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Update below 

Despite the vociferous and righteous public outcry against ABC’s "Path to 9/11" docudrama, it still appears that Disney honcho Robert Iger is choosing to air a politicized and inaccurate account of our great American tragedy. This travesty of a film, which is being fronted by only the Republican 9/11 Commission co-chair Thomas Kean (who’s now making money off that role as paid consultant on this project), was initiated by Loren and David Cunningham and their right-wing Christian missionary group (YWAM) in tandem with its auxiliary arm, The Film Institute, and promoted by uber-wingnut David Horowitz.  The Center for Popular Culture, Horowitz’s LA-based group, announced two years ago that it would launch a widespread PR campaign to blame Bill Clinton for the 9/11 attacks. Read more at Seeingtheforest:

According to Max Blumenthal at Huffington Post, Republican strategist (and Karl Rove friend) David Horowitz was involved from the start in ABC’s Path to 9/11 smear blaming Clinton for 9/11. This is significant because Horowitz has been involved for some time in a strategic PR effort to shift blame for 9/11 from Bush to Clinton. According to a Feb. 26, 2002 story in O’Dwyer’s PR Daily, titled "PR CAMPAIGN BLAMES CLINTON FOR SEPT. 11 ATTACKS",

The Center for the Study of Popular Culture, in Los Angeles, has begun a PR campaign to pin the blame of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the Clinton Administration.

The Center has mailed copies of David Horowitz’s new pamphlet entitled "How the Left Undermined America’s Security," to about 1,500 media outlets on Feb. 19. Horowitz is president of the Center.

The 46-page pamphlet charges that the U.S. national security interests were undermined by the left, leading to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11

Joe Conason has been reporting on this blame-Clinton-for-9/11 cabal since 2002, and you can get more background here. (sorry about the ad)

Disney/ABC’s blatant refusal to honor the requests of the citizens of this country–from the left and the right–should serve as a wake-up call for all Americans to look closely at what has become of our media, and most importantly, to our publicly-licensed airwaves, off which Mr. Iger and his conglomerate ilk make billions. The American public–led by the progressive blogs and progressive membership groups, then media, then even conservatives–came together to call out ABC over their irresponsible disregard for the integrity of our national memory concerning events that led to the attacks on 9/11. But this effort has fallen on deaf ears. Iger even thinks he’s above the reproach of the 9/11 Families!

September 9, 2006

Dear Mr. Iger,

I have seen the advertisements for and read the press coverage of ABC’s film, “The Path to 9/11,” that your network plans to air this Sunday and Monday to coincide with the fifth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.  I am writing to express my concern and deep reservations about this film and to ask you, out of respect for the victims of 9/11 and their families, not to air it.

My wife worked for the Walt Disney Corporation and was a victim of the terrorist attacks as a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11.  I have great respect for you and your company and I know that you must have worked hard to make a good film.  Admittedly, I have not seen it.  However, accounts from those who have suggest that it contains inaccurate and invented scenes.  It seems to me that fictionalizing this tragedy does not honor the memory of those who were lost on September 11th.

Given the gravity of this event for our nation and the personal loss I suffered, I believe it is critically important that we do everything possible to prevent another 9/11.  That begins with making sure that we are united in our understanding of what we could have done better in the years, months and weeks leading up to the attacks of 2001.  I am deeply concerned that Americans will watch this film and not fully understand or be led to misunderstand the true history of this tragedy.

I feel the 9/11 Commission Report was a correct and very responsible accounting of the terrorist attacks of 2001.  Since “The Path to 9/11” deviates from this report in key instances, I strongly and respectfully urge you not to air this film.


John Beug

We must take the energy and awareness created over the last week and funnel it into meaningful ways of taking back control of OUR media. Yes, we must organize boycotts of Disney and ABC, and keep up the pressure. We must demand that ABC give equal time to critics of "Path to 9/11." We can propose programming with historians and investigators, and those who were there as a counter-balance in the coming weeks. We must push ABC News to bring a balanced account of the controversy over their network’s Path to Shame (h/t LATimes). We must do all of these things, but more importantly, we must step back and look at the big picture concerning the need for reform of our whorish corporate media.

It is time for America to join a concerted media reform movement, so the Igers of this world are kept in check. Please visit the sites below and see the hard work these organizations are doing. Join their lists. Donate money. Offer your knowledge and talents to their tremendouse efforts to save our democracy through media reform.

Free Press


Media Matters


Center for Media and Democracy

With the help of MediaChannel, we can also offer an alternative to ABC’s Path to Shame on Sunday and Monday nights. Director David Olson tells me they will offer up, for free viewing, the entire film "9/11 Press for Truth," which was just released this week. Without $40 million in corporate backing, this film needs the support of the netroots to help provide a balance to ABC’s airbrushing of history. The filmmakers deserve our support, as they’ve done the hard work of bringing to the screen the voices of the 9/11 families, and synthesized more than 7000 media reports with the help of Paul Thompson, author of The Complete 9/11 Timeline. Let’s do all we can to get the netroots driving traffic to MediaChannel this weekend to watch this movie.

On Monday, in Washington, DC, the "9/11 Press for Truth" filmmakers and the 9/11 families will hold a press conference at the National Press Club, too, launching a campaign calling for a new investigation. Tell the media to go! From the film’s producers:

Polls now show that a majority of Americans support a new investigation. “Once again,” says producer Kyle Hence, “the 9/11 families will play a crucial role in galvanizing the public’s will to confront a combative administration, a pliant Congress and an apathetic media corps that has studiously avoided dealing with countervailing facts, inconvenient evidence and excessive secrecy. The message these families bring must be heard, loud and clear. They deserve answers.”

A lobbying campaign calling for a new investigation will be launched on September 5th, the day of DVD release, and continue into the week of September 11th, during which every member of Congress will receive a copy of the documentary.

Given the damage Thomas Kean has now done to the bi-partisan excuse for an effort that is the 9/11 Commission Report, I agree more than ever before that we need a full and independent investigation into what really happened, so I salute these "Press for Truth" folks’ efforts whole-heartedly.

But let’s not stop at just watching their movie and promoting it to the netroots and media. Just as Scholastic is providing lesson plans, based on "Path to 9/11" to 100,000 teachers around the country, let’s come up with our own campaign to get "Press for Truth" into the schools, too.

Let’s call on National Education Association president Reg Weaver and his 3.2 million members to get the word out to all our public schools. The NEA could provide toolkits online to teachers based on this film, so that kids can compare and contrast ABC’s fraud with real reporting. Perhaps the good folks at Center for Media and Democracy, including Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, can help to create the lesson plans that the NEA could offer.

And Steve Jobs: Why don’t you stand up and do the right thing here, too? Get your Apple folks to pay these hardworking "Press for Truth" filmmakers some money for the rights to provide free downloads via ipods–and market the hell out of that effort, too, please. Afterall, how much did you pay Disney/ABC for the rights to pawn off "Path to 9/11" to ipod owners?

Folks, we only learned about this whole mess last Friday, and we’ve done a tremendous job organizing and getting the word out to people. I don’t want to see that energy dissipate. Let’s find ways, as we keep the pressure on Disney/ABC, to fight the larger battle of media reform, and to reward filmmakers who are trying so hard to get the truth out.

You with me?

Aravosis is suggesting another great action, regarding American Airlines, over at Americablog today.

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Jennifer Nix

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