In its miniseries The Path to 9-11, ABC retained a controversial scene that depicts Clinton administration officials declining to authorize the CIA to capture Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, despite the fact that the scene is contradicted by the 9-11 Commission report, on which the network originally claimed the film was based.
Hosts on CNN, ABC, and Fox News failed to raise key issues while interviewing Thomas H. Kean about his role as a senior consultant to the ABC's The Path to 9/11 -- specifically, the terms of his arrangement with ABC and the possible benefit of Kean's high-profile promotion of the conservative-skewed miniseries to the campaign of his namesake son, who is running as a Republican for a Senate seat in New Jersey.
In conjunction with ABC miniseries The Path to 9/11, Scholastic and ABC have released a "Discussion Guide for the Classroom" aimed at high school teachers nationwide to "[e]ncourage your students and their families to watch The Path to 9/11 and use the accompanying" discussion guide as part of their lesson plan. A Media Matters for America review of the material finds it to be rife with conservative misinformation.
In anticipation of ABC's docudrama The Path to 9/11, the right-wing media have resurrected a debunked claim that attempts to place blame for the 9-11 attacks on the Clinton administration. Specifically, a review of the miniseries on the right-wing website Human Events Online asserted that the Clinton administration erected a "wall" to prevent information-sharing between government agencies. In fact, the "wall" long predated Bill Clinton's presidency.
Interviewing Laura Bush on ABC's Good Morning America, Robin Roberts allowed Laura Bush to dismiss a New York Times article documenting the widespread view that President Bush's handling of Hurricane Katrina has adversely affected his image.
On ABC's This Week, George Will misrepresented a reported scientific breakthrough that would allow scientists to grow embryonic stem-cell lines without destroying the embryo. Will dismissed the finding, stating, "[I]n fact, it isn't true. All 16 embryos involved in this were destroyed." However, in making the assertion, Will conflated two issues: whether embryonic cells can be removed without destroying the embryo and whether stem-cell lines could be created from those cells. The first is well established; it was the second that ACT announced.
Various print and television news outlets discussing a House report of U.S. intelligence on Iran characterized the report as "bipartisan" without noting that it was primarily written by Republican staff members and came under criticism from House Democrats.
In recent days, media figures have touted, as an example of his self-styled "straight talk," Sen. John McCain's August 22 criticism of the Bush administration's overly optimistic rhetoric on the war in Iraq. However, these media figures not only overlooked McCain's own optimistic forecasts as the war began in 2003; they also ignored his recent defense of the White House against criticism that President Bush has mischaracterized the situation on the ground there.