The New York Times on Friday downplayed results in its own poll that found 44 percent of respondents think the cuts in the debt deal didn't go far enough, versus only 15 percent who said "too far." In an article starting on the front page, writers Michael Cooper and Megan Thee-Brenan didn't mention this fact until the ninth paragraph of page A-14.
On The Situation Room today, CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer made a surprising admission to, of all people, real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump:
BLITZER: What do you think of his (Obama's) decision to pick Joe Biden as his running mate?
TRUMP: I really don't know Senator Biden but I know one thing. He's run a number of times for president. He's gotten less than 1 percent of the vote each time. And that's a pretty tough thing. You know, he's also been involved in pretty big controversy like plagiarism in college and various other things. That's a pretty big statement. So perhaps you change over a period of time. But when you plagiarize, that's a very bad statement. That hasn't been brought up yet, but I'm sure at some point it will. I'm sure that Sarah Palin will bring it up in a debate or somebody's going to bring it up.
BLITZER: Are you talking about plagiarism when he was running for president?
TRUMP: No, I'm talking about when he was a college student as I understand it, and this was a big issue originally but he supposedly plagiarized as a college student. That's a pretty serious charge.
BLITZER: I don't remember that. We'll check it out. But maybe you obviously have a better memory about that.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
While he told EW “he had to speculate” about dialogue, “Stone insist[ed] that every scene in 'W' will be rooted in truth.” Instead, the movie is a hodge podge of supposed eyewitness accounts, third-hand gossip and fantastical guesswork mixed with “awkward and goofy” caricatures. EW pointed out that “some accounts” “may have come from disgruntled former staffers.”
If the left frothed over ABC's “Path to 9/11” and the media criticized “its invented scenes, fabricated dialogue and unsubstantiated accounts,” then surely they'll immediately knock Stone for these scenes that could come directly from Will Farrell's old “Saturday Night Live” Bush skits (all bold mine):
There's a scene of 26-year-old Bush peeling his car to a stop on his parents' front lawn and drunkenly hurling insults at his father (''Thank you, Mr. Perfect. Mr. War Hero. Mr. F---ing-God-Almighty!''), while another scene set a few years later finds Bush nearly crashing a small plane while flying under the influence.
NewsBusters readers are certainly aware of the controversy created by ABC’s docudrama “The Path to 9/11.” In fact, we reported extensively on this issue here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
To bring people back up to speed, the left and former President Bill Clinton went absolutely berserk the week before this program aired due to some of the content. In fact, it culminated in ABC finally giving into all the pressure, and cutting some scenes from the final version aired.
Miami Herald TV critic Glenn Garvin is blogging from the annual Television Critics Association tour, and found some hot talk in recounting the Clintonista war against ABC's movie on 9/11.
Asked during his appearance on the TV critics' tour if he was embarrassed that the network had to "backpedal" on its Clinton-unfriendly movie The Path To 9/11, [ABC programming chief Stephen] McPherson took no prisoners -- particularly when it came to Clinton's national security adviser Sandy Berger, one of the film's chief critics. "We didn't backpedal," McPherson said. "We aired the movie. We didn't change anything for those guys. We aired it as planned on the dates that were planned. I mean, it's a little odd to have Sandy Berger telling you about what's truthful or not when he was indicted for stuffing documents into his pants on this very subject."
There is potentially no more deplorable aspect of politics in the new millennium than the backwards-looking blame game played by both Parties on a daily basis. Whether it’s the economy, taxes, budget deficits, or corruption, members on both sides of the aisle always have an extended finger ready to accuse the other for the problems in the world.
In the past four weeks, a new category for contestants has been created: The bin Laden’s-Still-Alive Blame Game.
When Doves Lie
It is certainly no great surprise that once all the faux hawks – the doves that felt so threatened by the 9/11 attacks that they actually wanted to respond militarily – started feeling less vulnerable, the country would return to its 9/10 divisions. However, nobody could possibly have envisioned that five years later, the political parties would actually be debating who was more responsible for the national tragedy that fateful day.
Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, well known for slamming conservatives, talked last night with former President Clinton and proceeded to offer him non-stop softball questions. The ex-President plugged his new Clinton Global Initiative program to fight poverty, global warming and support racial reconciliation. (Stewart did not press as to what specifically the project will do.) The tenor of the comedian’s questions can be summed up in this query on what makes Clinton happy:
Stewart: "All right, so what, in your mind, you’ve worked, you’ve worked in government for most of your career. Now you are out and doing private initiatives, these types of things. What’s more effective? What are you having more fun doing and what do you think is more effective?"
Yes, that’s right. Jon Stewart asked the former President what he found "fun," political or private life? It became clear, very early in the program, just how the talk show host differentiated between George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Stewart: "We got a fine program for you tonight Former president Bill Clinton will be sitting down with us today. And uh, I'll ask him probably questions about the political climate and the complex issues, and he will be like [high pitched, hysterical voice], duh, I don't know. Oh, no, wait. That's, uh, oh, right, no, this is President Clinton."
Cyrus Nowrasteh, the screenwriter behind ABC's "Path to 9/11" miniseries, has an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal about his experience. Unsurprisingly, he has little good will for left-wing critics who tried to censor a film that portrayed Democrats in any kind of a bad light:
It would have been good to be able to report due diligence on the part of those who judged the film, the ones who held forth on it before watching a moment of it. Instead, in the rush to judgment, and the effort to portray the series as the work of a right-wing zealot, much was made of my "friendship" with Rush Limbaugh (a connection limited to two social encounters), but nothing of any acquaintance with well-known names on the other side of the political spectrum. No reference to Abby Mann, for instance, with whom I worked on "10,000 Black Men Named George" (whose hero is an African-American communist) or Oliver Stone, producer of "The Day Reagan Was Shot," a film I wrote and directed. Clearly, those enraged that a film would criticize the Clinton administration's antiterrorism policies--though critical of its successor as well--were willing to embrace only one scenario: The writer was a conservative hatchetman.
From the start, Wyatt adopts the POV of the Clintonians that tried to stop ABC from airing the miniseries:
"The first half of ABC’s dramatic mini-series 'The Path to 9/11,' which drew fierce advance partisan reaction last week over its portrayal of Clinton administration officials, drew an estimated 13 million viewers Sunday night, several million more than a rebroadcast of a CBS documentary about Sept. 11 but far fewer than NBC’s opening-week National Football League game.
When not forced to compete with primetime broadcast football (NBC's "Sunday Night Football"), ABC's "The Path to 9-11" bested the competition on Monday, the second day of the two-part series. Reports Drudge:
ABC 'PATH TO 9-11' TOP RATED SHOW OF MONDAY NIGHT... 8.3 RATING/12 SHARE FOR ABC MOVIE, BEAT 'CSI: MIAMI' RERUN [6.8/11] AND NBC 9-11 'DATELINE' [3.7/6].
The conclusion of ABC's miniseries "The Path to 9/11" led ABC to a ratings win Monday. Numbers for the night are approximate, as a presidential address marking the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks interrupted regular programming in much of the country.
ABC averaged a 7.4 rating/11 share for the night, finishing well ahead of CBS' 5.2/8. NBC was third at 4.2/7. FOX, 4.0/7, came in fourth, and The WB trailed with a 1.2/2.
Former President Bill Clinton said yesterday that his administration had thwarted a number of large-scale terror attacks but acknowledged its efforts were "not enough" to prevent the horror of 9/11.
Clinton would not comment directly on the ABC miniseries that began airing Sunday that suggests he was soft on Al Qaeda, but he said yesterday that his administration stopped other attacks similar to 9/11.
During his administration "some attacks were prevented, a couple that would have done as much damage as 9/11," he said.
"Many cells were rooted out," Clinton said at a dedication of a 9/11 memorial in Bayonne, N.J., "but in the end, it was not enough" to prevent 9/11.
As expected, the airing of the ABC movie, The Path To 9/11, has infuriated the left-wing blogosphere. Their comments range from dark threats against ABC for broadcasting this movie to a self-pitying sense of despair over their inability to keep it from airing. Here is a sampling of enraged comments from the Democratic Underground, the Daily Kos, and the Huffington Post:
If ABC/Disney goes through with its plans to air "Path to 9/11" tomorrow and Monday I don't blame them at all. Why? Because they are not scared of the left and quite frankly we have not given them any damn reason to fear us.
NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If we give up on this we will give up on everything they wish to spoon feed us. I have sent all of my e-mails, and cancelled plans for a vacation next summer in disney world. If they end up showing this docu, they will just as easily steal the elections in `06. But, actually `06 is ssssssooooooooooo minor compared to `08. They have no intentions of leaving, the power has been too much of a narcotic for them to give it to the dems.
On this solemn occasion, our hearts go out to all who lost friends, colleagues, and family members five years ago, as well as to those who worked tirelessly and selflessly to save them. God Bless America.
For those that watched “The Path to 9/11” last evening, and were interested in which scenes were targeted by the Clinton administration for editing, you should see Dan Riehl’s post on the subject here.
Those that are interested in what apparently was altered in the final edition should see Al Brown's post here, as well as Editor & Publisher’s article on the subject.
With that as pretext, I wanted to offer my impressions of Part I.
ABC's entertainment division refused to knuckle under to intense pressure from supporters of former President Bill Clinton, including the Democratic National Committee and MoveOn.org, and aired the first part of their miniseries, "The Path to 9/11", with some additional edits:
The opposition to the ABC docu-drama has been using Harvey Keitel’s CNN Interview statements as one of their talking points against "The Path to 911". But were Keitel’s comments taken out of context and misrepresented? Are certain comments made by Keitel during the interview completely ignored by those vehemently protesting the airing of the movie?
Here is what Bill Clinton’s lawyer wrote in his latest letter to ABC:
"Harvey Keitel, who plays the star role of FBI agent John O'Neill, told reporters yesterday that while the screenplay was presented to him as a fair treatment of historical events, he is upset that several scenes were simply invented for dramatic purposes."
The Chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Kean, as well as Commissioner John Lehman, were George Stephanopoulos’s guests on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, and they both spoke out strongly in favor of the upcoming miniseries “The Path to 9/11” (video link to follow).
At the beginning of this discussion, Stephanopoulos presented concerns expressed by Clinton administration officials about the docudrama, and asked Kean if the program should be aired. Kean responded:
Oh, of course, it should be aired. I mean, I'm not for censorship or not allowing people to see things. In my experience with these people who’ve been working in the film they've been responsive to criticism, mine and other people’s, and have made changes that were necessary. I haven't seen the final cut. It's a miniseries. It's not a documentary. It's not done by ABC news. It's done by ABC news entertainment, but as I've seen it, I think it'll make a contribution.
Stephanopoulos then reiterated concerns of the Clinton administration, in particular about a couple of scenes in the film, and asked, “Did you ask the filmmakers to change those scenes and did they change them?” Kean responded:
Sometimes, in spite of itself, ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" shines a light on liberal thinking that liberal political strategists would prefer remain dark. Today Katrina Vanden Heuvel, the Left's answer to Michael Savage, revealed that her thinking remains firmly stuck in pre-9/11 mode.
This is not a source I would normally search out, but I have to admit that actor Donnie Wahlberg gives one of the most thoughtful responses I've seen to the controversy over ABC's "The Path to 9/11" miniseries in this TV Guide interview:
TVGuide.com: What do you think of the brouhaha that's going on now? You had to know that this project could be a hot potato. Wahlberg: I didn't think it was a hot potato. I think there's a stink being made because certain people aren't happy with the way they're being portrayed, but the reality is that in most cases, the producers took a gentle hand with this stuff. The writers and the producers and the director tried to use as much integrity as possible.
With all the ballyhoo and discussion surrounding ABC’s “The Path to 9/11,” very few people have actually seen any of the controversial docudrama about to air (hopefully) beginning Sunday. However, to whet your appetites, here is a trailer of the series that has been airing on European television.
In the middle of all the controversy surrounding ABC’s upcoming docudrama “The Path to 9/11,” something very important has been lost: Regardless of the protestations of the left, there were indeed some missed opportunities to capture or kill Osama bin Laden before our nation was attacked. In fact, on March 16, 2004, the NBC “Nightly News” did a report on one such chance the Clinton administration passed on.
What follows is a full transcript of this report, with emphasis given to draw attention to statements that are quite relevant to the current controversy. Those that are interested can watch the video here courtesy of GOP Video.
I guess we all should have expected that mere changes to the story weren’t going to placate Team Clinton, for another letter was sent to ABC President and CEO Robert Iger on Friday, this one asking for “The Path to 9/11” be cancelled. For those that are interested, and can tolerate yet another example of extraordinary political hypocrisy, here it is:
This sad episode in American history continues, folks. Now, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, is requesting that ABC reveal “who funded this $40 million dollar slanderous propaganda.”
Of course, he’s talking about “The Path to 9/11.” What else?
As reported by the left-wing blog Raw Story on Friday: "It's deeply disappointing that ABC would put something on the air that has been proven to have factual inaccuracies about one of the most important events in our nation's history," said Dean in the press release. "ABC should not air this distortion of history."
Why wasn’t Dean so concerned with the reporting of “factual inaccuracies about one of the most important events in our nation's history” back in 2004 when Michael Moore released “Fahrenheit 911”? Why has the Democratic Party’s seemingly universal support for that piece of propaganda as addressed here been totally forgotten by its members?
If ABC caves into demands to whitewash its 9-11 movie, made by Bill Clinton, Democrats, and liberal activists, it could come with direction from the very top. Robert A. Iger, CEO of Disney (parent co. of ABC), has been a large contributor to the Democratic Party, most recently giving $10,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in February. He's even given money to the wife of the former president in question.
Not content with attempting to censor the ABC miniseries, "The Path To 9/11,"
the Left is now attempting to control the type of information googled
on this topic on the Web. Here is how a Democratic Underground thread
post described a "Google Bomb" plot against this movie:
The Great 2006 Google/Technorati 9-11 movie info bomb!
To counteract the effects the ABC 9-11 movie could have on the midterm elections, I recommend this course of action:
night of, and the morning after, people will be hitting the internet
looking for information on the events as depicted in this movie.
biggest opportunity will be to have nearly identical blog posts
waiting, then submit them to be found internet wide the morning after
the movie. Google and Technorati will pick up on these posts quickly.
We can make these entries dominate the first several pages of the
The following is the actual text of the letter sent to Bob Iger, the President and CEO of ABC, by folks representing former president Bill Clinton et al asking for “The Path to 9/11” to be re-edited (hat tip to TPM Café):
September 1, 2006
As you know, ABC intends to air a two part miniseries, “The Path to 9/11,” which purports to document the events leading up to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. ABC claims that the show is based on the 9/11 Commission Report and, as Steve McPherson, President of ABC Entertainment, has said: “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”
MRC president Brent Bozell appeared on Friday's "Fox and Friends" in the 8am hour beginning at 8am Eastern. The topic discussed was the censorship campaign mounted by Democrats against the ABC miniseries, "The Path to 9/11."
9/7 14:08. Just
heard a quick news report make that claim on WABC radio out of NYC
while in the car. No statement or confirmation from Disney at this
time. The report claimed at least one scene drawing criticism from Dems
may be altered.
network has in recent days made changes to the film,
set to air Sunday and Monday, after leading political figures, many of
them Democrats, complained about bias and alleged inaccuracies.
Meanwhile, a left-wing organization has launched a letter-writing
campaign urging the network to "correct" or dump the miniseries, while
conservative blogs have launched a vigorous defense.
After much discussion, ABC executives and the producers
but did not eliminate entirely, a scene that involved Clinton's
national security advisor, Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, declining to give
the order to kill Bin Laden, according to a person involved with the
film who declined to be identified because of the sensitivities