September 8, 2006

"This is it: crunch time for getting the slanderous ABC television docudrama 'The Path to 9/11' yanked off the air."

That's what the Democratic Party just emailed me:
The network schedule has this slanderous attack on Democrats slated to start on Sunday night, September 10, at 8 o'clock -- and as long as it stays on the schedule, we have work to do. Take a minute right now and tell Disney president Robert Iger to keep this right-wing propaganda off our airwaves:

http://www.democrats.org/pathto911

Here's the good news: the suits at ABC and the Walt Disney Company have started panicking under pressure, thanks to your ferocious response to the outrageous decision to put this irresponsible miniseries on the air. But until Disney quits defending its plan to broadcast conservative propaganda -- fraudulently presented to Americans as "based on the 9/11 Commission Report" -- the company should plan to keep taking every bit of heat we dish out.

Here's a quick catch-up on developments over the last 48 hours:

President Clinton, through his attorney, rebuked ABC for producing a "factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate" miniseries -- and walked the network through three make-believe scenes in the "the Path to 9/11" that defame people and misrepresent events during his administration.

Clinton's spokesman later stepped up the pressure, condemning Disney as "despicable" for "airing a fictional version of what is a serious and emotional event for our country. No reputable organization," he said, "should dramatize 9-11 for a profit at the expense of the truth."

The families of September 11 victims have weighed in on the controversy, telling "entertainers" not to "promote misleading or incorrect information as fact to the public."

House and Senate Democratic leaders hammered Disney president and CEO Robert Iger, in letters that questioned the company's commitment to its "reputation ... as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress."

Scholastic has pulled teaching materials off its website and has scrambled to adopt a plan to help teachers show students "the differences between factual reporting and a dramatization," but is still encouraging teachers to show their students this propaganda.

We should all be deeply concerned and disappointed that ABC would air a film that has been proven to have factual inaccuracies about one of the most important events in our nation's history. It's particularly disturbing given that the producer of the piece is a well known conservative. It's incomprehensible how something like this could even get on the air.

In a few hours, we deliver letters from over 150,000 outraged Democrats to ABC's front doorstep. You still have time to make your feelings known. Join the thousands standing up for President Clinton and our party -- tell Disney president Robert Iger to keep ABC's right-wing propaganda off our airwaves....
For some reason that called to mind this quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger -- from an article about an audiotape that got him into trouble for saying that Republican Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia was "very hot" because of her ethnic "blood." He's apologized, and it was truly stupid to say that. But anyway, he said this other thing -- unrelated to the Garcia gaffe -- that sprang to mind when I read that email from the Democratic Party. It was this:
"You really pissed him off... But you know something? You pissed him off because it hit home. That's why it pissed him off. People always get irritated; always when you hit something that is the truth, that's when people flame out."


UPDATE: I've got a newer post on this topic here... with a lively comments section.

108 comments:

hdhouse said...

and you think that this is "truth"?

god help you. i've seen it. if that is what you want to believe as a smart, educated woman or whoever is reading this, then that is up to you.

what is the real problem here is that a lot of people will tune in and take it as "truth" not a docudrama.

at one point 70+% of the US thought that Iraq was responsible for 9/11. You can look it up anywhere and find that number.

How did that happen? By people taking a snipet here and a sound bite there and drawing conclusions based on a snipet there and a soundbite here.

Each party is guilty in doing this. Yes it is shameful when the public can't separate fact from fiction, truth from drama.

But for all your outrages, please send me some quotes from pieces written by some of you when Nancy Reagan et al went ballistic about her docudrama. Show me your outrage then and I'll give you a pass on the democratic/clinton outrage now.

until then. your shock and awe are selfserving at best and just plain outrageous on face.

Mattias A. Caro said...

But there is a difference between Nancy Reagan the private citizen thundering outrage and senators insinuating your broadcast licesnse might be in peril.

The latter is Totalitarianism 101

JohnF said...

So a few scenes are faked. Aren't they fake but accurate? And isn't that the Dems' version of acceptable reporting?

hdhouse said...

johnf

fake but accurate? hello? did you really type that?

no it is not the dems version of reporting. is rush limbaugh your version of reporting?

so should we then wait for brent bozell to send out a quarter million form letters to be emailed/sent to the FCC and then the FCC levy fines based on receiving a quarter million mails?

Please. be consistent. also, if you don't have the facts, attack. if you don't have a case, shout.

Ann Althouse said...

I didn't say I thought the imagined scenes were exactly accurate. Is it wrong to make a docu-drama? I'm just noting that Clinton got hopping mad and threw his not insignificant weight around. And that just called to mind that thing Schwarzenegger said. Hmmm... why are you so mad, hdhouse. Can you honestly say you have neutral principles about TV docu-dramas?

Paul Zrimsek said...

why are you so mad, hdhouse.

Force of habit.

Nothing this docudrama says about Democrats could possibly be more damning than their admission that they believe private citizens should have to earn the trust of Congressmen, instead of the other way around.

JohnF said...

Fake but accurate: hey, it was just a joke. Have you forgotten Dan Rather so soon?

Elizabeth said...

I don't have neutral feelings about docudramas, which I find a misleading term. If one dramatically recreates actual events accurately, that's no big deal. But to have actors playing real people, saying things those people never said, things that are not inconsequential, not simply fictionalized for convenience but misleading and damning, well, that's a big deal.

The idea that people get pissed off when something hits home may well be true, but people also get pissed off when something is outrageously wrong. To say "well, you're just upset because that hits home" is as bad as accusing someone of being defensive. There's really no response to such a statement that doesn't sound defensive.

How are the distortions in this TV movie any less egregious than the crap being pushed by the 9/11 conspiracy nuts like Barrett? Are we to think maybe the people upset by those accusations are really uncomfortable because the conspiracy theories hit home?

Forget the Democrat letters. People across the political spectrum ought to be bothered by this kind of sloppy, manipulative dramatizing of American history.

The Drill SGT said...


hdhouse said...
so should we then wait for brent bozell to send out a quarter million form letters to be emailed/sent to the FCC and then the FCC levy fines based on receiving a quarter million mails?


fines for what? ABC doesn't say it was all fact. Here is how they describe it:

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

Shakespeare's Henry V isn't direct history, he took some license with the facts and material.

I'd rather have had ABC do a straight up documentary, but having said that, I can't think of a single reason why the FCC would have any grounds to punish a network for a dramatization. If individuals want to sue for libel, there is a venue for that.

Ann Althouse said...

My natural assumption would have been that it's just another crappy TV show, which I would have ignored. What's got my attention is the freakout and the effort to get it "yanked off the air." That rubs me the wrong way.

gj said...

Ann, a former Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor are outraged because the movie shows them doing very bad things that they did not do. The movie shows them saving OBL's skin. It essentially blames them for the deaths that occured on 9/11.

What does that have to do with hitting home? Wouldn't you be outraged if someone published something that slanderous about you to an audience of tens of millions of people?

Elizabeth said...

Drill Sgt.,

Your Shakespeare reference is excellent, but for reasons that more support my view than yours, I think.

Shakespeare is writing the Henry plays more than a hundred years after the events, with clear political intentions, and for a politically invested patron in the House of Tudor. He seeks to create a sense of shared national heritage despite the stories' encompassing years of internal warfare, while depicting his patron's ancestors as shining and heroic. You could say he has an agenda. But he's a great storyteller, and hundreds of years down the line, we're far enough detached from the Hundred Years War and the War of the Roses not to give a damn about the politics. (I guess there could be a few self-conscious aristocrats in England and France that hold a grudge, but they're beyond help.)

If you want to use that as an analogy for what ABC is doing, with the House of Bush as the patron, be my guest. What the hell, it has the ring of truth, so let's just go with it.

Brent said...

"what is the real problem here is that a lot of people will tune in and take it as "truth" not a docudrama".

Change the above word docudrama to opinion.
Now you have the problem with the Evening Network News Casts, the New York Times, and ALL Main Stream Media.

Why is anyone the least bit worried about a TV play or show that doesn't even claim to be:

the Truth, the WHOLE Truth, and NOTHING but the Truth . . .

influencing anyone?

Is it because we all really know that the majority of Americans are basically very casual about their information intake, spending very little time to question the source or "facts"? Of course we all know that's the way people are. The statement at the top of this post shows that at least ONE person certainly believes that. He must be afraid that Americans, including innocent "schoolchildren" (who never are influenced in the classroom by any ideology)"trust" the authority of . . . something.

How can anyone hating this "Path to 9/11" now go on to to defend the daily front page slant of news presentation every day in the Main Stream Media? If he/she is not a hypocrite, then everyday they are surely worried sick about the way that MOST Americans get their news because the real problem here is that a lot of people will tune in and take it as "truth" not an opinion.

The Drill SGT said...

Eliz,

I can't think of any English self-conscious aristocrats who would be offended, unless they be:
gentlemen in England now-a-bed, Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,

My biggest complaint was that hdhouse wants to use the power of government to impose prior restraint, or failing that, huge economic costs. My view is that, If anybody thinks they have been libeled, let them sue.

Of course the problem is that all the potentially injured persons are both public persons, and also don't want the risk of adjudication on their pre-9/11 activities.

Brent said...

Forget the Democrat letters. People across the political spectrum ought to be bothered by this kind of sloppy, manipulative dramatizing of American history.

I know Elizabeth, I know. . . some of us are concerned with the DAILY writing of American history.

Starting last Monday - the beginning of the "real campaign season" - the New York Times has everyday since put a negatively worded headline about either President Bush or the "GOP" on it's front page.

Now, if only even say, I don't know, 10% of its readership only peruse the headlines and the accompanying first paragraph, which is supposed to support the Headline (Journalism 101), what sort of intelligent American, especially voter, do you think we all now enjoy?

sparky said...

Elizabeth--nice post.

a question: when did it become wrong in the USA for people to protest?

Elizabeth said...

Drill Sgt., prior restraint is certainly not the right response. I think the mechanism of free speech is working well for this, and ABC/Disney are receiving a whole lotta speech at the moment. I am not so dubious as you are about the likelihood of lawsuits. I've read some commentary from even conservative sources that say Albright should have a good case for libel.

Brent, I'll grant your position some credence. The GOP is getting some negatives right now. The Democrats hardly get covered. I can match you one for one on biased reporting, left and right. The internet is doing a good job of offering correction to those failures of the MSM.

Brent said...

Without comment:

According to the AP, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, when asked about The Path to 9/11, said he had not seen it, adding, “But I think they ought to tell the truth...I just want people to tell the truth"

Elizabeth said...

sparky, didn't Ann have a thread about that topic last week? Americans aren't big about taking it to the streets anymore. But we do write a lot of angry letters and blog posts, don't we!

Brent said...

Elizabeth,

I am not defending either "side's" reporting. I am saying that it is the height of hypocrisy to claim, as hdhouse and other NYTimes defenders have in previous Althouse comment posts, that they have any real concern "that a lot of people will tune in and take it as "truth" . . ., and still defend as fair and accurate the daily news sources through which the majority of Americans get their news each day.

The Drill SGT said...

elizabeth,

2 points.

Albright and Libel: as I understand it in non-lawyer speak, Albright, as a public person will need to establish three things to a jury:
1. what was shown was a lie
2. ABC knew it was a lie
3. what was shown was not Fair comment on a matter of public interest.

The genie is out of the bottle. As I understand it, there are 500 copies on DVD out there of the uncut show. If the show is killed now or cut in a major fashion those 500 copies will achieve cult status on the internet.

Ann Althouse said...

gj said..."Ann, a former Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor are outraged because the movie shows them doing very bad things that they did not do. The movie shows them saving OBL's skin. It essentially blames them for the deaths that occured on 9/11. What does that have to do with hitting home? Wouldn't you be outraged if someone published something that slanderous about you to an audience of tens of millions of people?"

The theory that they get really mad because it hits home is that there's a core of truth that they feel very defensive about. They're ostensibly complaining about having words put in Albright's mouth or whatever, but what is really provoking them is that they know they really do bear some responsibility for not acting aggressively when they had the chance.

A good question is: what is more outraging, a lie (ie, slander) or the truth. The theory I floated is that it's the truth that hurts. Now, when you want the show "yanked," you can't complain about the truth. You complain about the "lie." You'd be a fool not to take that tack! But that's a strategy. I'm talking about the motivation and suggesting what's driving Clinton and others to freak out is the element of truth in it.

Anyway, it's a docudrama, which means it has imagined dramatized scenes, and that's the standard way dramas based on historical facts are done, from "Schindler's List" on down. You don't have the actual dialogue, and you have to fill in the gaps. If it's done badly, you should just criticize it, not try to get it silenced. People who care about free speech like to say the remedy is more speech. I'm in that camp.

Whether I would like it if someone lied or said something slanted or true but negative about me ... of course, I wouldn't. But I wouldn't try to shut them down. And this kind of thing constantly happens to me, so of course, it's going to happen to a Secretary of State. That's the way it is. And should be.

This is a public figure, and she should be subjected to criticism, with virtually no recourse other than more speech. If you think the answer is somewhere else, you need to think harder and more broadly across a range of possible situations.

Brent said...

Elizabeth, sorry that I quickly skipped over this sentence:

I can match you one for one on biased reporting, left and right.

No, you really can't.

The overall numbers of today's reality don't lie. I've been saying the left leaning Main Stream Media (with the exception of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal - see below ), which is certainly larger than, and does not yet include the rapidly growing conservative/libertarian blogging community.

You can't find the same number of people in America who actually heard a view-free or right-leaning take on Tuesday night about - oh, let's pick a story - the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan to match up to the many more who heard negative-towards-Bush, left-leaning presentations of the story:


Tuesday, September 5:

CBS Evening News with Katie Couric - 13.2 million viewers
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams - 7.8 million viewers
ABC News Tonight with Charles Gibson - 7.2 million viewers.

That's 27.2 million people even before we get to CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune . . .

Not even close, Elizabeth.

Yet.

David said...

If I were Bill Clinton I would not like to relive the Monica Lewinski scandal. This is the sort of baggage that will keep Hillary out of the White House. For the Republicans, it is the gift that keeps on giving.

Can anyone believe that the time Bill spent cruising interns at the White House did not detract him from matters of state?

Can Sandy Berger be placed in a worse light than watching his actions with the knowledge that he got caught stealing top secret documents that he shredded?

Can the Democrats be more hypocritical than to accuse Bush/Rove of violating the Constitution then do the same thing themselves by censoring ABC?

The desperation of the Democrats is obvious by their hysterics! If they had kept quiet the 'ignorant' masses would have been watching some inane rerun or reality series. The Dems have now given it so much free publicity that viewership is now guaranteed.

The point will be driven home to the public that Bill Clinton and his Democrats created a surplus by weakening the military, ignored recent history regarding the seriousness of the terrorist threat, and are weak on National Security.

ABC will sell the directors cut and we can have the collection of two DVD's for our home entertainment after the cut edition airs.

I love the arrogance that the American public is too stupid to recognize dramatic license and don't have the perspicacity to turn off the willing suspension of disbelief while they are watching the show. We all lived the history that the show is based on.

The Democrats are their own worst enemy!

XWL said...

One thing missing the next few days from the many media retrospectives about that Tuesday will be media introspection.

WTC bombing

Khobar Towers

Simultaneous US Embassy bombings

USS Cole

Those are just four of the attacks during Pres. Clinton's term in office.

The media was very quick to let those stories get replaced by an OJ trial here, a stained dress there.

But leaders lead, or at least they should, and in his eight years in office Pres. Clinton never showed leadership on terror.

But we allowed ourselves to be distracted, the media chose other stories to push, so everyone has a reason to be angry at themselves over what they were doing in the 90s.

(more of my thoughts here, if you care)

C. Schweitzer said...

The Democrats are their own worst enemy!

One of the truest sentiments ever. By elevating this docudrama to this level of anger, they've just given it more credence and power than it ever would have. Before this brouhaha, it would have one of the bizillion 9/11 pieces running this week--now people are actually going to be paying attention.

And Ann's right--people will perceive it (correctly or not) as an being made uncomfortable of the truth.

Man, can't politicians find publicists capable of telling them to shut up and let something pass? Sometimes the most effective speech is none at all.

But, in all honesty liberal perusers, you can't possibly be asking me to take Sandy "paper pants" Berger's word on something, can you?

(And don't use the moral equivolence argument that Republicans are liars--just admit that Sandypants is a liar and a thief and thus has reasons to be doubted.)

w. michael murphy said...

I particularly like the phrase "the suits" in reference to the executives at ABC. How 90's of the dems., always at the ramparts, always the suits pulling the strings of their unhappy present.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freder Frederson said...

You don't have the actual dialogue, and you have to fill in the gaps. If it's done badly, you should just criticize it, not try to get it silenced. People who care about free speech like to say the remedy is more speech. I'm in that camp.

Umm, but this show goes beyond goes beyond "filling in the gaps" and just makes shit up that clearly contradicts the known facts (e.g., the purported scene where the CIA has OBL surrounded but Sandy Berger slams the phone down when they ask permission to take the shot. This incident never happened, and makes Sandy Berger look like a giant asshole.)

That is beyond irresponsible and disgusting. How anyone can defend that is appalling. The show is apparently full of such glaring inaccuracies and complete falsehoods. It should not be broadcast on the public airwaves that are a public trust and provided free to the networks for the public good.

JSF said...

I wonder, using the power of the State, as the Democrats did (threatening to take away ABC's broadcast liscense under the communications Act of 1932) should have been used against Michael Moore when he produced F9/11. The outcry under that situation would have nbeen rightly deserved. Yet not one peep from the GOP or the White House when it was shown. The Democrats are authorizing censorship. Ann, unfortunatly hdhouse will not respond. He only believes in free speech if you are a liberal democrat not if you are a republican. That is the begining of fascism.

Pogo said...

I'm with Ruth Anne here.

Ground Zero is Year Zero, as far as I'm concerned. Everything before that is forgotten.

We had no Churchill warning about Hitler's menace. There were a few who saw it coming, but as a nation we mostly slept.

Blame is irrelevant. I simply don't care that both Clinton and Bush failed to connect the dots. Neither did I.

My concern is: what next?
How do we defeat them?
The better plan gets my vote.

And it's amazing to me how quickly frader and hdhouse become totalitarian when rubbed the wrong way. For them, freedom's means "free to do what we say."

Freder Frederson said...

I wonder, using the power of the State, as the Democrats did (threatening to take away ABC's broadcast liscense under the communications Act of 1932) should have been used against Michael Moore when he produced F9/11.

You are forgetting one very important fact. ABC has been given, free of charge, a huge chunk of the broadcast spectrum. With that very valuable electromagnetic real estate (worth tens of billions of dollars on the open market) comes some very real rights and responsibilities. Foremost among those is to serve the public interest.

How the communications act would have apply to a privat filmaker producing and distributing a film to theaters (i.e., not on the public airwaves) is beyond me.

Freder Frederson said...

For all of you just so appalled by the "censorship" advocated here. All I can say is, how quickly you forget the Reagan docudrama.

Now quickly come up with your excuses how that was "different".

vnjagvet said...

Freder:

I am afraid that Sandy has done a pretty good job of portraying himself as, in your words, "a giant asshole".

It has been my experience that people do not destroy documents that portray them or those for whom they work favorably.

The image of Sandy covertly pilfering documents from the National Archives and secreting them in his socks or undergarments and squirming after being caught red-handed is all one needs to imagine the worst.

Remember, he did those things in preparation for his and other Clinton administration colleagues' testimony before the 9/11 Commission.

His over the top reaction now may betray nothing more than the same guilty conscience that impelled his purloined document caper.

That is at least a permissible inference, it seems to this old trial lawyer.

Freder Frederson said...

oh yeah, and by the way, we learned today that Saddam and Al Qaeda really didn't have anything to do with one another.

Another lie by the Bush administration that will just be lost in all the noise generated by bloggers like Ann.

The Drill SGT said...

Just to put FF's comment in perspective, Sandy Berger IS a giant asshole, a self convicted liar and thief.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16706-2005Mar31.html

A few snips from the WaPo on the incident where where Berger stole 5 copies of the same Top Secret memo on terrorism in order to keep the 9/11 commission from learning what a great job the Clinton team had done.

The terms of Berger's agreement required him to acknowledge to the Justice Department the circumstances of the episode. Rather than misplacing or unintentionally throwing away three of the five copies he took from the archives, as the former national security adviser earlier maintained, he shredded them with a pair of scissors late one evening at the downtown offices of his international consulting business.

The document, written by former National Security Council terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke, was an "after-action review" prepared in early 2000 detailing the administration's actions to thwart terrorist attacks during the millennium celebration. It contained considerable discussion about the administration's awareness of the rising threat of attacks on U.S. soil.

Berger's archives visit occurred as he was reviewing materials as a designated representative of the Clinton administration to the national commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The question of what Clinton knew and did about the emerging al Qaeda threat before leaving office in January 2001 was acutely sensitive, as suggested by Berger's determination to spend hours poring over the Clarke report before his testimony.


to summarize: He stole 5 copies of the same memo that only varied in that they had margin notes by different WH staffers, or perhaps Clinton, as they were circulated. He destroyed 3 and thought that 2 versions had comments that looked good. I wonder who did the margin notes on the copies that were destroyed and what they said?

So this is the guy that thinks that he is being portrayed poorly in a fictional account of pre-9/11. The hypocrisy!

The Drill SGT said...

High 5's to VNJAGVET :)


speak some of that legal Latin talk to us. Isn't there a legal saying when searching for motive to commit a crime?

"who profits" or some such?

I love it when you lawyers talk dirty. :)

boston70 said...

I guess I would have to ask how would any of you feel if you were depicted in a movie saying words that were not true?

Especially considering the nature of the issue. The movie has deliberately lied about the facts pertaining to the run-up to the worst disaster in American history.

I agree, there is plenty of blame to go around and I think Clinton as well as Bush made many mistakes. But to just make crap up is pretty awful.

Also, ABC has recently lied saying that the program is still being edited. Funny, there are reviews of the movie in most newspapers today as well as the disgusting website Front Page which reviewed it on August 25. Heck, even Chris Wallace from Fox News went off on it.

Also, I think of this site as a little more libertarian, and rational, than some of the other more radical sites and I would hope that the individuals that come to this site would rather see an accurate portray of these serious events rather than something that is false.

They also tried to peddle this program onto schools but thankfully Scholastic Publishing pulled the plug.

Also, intially the movie was portrayed as a documentary based off the 9/11 commission.

Only recently has it changed to a "docudrama".
I don't like it when Michael Moore takes liberties with the facts, or when CBS did it with the Reagan portrait and I don't think it is right for an inaccurate depection of the most serious event of many of our lifetimes.

Freder Frederson said...

So this is the guy that thinks that he is being portrayed poorly in a fictional account of pre-9/11. The hypocrisy!

Let's get some things straight, this is not a "fictional account of pre-9/11". It claims to be a dramatization of historic events.

Furthermore, whatever the Clinton administration did or did not do, the facts are incontravortable that in the transition from the Clinton to the Bush administration, the incoming administration was advised of the threat of OBL and Al Qaeda. Bush dismissed the threat and did absolutely nothing about it until September 12, 2001, even when he was presented with a PDB titled "Osama Bin Laden Determined to Strike the U.S."

Brent said...

Freder,

With that very valuable electromagnetic real estate (worth tens of billions of dollars on the open market) comes some very real rights and responsibilities. Foremost among those is to serve the public interest.

You are caught again, my friend, wih your faux outrage and your hypocrisy pants around your ankles. As you have defended the left-leaning Main Stream Media and decried Fox (Faux) News in past Althouse comments, your outrage would be laughable if it weren't so pitiful.

If you believe in even half of what you say, you would be in the forefront of those seeking to point out the daily-editorial-disguised-as-news left leaning bias in the MAJORITY media in this country, particularly those that have very real rights and responsibilities. Foremost among those is to serve the public interest..

Read all of my posts above, Freder. Get educated about the issue we are discussing, and then you won't embarrass yourself by repeating the left-wing lines that have already been decimated here.

And zip your fly.

Boghie said...

The movie 'Flight 93' was a docudrama...

As was the movie 'World Trade Center'...

For those very interested in the lead up to 9/11 the National Geographic special 'Inside 9/11' is tremendous. It too dramatizes some scenes - and, guess what, it compressed years of feckless action into four hours. Less, if you remove the 9/11 scenes... It was a docudrama…

Maybe a review of 'Blackhawk Down' would be illustrative. It was a docudrama.

Maybe a review of mid-nineties DOD and Intelligence budgets. That was a living drama.

Arafat, the Intifada, and Iranian complicity in the Khobar Tower bombing.

"It's the economy stupid!"

Maybe Sandy Berger didn’t slam a phone down, but tell me what he did do. He was inconsequential. That was not a good thing to be when Islamic Fascism was metastasizing.

Maybe Madeleine Albright didn’t call Pakistan and tell them about an impending missile attack, but did the strike have any affect. She was inconsequential. That was not a good thing to be when Islamic Fascism was metastasizing.

And, while you Libs are hollering about firing Rumsfeld, which of President Clinton’s three Secretaries of Defense were serious fellows. Bonus points goes for the first who can name these chumps and provide a historical footnote. Their actions had to be dramatized. They were lucky to get an office in the same city as Robert Rubin.

You can’t paint a smile on the Clinton National Security Pig and make me desirous.

I am just glad I survived the Clinton Legacy.

Stephen said...

"oh yeah, and by the way, we learned today that Saddam and Al Qaeda really didn't have anything to do with one another."

Freder, nonsense--you see, this report comes from the Senate Intelligence Committee. And we’ve already established that reports from the Senate Intelligence Committee are controlled by the Republicans, the head Senator Roberts bullies everybody, and that anybody who looks at their reports as nonpartisan is an idiot who believes in the tooth fairy and that the Keebler elves guard pots of gold at the end of distant rainbows.

(You and I will receive a dissertation on this shortly, trust me.)

See the comments section, here:

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/09/did-patrick-fitzgerald-act-improperly.html#115726741515902819

I have no idea why the Republicans are slanting the report to say this, but such is obviously beyond the comprehension of mortal men.

Consider yourself educated.

The Drill SGT said...

Aspin
Perry
Cohen

IMHO Perry was the best of the bad bunch.

Palladian said...

"And zip your fly."

He won't do that, as it would make it too difficult for him to slap us with his limp dick as he likes to do.

"I am just glad I survived the Clinton Legacy."

That remains to be seen.

AJ Lynch said...

Ann:
I noted hdhouse was your first commenter to this post. Then I figured out he must be non-existent and simply is as your alter-ego "rabbit" who gins up the regular greyhounds lurking around your blog.

Damn, you are clever.

Boghie said...

the drill Sgt...

I'll buy you a beer, a whisky, or a soda the next time you are in lovely San Diego – or if my travels take me your way – if you provide the historic footnote for each…

I couldn’t remember them all.

They were inconsequential.

Freder Frederson said...

and then you won't embarrass yourself by repeating the left-wing lines that have already been decimated here.

You know Brent, just because you use a lot of ALL CAPS, bold and italics doesn't mean that your posts make any sense, are rational, logical, or have any facts to support them. I read all your posts, and you don't state one fact, just make a bunch of nonsensical assertions. So I think from now on I will just ignore you.

And I have no idea what you mean by "[a]nd zip your fly.

Johnny Nucleo said...

I happen to be a member of the Neocon Conspiracy, so I know for a fact that ABC is not on the payroll.

Which tells me ABC wanted to produce a 9/11 docudrama that showed the events leading up to 9/11 in a dramatic and entertaining way. I don't think ABC intended to piss off anybody.

Yet some people are pissed off.

Oddly, none of the people who are pissed off are my fellow conspirators. Which tells me ABC is unaware of the conspiracy.

Whew!

tom faranda said...

Where were all you leftist, book burners when Michael Moore was lying his butt off with "Fahrenheit 911" right before the last election?

The Drill SGT said...

Boghie,

Though I live in VA, I was born, raised and educated in California. My last time living there was in Irvine, just up the street.

Aspin: Don't ask don't tell
Perry; huge cuts in toop strength, protection of RDA budgets
Cohen: expansion of NATO and more child care (I kid you not)

Sloanasaurus said...

JSF has a good point regarding the real issue in this case. The real issue was the threat made by Senate Democrats to ABC/Disney. GWB is constantly accused by Democrats and liberals as suppressing their rights. Yet, I do not ever recall GWB coming out and threatening a leftist publication with government sanctions. In contrast, democrats in the Senate do it without losing any sleep.

I agree with Althouse's take on this issue. While the Docudrama may be inaccurate and even false in some places, the fact that the Clinton Administration failed in pursuing the terrorists with any spirit following the first WTC bombing is the truth. Nevertheless it's worthless to second guess. GWB has been smart not to criticise Clinton for his lack of aggression.

I don't think Clinton was a failure, he was just not a success. Clinton went along with the attitude of the times - that is to do nothing but party.

Clinton was not a great leader because he did nothing out of the ordinary. Bottom line, Clinton did not want to fail. Great people become great because they risk failure. Clinton risked nothing.

The Drill SGT said...

Johny N,

I understand the second night takes Bush and Condi to the woodshed. But who's counting, we have to protect the Clinton Legacy.

As Elizabeth and I discussed yesterday on another post, I would have preferred something that was more accurate, but I understand "historical fiction, creating some dialog and collapsing multiple events into a single more dramatic scene. Don't have to like it, but they were trying for entertainment.

Brent said...

Freder, ignore to your heart's content, which is what children do when they come to an argument and don't have the weight on facts on their side.

In otherwords your response is the equivalent of "well, you're a doodyhead".

Obviously, you need help in zipping your fly . . .

Freder Frederson said...

Where were all you leftist, book burners when Michael Moore was lying his butt off with "Fahrenheit 911" right before the last election?

I'm sure you would be the first to call for censorship if ABC wanted to show "Farenheit 911" instead of this travesty.

Jim Gust said...

I suggest that the NYTimes review of the documentary is helpful and evenhanded:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/08/arts/television/08path.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Also, while the Clinton administration is portrayed in part 1, the Bush administration is roundly criticized in part 2, so the program isn't nearly as one sided as has been suggested. Still, as the Times writer notes:

"In 2001 President Bush and his newly appointed aides had ample warning, including a briefing paper titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” and they failed to take it seriously enough, but their missteps are not equal. It’s like focusing blame for a school shooting at the beginning of the school year on the student’s new home room teacher; the adults who watched the boy torment classmates and poison small animals knew better."

Freder Frederson said...

In otherwords your response is the equivalent of "well, you're a doodyhead"

No, my response was "you're a moron and I can't figure out what the hell you are talking about". I honestly don't know how to respond to an argument that consists wholly of bold, italics and caps lock and witty comments like "zip your fly".

Brent said...

Freder -

I'm sure you would be the first to call for censorship if ABC wanted to show "Farenheit 911" instead of this travesty.

Nope.
True conservatives don't believe in prior restraint . .

Brent said...

But Freder,

I didn't use any of those things in the post that you just cited . . .

Brent said...

And Freder,

Just say the word and I can re-explain everything. No caps needed. All small words if necessary.

Palladian said...

"It’s like focusing blame for a school shooting at the beginning of the school year on the student’s new home room teacher; the adults who watched the boy torment classmates and poison small animals knew better."

Yes, it's not like the World Trade Center was attacked before 2001.

Boghie said...

Here are the historical footnotes of the vaunted Clintonista Secretary of Defeneses or whatever(from the very flawed Wikipedia):

Les Aspin:
“He was skeptical about the Strategic Defense Initiative, and favored a smaller Navy, a cut in U.S. troops in Europe, and further reduction of military personnel strength. These positions, along with the assumption that Aspin would work toward a substantial cut in the Defense budget, worried the military.

Me thinks SDI was good to go and the reduction of troop strength was taken to an extreme. And, taking action to allow open homosexuality in the Military was inconsequential. A little forethought would be a good thing for a Secretary of Defense.

None of his meger accomplishments matter – they are forgotten.



William Perry:
“The Five-Year Modernization Plan Perry introduced in March 1996 reflected his basic assumptions that the Defense budget would not decline in FY 1997 and would grow thereafter; that DoD would realize significant savings from infrastructure cuts, most importantly base closings; and that other savings would come by contracting out many support activities and reforming the defense acquisition system.

For FY 1997 the Clinton administration requested a DoD appropriation of $242.6 billion, about 6 % less in inflation-adjusted dollars than the FY 1996 budget. The budget proposal delayed modernization for another year, even though the administration earlier had said it would recommend increased funding for new weapons and equipment for FY 1997. ... Modest real growth in the Defense budget would not begin until FY 2000 under DoD's six-year projections.

Perry argued for the current force level of just under 1.5 million as the minimum needed by the United States to maintain its global role. Further reductions in the Defense budget after 1997 would require cuts in the force structure and make it impossible for the United States to remain a global power.”

On the cusp of a world war the Clintonistas reduce the DOD budget. I would call that move farsighted. We shall not mention the Intelligence budget. So, William Perry believed in preventative actions – ie. clinking champaign glasses and signing treaties with Ill, Arafat, and whoever.

None of his meger accomplishments matter – they are forgotten.



William Cohen:
"Cohen stressed three top budget priorities: people (recruiting and retaining skilled people through regular military pay raises, new construction or modernization of barracks, and programs for child care, family support, morale, welfare, and recreation), readiness (support for force readiness, training, exercises, maintenance, supplies, and other essential needs), and modernization (development and upgrading of weapon and supporting systems to guarantee the combat superiority of U.S. forces).

When he presented the FY1998 budget, Cohen noted that he would involve himself with the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), which would focus on the challenges to U.S. security and the nation's military needs over the next decade or more. When the QDR became public in May 1997, it did not fundamentally alter the budget, structure, and doctrine of the military. Some defense experts thought it gave insufficient attention to new forms of warfare, such as terrorist attacks, electronic sabotage, and the use of chemical and biological agents. Cohen stated that the Pentagon would retain the "two regional wars" scenario adopted after the end of the Cold War. He decided to scale back purchases of jet fighters, including the Air Force's F-22 Raptor and the Navy's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, as well as Navy surface ships. The review included cutting another 61,700 active duty service members—15,000 in the Army, 26,900 in the Air Force, 18,000 in the Navy, and 1,800 in the Marine Corps, as well as 54,000 reserve forces, mainly in the Army National Guard, and some 80,000 civilians department-wide. Cohen also decided to recommend two more rounds of base closings in 1999 and 2001. The Pentagon hoped to save $15 billion annually over the next few years to make possible the purchase of new equipment and weapon systems without a substantial budget increase above the current level of $250 billion."

"Finally, Cohen had to address social issues that engaged the widest public interest. The status and treatment of homosexuals in the military, the role of women in combat as well as in other jobs in the services, racism, and sexual harassment were serious problems, inevitably requiring strong leadership from Cohen and other top civilian and military leaders in the Department of Defense."

Wow, Secretary Cohen was a truely serious war-fighter, eh...

None of his meger accomplishments matter – they are forgotten.


Unserious people in an unserious administration.

tjl said...

Palladian,

Freder -- your particular nemesis -- always inspires you to flashes of genius.

Freder and his ally Hdhouse argue here that political expression that they disagree with must be suppressed. What irony. In the 20th century it was the right that was accused of believing in censorship. Now it's the left that's reactionary.

Boghie said...

Freder

Hey, but the Clintonistas balanced the budget...

Take 200 Billion off our Defense budget - and viola - you have a balanced budget.

So I ask the question: Were you safer on 0830 2001/09/11 than you are today? You libs with your final Clintonista Fiscal Year Budget (Bush had not even had a chance to present a budget by 9/11). With the manpower drawdowns, the dramatic reduction in material, and the decimation of the Intelligence structure.

Just asking?

In 20/20 hindsight ALL the Clintonista DOD budgetary and staffing actions were stupid and shortsighted. But, many adults were not so shortsighted. However, you give Bush crappy marks even though he could not affect budgetary change till October 2001. Blame for eight years of silliness falls on a chap with eight months in office – and you libs would not even allow him to quickly appoint much of his cabinet. Silly people…

That is why this Docudrama rings true.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Drill,

Point taken. Personally, I hate the blame game. I do it to score cheap political points. I don't really believe it.

The blame game is a pointless exercise practiced by feeble minds. A frightening number of heroes and goats in history could be switched with one flip of the coin.

I voted for Clinton, and I don't think he was a terrible president. He just wasn't a great president. He's like that guy who was president before Lincoln.

If Bush were president in the 90s he probably would have blown it too.

But history doesn't care about woulda, shoulda, coulda.

The Drill SGT said...

LOL,

I voted for Clinton the first time... fooled be once, etc.

Clinton's biggest problem was what Sloan said. He was afraid to fail. Trying for OBL for example. I'm sure he had visions of how weak and timid Carter looked after Desert 1. didn't want any of that.

Actually the issue I fault him for most was social security reform. He had huge popularity, a commission to give him cover and as a Democrat, the credentials to fix things, but no. Rather than spend some popularity doing the right thing for the future, he punted and demagogued on the issue. Carried every single smiley face and popularity point right into retirement. what a waste.

Bush has made lots of mistakes, but he isn't afraid to try. That's what makes him a better leader. whether on SS or OBL, the 80% solution done in time is better than the 100% solution tried too late.

Fenrisulven said...

hdhouse: what is the real problem here is that -

No. The REAL problem is that Democrats are willing to abuse their congressional powers to censor ABC. Imagine if Bush demanded the NYTs pull a story or have their printing press seized by the government.

The other REAL problem is that liberals are enabling a violation of the Bill of Rights because its their leaders doing it [just like when Clinton was sodomizing subordinate employees]

I'm beginning to wonder if the Left really beleives in anything but Power. I don't care about the film - its fiction. I'm beginning to think that "liberals" are a fiction too.

Boghie said...

Johny Nucleo,

The mention of the precursor to Lincoln is a good example.

James Buchanon:
"In his inaugural address, besides promising not to run again, Buchanan referred to the territorial question as "happily, a matter of but little practical importance" since the Supreme Court was about to settle it "speedily and finally." Two days later, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney delivered the Dred Scott Decision, asserting that Congress had no constitutional power to exclude slavery in the territories. Much of Taney’s written judgment is widely interpreted as obiter dictum — statements made by a judge that are unnecessary to the outcome of the case, which in this case, while they delighted Southerners, created a furor in the North."

He, like President Clinton, allowed events to metastasize into a major calamity.

While on embarrassing votes: My first Presidential vote went for...

...

Jesse Jackson

Uuuuuuggggggghhhhhh

altoids1306 said...

What ever happened to "diversity of narratives", "different perspectives", or a "alternative interpretation"? Are Democrats implying that objective truth actually exists!?

*Shock*

Chris said...

Fenrisulven said:
No. The REAL problem is that Democrats are willing to abuse their congressional powers to censor ABC. Imagine if Bush demanded the NYTs pull a story or have their printing press seized by the government.

Ah, you've figured out what Ann did, eh? They're really concerned about how this effects Hillary's chances to recapture the White House for the "elect". They don't give a damn about what really, actually happened, as long as they can ward off blame from Bill Clinton.

In reality, the reaction to the ABC series shows a great failure of leadership by both Parties. Setting aside the clumsy failures, both parties have failed to shelve their differences to confront the enemy overseas. And that's a fact. And as a Republican, I think I'm willing to step back and not hold Bush blameless for this. Would that the Democrats do the same.

I do note that there is no whining and petulance coming from Condi Rice about how she is being unfairly portrayed (and in all likelihood, she is being given a poor sendup by a scriptwriter too influenced by the Richard Clarke virsion of events.).

LoafingOaf said...

President Clinton, through his attorney, rebuked ABC for producing a "factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate" miniseries

Oh, you mean the Bill Clinton who said this about the most deceitful propaganda film in American history - Farhenheit 9/11:

"I think every American ought to see it." (Rolling Stone, 7/13)

"As far as I know, none of the facts in the movie have been refuted. That is, I think the evidence in the movie is accurate." (Nova TV (Dutch), 7/14)


When will we be rid of Bill Clinton, the crook who never seems to go away? He thought every American should see Farhenheit 9/11 and that it is an entirely accurate movie?

Why are people being so kind to what Democrats have become? These are not good citizens. These are not good people.

Farhenheit 9/11 tried to make people believe we attacked the Taliban in order to help Unocal get a pipeline. How on earth could Bill Clinton run around saying it's entirely accurate? And now he wants ABC to suppress a docudrama that, from what I can tell, was made in good faith?

People wonder why over 30% of America believes 9/11 was an inside job. Ann Althouse wonders why her university has a professor teaching students 9/11 was an inside job. They were encouraged to think conspiratorially by none other than BILL CLINTON and every other Democrat who embraced that scummy propaganda film.

And these very same Democrats are today attempted to censor an ABC docudrama, under the B.S. that they only want the "truth" said about the events. Because somehow they've suddenly forgotten what dramatic license is. IMO, docudramas, while often bad, are also often able to convey larger truths in an effective manner, and this is what they fear.

But I've not seen Path to 9/11 and neither have 99% of the people jihading against it. I want to be able to judge it for myself just as I was able to judge Farhenheit 9/11 for myself. If I'm denied, I will consider freedom of speech in America under assault.

If ABC does not air this miniseries because Democrat senators have threatened them, the Democratic Party will have become an un-American political party.

People often complain about the lack of unity in America. You can keep that talk away from me. I don't wanna unite with those people.

As much as I hate Farhenheit 9/11 - a movie that Democrats endorsed and has become a favorite piece of propaganda amongst America's enemies - it never crossed my mind to try and stop it from being seen. The proper way to deal with speech you don't like is to respond to it. It's clear that the leadership of the Democratic Party - the highest levels - do not believe of freedom of speech, and there's no other conclusion that can be made in light of this jihad against ABC.

Let the country be divided. I want nothing to do with the John Conyers and Harry Reids. They are as phoney as the day is long and they are now attempting to use all the power at their disposal to supress works of art they dislike.

This is a huge issue. To me it's a turning point. The party that endorses the distortions and deceptions of Michael Moore's movie - directed by a man who refers to Zarqawi as a "minute man" of Iraq - now tries to supress a movie that even the NY Times just gave a positive review to, should be called what it is. Un-American.

Chum said...

'Now it's the left that's reactionary.'

On this blog everyone's reactionary.

There's more posters coming from the right than the left and thankfully some really thoughtful/civil posters such as The Drill SGnt and Elizabeth who manage to raise the art of debate without resorting to calling each other names while succinctly getting their point across. Kudo you two.

Revenant said...

I think the Democrats are blundering by making such a big stink over this. Unless they actually do manage to get the series pulled or altered, all they're doing is making sure more people watch it than otherwise would have.

And unlike the Republican stink over the portrayal of Reagan's handling of AIDS in the Reagan docudrama, 9/11 is an issue people actually still care about.

Elizabeth said...

Chum, thanks. I do like the Sgt.

But I've always thought Drill Sgts. were supposed to call us names, really creative, nasty, mind-bogglingly dirty names. I feel a little cheated, frankly.

Elizabeth said...

suggest that the NYTimes review of the documentary is helpful and evenhanded

Uh-oh, Jim. Don't tell Brent that.


I realize I've lost all appetite for this issue. I'm going to follow down Ann's "it's another crappy show I won't watch" path, whatever the reason. Maybe I'll rent Henry V; it's been awhile since I've enjoyed that. If there's a gathering on campus for a moment of silence or a song, I'll do that. And if we can afford it, we'll fit in a trip to New York for Christmas and spend a few bucks on Broadway.

LoafingOaf said...

I realize I've lost all appetite for this issue. I'm going to follow down Ann's "it's another crappy show I won't watch" path, whatever the reason. Maybe I'll rent Henry V; it's been awhile since I've enjoyed that. If there's a gathering on campus for a moment of silence or a song, I'll do that.

I hope you get the chance to either watch it or not watch it. Democrats don't want you to have that choice.

I demand to be able to see Path to 9/11. I won't be going to the video store to rent another movie, or finding anything else to do. You can be so above it all as U.s. senators attempt to supress freedom of speech. I'll be tuned in to ABC and that movie better air. I can't wait to see what it is Democrats are rioting against freedom of speech over.

michael a litscher said...

The Drill SGT: Aspin: Don't ask don't tell

Don't forget Somalia.

AST said...

What have we heard from the White House about the critical portrayals of Bush, Cheney and Rice in this film?

But the Democrats threaten ABC's broadcast licenses.

You either believe in the First Amendment or you don't. But don't try to tell us that it only applies when the Republicans are getting hammered.

Remember Sullivan v. New York Times? Berger, Abright and Clinton are public figures. They aren't entitled to sue for defamation in a case like this. Nevertheless, they're ready to use threats, intimidation, extortion to exercise prior restraint.

This reminds me of the scene from "A Man for All Seasons":



Memorable Quotes from
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
King Henry VIII: Thomas. I chose the right man for chancellor!
Sir Thomas More: I should in fairness add that my taste in music is reputedly deplorable.
King Henry VIII: Your taste in music is excellent. It exactly coincides with my own!
The Duke of Norfolk: Oh confound all this. I'm not a scholar, I don't know whether the marriage was lawful or not but dammit, Thomas, look at these names! Why can't you do as I did and come with us, for fellowship!
Sir Thomas More: And when we die, and you are sent to heaven for doing your conscience, and I am sent to hell for not doing mine, will you come with me, for fellowship?
Cromwell: Now, Sir Thomas, you stand on your silence.
Sir Thomas More: I do.
Cromwell: But, gentlemen of the jury, there are many kinds of silence. Consider first the silence of a man who is dead. Let us suppose we go into the room where he is laid out, and we listen: what do we hear? Silence. What does it betoken, this silence? Nothing; this is silence pure and simple. But let us take another case. Suppose I were to take a dagger from my sleeve and make to kill the prisoner with it; and my lordships there, instead of crying out for me to stop, maintained their silence. That would betoken! It would betoken a willingness that I should do it, and under the law, they will be guilty with me. So silence can, according to the circumstances, speak! Let us consider now the circumstances of the prisoner's silence. The oath was put to loyal subjects up and down the country, and they all declared His Grace's title to be just and good. But when it came to the prisoner, he refused! He calls this silence. Yet is there a man in this court - is there a man in this country! - who does not know Sir Thomas More's opinion of this title?
Crowd in court gallery: No!
Cromwell: Yet how can this be? Because this silence betokened, nay, this silence was, not silence at all, but most eloquent denial!
Sir Thomas More: Not so. Not so, Master Secretary. The maxim is "Qui tacet consentiret": the maxim of the law is "Silence gives consent". If therefore you wish to construe what my silence betokened, you must construe that I consented, not that I denied.
Cromwell: Is that in fact what the world construes from it? Do you pretend that is what you wish the world to construe from it?
Sir Thomas More: The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.
Margaret More: Father, that man's bad.
Sir Thomas More: There's no law against that.
William Roper: There is: God's law.
Sir Thomas More: Then God can arrest him.
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

This will only hurt the Dems, because the contrast between what they claim to believe and what they do is so stark. You don't need to watch this film to know that the Clinton administration bungled every bit as much as the Bush administration, but over 8 years, with repeated and escalating atrocities, not 7 months with mostly Clinton's bureaucracy.

All one has to do is compare their criticisms of the War on Terrorism to see that they haven't learned a damned thing from 9/11. All my life, the rule was "politics stops at the water's edge." Now it's "politics never stops and has no rules."

hdhouse said...

Brent said...
Elizabeth, sorry that I quickly skipped over this sentence:

I can match you one for one on biased reporting, left and right.


You can't find the same number of people in America who actually heard a view-free or right-leaning take

CBS Evening News with Katie Couric - 13.2 million viewers
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams - 7.8 million viewers
ABC News Tonight with Charles Gibson - 7.2 million viewers.

That's 27.2 million people even before we get to CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune . . ."


THIS is just the type of "numbers don't lie, liars lie about numbers" foolishness that makes anyone who knows anything about media and the "left leaning" mainstream media cringe.

here are the Nielsen Numbers (metered numbers)

Katie Couric (9.0/17), (year-ago time period average 4.5/ 9).

ABC’s World News With Charles Gibson at a 5.3/10

NBC Nightly News Brian Williams with a 4.9/10

MSNBC etc. added up in total are still a fraction of network news. PERIOD.

NOW: for the poor downtrodden Right Wing:

Rush Limbaugh: 13.75 million plus "unique daily" listeners, 20 million weekly listeners (and that is 3 straight hours of rightwing dogma and endless straight out political attacks)

Sean Hannity: 12 million (again, 3 hours of propaganda with no FCC restraints)

Mike Savage: 8 million (Savage Nation)

Laura Ingrahm: 5 million....

Get the picture?? When you muscleheaded rightwingers decry the "left leaning media" take a look at the real numbers...and then apply some logic ok?

OhioAnne said...

Furthermore, whatever the Clinton administration did or did not do, the facts are incontravortable that in the transition from the Clinton to the Bush administration, the incoming administration was advised of the threat of OBL and Al Qaeda. Bush dismissed the threat and did absolutely nothing about it until September 12, 2001, even when he was presented with a PDB titled "Osama Bin Laden Determined to Strike the U.S.

And here's where you lose the arguement, Freder.

"The negative things they say about the Democrats are lies." and "It doesn't matter anyway because everything they say about Republicans is an 'incontravortable' (sic) fact and 9-11 is all their fault."

Claiming that there was not one thing that could have done by Clinton in 8 years to stop 9-11, but that Bush should have been able to do so in 8 months is simply a partisian attempt to rewrite history.

For those of us who don't think all Americans are idiots, the only incontravertible fact is that there is enough blame for 9-11 to go around. The mistakes made were numerous and go back decades.

Even with the controversy, I doubt that I will care to watch this crappy production, but I certainly now wonder - because of the efforts to silence this film - what the Democrats are trying to hide.

Sadly, I suspect that it has little to do with 9-11 and who actually is responsible. For whatever reason, there seems a real fear in this country of allowing the Clinton Administration to be judged as all other administrations are judged. Not only must he be seen as a "great president" in the public memory - he must be percieved as a "perfect" president.

Well, no one is perfect.

We lost our innocence as Americans on 9-11 along with the lives of those in the planes, the WTC and the Pentagon. Prior to 9-11, no one believed the threat regardless of whatever information was received.

Now we know better.

The question is what are we doing about it now.

noah said...

Me...I am watching Giants vs. Colts...bound to be a lot better!

I made this momentous decision after reading John Podhoretz (definite "partisan gunslinger") @NRO. His take is that the moviemakers in this instance don't really get it and that the movie is unfair.

Water under the bridge. I loathed Clinton but I do not believe he would purposely endanger the nation. He is not capable of that kind of evil. Nor is Bush.

hdhouse said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
tjl said...

"The argument over which president is to blame for 9/11 is tiresome. Both obviously bear some blame. There are no West Wing heroes in this story."

At last, a little nugget of common sense.

noah said...

Geez Maureen Dowd has come her senses at last.

And the only sensible thing hdhouse has posted.

Its ok to threaten ABC's broadcast licenses?? If Bush did that you would have triplets!! If you are typical, then yes indeed the DNOF (dark night of fascism) has arrived...among Democrat partisans.

Crikey!!

Ann Althouse said...

No, no, no, no. You do not reprint whole columns here, especially not TimesSelect columns. What in hell made you think that was okay?

Freder Frederson said...

Yes, it's not like the World Trade Center was attacked before 2001.
Freder -- your particular nemesis -- always inspires you to flashes of genius.

Yes, it shows a real flash of genuis to bring up the 1993 attack of the WTC as an example of the Clinton Administration's incompetence on terrorism.

Whatever happened to the people responsible for that attack? Did we ever catch them?

Pogo said...

Fortunately, I don't read Dowd even when it's free.

Freder, you dear, dear goofball.
The fecklessness by Clinton was in failing to recognize that the dots were somehow connected.

Sorry! You can't see it either!

This is much like Robert Conquest's swipe at the left's support for Stalin, even after he died and the deaths of 30 million were revealed. He said their 'lack of imagination' made them unable and unwilling to see the murder and terror unfolding before them. The NYTimes even won a Pulitzer Prize for outright lies supporting Josef, by Walter Duranty.

Some things never change.

Freder Frederson said...

"The negative things they say about the Democrats are lies." and "It doesn't matter anyway because everything they say about Republicans is an 'incontravortable' (sic) fact and 9-11 is all their fault."

You paraphrased my statement, completely changing the meaning, put it in quoutes, so it looks like I posted something I never did that actually conveys an idea I completely disavow. After completely changing the meaning of my words, you used my new, invented, inaccurate, and deceptive, quote to make a disingenuous counter argument to an argument I never made.

The only mistake you made is that you included the original quote you decided to change in your post, alerting even the laziest reader to your dishonesty.

You should get a job writing docudramas for ABC and Disney.

Oh, and before you [sic] me, you should probably check the spelling of the word you are scolding me on (it's 'incontrovertible' not 'incontravertible'). You might also want to check the spelling of 'arguement'[sic].

Pogo said...

freder, Spelcheker of the Gods.

sic ...transit gloria

Freder Frederson said...

Freder, you dear, dear goofball.
The fecklessness by Clinton was in failing to recognize that the dots were somehow connected.


I have never, anywhere in this post, or on any other site I have ever posted on, said that the Clinton administration was perfect or pursued Al Qaeda as vigorously as it could or should have. And as far as the U.S. Military, I fully agree with the assessment that we should have, in the '90s, been reordering the military to fight a more realistic threat, rather than remaining in a force structure that basically envisioned a ground war against the Russians in Germany and another on the Korean peninsula.

That said, my statements on this thread have been limited to two points. It is apparent that this particular docudrama has fabricated events during the Clinton years that directly contradict what actually happened and paint the Clinton administration's anti-terrorism activities in a worse light than they deserve.

Secondly, when the Bush Administration took over, they totally ignored the threat of Al Qaeda eventhough they were warned about it as the number one threat to U.S. security. Instead they almost immediately focussed on Iraq.

In the eight months prior to 9/11, the Bush administration did next to nothing about Al Qaeda. Cheney was given the task of heading the task force on terrorism. It never met. Al Qaeda became a priority for the Bush Administration only on 9/12/2001. And even then there were apparently people in the administration who wanted to use 9/11 to go after Iraq rather than OBL.

The Drill SGT said...

OMG, as a former armor officer how could I have missed that?

-------------
michael a litscher said...
The Drill SGT: Aspin: Don't ask don't tell

Don't forget Somalia.
-------------
Defense Secretary Les Aspin and his deputies rejected sending needed tanks and armored vehicles to Somalia because they feared a political backlash would undermine their pro-United Nations policy, says a Senate Armed Services Committee report.

The armor, as well as AC-130 gunships that also were withheld, was sought by commanders to protect U.S. troops, the report stated.

The weapons "could have been used decisively in the rescue operation of Oct. 3-4, [1993] and if available," could have been used by Army Rangers in a raid to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid, Sen. John Warner, Virginia Republican and report co-author, said in an introduction.

"Only compelling military - not diplomatic policy - reasons should ever be used to deny an on-scene commander such a request," he said. "Those officials who advocated and approved this policy must bear the ultimate responsibility for the events that followed."

The military raid ended with the deaths of 18 U.S. soldiers who were caught in a furious firefight with Aidid forces in Mogadishu, Somalia. Crowds were filmed dragging the corpses of two U.S. soldiers through the streets.

Armored vehicles may have saved lives and reduced casualties during the raid and subsequent rescue, the report concluded. The report was released late Friday in an apparent effort to mute its stinging critique of Clinton administration foreign and military policy. Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat, is the other co-author.

The report is based on a two-year study of the firefight in Mogadishu Oct. 3, 1993, and tells how top administration officials, including National Security Adviser Anthony Lake and Mr. Aspin, allowed the United Nations to influence deployment of U.S. forces, with disastrous results.

It also lays out how U.N. officials pressured the administration into sending 450 Rangers to capture Gen. Aidid, against the advice of senior U.S. military commanders who saw little chance of success.

In doing so, U.S. interest was subordinated to "the Clinton administration's desire to see this U.N. operation succeed," Mr. Warner said.

The report says Gen. Colin Powell, at the time chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was unable to resist the U.N. pressure and then was unable to get Mr. Aspin to approve the military's request for tanks and armored vehicles and AC-130 gunships.


In the Clinton administration our anti-terrorist policy was the criminal justice system and our defense policy was the UN.

OhioAnne said...

Freder Frederson said...
"The negative things they say about the Democrats are lies." and "It doesn't matter anyway because everything they say about Republicans is an 'incontravortable' (sic) fact and 9-11 is all their fault."

You paraphrased my statement, completely changing the meaning, put it in quoutes, so it looks like I posted something I never did that actually conveys an idea I completely disavow. After completely changing the meaning of my words, you used my new, invented, inaccurate, and deceptive, quote to make a disingenuous counter argument to an argument I never made.

The only mistake you made is that you included the original quote you decided to change in your post, alerting even the laziest reader to your dishonesty.

You should get a job writing docudramas for ABC and Disney.


Freder, I wondered if you would attack the poster rather than respond to the substance and you certainly didn't disappoint me on that score.

But back to substance ...

I never claimed to be doing anything but paraphrasing your argument so I fail to see the dishonesty that you claim.

If you haven't made the argument that the docudrama is telling lies about Democrats, what IS your argument? And what does your snappy comeback "You should get a job writing docudramas for ABC and Disney." mean if you are not questioning the content of their production?

As to your comments about Republicans .... As you pointed out, I included your quote in my original post.

Furthermore, whatever the Clinton administration did or did not do, the facts are incontravortable that in the transition from the Clinton to the Bush administration, the incoming administration was advised of the threat of OBL and Al Qaeda. Bush dismissed the threat and did absolutely nothing about it until September 12, 2001, even when he was presented with a PDB titled "Osama Bin Laden Determined to Strike the U.S.br/>>
So you're now saying that you don't think the Republicans are responsible either? Please clarify.

Oh, and before you [sic] me, you should probably check the spelling of the word you are scolding me on (it's 'incontrovertible' not 'incontravertible').

Neither is it "incontravortable" as you spelled it in your original post.

You might also want to check the spelling of 'arguement'[sic].

I'll be glad to do so - and while I am you might want to look up "quoutes".

tjl said...

Freder accuses,
"You paraphrased my statement, completely changing the meaning, put it in quoutes [sic!], so it looks like I posted something I never did that actually conveys an idea I completely disavow. After completely changing the meaning of my words, you used my new, invented, inaccurate, and deceptive, quote to make a disingenuous counter argument to an argument I never made."

This is classic. It's not so much the content of what Freder says (although his logic can certainly be faulted), it's the unvarying tone. Always badgering, always denouncing, never the slightest spark of wit or lightness of touch.

Back in the sixties it was the left that had all the fun. Now the party is long since over, and the modern left is grim, scolding, and repressive. The left now obsesses about such things as drawing up codes of forbidden speech, or punishing heretics like Lieberman or Larry Summers.

Some of us started out as liberal Democrats but left the reservation. Part of the reason, at least in my case, is distaste for the left's current style. This sort of argument reminds me why that is.

Brent said...

Elizabeth,

As someone who admires your commenting greatly, I do not want to leave you with the wrong impression.

I do believe that it is possible for the NYTimes to be evenhanded.

The Times does do an excellent job in many of its reporting arenas. I read it myself every day. And, don't tell hdhouse, but the figures I quoted in one of my replys to you above came from - you guessed it - the Times.

I do not have a problem with the fact that they are a left-leaning newspaper, with often (though not always) left-leaning worded Headlines and left-leaning editorializing in their "news" articles. They may do that to their heart's content, and I will always stand for their right to do so.

The problem that I DO have with the New York Times is that it REFUSES to acknowledge that it is a left-leaning newspaper, instead prefering to cling to the canard that it plays it down the middle "for the most part".

Why does that matter? Because:

-) it wastes all of our time in pointless debates over that very issue, with many left leaning partisans claiming that the Times played its reporting on a specific issue down the middle - recently both "hdhouse" and "Freder" have claimed that very thing on specific stories, along with numerous other commenters on Althouse.

-) because of the Times size and (previous) reputation, it "controls" the National Daily Conversation to an out-sized degree. The Networks have all stated that they plan their evening Newscasts around that morning's Times. You've heard this before: "they can't control what you think every day - but they do control what you talk about". Well, what you "talk about" comes to most of the public first through a left-leaning filter. Why does it have to be that way?

-) - and here is the "thing" that would change this nation into a more civil place almost overnight - the Times and its Main Stream Media brethren are accepted without comment as the "word of God" everyday in our public school system, including elementary and middle schools. For goodness sake, if "news" was presented evenhandedly there our world would change drastically.

Elizabeth - I've written about this several times on previous Althouse posts. Including my writing about the experiment that we conducted in my college class with fourth and fifth graders on bias in the news. They are very easily swayed by the political slant of articles.

Make the debate fair: everyone acknowledge what even the left knows is true - that the Times and the MSM are left-leaning - and then go forward.

True conservatives are not afraid of the facts, even when they don't go our way. But, we truly believe that if all of the facts, not just the "spun" ones, get put on the table in a debate, most thinking people and Americans will see an issue, more often than not,the conservative way.

And that is why "liberals" and left-leaners are afraid to play it straight and honest in the first step by admitting that their favored news sources are biased: they will "lose" the battle of public opinion - and more importantly, votes - far more often than they do now.

Freder Frederson said...

I never claimed to be doing anything but paraphrasing your argument so I fail to see the dishonesty that you claim.

You put the paraphrase in quotes (if you paraphrase something, you don't put quotes around it). That is dishonest because it denotes a direct quote. It was nothing of the kind. It is putting words in my mouth that I simply never said. You also used the paraphrase to set up a strawman (Democrats are perfect and innocent, Republicans are 100 % guilty) that is incredibly easy to knock down. Since I never made that argument, I see no reason to defend it.

What I will address is your dishonesty in attributing quotes to me that I never made.

Brent said...

hdhouse,

Here is the source for the figures that I gave in the post you last quoted:New York Times: Katie Couric's . . .

I'm afraid that your figures for both Savage and Ingraham are way off (maybe old).

- Savage is down below 3 million (good by me - he's a reactionary, not someone that the majority of conservatives want to be associated with - so actually, his 2.5 million doesn't even count).

- Laura Ingraham is only about 3 million. Hope she gets it up there though.

- Limbaugh is amazing, isn't he? I almost never hear him with my schedule, but he just keeps going and going . . .

- Hannity is an amazement. I like him - shook his hand once, nice guy - but I don't really get his amazing popularity. I'm happy he has it, but I guess he just seems too average-guy-off-the-street, not-that-vocally-interesting to me.

Charlie Eklund said...

'm no fan of Bill Clinton. I'm no fan of Madeleine Albright. I'm certainly not a fan of Sandy Berger, convicted criminal. Nor am I the sort of fellow who would hyperventilate if a docudrama about the Titanic got a few things wrong or if some of the conversations depicted in "Schindler's List" never occurred.

But.

"The Path to 9/11" is a docudrama about an event that is present, every day, in all of our lives. An event that was the starting point of a war we still are fighting and that we will still be fighting many years from now.

There is no room for false presentations of history on this subject, at this time.

Did the Clinton administration fumble the ball when it came to Al Qaeda? Yes.

Did the Bush administration underestimate the gravity of the danger America was in during the 8 months of their tenure which preceded 9/11? Yes.

Fine. Time to focus on the problem of how to proceed. Time to recognize that none of us understood the threat which had America in it's crosshairs during the 1990's.

It's time to...what's the term those lunatics use...oh, yes...it's time to move on.

And fight this war.

Righteous Bubba said...

The theory that they get really mad because it hits home is that there's a core of truth that they feel very defensive about. They're ostensibly complaining about having words put in Albright's mouth or whatever, but what is really provoking them is that they know they really do bear some responsibility for not acting aggressively when they had the chance.

A good question is: what is more outraging, a lie (ie, slander) or the truth. The theory I floated is that it's the truth that hurts. Now, when you want the show "yanked," you can't complain about the truth. You complain about the "lie." You'd be a fool not to take that tack! But that's a strategy. I'm talking about the motivation and suggesting what's driving Clinton and others to freak out is the element of truth in it.


Let's quote MC Ren:

So if you're at a show in the front row
I'm a call you a bitch or dirty-ass ho
You'll probably get mad like a bitch is supposed to

[...]

Gangsta Althouse.

Freder Frederson said...

And that is why "liberals" and left-leaners are afraid to play it straight and honest in the first step by admitting that their favored news sources are biased: they will "lose" the battle of public opinion - and more importantly, votes - far more often than they do now.

Throughout this entire thread you have assailed the MSM for being "left-leaning" without ever giving a reasonable definition of what that means or providing a single example. You also criticize the NYT for not admitting they are "left-leaning".

In your zeal for truth in advertising would you have Fox news change its "Fair and Balanced" motto as it is obvious they are neither and are most certainly "right-leaning". And to back up my contention I will ask you to look at their evening line-up, and their News Director, Britt Hume, is unabashedly right wing. And the owner of the network, is unapolgetically conservative.

David said...

I foresee that history will judge the embrace of the internet and web blogs as the beginning of the end for the left wing liberals raised in the 60's.

A list of their activities to push the liberal agenda on the rest of us hapless patriots points to the failure of their cause.

Their contradictions will be their undoing. However pure their motives may have been, their big government, no accountability, anti-military/war stance, welfare state of victocracy, political correctness, Europe loving, UN embracing, ignorance of history, and appease/negotiate mentality is
the rot that is causing them to implode in front of our very eyes.

This latest episode may be the final straw before the Democratic party reinvents itself.

Doug said...

There is one thing the left wing would-be censors are forgetting when they claim that this is an example of the right wing media. The Chairman of Disney is none other than former Democratic Senator George Mitchell. Also, as a brilliant blogger once noted here: http://myopineonly.blogspot.com/2006/07/reporters-are-liberal-but-their.html

the Disney President Robert Iger is a democratic contributor who recently gave to Hillary Clinton.

If liberals were so concerned with the truth, they shouldn't have spent so much time in 2004 and prior lauding Michael Moore , giving him an Oscar for "fictitiousness" and seating him at the Democratic National convention.

And the Reagan docudrama did end up airing on Cable, so it wasn't totally obscured from the public.

Brent said...

Freder,

I will gladly grant you your wish.

Fox News is right-leaning. So is the Wall Street Journal.

Even the anchors at Fox, including Brit Hume, in interviews admit as much. They have sly fun with the "fair and balanced" motto.

I have no problem with EVERY "news Source" self-identifying as such - that's my point. They all should, and we would be a much better society in America if they all did.

JorgXMcKie said...

What gets me about the Progressive (?) Left today (or whatever euphemism they're using) is how they come across so like the crazed Rightwinger of the John Birch era combined with that grim, gray Stalinist attitude some of us are so familiar with.

What the heck ever happened to the upbeat, challenging, willing-to-debate, reasonably humorous Left of my early adulthood?

Can anyone here point me to a (reasonably) well-known proponent of the current Progressive/Left agenda that fits the above bill? I'd love to read or listen to one such.

Brent said...

Freder,

I am concerned that I am being a little rough with you.

When you just stated that:
"Throughout this entire thread you have assailed the MSM for being "left-leaning" without ever giving a reasonable definition of what that means or providing a single example."
you obviously either ignored or didn't take the time to read the examples that I did give.

You have also claimed that I didn't "explain" when I have gone to great pains to do so and offered to do so more painstakingly if you asked. Others on this thread have seemed to understand very well what I have written - though I'm certain it could be better stated - which makes me a little concerned about you.

Do you mind if I ask how old you are?

Boghie said...

To get right down to it, this post is concerning the question on who is/was more serious with regards to defending the country. To that end, let us review the 2000 election:

Part of the 'W' election discussion centered on the military was becoming a 'hollow force' under the Clinton Administration - and that hollowing out would continue under Gore. A vote for 'W' in 2000 was a vote for increased emphasis on defense. A vote for Gore in 2000 was a vote for status quo regarding defense of our nation - see the earlier post. Both potential Presidents could only affect the budget with their first Fiscal Year in office - ie. 2001/10/01 onward.

Which of these policies – ‘W’ or Gore – were more prescient to our times?

‘W’ chose a former Secretary of Defense for his Vice President. Al Gore selected a Senator.

Which of these selections was more clearheaded given the issues of our times?

‘W’ chose a former Secretary of Defense as his Secretary of Defense. Al Gore kept is choices close to the vest, but was apparently thinking of keeping Cohen on the job or maybe selecting another Senator for the position.

Which of these choices has more gravitas?

‘W’ selected the former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff as his Secretary of State. Al Gore was apparently looking at Senator Sam Nunn or Ambassador Holbrooke.

In a war on terror, your selection can be a Senator or a General.

Who was more serious and farsighted in the run-up to his election? Why did Al Gore ‘keep his selections close to the vest’, while ‘W’ presented his choices to the voting public prior to the November 2000 election?

Does anyone want a rundown of the potential cabinet positions of Senator John Kerry to determine the focus of a Kerry Presidency during a time of war. Apparently, here were his choices from the National Journal:

"Earlier this year, Kerry himself mentioned four names. Two of them, John Warner of Virginia and John McCain of Arizona, are Republican senators. The other two are Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and former Clinton administration Pentagon chief William Perry."

He wanted two Republican Senators, a Democratic Senator, or the wizard of Somolia William Perry.

The article also places the ever so serious Congressman John Murtha on a very long list...

The list is so long it is obvious that the position is a political one - not based on ability.

Who is still more serious about the 'Great War for Democracy'.

tjl said...

Jorg aks, "What the heck ever happened to the upbeat, challenging, willing-to-debate, reasonably humorous Left of my early adulthood?
Can anyone here point me to a (reasonably) well-known proponent of the current Progressive/Left agenda?"

Let's be fair -- among commenters here, there's Elizabeth.

OhioAnne said...

Freder Frederson said...
I never claimed to be doing anything but paraphrasing your argument so I fail to see the dishonesty that you claim.

You put the paraphrase in quotes (if you paraphrase something, you don't put quotes around it). That is dishonest because it denotes a direct quote. It was nothing of the kind. It is putting words in my mouth that I simply never said. You also used the paraphrase to set up a strawman (Democrats are perfect and innocent, Republicans are 100 % guilty) that is incredibly easy to knock down. Since I never made that argument, I see no reason to defend it.

What I will address is your dishonesty in attributing quotes to me that I never made.

9:45 AM, September 09, 2006


Interesting ....

Were I to use your logic, I must now accuse you of dishonesty as well.

Your ENTIRE post was in italics - not just the portion that I ACTUALLY said. How dishonest to claim that I made statements that I clearly never made.

; - )

Calm down, Freder. It's just a message board with all the limitations of the written word versus face to face communication.

Try discussing substance instead.

You have stated:

Furthermore, whatever the Clinton administration did or did not do, the facts are incontravortable that in the transition from the Clinton to the Bush administration, the incoming administration was advised of the threat of OBL and Al Qaeda. Bush dismissed the threat and did absolutely nothing about it until September 12, 2001, even when he was presented with a PDB titled "Osama Bin Laden Determined to Strike the U.S.

Why is it unimportant as to what the Clinton Administration did or did not do if you are not intent in playing the "blame game"? If the Clinton Administration wasn't treating the threat from Osama Bin Laden as Priortiy #1 on the last day of their administration, why should the Bush Administration be blamed for not treating it as Priority #1 on the first day of theirs?

Juliet said...

Freder said (a long time ago):

For all of you just so appalled by the "censorship" advocated here. All I can say is, how quickly you forget the Reagan docudrama.

Now quickly come up with your excuses how that was "different".


See the second comment on this thread.

Ann Althouse said...

JorgXMcKie said..."What gets me about the Progressive (?) Left today (or whatever euphemism they're using) is how they come across so like the crazed Rightwinger of the John Birch era combined with that grim, gray Stalinist attitude some of us are so familiar with.
What the heck ever happened to the upbeat, challenging, willing-to-debate, reasonably humorous Left of my early adulthood?
Can anyone here point me to a (reasonably) well-known proponent of the current Progressive/Left agenda that fits the above bill? I'd love to read or listen to one such"

Yeah, you should watch some of the Bloggingheads.tv episodes with Bob Wright. It's his project and he always debates with someone to his right. Watch him with Mickey Kaus.

As to the Reagan documentary -- or any other piece of lefty artwork -- I've never argued for not showing it!