semitism (Read the comments on HuffPo or KOS about Lieberman or Israel) and they also believe in censorship. When I can freely express views within the GOP but not within the Democrats (as they to seek to curtail anyone but theirs), the Path to 9/11 shows how big a friend of free speech the dems are.

Clyde said...

No, downtownlad, they don't "hate us because we are there," they hate us because we ARE, period.

Your very existence is an affront to them.

downtownlad said...

There is a difference between Senators using free speech to criticize media VS Senators using the powers of their office to threaten government action if the media doesn't parrot their talking points.

And as I've asked a dozen times. What "power" exactly does this sitting Senator have? Please tell me exactly how he would go about revoking the license.

ABC executives are not worried about losing a license, because they realize it has 0% chance of happening. So why are you so scared about this?

What really worries you is that liberals in ABC (and there are many of them) might actually listen to the liberal boggers and rejig the program to remove those scenese.

As I've said, this is not about censorship, it's about political posturing.

Because what idea is getting censored exactly? Because I can show you thousands of blogs where that "idea" is being discussed.

Censorship my ass. This is a fight about how history will portray the Bush and Clinton administrations in the war on terror.

Who freaking cares at this point.

Fenrisulven said...

I live less than a mile from Ground Zero, so I don't need some hick lecturing me on how Bush is making me safe.

Uh-huh. I work in the Russel building, across the street from the Capitol...

But I am from Texas, so thanks for the "hick" ad hom. Whats next? Redneck? Nigger? Yet another example of how the Left doesn't really beleive what they lecture us about.

The Drill SGT said...

Clyde said...
Let's not get all Mark McGwire "I'm not here to talk about the past" about this. ...

That said, there's no use crying over spilled milk. We ALL missed it, Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike.


While I agree with what you are saying on one level, the real threat to the Democratic party is broader and deeper than the Clinton legacy. The going forward DNC policy seems to be that military action in Iraq and Afghanistan was a mistake and that we should not use a blunt weapon on Islamic terrorists, but handle it with due process and the full panoply of the American Justice system. That brings you full circle back to Reno/Gorelick/Albright/Berger

Derve said...

Fully on-topic:

Personally I agree ABC should run with what they've got.

I also agree that the people involved should use whatever verbal methods of power they have, short of violence, to protest loudly.

I think bloggers have every right to complain, and bring this matter to public attention. It will bring more viewers (ie/ Ann originally was not going to watch, now will.)

I think loud objections, and calls for ABC to pull this show, can be effective. Not in canceling the show on ABC, but in putting perhaps a modicum of doubt in viewer's minds while they are watching.

Without this doubt, I am sure many would not be sophisticated enough to understand this is a Docu-Drama, with dialogue created. After hearing the loud protests, maybe people will be a little more skeptical in the presentation.

We don't know if it really was a matter of slamming down a phone; protest reminds people this is a drama based on true events, but is not 100% accurate. Some viewers need to be reminded of that, and the protests serve their purpose.

Others have brought up the conservative protest in 2003, so very similar to this Docu-Drama, that forced CBS to sell off their Reagan Docu-Drama to Showtime pay cable for viewers to watch. These situations are almost identical (then, viewers protested the words placed in Reagan's mouth in responding to the AIDS crisis.)

I think the truly liberal protesters believe the cliche, Turnabout is Fair Play. This type of effort worked in the past on the conservative side.

I am glad they are making noise -- loudly -- today, and I think ABC will hold their ground and run the show. CBS was cheap to pull the other one, just as bloggers are cheap to delete comments soley because they are in dissent.

12:02 PM, September 10

Old Dad said...

Let me start with the perfectly obvious.

All speech is not equal. For example, consider the following categories. U.S. District Court Rulings; public pronouncements made by legislators in their official capacity; NYT editorials; TV docudramas; political speech by the man on the street; blogs; blog comments.

There are reasonably well understood conventions for each genre. For example, we could reasonably expect that opinions of the US District Court would be literate, tightly reasoned, and free of obvious mistakes, for after all, said opinions can ruin lives. We'd expect a different standard for editorials, blog posts, and blog comments, but it seems to me that much of the current controversy stems from blurring distinctions.

What's a reasonable standard for "accuracy" for TV docudramas? Did ABC meet that standard? If not, so what? What's a reasonable response? What redress? The courts? Veiled threats? Are these inacurracies the same as shouting fire in a crowded theater? Of course not.

Of course, reasonableness has little to do with it. Powerful people's oxen may have been gored. Powerful people often play very tough in that situation. Are the Clintonistas attempting to squelch political speech? Of course, and that's a bad thing. Has the right played similar hard ball in the past. Sure. Have legal lines been crossed--that's for lawyers to answer, but this layman does't think so. Have ethical lines been crossed. Sure. But why would the Clintonista's gambe with their reputations? Cough, cough.

I guess we'll find out tonight, and the Republic will survive.

Sorry for the windage.

Derve said...

I guess we'll find out tonight, and the Republic will survive.

Ah, but Colts or Giants??
For the spread:

I'll take the Manning brothers play, 5 Neilsen points up over this fluff.

If you read the papers and follow the current news, you won't be watching this crap as entertainment, (unless you are trying to boost your blog numbers. :)

Fenrisulven said...

While I agree with what you are saying on one level, the real threat to the Democratic party is broader and deeper than the Clinton legacy. The going forward DNC policy seems to be that military action in Iraq and Afghanistan was a mistake and that we should not use a blunt weapon on Islamic terrorists, but handle it with due process and the full panoply of the American Justice system. That brings you full circle back to Reno/Gorelick/Albright/Berger

Exactly, thats the point that John at Powerline made, and is the "bigger picture" re this entire episode:

"I wouldn't care about this--nor, I suppose, would the Democrats--but for the fact that the Democrats are running on a platform of returning to the terrorism policies of the Clinton administration, which, whether through distraction, miscalculation, or sheer indifference, were inept."

The Drill SGT said...

Fenrisulven said...
I live less than a mile from Ground Zero, so I don't need some hick lecturing me on how Bush is making me safe.

Uh-huh. I work in the Russel building, across the street from the Capitol...


Downtownlad, sometimes you can be such an a$$. It's a newyorkcentric thing I guess.

I was about ready to reply as well that I work in an DoD office building overlooking the Pentagon and my wife, when she's not in uniform, works on the North side of the Capitol for DHS.

Even red state hicks can have honest and valueable opinions about homeland security.

Oh, and Fen was a Marine and I'm a VN vet (served in GWI, but not overseas that time), so don't try the chickenhawk meme next.

Auto Report World Editors said...

downtownlad said...


, 2) Bloggers who call for the editor of the New York Times to be executed because he published a story that about how the government is tracking wire movements to track terrorism..... Well actually, Ann, you were pretty silent about those calls for him to tried for treason. And it wasn't just bloggers it was major columnists like Ann Coulter who were calling for him to executed.

I dunno. I think #2 is 100 times scarier in terms of crushing free speech.


Only if you believe that the editor is not capable of treason. Are you saying that prosecuting demonstrably treasonous newspaper editors should never be done because of the chilling effect on the non-treasonous editors?

The jihadis are the biggest threat to free speech today.

Tibore said...

Partially off topic:

"get the hell out of the Middle East and that will stop the breeding of terrorists. They hate us, because we are there."

Incorrect, DTLad. They hate us regardless of what we do. There are many demonstrations and much suspicion of the US in Malaysia and, before the Tsunami in Indonesia and the US has presences in neither area.

The US has indeed committed acts to invite irrational animosity before Iraq - the entirely proper support for Israel in a world hostile to it is one example - but to think it's entirely or even 50% America's fault is to not pay attention to history.

The notion "get the hell out of the Middle East and that will stop the breeding of terrorists. They hate us, because we are there..." is naive and uninformed. The fact we are there is only part, and a small part of the hate. Assuming otherwise is improper assignment of blame.

We now return to your regularly scheculed programming..

Derve said...

"...because I saw the early rise of anti-semitism within the party."

To counter this off-topic comment:

I am interested in candidates like Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel because he specifically because he understands that America's unquestioning support of Israel -- even when it might be beneficial to both Israel and America to question -- plays a role in the Middle East conflict.

I also wonder whether any questioning of the actions of Israel -- at American taxpayer and soldier expense -- is automatically labeled anti-Semitic by some.

In fact, in a thread on censorship and progress in the Middle East, I think there you have it:

Until America is able to have an open and honest discussion of the relationship between the two countries (America/Israel) without undue cries of anti-Semitism or censorship, there will be no longstanding peace in the Middle East.

I'd still give it a few years -- the further in time the Holocaust fades and we concentrate on new humanitarian crises, the more opportunity to have the discussion that needs to, and eventually will, be had.

That relationship definition is the big elephant in the room that needs open discussion. Israeli society is already beginning to have such open talk on topic, without fear of counter opinions.

Aspasia M. said...

ABC should ditch the show and they should show it on Showtime instead.

Then everyone will be happy, right?


sounds good. Then we call it even stevens.

Freeman Hunt said...

And as I've asked a dozen times. What "power" exactly does this sitting Senator have? Please tell me exactly how he would go about revoking the license.

They can pass legislation, hold hearings, set appointments to the FCC board, and support challenges to license renewals.

The Drill SGT said...

Derve,

I agree at the level that all private parties should be able to complain about how they were treated in the ABC show. It's a free country. I'm not convinced that having failed to kill the show (assuming that since ABC has already shown in to the Aussies,they wont kill it here) that the attacks on the show have actually been useful to the Clinton legacy folks.

It's a two sided dynamic. The show has been discredited some, but the hype has caused all sorts of people to watcj who would have missed it. The jury is still out on the impact.

what do you make of the Brokaw clip above?

Stephen said...

"The solution to make us safer is very simple - get the hell out of the Middle East and that will stop the breeding of terrorists. They hate us, because we are there. And sorry - that's not "liberal". Because Pat Buchanan has been saying the same thing."

Downtown, what are you aiming for in "out of the Middle East?" Obviously, since they tried to get the WTC in 93 and attacked us during the 90s, I wouldn't count on us going to where we were before Bush II as accomplishing this.

But, toss that aside, these are people that tried to stick ricin in the subway system of Paris in the mid-90s and attempted to fly a plane into the Eiffel Tower. They also blew up a bunch of Australian tourists in Bali before Iraq - so I wouldn't withdrawing support for Israel as accomplishing either.

These are people who sanctioned beating up an old woman in street market in Afghanistan because too much of her ankle was showing. They hate us for the same reason the KKK where's pointy hats. Al Qaeda wants subservience and you'll only placate them when you give that to them.

Derve said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
JSF said...

Derve, if you had rest the comment it also tied into the idea that you guys want to censor too. What other political party created a rise in Anti-semitism and believed in limiting media exposure of their own parties flaws? If the Democrats believe in Anti-semitism and censorship, how long before you find the gas ovens for those whose opinions you disagree with.

Auto Report World Editors said...

I'm just sure that terrorists are trying to get you in your hick state...

I live less than a mile from Ground Zero, so I don't need some hick lecturing me...

The solution to make us safer is very simple - get the hell out of hte Middle East and that will stop the breeding of terrorists. They hate us, because we are there. And sorry - that's not "liberal". Because Pat Buchanan has been saying the same thing."


Wow! Condescending swipes at regular Americans in flyover country along with a soup├žon of Jew-hatred camoflaged with concern over / denial of jihadis.

Keep thinking that they hate us because of the occupation. Whatever occupation, pick one, back to the Crusades. Any excuse will serve a tyrant, or a lefty insistant on denying reality. But the Crusades were a defensive war against Muslim aggression.

I know, the Hebron massacre of 1929 was due to the 1967 occupation.

Keep feeding the crocodile.

Fenrisulven said...

The US has indeed committed acts to invite irrational animosity before Iraq - the entirely proper support for Israel in a world hostile to it is one example

I would add another - our old policy of support for dictators like the Saudi's, which is what the Left wants to return to for "stability" sake. Bernard Lewis says it best:

"There is some justice in one charge that is frequently leveled against the United States, and more generally against the West: Middle Easterners frequently complain that the West judges them by different and lower standards than it does Europeans and Americans, both in what is expected of them and what they may expect, in terms of their economic well-being and their political freedom. They assert that Western spokesmen repeatedly overlook or even defend actions and support rulers that they would not tolerate in their own countries.

...there is nevertheless a widespread [Western] perception that there are significant differences between the advanced Western world and the rest, notably the peoples of Islam, and that these latter are in some ways different, with the tacit assumption that they are inferior. The most flagrant violations of civil rights, political freedom, and even human decency are disregarded or glossed over, and crimes against humanity, which in a European or American country would evoke a storm of outrage, are seen as normal and even acceptable.

...The underlying assumption in all this is that these people are incapable of running a democratic society and have neither concern nor capacity for human decency."

The Crisis of Islam, p104

Leaving Radical Islam alone would be folly. They seek to establish a Theocratic Caliphate that spans the entire MidEast. They seek to acquire nuclear weapons. And they seek to destroy anyone who will not convert to Islam. Pat Buchannen is an isolationist. His policy is as stupid as allowing Europe to be ravaged by Hitler and expecting to remain unscathed.

The Greater War will come to us, in our very backyard. This is nothing - we are engaged in a mere spoiling attack.

The Drill SGT said...

"get the hell out of the Middle East and that will stop the breeding of terrorists. They hate us, because we are there."

I guess you missed the last OBL video where they had death statements from the guys who did 9/11. They were upset about how were were in Bosnia.

Yeah, that Clinton adventure that put US troops in Bosnia to? PROTECT MUSLIMS

and that's the reason they did 9/11? make sense? not to me, but I'm not a Jihadi.

Derve said...

If the Democrats believe in Anti-semitism and censorship, how long before you find the gas ovens for those whose opinions you disagree with.

It hasn't been proven to me that "Democrats believe in Anti-semitism" or "censorship".

But I do think talk of "gas ovens" pushes that necessary relationship discussion I mentioned further and further into the future, at America's peril.

I respect your position as a Jewish man, however, in addressing the fears you believe in. Never would try to stop you from expressing them and expounding on your own thoughts, and acting on them politically.

Just hasn't proved convincing to me personally, and I appreciate the mutual respect.

Derve said...

Drill Sgt:

Thank you.
Is that clip from the Tom Brokaw I watched fully on tv last night?

If so, I thought it was well done, not a Docu-Drama, which I try to steer clear of. (Haven't seen Flight 93, Farehenheit, etc. Prefer my news straight and not hyped up. Like to draw my own conclusions from what is definitely know -- fill in blanks myself, rather than have other do that work for me.)

Both Presidents Bush and Clinton have fallen well short in fighting this enemy, from what I see. I'm looking for further discussion and more effective actions from our leaders. T/y again.

Harry Eagar said...

So, if Tibore and a number of others are arguing -- correctly, in my view -- that the enemy is not Arabs pissed off about Israel or a few bin Laden fans but Islam as Islam, then why is anybody concerned about what did or didn't happen a decade ago?

Are we engaging Islam as an enemy yet?

Early in the thread, Fatmouse wanted to learn from mistakes. Is anybody suggesting our policy today shows we have done so?

Fenrisulven said...

Yeah, that Clinton adventure that put US troops in Bosnia to? PROTECT MUSLIMS

And don't forget Somolia. Evil Imperialistic Fen was escorting food convoys to save starving Muslims. Bad Fen! You deserve a beheading for that!

BigDirigible said...

Big improvement. Get those nasty little kids out of here, no matter how much they may whine about censorship. No useful purpose is served by letting them annoy the adults. Coherent and mature disagreement is of course another matter. Still waiting to see some...

Fenrisulven said...

then why is anybody concerned about what did or didn't happen a decade ago?

Because the Left wants to return to the same failed policies that gave us 9-11. The Kerry/Gore/H Clinton foreign policy plan has not been updated since B Clinton used cruise missiles to kill camels in Afganinstan.

Thats why the Dems are pulling their hair out over this. It shines a bright light on their current policy platform, when security is their achilles heel. To them, all of their maneuvers for 06 & 08 will be undone by this one film.

The Drill SGT said...

Derve said...
Drill Sgt:

Thank you.
Is that clip from the Tom Brokaw I watched fully on tv last night?


the youtube clip that Ann described in this post as right wing porn

it is about having crosshairs on OBL in the 90's and not being willing to take risks:
1. OBL was striking US interests with impunity
2. we knew he was our enemy.
3. We had opportunities to kill OBL, but they might fail. don';t risk embarrassment abroad. we're embarrassed enough at home.
4. we passed the White House was looking for law enforcement solutions and the requirement was to capture him
5. we didn't listen to the military
6. Berger, Clinton and Albright, don't want to talk about it

Ann Althouse said...

If I've deleted something and you repost it, you can expect me to delete everything else you ever write here. Go start your own blog if you want to say everything you want. I'm not stopping you.

woof22 said...

1... You're trying to crush the free speech of Senators and Congressmen. Why the hell should they be forced to be silent about certain issues?

2....No one is asking them to be silent. We're asking them not to sling their government power around making threats.

Thanks to freeman hunt for translating the thought of downtown lad. His description was so far from the fact situation that I really didn't know what he was saying.

There was a time when Senators understood that there language was important and had impact (like during the Cold War) and then there was a time when they were hot headed idiots (like during the Civil War). We are back to the unthinking partisan idiot times.

downtownlad said...

Republicans think that are always right and can do no wrong.

Democrats think that they are always right and can do no wrong.

It gets really tedious after a while.

Guess what? People are biased. And they are going to use whatever power is possible to have themselves presented in the best light.

Republicans do this. Democrats do this.

Shocker.

Go read up on your current events. The Bush Administration has used the FCC to censor way more than any prior administration, i.e. Janet Jackson and the Super Bowl etc.

Not to mention how they use the power of the federal purse (Solomon Amendment) to silence universities from defending gay rights.

George said...

To inject a slight note of bittersweet levity into these proceedings, I saw part of the 1995 (?) movie "The American President" on TV last night. In it, the beautiful Annette Bening falls in love with the Clintonesque widowed president played by Michael Douglas.

In the movie Libya attacks and kills U.S. servicemen. There's a great, yet lamentable, scene as President Shepherd (that's his name!) debates the appropriate U.S. response with his Cabinet and the Joint Chiefs. They decide to launch a midnight cruise missile attack on some Libyan military headquarters.

But get this...the President decides to attack only after being reassured that it will be a "proportional" response.

He approves the reprisal, after being assured that it might mean killing only a few Libyan janitors. The President seems to feel badly about this.

All in all, an eye-candy movie that makes all too clear the defeatist, legalistic, proportional response mindset that once ruled the U.S. foreign policy.

But, gee, Annette Bening is to-die-for beautiful.....

Freder Frederson said...

I would add another - our old policy of support for dictators like the Saudi's, which is what the Left wants to return to for "stability" sake.

In what crazy mixed up bizarro universe do you live where "the Left" advocates supporting dictators like the Saudis? It's not Democratic presidents who invite the Saudi Crown Prince down to his ranch and have photo ops with him holding his hand as they stroll through the garden.

For all Bush's talk about "democracy promotion" in the middle east, we are just supporting same old tired policies we have in the past, propping up oppressive dictatorships in Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and all over the middle east. Except this time, we justify their quashing of human rights in the name of fighting terrorism rather than communism. Hell, even Alberto Gonzales was out there last week encouraging the Iraqis to torture their detainees (albeit in his round-about evasive, plausible deniability, "I never said that" way) if necessary to quell the violence in Iraq.

Sure, they have some elections, but the only people who get elected are the cronies and the Islamic radicals. Then, those in power use the election of the Islamists to say "look, if we liberalize, the radicals will take over". Of course, they have created the situation themselves by destroying and exiling all the moderate opposition. Kind of like the man who kills his parents and then begs for the court's mercy because he is an orphan.

downtownlad said...

Republicans think the New York Times committed treason and it's perfectly alright to execute the editor. Even though he did NOT commit treason.

One Democratic Senator thinks that ABC is committing slander and its perfectly alright to revoke it's license. Even though ABC did NOT commit reason.

I think both are wrong, but I can understand why they hold their viewpoints.

Unfortunately, the others are completely incapable of understanding why people might think a certain way, even if they hold a different viewpoint.

Rather than arguing the dumb point of revoking a license (zero possibility), why not address Democrat concerns as to why this is not slander. After all, ABC is making up history and presenting it as truth. Why is that not slander?

(Note: I DON'T think it's slander - since it's really no different than what Oliver Stone did with the JFK movie).

JSF said...

Derve, I'm glad you are willing to allow to express my views and beliefs. As far as proof, again, look at the comments section of KOS and HuffPO whenever the discussion of Israel or Lieberman show up. That is the proof. And censorship? Isn't using the power of the state by the Senators ro look at renewing ABC's license's around the country a way of shutting them down if they broadcast "The Path to 9/11". I'd like to believe the Democrats are against censorship and anti-semitism, but no one is standing up to the Kossites or the Huffpo's. I hear, to quote Simon and Garfunkle, "the sounds of silence"

Fenrisulven said...

Fen: I would add another - our old policy of support for dictators like the Saudi's, which is what the Left wants to return to for "stability" sake.

Freder Frederson: In what crazy mixed up bizarro universe do you live where "the Left" advocates supporting dictators like the Saudis?

In that crazy mixed up bizarro universe called History of American Foreign Policy, 1945-2001.

Historians refer to the “special relationship” established when Saudi Arabia’s King Abdel Aziz and President Franklin D. Roosevelt met in 1945.

http://www.cfr.org/publication/10728/5_myths_about_ussaudi_relations.html

Haven't you heard the latest Democrat strategy for Iraq? Withdraw and seperate Iraq into three provinces, ruled by dictatorship? Thats exactly how we got Osama Bin Laden.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

3. We had opportunities to kill OBL, but they might fail. don';t risk embarrassment abroad. we're embarrassed enough at home.

You know just because Rush Limbaugh says something, doesn't make it true. You keep saying this as though it is a fact, yet there is very little or no evidence to support this contention.

That is one of the main objections of this docudrama, that Clinton, because of his fecklessness and preoccupation with the impeachment (although of course at the time, every aggressive move he made he was accused of wagging the dog to draw attention away from his political problems), refused to take the threat of OBL seriously and blew several golden opportunities to take OBL, including one instance where Osama was literally in the CIA's sites.

It is rich that I am accused of being an apoligist for the Clinton administration, a Clinton lover, that Ann gets all upset with me because I twist her words. In the days I have been arguing this issue I have never once defended any of the actions or inactions of the Clinton administration when it came to fighting terrorism (look it up if you don't believe me). Yet all the hostile responses to me and the childish insults hurled at me would make one think I have said Clinton was absolutely perfect.

The only thing I have ever said is that it is highly irresponsible for ABC, in a television show that claims to be based on the 9/11 commission report, to just make shit up and so blatantly misrepresent the facts. This is especially true in light of the fact that so many people are willing to believe so many lies, distortions, half-truths, and deceptions about this war on terror.

Ann has spent considerable space ridiculing the WTC conspiracy theorists who think the towers were brought down with explosives. In fact, she took issue with the paper calling a UW adjunct a "leading professor". Yet I have pressed her repeatedly to just admit that including a scene in a docudrama that shows that the CIA had Bin Laden surrounded and could have killed but that Clinton's national security advisor explicitly refused to give permission to take the shot is irresponsible, she won't even do that.

If depicting something that never happened and is directly contradicted by the record is okay in a docudrama, then calling an adjunct a "leading professor" is certainly okay, and I am an astronaut because I rode on "A Trip to the Moon" at DisneyWorld when I was ten.

Fenrisulven said...

After all, ABC is making up history and presenting it as truth.

ABC is NOT presenting it as truth. There are disclaimers all over the place. Conservatives have been putting up with this from the likes of Oliver Stone and Micheal Moore [and even the History Channel] for some time now. So its amusing to watch the Left stumble over ground we know to well.

Reminds me of a danish friend who was frothing outrage b/c some american paper misreported events in his town. He had never experienced such a thing, and was completely oblivious that the BBC had been doing the same thing to America since he was born. Ha.

Freder Frederson said...

Historians refer to the “special relationship” established when Saudi Arabia’s King Abdel Aziz and President Franklin D. Roosevelt met in 1945

I'm not certain about this, but I think if you check, you will find FDR died in April, 1945 and I'm pretty sure Abdel Aziz is dead too.

Tom Faranda said...

Great posting. Thanks for putting it up.

Ann Althouse said...

Freder: I don't get your comparison to the 9/11 conspiracy theorists. They have a movie out. I've never said that it should be yanked. If someone were applying for a job as a history professor with scholarship that was badly done, I'd have a problem with that. I have a problem with whatever inaccuracies are in a film that presents itself as historical truth, but I might still accept it as a good film, and I certainly wouldn't argue for not showing it or for bringing lawsuits for damages. So, really, what is your point? If you're going to make analogies, do it analytically or it's not an argument.

Fenrisulven said...

Freder: I'm not certain about this, but I think if you check, you will find FDR died in April, 1945 and I'm pretty sure Abdel Aziz is dead too

"the first meeting of Saudi and American heads of state took place in 1945 aboard an American warship anchored in the Great Bitter Lake, along the Suez Canal.(27) On that occasion, King Abd al-Aziz extracted from President Franklin D. Roosevelt a two-part pledge: "(1) He personally, as president, would never do anything which might prove hostile to the Arabs; and (2) the U.S. Government would make no change in its basic policy in Palestine without full and prior consultation with both Jews and Arabs."(28)

http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2002/issue3/jv6n3a7.html

knoxgirl said...

The solution to make us safer is very simple - get the hell out of hte Middle East and that will stop the breeding of terrorists. They hate us, because we are there...

DTLad: WARNING: I'm a hick from Tennessee!

Shame on you, as a gay man, to imply that Bush's actions will somehow make radical islamicists stop hating us. As much as you claim to fear and despise republicans as bigots, you should be terrified of these people. As--this goes without saying--should all women and Jews. If the Islamicists were to somehow gain any foothold of power in the world, the Jews would be first for extermination, then the gays. As for women, I don't really know what we'd be doing, because we'd all be locked up in our houses in burqas.

This is an example of why I am so dismayed with the democratic party's take on this war. Every one of my beliefs that I understand to be liberal positions: pro-gay rights, feminism, freedom from religion in government; stand in absolute opposition to everything the Islamicists stand for, yet, I see democrats trying to minimize the threat at every turn, make Bush the real enemy, etc.

It is utterly confounding and frustrating. Had we tried to deal with Hitler in this way, tracked the body count in WWII as ticks against Roosevelt... it's a tired point but utterly fair.

dklittl said...

ABC is NOT presenting it as truth. There are disclaimers all over the place. Conservatives have been putting up with this from the likes of Oliver Stone and Micheal Moore [and even the History Channel] for some time now. So its amusing to watch the Left stumble over ground we know to well.

You are just being naive if you think that people view things seen at the movie theater in the same way as television. There was no doubt that JFK was some filmakers vision of his assasination, there was no doubt (since he was in every scene) that Fahreheit was Michael Moorer's vision of 9/11. When ABC shows a docudrama about the events of 9/11 you aren't telling people to believe a specific filmaker. You are asking them to believe Charles Gibson, Peter Jennings, ABCnews and all its affiliates. There is no comparison. This is a country where people still believe that Sadaam Husein committed 9/11. Just wait to all of the hate mail hits Berger's mailbox. Not because of the overall tenor of the Clinton WH in the film but just that scene where he doesn't go after OBL.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SMGalbraith said...

It's not Democratic presidents who invite the Saudi Crown Prince down to his ranch

Well, they just invite them to sit on our battleships.

Granted, it wasn't the Saudi Crown Prince. It was King Saud himself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:FDR_on_quincy.jpg

Although I have no idea as to what your point is. The US has had a relationship with Saudi Arabia for more than 60 years. Both Democratic and Republic presidents have recognized that.

SMG

Fenrisulven said...

You are just being naive if you think that people view things seen at the movie theater in the same way as television.

Hardly naive. Been dealing with movies like this attacking conservatives and distorting history for a long time. I know exactly what to expect from the public, from experience.

My point is that this is all new territory to the Left. They aren't accustomed to Farenheit 9-11 type films that paint them in a bad light. They need to get over it and move on. They are blowing this out of proportion and mishandling it. There's now a market for the unedited film that did not exist before the Left starting whining about this.

downtownlad said...

Knoxgirl,

I don't understand your point. As a gay man and as a Jew, I don't need to be educated that the Islamists in the Middle East would love to kill me.
But guess what? That is not going to change. And Jews and gays should stay out of Arab occupied areas of the Middle East. In fact - all Westerners should avoid the Arab Middle East.
Israel is tough enough to derend herself. They have 400 nukes after all. They'll be fine.
But if we were to get our troops out of the Middle East, Islamic terror in the United States would lessen and probably come to a halt. In fact, if we never had troops in Saudi Arabia after the first gulf war, 9/11 would never have happened.

downtownlad said...

By the way Knoxgirl - gays are a hell of a lot worse off in Iraq now, under the American backed regime, than they were under Saddam Hussein.

No intelligent gay person should rely on George Bush to protect their interests. He couldn't give a crap if gays are being massacred in Iraq now.

Freder Frederson said...

So, really, what is your point? If you're going to make analogies, do it analytically or it's not an argument.

Sorry, I thought your point about the article on 9/11 conspiracy theorists was not merely to mock the Daily Mail and say "look at these stupid, clueless, Brits, they don't know the difference between an adjunct and a real professor". I presumed you had a serious point to make about irresponsible journalism and giving undue credence to a bunch of crackpots. If you meant merely to ridicule, then my analogy was indeed inapt.

The point of my analogy was this, The Daily Mail was irresponsible to lend credence to the 75 odd crackpots by publishing that story about the 9/11 conspiracy theorists and calling them "top professors and leading scientists" when they are nothing of the sort.

ABC is irresponsible to air a show, using the public airwaves, for which it and its affiliates has been given a privlege to broadcast on for free in exchange to do so in the public interest (granted, since Reagan the responsibilities that have gone along with the privlege have mostly been forgotten), which purports to "dramatiz[e] the events detailed in The 9/11 Commission Report and other sources" that contains scenes that directly contradict the findings of that report. That those people who are defamed by the blatant inaccuracies and fabrications would rally their allies to stop the broadcast of the defamatory material is only natural, especially when it is apparent that this election cycle the Republicans are planning to use the Democrats perceived "softness on terror" as a weapon to defeat them.

Freder Frederson said...

ABC is NOT presenting it as truth.

Well if not the truth it, ABC certainly claims it is a "dramatization" of it. This is from their website:

"ABC will present "The Path to 9/11," a dramatization of the events detailed in The 9/11 Commission Report and other sources"

AJ Lynch said...

There is a core reason to blog. And that is to express yourself using your own thoughts, ideas, words and observations. When done very well or uniquely, even one time, a blogger's words can spread across the globe instantly.

The political parties are scared to death of this phenomenon. Because it is shrinking their power and influence.

Bloggers are best when they ignore the party's position and just speak to their own personal beliefs and ideas. Someday, I hope, individual identifiaction with one party will wane as the blogopshere matures making ideas not parties paramount.

Bloggers are generally uninteresting and at their worst when they become an extension of one of the two dominant parties.

Whitehall said...

First, they came for the docudramas...

Then they came for the AM talk shows.

Senator Reid's letter was extremely alarming. How dare the Democratic leadership make such a public threat of legal retaliation against anyone. Wouldn't that be a bill of attainer?

While the broadcast licenses owned by ABC are no doubt worth a billion or more, they remain hugely dependent on legislation to protect and further their corporate assets and goals. Why is it that Mickey Mouse still has copyright protection 75 years after creation? Answer - recent copyright law rewrites. Who's going to protect their digital outputs from piracy?

The Democrats have showed their hand and it is one that violates critical Bill of Rights principles.

Synova said...

Googling "Bin Laden in Sudan" I find...

"By MANSOOR IJAZ
President Clinton and his national security team ignored several opportunities to capture Osama bin Laden and his terrorist associates, including one as late as last year.

I know because I negotiated more than one of the opportunities."

LA Times, Dec. 5, 2001.

I also find claims that Sudan never offered Bin Laden to the US.

The first time I heard it, though, was in a television documentary a year or more ago.

If it's *not* true it needs more than someone screaming "liar liar liar" until the other side shuts up. It needs supporting evidence and rational explanation.

Is the NBC clip that Ann has linked to a lie?

And in the end, is it *really* that significant that the Clinton Administration did not take Bin Laden, a person who had attacked us and actually *formally* declared war on the US seriously? No one was taking it seriously.

When Lileks said that 9-11 reset the clock I doubt seriously that he means not to look at mistakes in order to make changes. Changes don't require fault finding or blame.

I've said it before and I'll say it again... if it weren't for the fact that some people *today* want to view Islamic terrorism as a criminal/judical issue and believe that if we don't do anything they'll eventually get over it, there wouldn't be *any* reason to be upset about this, even if it *weren't* an accurate account of Clinton Administration attitudes toward the problem.

The problem is that no one on the anti-war side can honestly say, "Yes, but we realized our error."

XWL said...

The most damning thing you can say about the Clinton administration specifically, and Democrats generally would be that their current "War on Error" is being fought with a vigor they lacked when they were in power.

Bin Laden was at war with us throughout the 90s. There is no 'root cause', just a nihilistic hatred for all things unlike themselves.

It's unknowable whether or not had Pres. Clinton waged a vigorous War on Terror whether or not it would have prevented an event along the lines of 9/11.

What is knowable is that his administration was a miserable failure with regards to answering the challenge presented by the hatred directed our way.

Derve said...

"if it weren't for the fact that some people *today* want to view Islamic terrorism as a criminal/judical issue and believe that if we don't do anything they'll eventually get over it"

It sounds as if some have a misguided impression.

Pursuing victory with other methods than solely military is not "not doing anything."

This type of intelligence and action through cooperation with contacts within the country, and not relying solely on military technology, has proven successful.

Again, it's not "not doing anything" and has proven so far more effective than just dropping bomb after bomb, kicking down every family door in the middle of the night in areas suspected of harboring terrorists.

That has not worked for Israel -- in Gaza or Lebanon, and has not proven the US successful in Iraq.

It makes the neutral civilians -- those innocent Islamacists whose support we need in this fight -- turn against the military.

I wonder why? empathy anyone

downtownlad said...

Bin Laden was at war with us throughout the 90s. There is no 'root cause', just a nihilistic hatred for all things unlike themselves.

Oh - give me a break. The root cause was that we had troops in Saudi Arabia. It's not because they hate our freedom. If you don't believe me - just ask Osama. He's been quite explicit as to why he attacked us.

Derve said...

" What is knowable is that Clinton's administration was a miserable failure with regards to answering the challenge presented by the hatred directed our way. "

At least his failure was not so costly as the current administation's failure.

I can see where you might want to ignore that -- we've got to give this new administration more time to prove how successful their aggressive actions are.

That is the fear of November -- accounting time -- I suspect.

Lincoln said...

Boy, lots of whiny little liberals here. So somebody made a movie that puts Clinton in a less than flattering light, oh boo hoo hoo. If we can put up with Michael Moore's stupidity, you weenie liberals can surely put up with this.

knoxgirl said...

And so goes the litany: *Bush* makes us more unsafe, not the terrorists; America is at fault for terrorist actions; terrorism is a law-enforcement issue; and finally: Israel can take care of herself! Let's pull out of the Middle East altogether and just sort of mind our own business as the neighborhood bully blows up more and more people all over the world. As long as they're not blowing up Manhattanites, it really doesn't matter...

???

Fair enough, if that's how you feel. I'm afraid for you on your behalf.

knoxgirl said...

It's not because they hate our freedom.

Now if all the women and gays over there would just leave the Middle East, they'd be treated just fine! Oh wait...

sparky said...

I have no opinion on what ABC/Disney is up to, as I haven’t seen the program or the clips. But I did want to make a comment about this sentence:

“To say the portrayal is inaccurate is to focus everyone on the issue, to highlight how sensitive you are about it, and to set off a vigorous effort to show that it is accurate.”

Not sure that I agree with any or all of these conclusions. Certainly they could be plausibly drawn from the protest activity, especially some of the more strident aspects of the protest. But none of them necessarily follow from the act of protesting. I assume that the word “issue” above refers to the portrayal’s accuracy (or lack thereof). The first one is the strongest, as calling attention to something is likely to cause at least some examination of the contested topic (though, as is repeatedly demonstrated in this country, attention to a dispute does not entail the conclusion that a clear factual record or a coherent meme will emerge). The second is a subjective conclusion regarding a protester’s personality and as such has no necessary connection with a particular protest or protester. The last one is a speculation about a specific consequence that may or may not occur coupled with the implication that raising the issue is somehow a bad idea (the ground(s) for this implication are unclear but here are two possibilities: it would only be bad for the protesters if either (a) their version of the facts was rejected or (b) the opposition managed to reframe the debate in a fashion favorable to it).

But let’s assume they are all valid conclusions in the sense that they are plausible outcomes. Protests could arise for a variety of reasons, but I want to mention two: (1) a belief that the program is factually inaccurate in important ways or (2) a political stance that holds it is important to contest a perceived framing of the issue in ways that are unfavorable to one’s party or ideology. As to reason (1), if the belief is sincerely held that the facts are incorrect, it is difficult to see how conclusion one would be harmful, and conclusions two and three would be either irrelevant or a positive for protesters. A decision to not protest arising out reason number (2) would be rational if the conclusions above were the necessary outcome. But is protesting irrational (that is, counterproductive) if the conclusions above are not the necessary ones with respect to reason (2)? It’s certainly possible to argue that it would be irrational to not protest unless all of the conclusions above are the only possible outcomes (or even the most likely outcomes) AND reason (1) is not a ground for protesting.

That said, ABC/Disney is a publicly held company, and it ought to be able to tackle whatever topics it wishes, for whatever reasons.

Aspasia M. said...

gays are a hell of a lot worse off in Iraq now, under the American backed regime, than they were under Saddam Hussein.

Soccer players too, it looks like. (and not so great for women's rights, or Olympic athletes, or secularism, or alcohol drinking...) But don't confuse people with facts.

It's all about the TRUTHINESS BABY! Feel the truth -- feel it!!

MadisonMan said...

Lincoln, no place in the political spectrum can truthfully claim to be devoid of whinyness. I recall plenty of whining from the right side of the political spectrum re: Fahrenheit 911 or The Reagans. This is the same thing, only in the mirror. Soon to be forgotten, mostly, I hope.

Old Dad said...

geoduck2:

Soccer players too, it looks like. (and not so great for women's rights, or Olympic athletes, or secularism, or alcohol drinking...) But don't confuse people with facts."

Wasn't it Saddam's darling baby boy, Uday, who terrorized, or rather "headed" Iraq's Olympic committee, at least when his rape rooms were closed for cleaning?

Revenant said...

If you don't believe me - just ask Osama. He's been quite explicit as to why he attacked us.

And we'll just assume he's being truthful about his reasons, will we?

Aspasia M. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ann Althouse said...

This thread shouldn't degenerate into a debate about how the war in Iraq is going. Remember the topic!

hdhouse said...

all the lawyers on this thread need now is an ambulance to chase, a sidewalk fall in manhattan, and michael jackson doing just about anything to make this complete.

more speech of course madame professor as long as it is what? true? quantity over quality?

when there were fines handed out to howard stern a while back the judgment call became completely clear. you don't have to tell the truth...heck, you can lie your head off, but you just can't be profane about it.

i take lying and lying liars as profanity.

happily leaving this blog. leaving this shovel full of earth to someone else to dig through.

good luck to many of you. .. particularly those who think the nytimes lies on a consistent basis, that network news is slanted to the left... go ready your washington times and your WSJ and think it truth, listen to rush and o'reilly (if he can pull the sponge out of his ass), throw in the gang of felons who have found their way onto the talk show airwaves, mix in a little anthrax annie coulter so you get your daily shot of bile...

see ya after the election.

David said...

I suppose any reference to Lt.Col., Buzz Patterson, ret., would be immediately shot down as right wing propaganda even though he carried the 'football' for President Clinton.

In his books, Dereliction of Duty..and Reckless Disregard' the Lt.Col. discribes two important times when Clinton refused to take a call regarding a chance to bomb OBL while he was at a golfing event. There was another time when there was a two hour window to bomb OBL but by the time Berger got through to Clinton and the situation was discussed the window closed.

There is a reference to this on the Villanous Company Blog that tweaked my memory.

Another point that concerns me is not the hollowness of the democrats threat against the ABC broadcast license. It is the chilling prospect of how they would use similar tactics were they to regain the power to use it!

LoafingOaf said...

George: ...I saw part of the... movie "The American President" on TV last night. In it, the beautiful Annette Bening falls in love with the Clintonesque widowed president played by Michael Douglas.

In the movie Libya attacks and kills U.S. servicemen.... They decide to launch a midnight cruise missile attack on some Libyan military headquarters. ....

He approves the reprisal, after being assured that it might mean killing only a few Libyan janitors. The President seems to feel badly about this.


And Clinton was a big fan of the movie.

Let's compare:

Michael Douglas in The American President: Somewhere in Libya right now, a janitor is working the night shift at Libyan intelligence headquarters. And he's going about doing his job because he has no idea that in about an hour he's going to die in a massive explosion.

Bill Clinton, after ordering the attack of the al Shifa plant in Sudan: I was here on this island up till 2:30 in the morning, trying to make absolutely sure that at that chemical plant there was no night shift. I believed I had to take the action I did, but I didn't want some person who was a nobody to me—but who may have a family to feed and a life to live and probably had no earthly idea what else was going on there—to die the needlessly.

(Hat Tip: Christopher Hitchens)

tjl said...

Hdhouse offers the following:
"All the lawyers on this thread need now is an ambulance to chase." Lovely non-sequitur.

"More speech of course madame professor as long as it is what? true?"

And who is going to be the judge of whether it's true? Evidently H. volunteers himself for the job.

"I take lying and lying liars as profanity."

H. is apparently one of those who believe that a "lie" is any statement they don't agree with. And it's clear he's not willing to take being disagreed with lightly.

There was a time when the left stood for raucous, let-it-all-hang-out free speech (what a dated phrase). Why in one short generation did they reject free speech in favor of the iron Stalinist repressive zeal seen in H's and Freder's posts?

Ann Althouse said...

tjl: Yeah, hdhouse wrote one of the most garbled comments I've seen. If the lawyers are all saying there should be fewer lawsuits, we're the opposite of abulance chasers. And the idea of only permitting true speech with truth narrowly defined is so repressive and dangerous that I'm just amazed people don't see it.

The Drill SGT said...

Folks,

Have I mis-read my TV information or has ABC cut an hour from the broadcast?

My WaPo TV section show the show running for 3 hours tonight and 2 hours on Monday.

However: www.abc.com shows 2.5 hours tonight and 1.5 hours on Monday?

XWL said...

more speech of course madame professor as long as it is what? true? quantity over quality?

Hdhouse by emphasizing Prof. Althouse's femininity with the phrase, "madame professor" exhibits an antipathy towards women expressing their ideation in a forceful way.

Any and all feminist should be shocked and horrified at this use of sexist language to belittle a distinguished professor as she expresses herself.

I'm sure Prof. Brian Leiter wouldn't be amused, either.

tjl said...

Ann said
"And the idea of only permitting true speech with truth narrowly defined is so repressive and dangerous that I'm just amazed people don't see it."

If more people could be persuaded to see it, then political discourse in this country would cease to be like children shouting past each other to drown out words they don't want to hear.

Shanna said...

You are just being naive if you think that people view things seen at the movie theater in the same way as television. There was no doubt that JFK was some filmakers vision of his assasination, there was no doubt (since he was in every scene) that Fahreheit was Michael Moorer's vision of 9/11.

First of all, Michael Moore's F911 pretended to be a DOCUMENTARY, which ABC's movie absolutely does not. Moore's movie should thus be held to higher standards.

Second, I keep hearing versions of this argument, that the "american people" cannot possibly tell the difference between this movie and a news report. People, miniseries and movies "based on actual events" are not new. 10 years ago there were 3 or 4 Amy Fisher movies, with completely different scripts etc...

Now, it sounds like ABC took maybe more license than I would have prefered, but I was also irritated that they changed the John in the Disney Pochahontas movie. I tend to want things to be factual, but I long ago made peace with the fact that movies are fiction, and thus will fill in the blanks where necessary or desired.

Thirdly, as a fan of the first amendment, I find it very disturbing that Democratic senators think it's ok to throw around threats and all this talk of "the public airwaves" is chilling.

Ever time I get frustrated with the Republican party the Democrats do or say something SO MUCH WORSE and I remember why I'm not a Democrat.

dave said...

...as a fan of the first amendment, I find it very disturbing that Democratic senators think it's ok to throw around threats and all this talk of "the public airwaves" is chilling.

Of course, it's A-OK when Republicans do it.

Asswipe.

Shanna said...

Dave,

Don't be an ass. It's not ok if anybody threatens to use their congressional power to silence political speech they dont' agree with.

But the RNC? Not a government agency. Show me a link that proves that a Republican has threatened to yank a brodcast license and we'll talk, but it won't change my position one whit.

If a Republican does anything anti free speech that is a serious breaking point for me and fyi, the reason I cannot support John McCain.

So, kindly STFU.

johnstodderinexile said...

Dave, what is your problem? "Asswipe?" You're in a public place. Grow up.

As for the, ah, substantive part of your last comment, you're trying to say the Democrats who are threatening ABC's licenses over "The Path to 9/11" are no better than the Republicans who threatened Viacom over "The Reagans."

And...you're right. They're no better. The Democratic party and its Senate leadership have sunk to the same "asswipe" status as the Republicans. Happy now?

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I found what the Republicans did over the Reagan show deplorable. Which is why my disappointment over what the Dems are doing is so acute. I don't know what the hell Democrats stand for anymore, but I thought for sure free speech was part of it.

You hysterical, "myopic," thuggish left-bloggers have probably done more damage to your purported cause in the past four days than in the past four years of idiocy. How much is Karl Rove paying you?

Elizabeth said...

Well, this is a long one. I scroll to the bottom and find the last comment ending with "STFU"; what's that about?

Drill Sgt., yep, I'd be more accepting if I thought this production relied on clips like the one from Brokow, and actual evidence, the 9/11 commission, etc. Instead, it's likely to be a Frankenstein's monster of ignorant entertainment producers and a writer with a right-wing agenda. I'm not watching it, because there aren't enough hours in life to waste 'em like that. I didn't watch much Katrina 1-year coverage either, for the same reasons.

The going forward DNC policy seems to be that military action in Iraq and Afghanistan was a mistake and that we should not use a blunt weapon on Islamic terrorists, but handle it with due process and the full panoply of the American Justice system.

I think, or I hope, the argument for the DNC is that Iraq was a mistake, not Afghanistan, and that our Iraq invasion has hindered what we set out to do in Afghanistan, which of course included bringing OBL to justice. OBL attacked us on 9/11, not Saddam. As for the other point, surely we need both options, blunt force and our justice system? I'd much rather see OBL's body being carried from a battlefield than watch a spectacle of a trial, but there are so many layers to the terrorist threat across the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe and here, that our entire arsenal, from military to intelligence to diplomacy to economic pressure to prosecution are of use. I don't think any administration, including this one, writes off any tool in the box.

Elizabeth said...

10 years ago there were 3 or 4 Amy Fisher movies, with completely different scripts etc...

Amy Fisher, Jon Benet, shark bites, when Killer Hurricanes Attack!, 9/11...yeah, that's all pretty much the same. Bring on the entertainment!

Freder Frederson said...

Why in one short generation did they reject free speech in favor of the iron Stalinist repressive zeal seen in H's and Freder's posts?

And the idea of only permitting true speech with truth narrowly defined is so repressive and dangerous that I'm just amazed people don't see it.

Okay, with these two statements I have had it, especially with the second coming from a law professor, someone who should at least be tangentially concerned with the truth.

The first statement is just so outrageous and defametory I'll just highlight it and not respond to it other than to say expect a knock on your door tonight, the secret police I control will be coming for you.

But Ann, really? You are a professor at a prestigious (at least regionally) law school? Shame on you. I hated law school, and quit the trade of law (after running into to way too many lawyers like you I really don't consider the law a profession) after law school because of law professors just like you. You are so tied to abstract concepts like free speech that you have no idea what the hell they mean. Nothing is free, and free speech carries with it responsibilities, you have forgotten that. A free society cannot exist if the right to free speech does not carry with it some responsibility. That has been my argument these past days that you have avoided, mostly by hurling childish insults and accusing me of advocating "only permitting true speech with truth narrowly defined". I have never done anything of the kind. I am sorry if my definition of truth does not include dramatizations that directly contradict the settled historical record, but I am picky about things like that.

You got quite upset when I took your apparent fond quote of the fictional Professor Kingsfield as indication that you sought to emulate him. Imagine how Sandy Berger felt when he found out that a TV show was going to show him as refusing to authorize the assasination of the most reviled man in the country, an incident that never, ever happened?

Apparently your definition of the "truth" is anything you can get away with saying without anyone calling you on it. And free speech is saying anything you want as long as you don't get sued and lose. I honestly hope this isn't what you teach your students, although I know it is often what passes for legal ethics.

Freder Frederson said...

But the RNC? Not a government agency.

In this administration, there is very little distinction between the Party and the Government. One Party, One People, One Government.

johnstodderinexile said...

Nothing is free, and free speech carries with it responsibilities, you have forgotten that. A free society cannot exist if the right to free speech does not carry with it some responsibility.

Freder, this is such a slippery slope, I would warn you to get off it quick.

One person's definition of responsibility will be completely different than another's -- as this comment chain should persuade you.

When people of my generation talk about "free speech," they are talking about protecting the rights of people much, much farther out of the mainstream than this ABC movie will be. The ACLU protecting the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie, and of Communists to work in government and the media. Angela Davis keeping her job at (I think) UCLA.

The limit on free speech is generally summed up by the cliche "shouting fire in a crowded theater." Obviously that doesn't apply here. Other limits are defined in libel laws and court decisions. Those limits give very strong protection to ABC to talk about public figures. There is no "responsibility" footnote to the First Amendment, and I hope there never will be one.

The process by which this country would reach a point where upsetting Bill Clinton's vanity becomes the definition of irresponsible speech, is a process I should think you'd desperately want to avoid.

God, since when have Democrats been so in the bag for people in power!? Weren't you alive when LBJ and Nixon were in power? Defaming the president was a sign of how liberated you were. Even after both men were safely out of power, they were depicted as evil, and lampooned as idiots. If they could take it, so can Bill.

Freder Frederson said...

First of all, Michael Moore's F911 pretended to be a DOCUMENTARY

Okay, smartass, where are the factual errors in F911. It was polemic, it was inflammatory, it certainly presented a very biased and slanted viewpoint. And yes, you may be able to pick at some minor points and details, but in fact, it didn't just pretend, it actually was, a DOCUMENTARY.

Look it up. Nowhere in the definition of "documentary" does it say that a documentary has to be "fair and balanced", evenhanded or present all sides of an argument or point of view. Michael Moore never pretended that F911 was anything but a full-scale assault on the Bush administration and its handling of the war on terror. It is just laughable that he is criticized for picking on President Bush. That is the entire point of the movie. It is meant to be fair.

tjl said...

Freder,

Wipe the spittle off your keyboard, please. It doesn't make your argument more convincing.

Freder Frederson said...

When people of my generation talk about "free speech," they are talking about protecting the rights of people much, much farther out of the mainstream than this ABC movie will be. The ACLU protecting the rights of Nazis to march in Skokie, and of Communists to work in government and the media. Angela Davis keeping her job at (I think) UCLA.

Sheesh, I will defend to the death your, or my, right to call President Clinton, Bush, Ford, Nixon motherfucking shitheads or call Jews mud-people as you march through Skokie, or even defend the right to privately publish nonsense that the holocaust never happened.

But when a corporation has been given, for free, by the government a valuable property that is worth literally tens of billions of dollars. they have a responsibility to serve the public interest and, at the very least, when they present a television program that they claim is based on historical facts, they should not directly contradict history.

What we are talking about here is the equivalent of ABC presenting a show as fact (or a "dramatization of history") that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion were an actual historic document. Do you think such a program would see the light of day. Would anyone object to ABC yanking that?

Aspasia M. said...

In this administration, there is very little distinction between the Party and the Government. One Party, One People, One Government.

yeah. and considering Roger Ailes role in electing the Republican senate leadership - The Party has it's own news station too. I find that scary.

But nevermindthat! because the blogs are urber alles california and sending the secret police!

Aspasia M. said...

they have a responsibility to serve the public interest and, at the very least, when they present a television program that they claim is based on historical facts, they should not directly contradict history

Feder,

1) people are conflating the public air waves with movies and cable. I don't know why.

2) People don't care that the facts are misrepresented. It's the truthiness of it. Truthiness Rules.

johnstodderinexile said...

What we are talking about here is the equivalent of ABC presenting a show as fact (or a "dramatization of history") that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion were an actual historic document.

Really? Wow, that would be quite something if they strayed that far from the truth. I'm dubious, but we'll all see for ourselves soon.

I assume you have no connection to the Democratic Party. If you did, it would be a problem for the party's credibility if you led viewers to expect the equivalent of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, and instead they saw a show that was largely true--with maybe some room for debate at the margins and some questions over the judgments on how to dramatize certain decisions.

Shanna said...

Amy Fisher, Jon Benet, shark bites, when Killer Hurricanes Attack!, 9/11...yeah, that's all pretty much the same. Bring on the entertainment!
My point is that unless it's a documentary (and not always then) fact presented are not going to be 100 percent correct. Maybe not even 50. I usually don't want any of it because the factual inaccuracies bug me so much, but my point is that it's pretty much business as usual and I think most American's are used to it, at least enough so they won't be confused.

This comment section is like "I like free speech", reply "Republican's are evil".

Shanna said...

geoduck2, stop trying to make truthiness happen! It's not going to happen!

OhioAnne said...

I live less than a mile from Ground Zero, so I don't need some hick lecturing me on how Bush is making me safe.

Uh-huh. I work in the Russel building, across the street from the Capitol...

But I am from Texas, so thanks for the "hick" ad hom. Whats next? Redneck? Nigger? Yet another example of how the Left doesn't really beleive what they lecture us about.


Fen, thanks for the defense of all of us "hicks". It hard to believe that such bigotry still exists in this day and age.

Downtownlad, thanks for saving me the considerable amount of time it would have taken me to read any of your subsequent posts.

Speaking as one of the "hicks", I do live hours away from NYC or DC. I don't, however, live miles away from an identified military target.

When they put military targets away from large population centers, where do you think they end up?

Elizabeth said...

Shanna, I didn't miss your point, I just thought it was insubstantial. There's a qualitative difference between Amy Fisher movies and 9/11 movies.

As for your little non-sequitur, I guess that shows your rhetorical depth and breadth. Someone disagreed with you, and all you get from that is "Republicans bad."

in_the_middle said...

Count me in as one of the likely millions who decided to tune in tonight only after the uproar.

But I have to ask: As I watch this, not only have I seen the 30 second black screen with the text disclaimer, but also about 60 seconds of no sound.

Here in Boston, could it be intentional last minute editing? Or just technical error.

Funny that it was the first scene with one of the central figures in today's outrage, Sandy Berger.

Anyone else noticing oddities or should I call the front desk of my hotel? :)

Shanna said...

Elizabeth, I wasn't actually talking about you, just making a general comment on the tone of the list of comments, but I can see how you would think that. Although I'm so glad you can see that I have no rhetorical depth because I think childish insults are less than enlightening (see the earlier response to my comment about free speech that called me an "asswipe").

I'm not saying Amy Fisher and 9/11 are the same thing, they're clearly not. However, the natural of dramatizations of historical events remains the same. I challenge you to find one that was completely accurate in all its parts. I get tired of people (again, not you) saying things should be changed because the "american people" are too stupid to get that this is a dramatization, and therefore not completely accurate. This kind of production is always going to compress things and fill in the blanks and attribute things to the characters they've built for dramatic purposes. I just don't see alot of people taking the position that nothing should be dramatized if it is not completely accurate.

Also again, I usually don't watch this stuff precisely because it irritates the crap out of me when things are factually inaccurate. But I do watch things that I think are of relevance, and if Clinton and Berger are going to go to the trouble of complaining so loudly about this thing, than I'm going to check it out.

Fenrisulven said...

Freder What we are talking about here is the equivalent of ABC presenting a show as fact (or a "dramatization of history") that the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion were an actual historic document.

Thats so much bull. You can't even be honest with your cites. Geez. Here is what you posted from the ABC site:

"ABC will present "The Path to 9/11," a dramatization of the events detailed in The 9/11 Commission Report and other sources"

And here is the entire quote, which you conveniently clipped:

"The Path to 9/11 is a dramatization, not a documentary, drawn from a variety of sources, including the 9/11 Commission Report, other published materials, and personal interviews. For dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, and time compression."

Please stop being so dishonest.

TmjUtah said...

I'm not going to watch the show. What purpose would it serve me?

Then again, I have followed the rise of militant Islam pretty closely since 1983. I don't need any dramatization of missed opportunities. I am well aware of what they were, and my opinion of why they were passed by has long been confirmed by observation and study.

Why the frothing from the Left? In my humble opinion, the Left spent the first week after September 11 grateful that Gore wasn't president. They spent the first month terrified - waiting for the people to ask "just why was OBL still around?" after the previous eight years.

If the Left had found themselves facing a 9/11 following eight years of a Republican administration with the same transparent record of "kicking the can down the road", they'd be all over it for political points, even before the bodies were buried.

But that didn't happen. The early months following 9/11 allowed the country to shine; the immediate state target of Afghanistan was a deadbang certainty to happen. But the administration was already looking beyond one terrorist organization and looking at the entire culture that had been fermenting for the last fifty years . The Bush Doctrine called on Americans to support western democracy as the state model best equipped to end terrorism.

Which was where we lost twenty percent of the citizenry and that part of our political caucus that depended on the hard Left for their grassroots support.

Our war on terror has yet to be declared. There are no resolutions, much less declarations, from our legislature defining the entity we will pursue, capture, or destroy, whenever/whereever we find them.

The Left still fears the mob they seek to rule more than the Islamists who seek our destruction. Clinton dodged the tough calls for years; by the end of his administration it was expected. But in one two-part miniseries the timeline is crunched pretty hard and events follow events unencumbered by punditry, spin... or the ignorance of what was to come. No matter how accurate or how fanciful the dialogue the writers actually came up with to retell the events, the events happened. Some peoples' minds might change. Maybe a lot of people will ask questions...

That's why the senate minority leader will take pen to paper and threaten a domestic network's broadcast license but not to express solidarity and support toward accomplishing our missions already underway. That's why Left bloggers who have spent the last six years bemoaning the death of our civil liberties are vociferously calling for the suppression of this show.


Bugs was right. "What a bunch of maroons."

John in Nashville said...

Ann,

It is of course your prerogative to delete comments you deem inappropriate for your blog. After all, it's your bandwidth.

It is also your prerogative to praise the virtues of, and call for "more speech" as a counterweight to disagreeable speech. Good for you, and thank you for expressing that sentiment.

To do both of these on the same thread, however, suggests that you are blissfully immune to cognitive dissonance.

Elizabeth said...

Shanna, I saw the asswipe swipe; pffft to him.

We'll have to disagree. I just can't care about conflating some characters or creating dialogue with Amy Fisher type stories. This story is different. Showing people doing and saying things they didn't do, things that should generate disgust and blame from viewers, is a crappy way to tell a story. I can't just write it off as "well, that's what docudramas do." It's fair game to criticize how they do what they do.

knoxgirl said...

Ruth Anne, I saw your list and like the quote from Guiliani as well. Don't know if you saw his speech from the 04 Republican Convention, but I'll never forget when, talking about the Iraq war, he said: "Saddam Hussein is himself a weapon of mass destruction." ...this statement followed a long listing of all the atrocities committed by Hussein while in power, and all the behaviors that made him a threat to us. Anyway, I remember thinking that was a pretty apt observation.

***This comment is meant for Ruth Anne, NOT to redirect the thread to the Iraq war!***

Fenrisulven said...

JohninNashville:To do both of these on the same thread, however, suggests that you are blissfully immune to cognitive dissonance.

Oh thats cute. Ann deleted Derve's comments because he was deliberately trying to derail the thread. He was trolling. Its no different than someone barging into a townhall and shouting down all conversation with a megaphone. And you want to pretend Ann is a hypocrite for shutting him down? Priceless.

johnstodderinexile said...

Showing people doing and saying things they didn't do, things that should generate disgust and blame from viewers, is a crappy way to tell a story. I can't just write it off as "well, that's what docudramas do."

Not just docudramas, but most non-fiction books and articles. All but the most scrupulous rely on recollections of what people said, which can differ dramatically. There is no record of what Sandy Berger "said." To be strictly accurate, you'd only use his written or recorded words -- thus no docu-drama unless you wanted to show a power point.

But for about 2500 years, consumers of historical accounts have been willing to accept a certain amount of dramatic license in service of presenting history as a coherent story. The downside is that there is a subjectiveness about it. The upside is, this is far from the last word.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

**This comment is meant as a reply and NOT to derail this thread**

Knoxgirl: I recall Rudy's speech. I also remember that the Republicans, simply holding their National Convention in NYC, was risky. Not a real Red-state bastion. But the speakers all delivered each night. I still remember Arnold Schwarzenegger saying he became a Republican because of NIXON! And don't get me started on Zell Miller or Ron Silver, going into the belly of the beast. 9/11 matters.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jack's Shack said...

Such a sad comment about the state of affairs in the US. Is this all that we have to wonder about. Is this really our biggest problem.

Shanna said...

Not just docudramas, but most non-fiction books and articles. All but the most scrupulous rely on recollections of what people said, which can differ dramatically. There is no record of what Sandy Berger "said." To be strictly accurate, you'd only use his written or recorded words -- thus no docu-drama unless you wanted to show a power point.

Exactly. I'd be happy if they swiped the whole genre, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Freder Frederson said...

Clinton dodged the tough calls for years; by the end of his administration it was expected.

You know for all the painting of Clinton as dodging the tough calls and Bush acting like a man and taking it to the terrorists, what tough calls has Bush made? At every turn he has avoided making the really tough calls--the ones that would actually make him go to the American people and demand sacrifices of them or have him explain his actions to them.

Just yesterday, once again, the president sent the V.P. out to tell the country that dissent equals death and if people who question the administration don't shut up they will just embolden the enemy. This attitude is echoed throughout the leftwing media where disagreement with the administration is equated with terrorism; the ridiculous assertion is made that it is impossible to support the military if you don't also support the war; and demanding that we uphold democratic principles, the rule of law, abide by long established treaties, and refrain from torture means we are soft on terror.

And Ann gets on me because I want to suppress free speech.

Freder Frederson said...

That of course should be the rightwing media and of course the blogosphere.

Fenrisulven said...

So many fallacies, so little time.

You've created you own little Hell, eh Freder?

Pogo said...

The left's flat-out refusal to see the enemy before us and prefernce for a 9/10 mindset is exmplified in the attack on a minor TV docudrama.

I wish they would have gotten this worked up over Isalamofascism, but they cannot even say the word without choking and sputtering. Better to attack the messenger, they think.

Looks like another stellar steal-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory Democratic gameplan.

Pogo said...

Re: "Isalamofascism"

Well, they might be able to say it if I could spell it.

Pastor_Jeff said...

One Party, One People, One Government.

Freder, Geoduck,

Did you really intend to suggest parallels between Nazism and current Republican leadership?

I'd like to think not, but that's the way it came across.

Freder Frederson said...

Did you really intend to suggest parallels between Nazism and current Republican leadership?

Well, I don't like getting drawn into Godwin's Law and getting bogged down into endless and fruitless debates on the definitions of fascism and Nazism (and how someone will inevitably claim that the Nazis were "socialists").

Let's just say I'm glad the Congress has a good sprinkler system ;).

Freder Frederson said...

And here is the entire quote, which you conveniently clipped:

And I didn't "clip" a quote. You took a longer quote from elsewhere on the site. I used the quote from the very top of the site and did not edit it at all.

Do not accuse me of altering quotes. I don't pull that kind of shit.

Freder Frederson said...

And here is the entire quote, which you conveniently clipped:

In fact I don't even know where you got your quote from. Mine comes from the "About the Show page at abc.com. It's the second paragraph. You can see I didn't leave anything substantive out that alters the meaning of what I quoted.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Well, I don't like getting drawn into Godwin's Law ... Let's just say I'm glad the Congress has a good sprinkler system ;).

You compare Republicans to Nazis with sly takes on "ein volk, ein reich" and allusions to the Reichstag fire, but then coyly state you don't want to get drawn into Godwin territory?

Cripes, Freder, you are the limit.

Freder Frederson said...

and allusions to the Reichstag fire

Hey, the communists burned down the Reichstag. The Nazis had nothing to do with it.

Fenrisulven said...

Freder: Do not accuse me of altering quotes. I don't pull that kind of shit.

Right. And you don't make allusions to the GOP as NAZI and then act all coy when called on it....

TmjUtah said...

I don't have to paint the Clintons as politically expedient first and last.

They came of the line in those colors - no paint required.

Which is a good thing; any known coating technology would probably slide right off...