September 10, 2006

"The Path to 9/11."

I wouldn't have watched this show, because I never watch shows like this. What does "like this" mean? Oh, there are at least five factors that would designate this as the kind of thing I don't watch: 1. network drama, 2. hyped miniseries, 3. dramatization of some hot issue, 4. 4 hours long, 5. lots of concerned emoting by actors who are often looking at video screens or arguing on the phone or sitting around fretting about things. I could go on. Basically, I don't like watching much of anything, though I do like the occasional HBO series and I enjoy unwinding to certain bloggable reality shows that I don't necessarily really like all that much.

But I am going to watch this now because of all the fuss. So take that! That's what you get for making the fuss. I am going to watch. And, since at least one reader has requested it and since it's the main thing that makes watching TV worthwhile, I will simulblog (or as some people like to say live-blog -- though the thing is not live, nor am I on the scene except in front of my HDTV). I may not have much to say, but I'll be saying whatever I feel like saying as the occasion arises. I'll put time-stamps on the following paragraphs so you can see what's new as we go along. Here goes.

7:10. There is a disclaimer explaining how dramatizations are done, by compressing time, combining characters, etc. An elegant opening sequence with black and white photography and tastefully minimal music. Early scenes show various earnest low level investigators who are generally thwarted by higher ups. We see a brief shot of a George Bush, sweating in a stretched out T-shirt, seen on an airport TV on 9/11, before the attacks, and later a bit of Mario Cuomo, just after the 1993 WTC attack. Each says a few words, enough to give us the sense that they are disengaged from the problems that are brewing underneath them.

7: 55. It's talky, interspersed with some action scenes. There are also scenes in nightclubs and closeups of bombmaking doings. In film, it seems, you have to constantly think about keeping people excited. It's not really an effective way to convey information. I'd much rather get it in writing. So many names and dates fly by. The terrorist guys are all sweaty, grimy, and pimply. No one worried too much about ethnic sterotypes.

8:06. "I don't want any lawyers getting in our way," says Harvey Keitel, as John O'Neill, showing up and taking charge, barking orders. (A little "Pulp Fiction" resonance there.) I'm totally bored, clicking over to websites to read the details of Ramzi Yousef to make sure I've got his story straight. I realize it's way easier and quicker this way. The movie is more about making you feel the frustration and the danger.

8:20. But I don't like surrendering to the manipulation of my feelings. I don't need a movie to help me feel something about 9/11. I'd rather read the 9/11 Report... or any number of things. I especially hate the scenes where characters walk quickly through hallways with the camera shaking and swinging about so we'll sense the urgency. Sometimes the camera is taken in and out of focus to try to make it seem like a documentary filmed on the fly. I have to confess I switched it off just now. I'm still TiVo-ing it, so I can go back, but the flashy cutting and the anxious actors yammering at each other are getting on my nerves. I need a break. You know this commercial-free thing has a down side.

9:18. That's an irrelevant timestamp, just the time here in Madison, Wisconsin, after I've taken a break and gone back to the TiVo'd version of the show. I don't like it at all. Too chaotic. Really, I've got to wonder how those geniuses at ABC figured out how to get Bill Clinton, et al., to do their publicity work for them. Totally viral!

9:29. Osama Bin Laden is introduced in a scene where O'Neill must tell Sandy Berger, "We're at war." The screen goes black, and the disclaimer runs. Something was cut here!

9:48. A vivid scene showing Berger accused of caring too much about following the law and covering his ass gives way the voice of Bill Clinton saying "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." The visual is a little Clinton, a little Monica, and a little Washington Monument (for the phallic effect). Then Keitel in a car, hearing the tail end of the Clinton assertions, being told that the President insists the scandal won't affect his decisionmaking. Keitel is all "So it's okay if somebody kills bin Laden, as long as he didn't give the order. That's pathetic."

9: 56. The scene with Berger refusing to give the order to kill bin Laden ends early.

10:09. I'm turning it off with an hour left on the TiVo. Maybe I'll pick it up tomorrow, but I'm just forcing myself, and only half watching it. Hey, I was forced into it. But I can only take so much.


amba said...

I don't have your fortitude. I turned it on and turned it back off again almost immediately. I can't stand fake TV recreations of real events -- especially this one. I am against making graven images of the thing, just like you shouldn't depict God and you shouldn't have some young actress with her own face play Marilyn Monroe or Katherine Hepburn.

Peter said...

I do not watch TV much, except for races and old western movies. I shall watch this
Remember the old days when folks got their news from newspapers? There was a saying, "don't get into a peeing contest with someone who buys ink by the barrel".
The Left is stepping in it. The networks have been a wholey owned subsiderary of the DNC since Walter The Cronk. So now they start a big fight? How smart is that?

Ruth Anne Adams said...

What's the blogger's equivalent of a purple heart?

I'll put you in for it.

XWL said...

I concur with Ruth Anne.

This sort of stuff is rarely entertaining, or informative, so I can't imagine being inclined to watch, even if it will piss off people I don't like.

But, kudos to you for doing so.

And the Democratic party has damaged itself greatly in its display of reflexive anti-democratic, quasi-fascistic behavior towards an iconic corporation like Disney.

Ann Althouse said...

I may not figure out much to say.

Joan said...

Not the purple heart, Ruth Anne! I'm hoping that Ann comes through this experience unscathed. What we need is the blogger's version of the Medal of Honor or the Victoria Cross.

Thanks, Ann. I hope you can at least find some snark-worthy tidbits to keep you awake!

Matt Drachenberg said...

Wow, the terrorists are actually Arabic in appearance. I was expecting some clean-cut, eastern European neo-nazi types.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

It feels like early episodes of NYPD Blue--lots of quick cuts and sweaty faces.

The Drill SGT said...

Ruth Anne Adams said...
It feels like early episodes of NYPD Blue--lots of quick cuts and sweaty faces.

and grainy footage.

what it doesn't have is the Sarge at rollcall:

"remember, let's all be careful out there"

can't run a war without a sarge/

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Drill Sgt: Are you thinking Hill Street Blues?

I'm watching this like I'm in a fog. I remember these various tidbits of news stories. It's fascinating how interrelated they were.

Maxine Weiss said...

I love the disclaimer:

"I never watch shows like this."---Ann


But, American Idol, now there's a piece of genius that Ann feels is worthwile to watch.

Go figure.

Peace, Maxine

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Was that a cameo of William Hung from American Idol in the karaoke in Manila?

The Drill SGT said...

sorry Ruth, yes

tiggeril said...

I'm doing the American thing and hanging out with my immigrant parents and watching Al Michaels and John Madden do their thing.

(And I hear there's something about these Manning fellows too.)

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

The filming is killing me. Is the budget so tight that the can only afford a close up lens?

If it weren't for the ruckus the Dems have thrown up over this I would've turned it off 45 mins ago.

Instead I'm torturing myself just to see what was so dangerous.

Lesson learned Dems?

sixty-five said...

No TV here, but I sometimes watch CSPAN on line. Right now Lawerence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al Queda and the Road to 9/11" is being interviewed on Book TV. I'll multi-task by checking your commentary as well.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabeth said...

Wow, the terrorists are actually Arabic in appearance. I was expecting some clean-cut, eastern European neo-nazi types.

Matt: why?

Elizabeth said...

Drill Sgt: Are you thinking Hill Street Blues?

Ruth Anne, he's combining characters, in true docudrama style.

Tibore said...

I know it covers an important subject, but durn it, I'm too much of a Colts fan to miss the game for a show I can always catch in some form (DVD, someone's tape) later.

Halftime's coming up though; I can catch some of it then.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Note to self: Cross off plans to travel to Pakistan. Or any other "istan" for that matter.

Elizabeth: Well, Dennis Franz pulled double duty: both series'.

Matt Drachenberg said...

Sorry, Elizabeth. Just making a bad joke about when Hollywood made a Clancy book into a movie and changed the bad guys from Muslims to neo-nazis.

Elizabeth said...

Matt, sorry, I wondered if they'd combined a little Oklahoma bombing in to this one, just for entertainment!

Ruth Anne: you mean Dennis Franz isn't in this show? What a missed opportunity.

Maxine Weiss said...

"Clean-cut" ????

You mean, like, uh....fresh scrubbed?

Matt, it's very simple:

Swarthy skin = Violence

Got that?

Peace, Maxine

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Dennis Franz could've been cast as Bernard Kerik, no?

Isn't there some connection to these guys with Oklahoma City? Similar MO to the first WTC bombing. Right down to the rental van.

Tibore said...

Whoops, Sipp, I'm sorry to revist the subject. I had no idea you didn't like Manning. Even though there was another quarterback we also liked between them, we Colts fans are still trying to purge our collective memories of Jeff George.

Common joke back then:

"Hey, you hear they put George's car where he couldn't reach it?

They parked it in the end zone."

So really, we like Manning in his own right, but a lot of that's amplified by experiences from the past.


Back on topic: Is "Path to 9/11" really that poorly done? You all are sounding like watching it is more of a grind than anything else. I mean, docudrama often equals yawner, true, but you'd think they'd take more care with this topic.

XWL said...

Prof. Althouse's description of the teleplay leads me to think of what might have been.

Rather than what was shot (a less well done 24 it would seem), possibly ripping off HBO's excellent Conspiracy from 5 years ago would have made much more sense.

The meeting where these folks calmly plot the deaths of tens of thousands (that was their wish, the real attacks fell far short of their imaginings), and their fantasies about the effect their attacks would have on the west would be much more affecting and effective.

They did not expect us to attack them directly. Crushing the Taliban in Afghanistan, destroying Al Qaeda's ability to use international banking, and attacking other terrorist states such as Iraq were not in their dreaming.

The attack on 9/11 has been one huge long defeat for the terrorists, any way you slice it.

They got away with a great deal during the 90s, so far in the 00s their ability to cause mischief has been greatly curtailed.

(but the possibility for them to commit a mass casualty attack in the US remains, which is why we must remain vigilant)

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Tibore: I'm actually finding it very interesting. I always like to know the back story. This show is nothing but back story.

There's tension because we know what happens. And we wish we could undo it.

Robert Fovell said...

I haven't decided whether I'm going to watch 'Path' tonight. Like Ann, the ruckus raised by the Clintonians only makes me more curious about what the fuss is about. On the other hand, I recently finished "The Looming Tower" (a tad longwinded and repetitive, but a strong recommend), and I've had by fill of 9/11 for awhile. Maybe I'll tape it and watch it another day.

But 'reenactments' don't bother me. I recently rewatched "The Missiles of October", for the first time in about 20 years. I remembered virtually every scene and word in that movie, it was that memorable and compelling for me.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Yes it really is that poorly done. Using the jerky camera conveys a sense of urgency, action, tension. But it's overdone, I really think this filming style alienates at least half the audience.

Ok maybe I'm being too harsh, there are some interesting bits here and there.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Lots of doughy-faced bureaucrats. And Amy Madigan. She's awesome.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Oh! WJC just wagged his finger at me. And there's that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

Scene in the limo with Keitel in DC is worth the wait.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

If we were playing a drinking game, I'd pick the word "Janet Reno" and be halfway drunk by now.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Intrepid reporter that ABC guy, eh?

The Drill SGT said...

Interesting scene in Kenya. A neighbor does State Department embassy security inspections.

One of the lessons he teaches is:

If you hear a commotion or explosion outside, get down, don't go to the window and get a face full of truck bomb

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Okay now it's tightening up.

That spinning grenade, powerful

Ruth Anne Adams said...

My husband just noted this: cell phones are gettin' smaller.

[He used to sell cellular, back in the day.]

Ruth Anne Adams said...

I keep thinking: Wonder Years and News Radio. These guys are too familiar.

The Drill SGT said...

For all the cutting they did on the Berger OBL snatch scenes, they left a nasty alibright in the flick.

talk about an unpleasant portrayal?

Having said that, I understand in real life she was very dismissive of the military and their concerns in other venues.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

O.K. You burn my president in effigy? I can criticize him. Y'all can't without pissing me off.

Molon_Labe_Lamp said...

Wow I guess the script notes for Albright called for extra bitch! What was Sandy worried about? Ms. Albright should've been the one screaming.

Doug said...

I searched on Ramzi Yousef as well. According to wikipedia, the guy who turned him in received $2 Million.

Nice to see the dad from the Wonder Years

Chum said...

'You know this commercial-free thing has a down side.'

Heh, funny. Sort of like one go 'round on the roller coaster is exciting but not being able to get off for two hours is disorienting and you really need to pee and have something to eat.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Husband notes: Toyota's gotta' be lovin' this. Terrorists driving nothing but Toyotas.

The Drill SGT said...

the Toyota stuff is classic para-military.

half the thugs of Africa and the middle east use Toyota's for their "Technicals"

Machine gun pickups

johnstodderinexile said...

Just a thought: Maybe the overreaction by some Democrats is actually not about politics, but about the psychology of denial. Maybe as the years have gone by, the Clinton folks have come to remember their tenure as just like "The West Wing." This movie comes as a rude surprise, finding out that the air in the White House wasn't automatically rarified by their presence.

AJ Lynch said...

I am watching it on an off. No wonder the Clintons wanted to scrap it. It's pretty damning of them so far especially Albright and Clinton.

tiggeril said...

Sipp- I'd have to say, even Manning would be preferable to the Theismann-Buck combo that made my want to put an axe through the TV last year.

tiggeril said...

Made me, even.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Did I blink and miss the coverage of the USS Cole bombing? What happened with that?

F15C said...

The show hasn't started here on the left coast, so I appreciate the comments here.

Maybe it's just me, or maybe I'm missing something obvious but a question keeps coming to mind: *Why?* Why did ABC produce and air something that POs the Dems so much?

Let's face it, a big part of this story is man bites dog: One of the big three MSM broadcast entities purposefully showing something that causes such a ruckus on the left side of the aisle is alien to our experience.

I'm curious about the motivations, process, and goals of those responsible for this program being aired.

AJ Lynch said...

Ruth Ann:
The Cole was bombed in the spring of 2000 (I think) so perhaps it will be part of tomorow's night show.

Clinton promised to track those terorist down and planned to do that on his last day in office. But then he had to pardon Mark Rich. Oh well, as Mark Levin would say, Clinton happens.

Aspasia M. said...

I'm curious about the motivations, process, and goals of those responsible for this program being aired.

follow the money.

Claudia Lane said...

I think the comments here are a little too dismissive. This is a mass market production and as such has to be simplified and use camera techniques that are proven to appeal to "most" viewers. You can wish for a detailed documentary, but I recommend judging it on its own terms.

What it has done effectively, IMO, is link the decade of effort by UBL and associates, from far-flung locals totally unfamiliar to most viewers. Further, it contrasts the conspirators single-minded devotion to the project with our generally uncomprehending approach or, worse, the careerism of certain public officials. Both successes in the field and failures (of imagination, as well as nerve) are portrayed. I thought the Nairobi scene was especially effective. It highlights the learning curve many in the govt.(some remain clueless), as well as the public, has gone through during this time.

MadisonMan said...

Oh well, as Mark Levin would say, Clinton happens.

Or as Don Rumsfeld says, stuff happens.

I'll be curious to read the ratings on this -- what reads to be -- schlock. I didn't watch it myself -- I don't watch TV and I was busy tonight getting ready for class on Tuesday. Kudos to Ann for stomaching it -- first Katie Couric, now this! I gotta wonder when she's gonna get mad as hell and not take it anymore!

johnstodderinexile said...

It's a good question. Having not seen it yet (I'm in California and not even near a TV), I'm figuring the Democratic reaction has taken Disney by surprise. I think Disney/ABC thought they were covered by the 9/11 Commission report and other accounts of the period that are implicitly critical of the Clinton Administration. The Clinton people have not until now so forcefully denied the pertinent allegations. Obviously they are upset now because they think a TV show carries more weight in the polls than a dry report or a book that only 100,000 people read.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Madison Man: Ditto the kudos to our stalwart blog hostess! Thanks for the cyber-place to opine.

The Drill SGT said...

i keep telling you all that it's only tangentially about the Clinton legacy.

It also threatens the DNC forward message on terrorism. (you know the Kerry campaign message... and the Howard Dean: Osama is presumed innocent, but I know Rove is guilty as sin...)

- it can be managed
- ignore the Osama Fatwa.... that didnt happen...
- they only are mad because we are in ______
- if we withdraw, they'll stop
- its a criminal Justice thing
- we have all the tools we need, without that nasty Patriot act, to handle the bad guys
- just get a warrant, its easy....
- trust us, and we'll go back to the good old days before 911, and before cowboy Bush shooting the place up. They liked us better then....
- don't worry about mid eastern men on airplanes... search the Nun to be fair

Robert Fovell said...

I'm 25 min into the movie here on the West Coast. IMHO, this is a poorly made production. The frenetically moving camera is irritating, and the show already has a full "spaghetti western's" worth of gratuitous extreme close-ups.

The Drill SGT said...

I thought it was very "Traffic" like in it's filming

Ann Althouse said...

I should just set up a post and let you guys simulblog in the comments. I'm not good at following dramas like this. Too much camerawork. And too much muttered dialogue that is full of information that you're supposed to put together. It's irritating. And yet it's not as though I want to be entertained.

Fenrisulven said...

How funny. The conversation about Senate Dems trying to censor the movie was more entertaining than the actual movie.

paul a'barge said...

"Swarthy skin = Violence
Got that?"

I'd say there were just under 3000 people dead on 9/11 who "got that."

If that offends you, hit Google and take a look at the pictures of the perpetrators of 9/11.

Oh. How inconvenient. Swarthy all of them.

How's that denial working out for you?

Johnny Nucleo said...

Drill Sgt.,

I think you're right. I haven't seen the contoversial parts yet and I probably won't because this thing is just not that good. But I think you're right: all the kookiness surrounding this thing is not about Clinton or Berger, their freak-outs notwithstanding.

What this docudrama can't help but seem to attack - because it is inherent to the story - is our pre-9/11 approach. And the Democratic Party has offered exactly that, but with more meetings. This thing brings heat on them and they don't like it, especially since November is tomorrow and it was looking like they might win.

paul a'barge said...

We just watched the entire thing ... I feel ill. That cigar didn't help, either.

Somehow, I'm going to make it through the second edition tomorrow night.

altoids1306 said...

Hmm - sat down with roommates and watched it (missed first 40 mins or so). I think the sensationalist editing is unavoidable, with shows like 24, the producers just can't shut off that sledgehammer-the-audience instinct.

The show isn't damning because of Sandy Berger being unwilling to pull the trigger on the bin Laden snatch, or Albright tipping-off Pakistan about the cruise-missile strikes, but because previous acts of terrorism were mentioned. Embassy bombings, 1993 WTC, Cole, the airlines - and we are reminded that Islamic fundamentalists have wanted to kill Americans since before Bush, before Iraq.

Even if they had edited out all the blown chances to get bin Laden, it's damning because it seeks to illustrate the War on Terror. Issues like domestic spying, torture, extradiction, civilian casualties, are shown to be relevant questions.

(And how about the really choppy editing of the deleted scenes - it's almost like ABC was trying to let viewers know something was up.)

Peter said...

I watched the whole thing, thank the Lord for the ability to pause the program.
The Donks should have kept quiet. Everyone, Dem and Repub screwed the pooch on the lead up to 9/11. We all knew that. Trouble is, the Repubs started fighting on 9/12. The Donks didn't start fighting until this film.
I would feel safe with the Donks running things if it were ABC and Joe Leibermann trying to kill my grandchildren.

Freeman Hunt said...

All of you slamming this program, what are you comparing it to? A regular movie? Television is generally wretched--that's why I hardly ever watch it. This is far better than the norm on TV. I enjoyed it.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Freeman Hunt is right. For what it was, from what I saw, it was pretty good. I was doing some snark.

ignacio said...

It started really gaining traction in the last 45 minutes or so. I'll be there tomorrow night.

Robert Fovell said...

It's finally over here on the West Coast, and these things strike me,

(1) Compared to Wright's "The Looming Tower", FBI agent O'Neill is a much more compelling character in the movie. Wright was obsessed, to an almost "People Magazine" degree, with O'Neill's rather complicated personal life, virtually ignored in this film. That's good, because the 'girlfriend in every port' jazz was distracting to the book's narrative, in my view.

(2) One of "Looming's" largest points, IMHO, was the "wall" between intelligence agencies, exacerbated by a Clinton-era Justice Department action ("Rule 6E", p. 342). I wouldn't be surprised if the FBI and CIA didn't ever want to cooperate anyway, but this seemed to make information sharing even more unlikely or awkward. I didn't (yet) get the impression from the movie that had the government's various arms had risen above petty rivalries and not been shackled by myopic if well-intentioned rules that 9/11 could have been prevented, or at least deflected. As ot stands, I see this is as a deficiency of the movie.

(3) Unless they succeeded in forcing significant changes to what was aired tonight, the Dem's drama-queen theatrics were just sound and fury, signifying nothing. Of course, there's still tomorrow's episode, but as the movie ended, they're already in 2001.

I didn't expect to be entertained (and I wasn't, just as I didn't expect to be entertained by "United 93"). The movie improved as it went along. Maybe I got used to the choppy editing and gratuitous extreme close-up shots.

Elizabeth said...

Freeman, aren't there two levels of comparison? If it holds up in terms of production values and performances to other such works, then it's certainly fair to praise it according to those criteria. I'm comparing it to the claims it made to be based on the 9/11 commission report and it comes up short there if its events are as they've been described by some who've viewd it. There's nothing wrong with critiquing its falsely portraying events and conversations if those portrayals do more than just conflate things for efficiency or dramatic weight, or if the dramatic effect gained is outweighed by the cost to truthfulness.

Since this seems like a group open to entertaining, fictionalized history, let me recommend a really good bit, Greg Rucka's comic series, "Queen and Country." We should be reminded that our conflict didn't start with 9/11, I agree. This series follows a fictional British special operations team in its anti-terrorist missions. In a prescient bit of storytelling, the comic debuted months before 9/11 with an initial mission into Afghanistan. If you like graphic storytelling, this one's worth a look. The first collection is "Broken Ground," and the comic's put out by Oni Press.

Brent said...

Saw it . . .

The ONE thing above all else that the "Path to 9/11" DOES say about the Clinton Admin was what was already known:

it was Poll-Driven, Public-Relations-Worshipping Governance. And the nation is still poorer today for it.
(Please spare us any comments with the current Admin being the same, as they obviously are very poor at P/R).

We had a politically liberal friend over to watch with us (the Mrs. and I are conservative). He was well aware of the controversy - and he came to the same conclusions as we did (see first paragraph above).

I'm certain that tomorrow night will show the Bushies in a not-so-nice light. Looking forward to it.

Update: the local ABC affiliate Eyewitness News interviewed Los Angeles locals as to their thoughts>
My favorite: a poised, well-dressed Bev Hills middle-ager that was "astonished at how ABC could, with it's free airwave usage, tell so many lies about the Clinton administration, (here is the best part) especially just before the Democrats take back the House". I wonder if she has an exact lie count, or is just estimating?

So, several of the previous Althouse posters were RIGHT! The Dems are only really concerned about "the Path to 9/11" being shown at all because they were planning on the motto "let's go back to the terrorist containment success of the Clinton years" to persuade people to vote a change.

I wonder if someone can get me that interviewee's number. I would like to give her a reality call:" Hello Sweetheart. Usama BL and Co. and the firm of Islamofascism LLC won't spare you and your family just because you quote the latest faxed Demo talking points. Unless it is to first rape you, THEN they will happily kill you. Best of luck with your search for a set of Democratic politicians that can figure out how to keep that from happening at the same time that they are looking for their moral backbones.

Bonus: had 60 Minutes on just before. Andy Rooney wants us to spend a little time figuring out how we can make other nations stop being so mad and wanting to kill us.

I wonder if someone can get me Andy's number.

Brent said...


You win my undying affection for the best line of all the threads:

Trouble is, the Repubs started fighting on 9/12. The Donks didn't start fighting until this film.

I'm recommending it to our local House Represemtative.

Elizabeth said...

Correction: the second collected volume is the Afghanistan arc.

CayuteKitt said...

Ann said:

"Basically, I don't like watching much of anything, though I do like the occasional HBO series and I enjoy unwinding to certain bloggable reality shows that I don't necessarily really like all that much.

But I am going to watch this now because of all the fuss. So take that! That's what you get for making the fuss. I am going to watch."


For awhile now I've looked in on your blog, Ann, occasionally as a link was made by another of my favorite bloggers. Although I've liked your style, until now I had no real motivation to bookmark your blog in my lengthy list of "favorites", which are blogs I read daily.

But that gutsy response to the broohaha raised by the Clintonistas and the Dems/Libs is exactly the kind of real American Spirit that will keep the Islamofascists from destroying our great nation in the long run.

For those of you who are discouraged by the spineless Congress we have now and are considering "sending a message" to the GOP by sitting out this upcoming election, just remember what the Dems threatened in the form of censore against ABC. If they EVER get back in majority controlled power in government you can kiss our free speech and liberties goodbye.

Far better to keep the GOP in power and replace individual members of Congress with those who will honor Conservative values more dilligently, than to have to unroot the Dems again, which took approximately three decades +/- last time.

Shanna said...

Like Ann, I only made it about 2 hours in (and that is with a couple of breaks, thank god for tivo). It took it an hour or so to get rolling. I like the parts in Africa and especially the music played. I also liked Donnie Walhberg's acting. I think he's better than his brother.

Although this first half has been fairly damming for the Clinton administration, the biggest message is that there was too much weight on procedure and lawyers and bureaucracy.

But I found what I watched damning for the Republicans as well. It is clear from this that Clinton (or his people) was at least aware of the threat of OBL, while Republicans and the media were talking about Monica and impeachment. And the Republicans made a big deal about the bombing in Afghanistan being a distration. That would be my line if I were a democrat. "Look, Clinton was trying to deal with terrorism and the Republicans were just talking about Monica". I don't think that's the whole story, but that would be a better way to spin, IMO.

David said...

It just isnt very good tv. Boring, full of ABC hero worship (you notice that ABC reporters get lots of positive plugs?)

Overall, nothing particurly new for anyone who tracked things - politicians basically had more important things to take care of.

Fenrisulven said...

All of you slamming this program, what are you comparing it to?

West Wing. Maybe thats unrealistic, but for the all the money and hype around this, I guess I expected more.

rhodeymark1 said...

Eh - knowing the controversy already, and having seen the bootlegged clippings, I decided to watch the updated firehouse documentary on CBS instead. It was an oustanding recut, and they left the profanity intact to not diminish the emotion. Powerful television it was.

The Drill SGT said...

I think the single line that sums up the show for me (forgive me, without tivo or taping it, this is from memory)

"WTF!"(they didn't say this, but it encapsulates the emotion of the speaker) "The guy declares war on us and we're worried about accidentally whacking him?"

That is the most damning htread running through the show

Cedarford said...

Good show, IMO. 24-ish flashes, maybe a little jumpy, but that is what plebian audiences want...not snooty elites preference for an English actor pretending he is upper class narrating 3 hours of 9/11 in a Shakepearean voice on PBS.

It's ratings, baby!

And I daresay that people like me will watch Part 2 instead of Bush's Heroes & Victims speech tonight.

A good reminder that this was NOT based on the Evil Bush-Hitler assuming office, it was NOT about bin Laden suddenly discovering America had "precious civil liberties" that must be destroyed through the stupid Bush-Hitler in a clever terrorist ju-jitsu misdirection move.

It was about our criminal law enforcement mentality, lawyers, pervasive CYA on the American side blinding and paralyzing us. And on the radical Islamist side, except for bin Laden who we now know is just a player, not the CEO of Terror...striking at America because of our pro-Israel policies, and what they saw was our polluting purient culture and presence in the ME - were the central grievances for the attacks leading up to 9/11.

Anthony said...

I especially hate the scenes where characters walk quickly through hallways with the camera shaking and swinging about so we'll sense the urgency. Sometimes the camera is taken in and out of focus to try to make it seem like a documentary filmed on the fly.

Christ on a bicycle, I hate that, too. All I want to do when filmmakers use that technique is shout "Hold the f***ing camera steady!!!"