FLASHBACK: ABC Reminiscence Holes ‘The Path to 9/11’


Most broadcast channels would love the form of publicity “The Path to 9/11” acquired previous to its debut.

Watch out what you want for, although.

The 2-part ABC miniseries impressed a popular culture firestorm within the days earlier than its Sept. 10 2006 launch. The challenge chronicled the occasions main as much as the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults, together with the selections made — and never made — by the Clinton administration.

The most important bone of competition for critics? The challenge confirmed how then-President Invoice Clinton had an opportunity to take out terrorist Osama bin Laden however didn’t.

That sparked a livid response from Group Clinton officers, together with former Nationwide Safety Adviser Sandy Berger and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. A bunch of Democratic Senators urged ABC’s broadcast license hung within the steadiness if it aired the movie.

It’s a chilling precursor of right this moment’s popular culture panorama, the place basic movies are slapped with trigger warnings and materials deemed “problematic” is both attacked or dropped before a single day of production.

That doesn’t embrace the rising menace of Cancel Tradition, a deeply un-American pattern rising in energy within the wake of the George Floyd riots and protests.

ABC went forward with the 2006 broadcast of “The Path to 9/11” … with a number of circumstances. The 2-part occasion aired with out commercials, endured a recent spherical of edits and featured a disclaimer explaining creative license for the uninitiated:

“for dramatic and narrative functions, the film accommodates fictionalized scenes, composite and consultant characters and dialogue, in addition to time compression.”

The film drew robust scores, earned seven Emmy nominations (and one win) and went into hibernation. The general public hasn’t had an opportunity to revisit it since then, past a 2011 presentation by the American Freedom Alliance.

The challenge’s defenders level to Disney CEO Bob Iger’s robust Democratic ties for the elimination. Journalist John Ziegler created a documentary concerning the movie’s destiny, dubbed “Blocking ‘The Path to 9/11.

“The Path to 9/11” screenwriter, Cyrus Nowrasteh, laments ABC’s resolution to reminiscence gap the challenge.

“It’s nonetheless the only banned film in America, banned by the corporate that made it as a consequence of political strain,” Nowrasteh informed this reporter 4 years in the past. He additionally contends the movie is crucial of each the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Extra lately, the author/director expressed little hope the scenario will change any time soon.

“It’s useless and buried so long as Bob Iger is working Disney,” stated Nowrasteh whereas selling his new film, “Infidel,” starring “The Ardour of the Christ” actor Jim Caviezel.

“The Path to 9/11’s” destiny issues.

Nearly each popular culture morsel is now accessible for our consideration, from flimsy sitcoms to Oscar-winning movies in a lot of codecs.

  • Streaming
  • DVD and Blu-ray
  • VOD

The exceptions are few, together with Disney’s “South of the South,” a film deemed racist for its comfortable deal with slavery.

The story behind “Path” goes deeper, although.

ABC noticed the challenge as half of a bigger instructional effort. ABC related with Scholastic Inc. to style highschool research guides tied to the miniseries. The following kerfuffle helped kill that connection, one which theoretically would have helped the community recoup the challenge’s $40 million price tag.

So, too, would DVD or Blu-ray gross sales of the movie itself, an urge Group Disney continues to refuse.

The Scholastic connection deserves renewed scrutiny given how schools nationwide are leveraging the deeply flawed New York Times resource, the far-left 1619 Undertaking, with far much less reservations.

Have instructional requirements dramatically modified since 2006?

Let’s not neglect the most important concern “The Path to 9/11” conjures up — inventive liberty. Let’s assume, for argument’s sake, “Path” unfairly criticized Group Clinton concerning the rising menace of radical Islam. So what? It’s an opinion shaped by not simply Nowrasteh however the challenge’s inventive mind belief. It’s a legitimate tackle the matter, one primarily based partially on the 9/11 Fee’s report.

If “The Path to 9/11” deserves to be banned for not wholly reflecting the reality, once more assuming the critics’ tackle the matter, the place does that depart numerous different tasks?

  • The Comey Rule,” the upcoming Showtime miniseries primarily based on a disgraced narrative spun by former FBI Director James Comey
  • Fahrenheit 11/9,” director Michael Moore’s preposterous documentary full of obfuscation.
  • “Recount,” an HBO telefilm even Leisure Weekly dubbed as partisan in nature.

Why haven’t these options been reminiscence holed, by the identical commonplace utilized to “The Path to 9/11?”

Artists ought to be capable to share their imaginative and prescient, their tackle historic occasions. Critics, in flip, have the liberty to agree, disagree or discover the reasoning behind every evaluation.

That’s not doable with “The Path to 9/11.” What future tasks, and even current ones, will undergo an identical destiny?


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