Again ignoring numerous falsehoods, NY Times falsely suggested that only Clinton administration officials objected to ABC's Path to 9/11

››› ››› BRIAN LEVY

A New York Times article stated, "In 2006 ABC made changes to 'The Path to 9/11' after complaints from former Clinton administration officials that it portrayed them as less than vigilant in their pursuit of Osama bin Laden." But the article did not note that, despite editing, the final version of the ABC miniseries still included several fabricated scenes, falsehoods, and sharp discrepancies between its account of certain events and the findings laid out in the 9-11 Commission's report.

In a May 14 article about the upcoming HBO film Recount, New York Times writer Edward Wyatt reported, "In 2006 ABC made changes to 'The Path to 9/11' after complaints from former Clinton administration officials that it portrayed them as less than vigilant in their pursuit of Osama bin Laden," but did not note that, despite editing, the final version of the ABC miniseries still included several fabricated scenes, falsehoods, and sharp discrepancies between its account of certain events and the findings laid out in the 9-11 Commission's report. Indeed, Wyatt himself wrote in a September 18, 2006, Times article: "It's little wonder that ABC's mini-series 'The Path to 9/11' drew stinging criticism earlier this month for its invented scenes, fabricated dialogue and unsubstantiated accounts of how the Clinton and [George W.] Bush administrations conducted themselves in the years encompassing the World Trade Center attacks of 1993 and 2001." These falsehoods and discrepancies have been noted by Media Matters for America and numerous others.

In mentioning only "complaints from former Clinton administration officials" -- and not actual falsehoods in the movie -- the May 14 article repeated the Times' 2006 suggestion that criticism of the movie was leveled exclusively by former Clinton officials upset at their portrayal in the film. In fact, the film was criticized for its falsehoods regarding both the Clinton and the Bush administrations' handling of the terrorist threat by people from across the political spectrum, including journalists and participants in the film's production as well as a number of conservative commentators, as Media Matters has documented.

From Wyatt's May 14 New York Times article:

As many dramatizations do, "Recount" includes invented scenes and dialogue. Danny Strong, who wrote the screenplay, said in an interview that while those inventions condensed events, they reflect what actually happened. "The film tries to give the essence of the truth," he said, and is based on his own research and interviews, as well as on books and newspaper and magazine articles documenting the recount effort.

Dramatizations of historical events, particularly political ones, have frequently given trouble to writers and producers trying to create compelling entertainment. In 2006 ABC made changes to "The Path to 9/11" after complaints from former Clinton administration officials that it portrayed them as less than vigilant in their pursuit of Osama bin Laden. CBS dropped plans to show "The Reagans," a 2003 mini-series, after Republican and conservative groups protested its portrayal of President Reagan as forgetful and unsympathetic to AIDS victims. (The series was broadcast on Showtime.)

"Recount," which has been screened for invited audiences in Washington and New York and will be shown in Florida this week, is inspiring similar protests.

Posted In
Government, National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
The New York Times
Stories/Interests
The Path to 9/11, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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