ABC has issued a number of different, even conflicting statements as it has promoted -- and subsequently defended -- the miniseries The Path to 9/11.
Various news media have uncritically reported ABC's statement that criticism of The Path to 9/11 is "premature and irresponsible," because the film has not yet been finalized, even though the network reportedly said the previous week that the film was "locked and ready to air," screened the film at the National Press Club, and has provided preview copies to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and a number of right-wing bloggers.
During the September 7 editions of MSNBC News Live, MSNBC anchors made a series of misleading or baseless claims while reporting on the controversy surrounding ABC's two-part miniseries The Path to 9/11.
In offering his analysis of President Bush's announcement that 14 terrorism detainees once held at secret prisons had been transferred to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, CBS' Bob Schieffer ignored the politics behind Bush's move. Overlooking the fact that Bush was in no way obligated to make this announcement -- which apparently was timed for maximum political impact -- when he did, Schieffer claimed that Bush had "no choice" but to go to Congress now and request the authority to try the detainees. In stating that there was "no doubt" that Congress will grant Bush that authority, Schieffer ignored the criticism raised by three prominent Senate Republicans of Bush's proposed system for trying terrorism suspects.
On Tucker, Tucker Carlson falsely claimed that when CBS chose not to air 2003 biopic The Reagans, he had "sort of agreed" that the move constituted "censorship," just as he now argues that it will be "censorship" if ABC is pressured into not running The Path to 9/11.
ABC Entertainment released a statement regarding its "docudrama" The Path to 9/11 stating that "[n]o one has seen the final version of the film ... so criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible." But ABC reportedly screened the film at the National Press Club and provided preview copies to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and a number of right-wing bloggers.
Fox News anchors and commentators seized upon a Washington Post editorial falsely asserting that the revelation that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the original source for syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak's column exposing CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity disproved the notion of a coordinated effort within the White House to discredit former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, using the occasion to repeat a host of false claims about the CIA leak case.
New York Times and Associated Press reports about ABC's miniseries The Path to 9/11 described former New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean, chairman of the 9-11 Commission, as a "senior consultant" for the film. But while both articles noted that Kean has defended the miniseries from those who have criticized its reported falsehoods, neither addressed whether Kean has been paid in his role as a consultant and promoter of the film.
Investigative reporter Ron Suskind's new book, The One Percent Doctrine, includes numerous significant revelations regarding the White House's handling of the terrorism threat, but news outlets have largely ignored the compelling and relevant questions raised by Suskind's disclosures.
In coverage of President Bush's September 5 speech, during which he stated that the United States will not tolerate nations that "harbor" terrorists, CBS' Evening News with Katie Couric, NBC's Nightly News and Fox News' Special Report all ignored reports from the same day that purported U.S. ally Pakistan has signed a "peace deal" with local tribes reported to be allied with the Taliban and Al Qaeda, agreeing that it will cease military operations against them.