HAPPY 9/11! Now Go See the Film About the Film About 9/11 That You Didn't See ... er, Check That ...

pathto911new_big2.jpgPerhaps you remember the flap all over right-wing radio two years back about Disney/ABC's handling of the two-part miniseries, The Path to 9/11, which partly blamed the Clinton Administration for not taking out Osama bin Laden, allowing the terrorist leader to fester and then KABLOOEY! goes the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Well, the Lincoln Club and Republican Party of Orange County screen a documentary tonight that “exposes the systematic way in which the Clintons, Congressional Democrats, and Disney censored ABC's miniseries The Path to 9/11. What better way to commemorate the seventh anniversary of 9-11 than to watch a film that exposes the truth behind 9-11 –- and Disney’s blocking of it -- in Disney’s own backyard?”

While Clockwork contemplates all the better ways to commemorate the seventh anniversary of 9-11 than to be trapped inside a movie theater with members of the Lincoln Club and Republican Party of Orange County, please consider this:

Part 1 of The Path to 9/11 aired on ABC, as scheduled and without commercial interruption, on Sept. 10, 2006. Editor and Publisher magazine, a trade journal for the mostly right-leaning employers of ink-stained wretches, reported that less than one minute was “cropped out” of Part 1 as compared to a screener copy that went out to television reviewers. All controversial scenes remained, although a written and spoken disclaimer aired at the beginning and end of the presentation informing viewers that the movie was a fictionalization, not a documentary.

About 20 minutes of Part II was interrupted in the Eastern and Central time zones, although the culprit was not the Clintons, Congressional Democrats or Disney. It was George W. Bush, who was delivering a speech from the White House that ABC felt compelled to cut into, although that partially pre-empted the only parts of the movie that were critical of Bush's handling of 9/11. Attaboy, Georgie! We Westerners did get to see that footage uncut though.

To be fair to the Lincoln brigade, many from the Clinton camp complained about the accuracy of the miniseries, including Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Sandy Berger, former Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Charles Schumer, and Senator Byron Dorgan.

With foes like those, the miniseries must've been on to something, right? Uh, not so fast. FBI agents also blasted its accuracy. So did the chairman of Scholastic Press, which pulled educational materials it was going to distribute in connection with the miniseries. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, joined many other distinguished historians who published an open letter to ABC expressing concern about “flagrant falsehoods about critical events in recent American history.”

Even conservatives Richard Miniter and William Bennett had problems with the accuracy, as did members of the 9/11 Commission, even though the miniseries was partially based on the views of 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, who served as both a consultant and co-executive producer to the television event.

The star of the miniseries, Harvey Keitel, who portrayed FBI investigator John O'Neill, dinged the script, saying that “it turned out not all the facts were correct.” He revealed there had been discussions and arguments on-set during the filming about what was truthful and what was not, and that he disagreed with certain decisions.

One leading voice did announce the miniseries was fair and balanced, and he should know seeing as how he comes from an organization that promotes itself as doing the same: James Hirsen of Fox News.

Ah, well, that makes everything right then!

Blocking the Path to 9-11 was written, produced, and directed by John Ziegler, the former KFI radio show host who has described himself as “more libertarian than conservative, more conservative than liberal, and more cynical and skeptical than anything else.” His masterwork screens from 6:30 to 8:30 tonight at CinemaFusion in Anaheim's GardenWalk, 321 W. Katella Ave., Anaheim. Included is a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers. Tickets are $15. A second 8:30 p.m. screening has just been added. Ticket to that are $10. Call the OC GOP at (714) 453-0900 for more info.

Sorry, a post-screening reception at Pop the Cork wine bar is sold out, because it wouldn't be a right proper Lincoln Club/Republican Party event if most of the population wasn't being excluded.

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