The front page of ABC's website has gone mysteriously dark on "The Path to 9/11" -- my browser shows a big blank square, right up at the top of the page, above a link labelled "Watch A Sneak Peek" that goes nowhere. But the creators' blog is still up! I haven't seen anyone link to this yet, but it's a gem; the entries grow more and more hysterical, beginning with CLARIFICATION ("This is not a documentary...This is not a right wing agenda movie...") and proceeding through FURTHER CLARAFICATION [sic] to EVEN FURTHER CLARIFICATION, which breaks down into a raving, paragraph-less mess. Just one excerpt:
"To make a movie of this size and budget requires many people to sign off on it. One person's "agenda" (if anyone should have one) is not enough to influence a movie to one's individual politics when a far broader creative and political consensus is an inherent part of the process. And the consensus that emerged over and over during development, production and post production is that we tried, as best we can, based on 9/11 Commission Report and numerous other sources and advisors, to present an accurate and honest account of the events leading to 9/11."
So no one had an agenda, and if anyone did, it would have been overwhelmed by the consensus, which is that we all did a great job. Done!
After this entry, dated September 2nd, the blog breaks off...presumably at the advice of lawyers and/or top corporate officers. But that didn't stop the comments . They were supposedly moderated (and seem to have also been shut off, a day or two ago)...but if these are the ones they let through, I can't imagine what they stopped:
"If ABC decides to show this propaganda, I will join a boycott of ABC and the sponsors."
"Just trust you, huh? Brain-dead Crapotainment like this is a perfect example of what's wrong with American television."
"If anything 'smells of agenda' it's your thinly-veiled propaganda film!"
The creators beg us to "watch the film" before judging. Now, let's pretend this isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card designed to boost ratings...the fact is that ABC provided advance copies to right-wing bloggers and commentators, and no one else. Among the slighted: a former President of the United States whose reputation may be damaged by the lies in the film, and who is very publicly considering legal action.
ABC/Disney is in a very, very bad spot over this. If they pull the film, they'll piss off Congressional Republicans, who've done them a lot of favors in the past. If they don't, they'll piss off Congressional Democrats...who may very well take control of the House this fall. And they're open to lawsuits on a number of fronts.
I'm actually heartened by the whole thing. Even if this airs -- in violation of all ethics, taste, and legal sense -- it'll make the networks very, very skittish about being Karl Rove's tools during the rest of the election season.
- Streaky the Super-Cat appears by special request of SuperFrankenstein himself. -