America Blog has the basic overview of a tv show that distorts the history of 9/11 so intensely that the democratic leadership of the Senate has written a letter of outrage. In the alternate universe of conservative bloggery, David Horowitz's crowd proclaims it an "outstanding" and "epic" piece of work.
Sheldon Rampton at Firedoglake has an excellent and well-researched articlee on the propaganda piece, which gets to the bottom of some of the conservative talking points in the show's current promotion, such as the claim that some on the right are calling it Bush-bashing leftism. Not so, he indicates,
When challenged to explain why the right-wing blogosphere is abuzz with praise for the film, director David Cunningham responded that "we are also being accused of being a left wing movie that bashes Bush" — a claim for which there is absolutely no evidence. I searched Technorati for mentions of the film and found 260 references, mostly from conservative websites, every single one of which had nothing but praise for the film. And although I found numerous examples of conservative pundits and bloggers who reported seeing pre-broadcast screenings, no leftist pundits or bloggers had been given a chance to see it (unless you count Salon.com’s roundup of several 9/11-themed movies).
I'll be asking my students if they watched it. My guess is that they won't have, but despite one commenter at FDL saying that "nobody's going to watch this turkey" my guess is that many will and will come away believing a lot of the inaccuracies. Most Americans don't keep up with the history of events that happened last year, much less back in the 1990s. Everyone thinks there is a "secret truth" behind 9/11. You can't go to a public event in NYC without encountering 9/11 conspiracy theorists. Believe me, people are able to incorporate both the scenes of Clinton mismanagement and Bush intentionality with no cognitive dissonance.
On a certain level...should there be? Is it the job of anti-war and anti-Bush activists to protect Clinton's treatment of Bin Laden in contrast to Bush's? After all, both Bush and Clinton are responsible for maintaining policies that antagonized people in the Middle-East, such as the US bases in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. But recognizing a long term policy continuity doesn't mean that, as the ABC show purports to show, 9/11 is just "Clinton's fault." I'm annoyed by the inconsistancy in the average right winger's view of foreign policy. There seems to be no underlying principle in any of it. Moreover, there's just no debate about the competence issue.
I do remember when Bin Laden first hit the US news, and the main thing that people were saying on the street in my mostly Somalian neighborhood at the time was, "Bin Laden is the CIA's man." Of course most of those folks got crushed during the post-9/11 crackdown because of their immigrant status and their habit of sending money home to relatives....so who knows where that kind of historical memory is now.
I'd say that being suspicious is no guarantee of protection against ABC's fakery. Without a clear way of measuring various pieces of evidence, people do and will believe almost anythiing they see on television news shows or read on the internet. People are both suspicious of everything and willing to believe anything. It makes it hard to come up with a way to talk about anything real at all. All our news has a fantastical quality to it these days. What Larry Beinhart calls "Fog Facts" are around by the hundreds, but instead of paying attention to them, people are concerned instead with glimpsing whatever mystery "truth" some pr flak is handing out on the corner.
and now, time for bed.