PBS’s ‘Frontline’ Airs Cheney Documentary Tonight Called ‘The Dark Side’

June 20th, 2006 6:32 PM

A new documentary about Vice President Dick Cheney is set to air this evening on PBS. It’s called “The Dark Side,” and based upon a review published in today’s New York Daily News, it doesn’t appear to be very flattering.

First, the title comes “from a quote by Vice President Cheney in the wake of 9/11. Cheney said that the CIA, the Pentagon and other intelligence-gathering U.S. forces would have to ‘work from the dark side’ to glean information and combat and defeat terrorism.”

However, let’s be serious: what viewer isn’t going to assume that the title is a more direct reference to the movie “Star Wars,” and that Cheney is being depicted as Darth Vader? Forgive me, but as George Carlin said many years ago, you don’t have to be Fellini to figure that out.

The documentary then picks up some rather familiar liberal themes that we’ve all been hearing ad nauseum for years:  “According to ‘Frontline,’ when Cheney and others in the Bush White House pushed for an early connection between 9/11 and Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, they were told bluntly, by the CIA and others, that the U.S. strike was the work of Afghanistan-based Al Qaeda.”

Now add an all too familiar touch of condescension: “‘Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick,’ says one CIA official, dismissively.” Plus a couple of dabs Howard Dean: “Yet when no link to Hussein could be found, Cheney established a different intelligence-seeking division, run by old friends at the Pentagon, to keep looking.” And, a pinch of Maureen Dowd: “From this point on, ‘Dark Side’ touches on lots of familiar, volatile subjects and names: weapons of mass destruction and Scooter Libby, yellowcake and Valerie Plame, Curveball and Mohamed Atta.”

Finally, a sprinkling of Katrina vanden Heuvel: “[The producer] makes it seem irrefutable that the battle to link 9/11 with Iraq eventually pitted Rumsfeld and Cheney, who backed that position, against former CIA Director George Tenet and others, who found no facts to support it.”

And, it appears you end up with another hit piece from the drive-by media about our Vice President. I think I’m going to watch it just to see if there are occasional sound effects of Darth Vader’s breathing.

UPDATE 21:26 from Matthew Sheffield. PBS has also been heavily plugging the show on blogs, both liberal and conservative.