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The Cheese Stands Alone

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(Graphics luv to Jesus General.)

Can someone explain to me how a movie which is purportedly based on and written based on the 9/11 Commission report can justify its star having to fact check his own lines?  Or the director of the film paging through the report to justify scenes as written?  (H/T to reader *xyz)

Meanwhile, sources on the set told The Post that during filming there were arguments over the veracity of the content.

That legitimacy problem, they said, was exacerbated by the fact that no experts were on hand to get things straight.

When Oscar nominee Harvey Keitel signed on to play Deputy FBI Director John O’Neill, who perished in the World Trade Center attacks, he thought the film’s aim was to be historically correct, he said.

"It turned out not all the facts were correct," which led to "arguments," he said on CNN.

Virtually from Day 1 of shooting, "Keitel put his own researcher on the case," looking to correct historical, character and other inaccuracies he found in the script, said John Dondertman, a production designer on the film.

That led to Keitel rewriting most of his own lines – which in turn meant almost daily revisions for cast members who had scenes with him.

A particular point of contention was a scene in which O’Neill, observing reams of Arabic documents, asks his assistant, "Do we have Arab translators?" only to be told, "I don’t know of any. I’ll call around."

"Keitel couldn’t understand why the FBI didn’t have Arabic translators, so the dialogue was changed on the spot," said a script supervisor.

On one occasion, Keitel holed up in his hotel for an entire day with director David Cunningham revising the script.

Other times, Cunningham would "fumble through the 9/11 Commission book trying to figure out how to correct details Keitel called into question," said the script supervisor.

The SCRIPT SUPERVISOR said this to the NYPost?!?  No one talks about this sort of thing in Hollywood — ever.  That is HUGE.  Keitel is speaking up, and now the script supervisor.  The director and writer are running around giving interviews to college newspapers in their own defense, after sending out pre-screeners to right wingnuts to play CYA in case ABC/Disney required edits?

Half-assed, sloppy, unprofessional, biased…and those are just the first four words that spring to mind.  You know what would make me happy?  Putting Joe Conason on for an hour or two before the damn thing ever starts to talk about each and every detail of smarm has been involved in the making of this craptastic festival of truthiness.  (Not holding my breath.)

ABC/Disney has put its ass out there all on its own volition.  Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face — that’s gonna be one helluva Disney shareholders meeting next time, isn’t it?

(And for folks who need some amusement, Jesus General has a video that is worth a peek.  Luv it [heterosexually speaking, of course].)

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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