What's this all about?
ABC/Disney plans to memorialize the fifth anniversary of 9/11 with a fictional docudrama called "The Path to 9/11". Written by an avowed right-wing activist, this work of fiction directly contradicts the accepted record of the 9/11 Commission Report. President Clinton and former administration officials were denied an advance copy; Rush Limbaugh and obscure right-wing bloggers saw it last week. ABC plans to distribute this docudrama to 100,000 educators across the country. We've set up this site to encourage ABC to change its strategy. READ MORE.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Leading Historians Call For Cancellation of "Fraudulent" ABC 9/11 Docudrama

Dear Robert Iger:

We write as professional historians, who are deeply concerned by the continuing reports about ABC's scheduled broadcast of "The Path to 9/11." These reports document that this drama contains numerous flagrant falsehoods about critical events in recent American history. The key participants and eyewitnesses to these events state that the script distorts and even fabricates evidence into order to mislead viewers about the responsibility of numerous American officials for allegedly ignoring the terrorist threat before 2000.

The claim by the show's producers, broadcaster, and defenders, that these falsehoods are permissible because the show is merely a dramatization, is disingenuous and dangerous given their assertions that the show is also based on authoritative historical evidence. Whatever ABC's motivations might be, broadcasting these falsehoods, connected to the most traumatic historical event of our times, would be a gross disservice to the public. A responsible broadcast network should have nothing to do with the falsification of history, except to expose it. We strongly urge you to halt the show's broadcast and prevent misinforming Americans about their history.

Sincerely,
Arthur Schlesinger
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University
Michael Kazin, Georgetown University
Lizbeth Cohen, Harvard University,
Nicholas Salvatore, Cornell University;
Ted Widmer, Washington College;
Rick Perlstein, Independent Scholar;
David Blight, Yale University;
Eric Alterman, City University of New York;
Beverly Gage, Yale University.
(List in formation)

The scheduling of the docudrama has raised a firestorm of criticism from educators, congressional leaders and former President Bill Clinton. For additional information on the controversy and the opposition from leading Americans, please check: openlettertoabc.blogspot.com, and thinkprogress.org, and www.firedoglake.com.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think what they're trying to do is to take the fact the specific scenes portrayed were fictional and to try to refute the underlying reality that the Clinton administration just didn't get it. And by the way, before 9/11 neither did the Bush administration," - 9/11 Commissioner John Lehman. I have no idea why the Clinton administration should get a pass in dithering while a mortal threat gathered in the 1990s. I hope ABC stands firm.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Shaun McDonnell said...

If the Bush Administration had tried to shutdown "Fahrenheit 9/11" democrats and liberals would've called for impeachments hearings and demanding his resignation for interfering with freedom of speech.

Granted, conservatives were up in arms about the film, but the administration never got involved.

This has proved to America (in my opinion) that the Clinton administration is guilty of something here.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Ada said...

Disney/ABC has alledgedly created a monster here for political purposes. Presenting lies for history is an old ploy, but I am very glad people across our nation are pulling Disney/ABC's covers for this attempt to distort history.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uhhh the neocons DID try to shut Farenheit 9/11 down. Moore was factually accurate or did I not see Bush holding hands with a Saudi Royal on the news after that.

The Repugs are trying to control the media and succeeding. Textbook authoritarianism as John Dean put it (or is he a liberal too).

3:04 PM  
Blogger Scott Frederick Mayhew said...

This situation is quite a bit different than if Bush had tried to censor Fahrenheit 9/11.

First off, Farhenheit 9/11 wasn't portrayed as an objective account by a major news corporation. It was an obvious editorial, which most anyone who has an IQ above 12 could figure out, and it was available to see in movie theaters - not on public television. On the other hand, the Path to 9/11 is purportedly based on the 9/11 commission report, which would give it a certain level of objective credibilty since the panel that wrote that report was so politically diverse. But associating it with the 9/11 report is simply misleading, since it strays far from what was published.

The fact that this supposedly historical presentation of the lead up to 9/11 contains a number of made up scenes, most of which are designed to portray president Clinton as apathetic to Usama bin Laden, shows that there are underlying polical motivations (Oh yeah, its writers are conservative activists as well). Thus, many people who are concerned about preserving historically accuracy are up in arms about these distortions. I think if there was a docudrama in which Christopher Columbus called Queen Elizabeth on a cell phone to tell her he discovered the Indies, historians would also have a right to complain. Claiming that UBL was in the CIA's sites and Sandy Berger said to let him go is entirely inaccurate as well.

Basically, the writers of this script should have been as diverse politically as the commissioners of the 9/11 report. To have a few of the Blame-Clinton-First crowd producing this movie leaves the public with fanatically biased version of the past, and will leave even more people in this country confused about basic historical truths.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous JaneQPublic said...

This is the best news! When leading historians tell the world your production is "out to lunch" you'd best listen.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Censorship is better than presenting this as a docu-drama?

5:47 AM  
Blogger JRB said...

Widmer is wicked awesome!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Add the Real History Archives and Progressive Historians to the list of sites opposing this special and working to get the word out.

To deliberately misrepresent an event that killed so many and is so politically charged is outrageous and absolutely worthy of condemnation.

10:48 AM  
Blogger wss@jefound.org said...

The value of the ABC work is to generate interest in the search for the truth.

The next focus should be on the BYU review of Prof. Stephen E. Jones.

William Sumner Scott, J.D.
Judicial Equality Foundation, Inc.
wss@jefound.org

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who now remembers Clinton's sending cruise missles after Osama? Who now remembers the Republican reaction claiming his attempt to take out the leader of AlQueda was just political posturing? Republicans were more interested in sticking it to Clinton than in the possibility of real terrorism. Had the Republicans let Clinton do his duty as Commander and Chief perhaps Osama would not be around today at all.

9:56 AM  
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7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the best news! When leading historians tell the world your production is "out to lunch" you'd best listen.
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1:19 AM  
Blogger madhu said...

This is the best news, Thanks!
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4:07 AM  

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