Zealots make bad history
The furor over The Path to 9/11 is just the latest example of how conservatives want to use history to justify their war.
One week, it's World War II, the next, the Civil War, but the wars they don't talk about, Britian's bloody and unpopular Colonial Wars. They never use the history they don't like to explain what is happening.
There is no national committment to Iraq, so to compare it even to Vietnam is a stretch. This is closer to the end of the British colonial period than any American war.
But what I am coming to think is that ABC wasn't sure of what they were being sold. The producers and director have the ability to work around the network suits on a project which wasn't created by them. Bashing Disney was fun, but the roots of this lie in Richard Scaife and his never ending war against the Clintons. That doesn't mean ABC didn't act badly, but I don't think ABC execs realized how much the movie was driven by a dark, malevolent political agenda. The writer and director of the film are movement conservatives, which means they had an agenda and no talent.
They wanted to make a movie which placed most of the blame for 9/11 on Clinton, and not in a theoretical way. They wanted people to believe that Clinton could have killed Osama Bin Laden and refused to. That Madeline Albright, who survived the Nazis, would betray a CIA team to the Pakistanis to protect Osama. The director, David Cunningham and writer Cyrus Nowrasteh were movement conservatives. But not only movement conservatives, but tied to David Horowitz and thus Richard Scaife. They wanted to condemn Clinton on 9/11 in such a way as to cause him great scorn.
They weren't interested in history. They wanted to make a propegandistic film in the guise of history.
Some of the concern trolls are talking about censorship, but that isn't the case.
Take Mississippi Burning. The movie almost ignores blacks to make FBI agents the heroes. Talk about an abuse of history. I mean that's not close to reality, but it passed at the time, and it shouldn't. The FBI infiltrated black groups and blackmailed Martin Luther King.
To claim that the US could have killed Osama Bin Laden, and chose not to, is a lie. If you want to make a film of a historical event, you can't make Omaha Beach casuality free. Twisting history to effect is called historical fiction. It's sold in the fiction section of the bookstore.
What I think they sold ABC was factually based account of 9/11, knowing they would deliver something else and was being clever about it. When ABC was placed under seige, and this was from all corners, from Scholastic, from Apple, from freakin' Disneyland, they were shocked at the response. People cancelled their Disneyland trips over this. A Disneyland trip can cost $1500 easily.
Conservatives have not been able to use the internet for mass action as effectively as the Liberals. Part of that is systemic. Frei Republik will announce a rally a week ahead and get 15 people. The LA protest against Disney was done on the spur of the moment and got 30 people. Conservatives are less likely to engage in mass action on any level.
Which is also what caught ABC by surprise. In the 18 months after the 2004 election, liberals learned to mobilize quickly and effectively. No conservative protest against a network has been as quick or far reaching.
The reason for this is that Nowrasteh and Cunningham wanted to lie about 9/11, which is deeply offensive to people, and the kind of lie doesn't really matter. I don't care if you want to claim an explosion took down the towers or Clinton got blown by Osama, both offend me deeply, because they disrespect the dead.
When you abuse the truth of an event, no matter what it is, you disrespect those who survived it and those who died. Real people died that day, and in the days after. The funerals lasted for a year. For no other reason, the way they died needs to be explained fairly and honestly. And that goes beyond politics for anyone who wasn't a zealot.
In the days after 9/11, the best of America was on display. So why do zealots feel the need to hijack it to make their petty political points?
posted by Steve @ 1:50:00 AM