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Comments by YACCS
Friday, September 08, 2006

Yank it.

fubar of needlenose

Variety, no link, is saying that ABC might pull The Path to Football.

Pols pound 'Path'
Under fire, ABC mulls yanking mini


The Path to 9/11" is looking a lot like "The Reagans, Part II."

Bill Clinton loyalists are demanding wholesale changes to the upcoming miniseries -- and while ABC is making some snips, the alterations, insiders say, may not please the Dems.

But a bombshell decision may happen anyway: Sources close to the project say the network, which has been in a media maelstrom over the pic, is mulling the idea of yanking the mini altogether.

As for specific criticisms -- and changes -- the original mini contained a scene in which then-National Security Adviser Sandy Berger declines to give the CIA authority to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, even when CIA operatives know where the al-Qaeda leader is.

"This account has been expressly contradicted by Richard Clarke, a high-ranking counterterrorism official in both the Clinton and Bush administrations," certain lawmakers wrote in a letter to Disney topper Bob Iger.

While ABC declined to comment on specific changes, it's believed that the Berger scene was among those being reworked.

Controversy -- fueled by screaming headlines on the Drudge Report and treated as a "developing story" by CNN -- threatened to obscure the Alphabet's attempt to offer what execs there firmly believe is a socially important piece of TV filmmaking in the tradition of "The Day After" and "An Early Frost."

But much in the same way right-wing groups mobilized to attack CBS' "The Reagans" a few years ago, Democratic partisans were doing everything they could to discredit ABC's "The Path to 9/11."

Network hinted it was still making changes but refused to say whether the edits were due to pressure.

The Clinton Foundation issued a statement, broadcast by CNN, calling the mini "factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate," while the Democratic National Committee sent a mass email to its troops denouncing "The Path to 9/11" as a "despicable, irresponsible fraud" and directing them to a Web site where the party has set up a way to let activists email Disney CEO Bob Iger a form letter.

"Does a major national broadcast network want to stain itself by presenting an irresponsible, slanderous, fraudulent, 'docudrama' to the American public? Not if you and I have the last word," begins the email from exec director Tom McMahon.

Four senior Democratic lawmakers also joined the chorus of former Clinton administration officials calling for removal of what they claim are "false assertions of blame" and "partisan spin" in the mini.

Reps. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), John Dingell (Mich.), Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) and Jane Harman (Calif.) have written to Iger saying they have "serious questions" about the dramatization's account of counterterrorism actions -- or inactions -- in the Clinton White House.

The alleged inaccuracies are the subject of complaints that former members of the Clinton administration -- Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger, Bruce Lindsey and Douglas Band -- raised in letters that they sent earlier to ABC and that were the subject of news reports on Thursday.

ABC limited its response to the brouhaha to a single statement arguing its mini "is not a documentary of the events leading to 9/11. It is a dramatization, drawn from a variety of sources including the 9/11 Commission Report, other published materials and personal interviews. As such, for dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue and time compression.

"No one has seen the final version of the film because the editing process is not yet complete, so criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible," the statement continued.

"The attacks of 9/11 were a pivotal moment in our history, and it is fitting that the debate about the events related to the attacks continue. However, we hope viewers will watch the entire broadcast of the finished film before forming an opinion about it."

ABC thought it was limiting controversy by basing its mini on the nonpartisan 9/11 Commission's report and having commission co-chair Tom Kane serve as a producer on the project.

At least one Hollywood producer empathized with ABC, noting the firestorm of criticism is the latest example of partisan groups attempting to use their clout to bully nets and producers into serving up noncontroversial portraits of political and social matters. Even if the Dems are right in their criticism, the producer noted, ABC should be able to air its take.

So can I make a movie which blames praises slavery? ABC has every right to make a movie about 9/11. It doesn't have the right to make a fictional movie and call it fact based. History matters.

Not that I would watch it anyway. Simpsons, Manning Bowl, are my priority. I don't watch 9/11 stuff anyway. But this is spitting on the graves of the dead, like all the bullshit 9/11 conspiracy theories.

posted by Steve @ 10:12:00 AM

10:12:00 AM

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