Discussing The Path to 9/11, Limbaugh baselessly questioned 9-11 Commission report, smeared Clinton administration

››› ››› ANDREW IRONSIDE & BRIAN LEVY

Two days after Rush Limbaugh used the 9-11 Commission report to defend ABC's miniseries, The Path to 9/11, he questioned the accuracy of the commission's report, asking, "[W]ho says the 9-11 Commission is infallible?"

On the September 7 and 8 editions of his nationally syndicated radio program, during a discussion of The Path to 9/11 -- a two-part miniseries about events leading up to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that reportedly contains outright falsehoods and distortions -- Rush Limbaugh questioned the accuracy of the 9-11 Commission report, despite previously citing the report in defense of The Path to 9/11. While discussing the fact that he had been given an advance copy of the film, Limbaugh mocked former Clinton administration officials who have complained they were not allowed to see a preview of the film before it is scheduled to air. Limbaugh declared: "Did bin Laden get a copy?" He further asserted that a "docudrama on the Clinton presidency" would have to be "X-rated."

On the September 5 edition of his radio show, as Media Matters for America noted, Limbaugh used the 9-11 Commission report to defend The Path to 9/11, saying, "I think the thing that struck me the most about the film -- and, by the way, I should tell you, [The Path to 9/11 writer and co-producer] Cyrus Nowrasteh, who wrote it, says he bases this on the 9-11 Commission report. And in the opening credits, it ... mentions this. And quite a lot of the movie does come from ... the 9-11 Commission report." However, two days later, Limbaugh said: "[T]he 9-11 Commission report, for example, says, well, some of these things didn't happen the way they were portrayed in the movie. How do they know that? Are they relying on Clinton administration people to tell them? And if so, were the Clinton administration people lying then?" The next day, Limbaugh again asked, "[W]hy in the world are we going to believe the Clinton administration? And who says the 9-11 Commission is infallible?" Limbaugh then alleged that the miniseries was based upon "somebody out there who knows what really happened and I'll bet they can't come forward ... because of a whole bunch of reasons: propriety, security, anonymity, and this sort of thing."

On September 7, Limbaugh discussed how Nowrasteh promised "he'd send me a copy of it when it was done" and how Limbaugh was able to watch his advance copy on his own schedule: "I watched part of it on the airplane, but the closed captioning wasn't working on the airplane. I couldn't hear it well. So, when I got home ... I did it on Tuesday." However, discussing how ABC has reportedly refused to make The Path to 9/11 available to former President Clinton and other former Clinton administration officials, Limbaugh declared: "[Former Secretary of State Madeleine] Albright didn't get one. [Former national security adviser Samuel] "Sandy" [Berger] Burglar didn't get one. [Former National Security Council counterterrorism coordinator] Richard Clarke didn't get one. ... Did bin Laden get a copy? I'll bet ABC forgot him. Didn't get his input here. Did they send one to Ayman al-Zawahiri?"

Finally, on September 8, Limbaugh said: "You could have, you could have a whole docudrama on the Clinton presidency, but unfortunately, it would have to be written as a sitcom if it weren't so serious -- an X-rated movie or what have you."

From the September 5 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: As I say, I don't know if Clinton even called [Disney president and CEO Robert] Iger. And I'll tell you, if he did, I can't imagine Disney changing this thing, given all this attention. Plus, they had to pre-approve it, in order to get it done. They had to see the script after it was done and finished. They had to clear it for air. So, I -- I think it'd be a real storm if -- if Democrats were able to get this thing changed.

I think the thing that struck me the most about the film -- and by the way, I should tell you, Cyrus Nowrasteh, who wrote it, says he bases this on the 9-11 Commission report. And in the opening credits, it -- it mentions this. And quite a lot of the movie does come from the 9-11 report -- the 9-11 Commission report.

From the September 7 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: Now, I'm going to tell you something. They can talk about all they want about how Sandy Burglar's been misrepresented, but we know that the Clinton administration tried to stack the deck. And why do we believe their denials? This is an administration that got by obfuscating the truth. This is an administration that did its best to cover up the truth, especially about Bill Clinton himself. Why in the world are we just prepared to say that their denials are -- are -- are -- are factually incorrect?

How do we know -- the 9-11 Commission report, for example, says, well, some of these things didn't happen the way they were portrayed in the movie. How do they know that? Are they relying on Clinton administration people to tell them? And if so, were the Clinton administration people lying then? At what point did we stop having doubt about the honesty of people in that administration and all of a sudden start accepting that they are clean and pure as the wind-driven snow? When in fact their arguments about this and their effort, the effort is more powerful than the argument -- that they want this movie pulled, and the whole Democratic Party establishment is part of it, they want this movie pulled?

[...]

LIMBAUGH: What is it with you liberals? Bunch of narcissists. Everything is about you. Watch the movie. "ABC didn't send" -- ABC didn't send me a copy, either. I'm watching, reading all this stuff in the news about how ABC sent all these -- this thing was first screened in front of a mixed audience of Democrats and Republicans in Washington, D.C. [Former 9-11 Commission member] Richard Ben-Veniste was in the crowd. He didn't like it. I told you what happened at this thing. They're trying to rewrite history even now. They're saying they haven't been allowed to see it. They certainly have. And it's the fact that they've seen it that's caused them to go -- you know what else is driving them nuts? You know, and this is -- this is just amazing.

What's really driving 'em nuts is -- is that I have said on the radio that I know the guy who wrote it. That's in every story. "And Rush Limbaugh, who knows Cyrus Nowrasteh" -- Well, that automatically -- that fires up the libs; that fires up the Clinton people and automatically discredits the work of the writer. Well, I didn't write it. I didn't talk to Cyrus when he was writing it. Well, I did -- he did tell me that he was working on this movie a long time ago, and he'd send me a copy of it when it was done. A long time, I -- it slipped my mind until all this came up, until this screening in Washington.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Remember, this is not ABC News doing this. This is the ABC Entertainment division. And I think -- let me put it to you this way, folks. You're hearing all these charges that things in this movie didn't happen. Do you think that ABC would buy and spend 40 million -- that's Hollywood money, movie money -- you think -- you think ABC would buy and spend $40 million to produce something, and then have the chairman of the 9-11 Commission on as a consultant to get it right, and not vet this, and not run this by lawyers? And not run -- they -- they obviously felt it was great -- it is. It's -- you know, we're getting sidetracked here on the primary aspect of this. It is -- it's intense. It is really, really well done.

And I have to tell you something -- you know, I don't -- wouldn't want you to take this the wrong way. Time does not fly in this -- this is not like a great entertainment movie where it's over before you even realized it started. This is intense. You live this. I mean, this -- this is something that -- when I -- I watched all five hours at once. Because I, you know, I watched part of it on the airplane, but the closed captioning wasn't working on the airplane. I couldn't hear it well. So, when I got home -- and I did this -- what was this? Yeah, I did it on Tuesday. I can't remember -- we didn't work on Monday -- might have been Monday I did it, Labor Day. No. Yes. Yes, Labor Day. So, I think I watched five hours all at once.

And I'm telling you what, it was -- it's an intense experience, and it's got so much value -- historical dramatic value, here. I -- for the Clinton people to go hog-wild here and not want anybody to see this just convinces me that as far as their narcissistic minds are concerned, everything's still about them. And nothing could be further from the truth, especially now, in 2006. They're history.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: Just one more thing on this Path to 9/11 stuff. I keep thinking of things. I'm -- in fact, I'm getting close to disavowing any knowledge of Cyrus Nowrasteh and giving him permission to say we never met and that I've been lying about all this all along just to make myself look big to sort of take the heat off of him. But, at any rate, the Clintonoids all upset that they didn't get advance copies of The Path to 9/11. Albright didn't get one. Sandy Burglar didn't get one. Richard Clarke didn't get one.

So what? When do they ever? Did George W. Bush get a copy? Did Condoleezza Rice get a copy, in advance? Did bin Laden get a copy? I bet ABC forgot him. Didn't get his input here. Did they send one to Ayman al-Zawahiri? Now that we know where Sheikh -- Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is, maybe they should have sent him one to get his reaction on how he's portrayed in this, hmm? Did Gerald Ford get an advance copy? Did Jimmy Carter get an advance copy? Did the Reagan family get an advance copy?

What is it with you Clinton people? The world resolves around you? See, the fact that they think they should have gotten an advance copy means that they think that there is a right-wing conspiracy inside of ABC to shaft them just because I got a copy; because I know Bob Iger; because I know Cyrus Nowrasteh. Well, I don't hear anybody else complaining. I don't hear the Bush people complaining. I don't hear Condoleezza Rice complaining. I don't hear bin Laden complaining. I don't hear Zawahiri complaining. I don't hear any of the terrorists in this movie complaining that they weren't allowed to see it in advance, even though a whole room full of Democrat activists did see it.

From the September 8 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: You could have -- you could have a whole docudrama on the Clinton presidency, but unfortunately, it would have to be written as a sitcom if it weren't so serious -- an X-rated movie or what have you.

[...]

LIMBAUGH: The -- the question that I have -- the -- why in the world are we going to believe the Clinton administration? And who says the 9-11 Commission is infallible? The people who put this movie, they -- well, I shouldn't even have to say this -- the people that -- that put this movie together probably have a whole bunch of sources telling them things. And I'll bet you, there is somebody out there who knows what really happened, and I'll bet they can't come forward. Well, I bet they can't come forward because of a whole bunch of reasons: propriety, security, anonymity, and this sort of thing.

Network/Outlet
Premiere Radio Networks
Person
Rush Limbaugh
Show/Publication
The Rush Limbaugh Show
Stories/Interests
The Path to 9/11, Attacks on Bill Clinton, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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