Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hollywood Reporter's Ray Richmond: Thank God ABC Didn't Bow To Censorship

The Hollywood Reporter's Ray Richmond saw the controversy over ABC's lie-filled "The Path To 9/11" and saw one thing: evil censorship. Yes, he says people like Madeleine Albright and Sandy Berger can moan about being shown doing things they never did and having the blood of 3000 innocent Americans on their hands thanks to cowardice and ineptitude, but that's it. Trying to stop the docudrama from being shown was going way too far.

So a massive conglomerate like ABC can play politics with 9/11, reach out to far right bloggers and right wing groups, try to cloak itself in the aura of the non-partisan 9/11 Commission Report when it knows its movie distorts and lies and often says the OPPOSITE of what that report found, and it can release this movie right before a mid-term election. But if people think this is beyond the pale and shouldn't be shown, it's the CRITICS who have gone too far.

Not the conglomerate that besmirched the name of a major American airline that lost employees on that terrible day and five years later finds itself being implicated in both their deaths and the deaths of thousands of Americans. Not the conglomerate that -- unlike every other mainstream documentary and movie and book that focused on 9-11 in a non-partisan way -- tried to turn 9/11 into a political football (why else reach out only to the far right?). Not the conglomerate that saw FBI agents quit in disgust from the project or refuse to get involved because the film was so riddled with errors, that saw Harvey Keitel refusing to stick to a script he found so distastefully misleading or inaccurate, that saw a director running around trying to figure out what was true and what wasn't, not the conglomerate that saw all of this but refused to step in and make sure some TV movie didn't damage their reputation and distort a national tragedy for ratings and profit. No, Disney/ABC behaved honorably but the people who pointed out their lies went too far.

What exactly IS someone supposed to do when they are shown a purported docudrama that claims to be an accurate depiction of the worst terrorist attack in our nation's history, which is going to distributed to school children around the country and offered for free on the Internet in the weeks leading up to an election but which they see is clearly filled with inaccuracies and lies? Wish them luck?

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