Liberty Rocks

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LIBERTY ROCKS ALERT – Democrat Leaders Threaten the First Amendment – The Path to 9/11

Posted by Admin on September 8, 2006

ATTACK ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT:
Update 1: 9/8/06 @ 4:00 p.m. – See text below original post
Update 2: 9/10/06 @ 6:00 p.m. – Added Media, Blog, and other links
Update 3: 9/11/06 @ 10:00 p.m. – Added several more links

If you missed The Path to 9/11 on TV you can view it online;

“The Path to 9/11″ – ABC.com”
Special Thanks to ABC for making it available!

Dear Readers,

Democrats are usually known for their vigorous defense of the First Amendment, however developments today show their true colors; they are only in favor of the First Amendment when it pleases them…

The following letter has been published in a press release available at U.S. Newswire. It was written by Democrat leaders to Disney/ABC and threatens their broadcast license in a pretty clear way.

I think anyone concerned about Freedom of Speech can see why this is a critical development, and one that must be quashed immediately. Our politicians — from either “side” — must not be allowed to threaten our right to freedom of speech. If we allow our politicians to control our airwaves we have started down a slippery slope. Considering that these charges by the Democrats are also based upon political concerns it may signal the beginning of threatening of speech by political dissidents — on BOTH “sides”.


I pray you will see the harm this type of action could do to our nation and our constitution — whether you agree with the Democrats’ sentiments regarding this particular program or not… As any good citizen knows, it should matter not whether we agree with a message or not, the importance lies in being able to speak freely about ANY situation we find ourselves in. Without any further ado, I will let you read the letter for yourself.

Emphasis in the following letter is mine…

http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=71989
Senate Democratic Leadership Urges Disney CEO to Cancel Misleading 9/11 Miniseries

9/7/2006 6:10:00 PM

To: National DeskContact: Jim Manley or Rebecca Kirszner, 202-224-2939; both of the Office of Senate Democratic Leader Harry ReidWASHINGTON, Sept. 7 /U.S. Newswire/ — Urging him to cancel the grossly inaccurate upcoming miniseries “The Path to 9/11,” the Senate Democratic Leadership today sent the following letter to Disney President and CEO Robert Iger. Disney’s subsidiary ABC erroneously claims the misleading miniseries is based on the 9/11 Commission report and is planning to air it on Sept. 10 and 11. Shockingly, the network is also planning to use the program as a teaching tool through Scholastic, potentially misinforming thousands of children about the most important event in recent American history.The text of the letter, signed by Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, and Senators Debbie Stabenow, Charles Schumer, and Byron Dorgan, is below.September 7, 2006 Mr. Robert A. Iger

President and CEO

The Walt Disney Company

500 South Buena Vista Street

Burbank CA 91521

Dear Mr. Iger,

We write with serious concerns about the planned upcoming broadcast of “The Path to 9/11” mini-series on Sept. 10 and 11. Countless reports from experts on 9/11 who have viewed the program indicate numerous and serious inaccuracies that will undoubtedly serve to misinform the American people about the tragic events surrounding the terrible attacks of that day. Furthermore, the manner in which this program has been developed, funded, and advertised suggests a partisan bent unbecoming of a major company like Disney and a major and well-respected news organization like ABC. We therefore urge you to cancel this broadcast to cease Disney’s plans to use it as a teaching tool in schools across America through Scholastic. Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events.

Disney and ABC claim this program to be based on the 9/11 Commission Report and are using that assertion as part of the promotional campaign for it. The 9/11 Commission is the most respected American authority on the 9/11 attacks, and association with it carries a special responsibility. Indeed, the very events themselves on 9/11, so tragic as they were, demand extreme care by any who attempt to use those events as part of an entertainment or educational program. To quote Steve McPhereson, president of ABC Entertainment, “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”

Unfortunately, it appears Disney and ABC got it totally wrong.

Despite claims by your network’s representatives that “The Path to 9/11” is based on the report of the 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Commissioners themselves, as well as other experts on the issues, disagree.

— Richard Ben-Veniste, speaking for himself and fellow 9/11 Commissioners who recently viewed the program, said, “As we were watching, we were trying to think how they could have misinterpreted the 9/11 Commission’s findings the way that they had.” (“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006)

— Richard Clarke, the former counter-terrorism czar, and a national security advisor to ABC has described the program as “deeply flawed” and said of the program’s depiction of a Clinton official hanging up on an intelligence agent, “It’s 180 degrees from what happened.” (“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006)

— Reports suggest that an FBI agent who worked on 9/11 and served as a consultant to ABC on this program quit halfway through because, “he thought they were making things up.” (MSNBC, September 7, 2006)

— Even Thomas Kean, who serves as a paid consultant to the miniseries, has admitted that scenes in the film are fictionalized. (“9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized as Inaccurate and Biased,” New York Times, September 6, 2006)

That Disney would seek to broadcast an admittedly and proven false recounting of the events of 9/11 raises serious questions about the motivations of its creators and those who approved the deeply flawed program. Finally, that Disney plans to air commercial-free a program that reportedly cost it $40 million to produce serves to add fuel to these concerns.

These concerns are made all the more pressing by the political leaning of and the public statements made by the writer/producer of this miniseries, Mr. Cyrus Nowrasteh, in promoting this miniseries across conservative blogs and talk shows.

Frankly, that ABC and Disney would consider airing a program that could be construed as right-wing political propaganda on such a grave and important event involving the security of our nation is a discredit both to the Disney brand and to the legacy of honesty built at ABC by honorable individuals from David Brinkley to Peter Jennings. Furthermore, that Disney would seek to use Scholastic to promote this misguided programming to American children as a substitute for factual information is a disgrace.

As 9/11 Commission member Jamie Gorelick said, “It is critically important to the safety of our nation that our citizens, and particularly our school children, understand what actually happened and why – so that we can proceed from a common understanding of what went wrong and act with unity to make our country safer.”

Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.

Sincerely,

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid

Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin

Senator Debbie Stabenow

Senator Charles Schumer

Senator Byron Dorgan

http://www.usnewswire.com/

-0-

/© 2006 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

As I stated above, threats to a company’s broadcast license coming directly from politicians is a very serious threat to the First Amendment rights of ALL citizens of the United States. I urge my readers who are American citizens, and even those who are not, but look to the U.S. as a bastion of Freedom – to write to these Democrat leaders and let them know that we will not tolerate ANY attack on the First Amendment — especially not for obvious reasons like dislike of the “message”.

I do not want my children to grow up in a country where the true protections of the first amendment no longer exist. I don’t think any other freedom-loving American citizen would want to see that either. Please take this seriously — we must not lose the freedoms our country is based upon.

– Michelle K.

UPDATE – 9/8 @ 4:00pm:
Some people have worried that perhaps this is another “Rathergate” situation as the Senators did not use their official titles… Well, the letter is also published at
Democrats.state.gov , so there is no doubt about the validity of this letter.

Also, I have heard that due to the uproar ABC is editing a key scene. I can’t recall at this moment where I read it, but if I run across that report I’ll link it here…

I’m sure there are plenty of others blogging out there on this situation. I will try to surf the Blogosphere this evening and see if I can’t beef up this post with other opinions — some perhaps a little more eloquent than mine…

One thing that someone on a conservative message board said probably illustrates the point I was trying to make in my comment below about the Michael Moore film… Where were the democrats when Rathergate was going on? I don’t recall anyone calling for 60 minutes to be cancelled or that network’s license pulled…


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3 Responses to “LIBERTY ROCKS ALERT – Democrat Leaders Threaten the First Amendment – The Path to 9/11”

  1. chartreuse said

    This film propaganda, for the simple reason that even the 9/11 commissioners have admitted it’s largely fictional – but Disney was very clearly attempting to sell it as factual (viz, the Scholastic deal to use it as teaching material).

  2. Thanks for the comment Chartreuse…

    Point definitely taken about the Scholastic deal, but that isn’t what the majority of the letter from our elected officials is speaking to. Instead they are demanding that the movie be pulled completely. The curriculum situation should be taken up with Scholastic itself, IMHO.

    As far as calling the film propoganda, I don’t recall any Republicans (or Democrats) calling for Michael Moore’s movie to be censored in any way, shape or form, and many things in his movie have been easily proven completely false. We are surrounded by propoganda everyday courtesy of the MSM, individuals, lobbyists, special interest groups, and every political party out there everyday. Let us decide for ourselves. I personally am not going to take the word of these politicians when what they are complaining about supposedly paints their beloved president (Clinton) in an supposedly “undeserved” bad light. I could get into why there is plenty of blame to go around — including Clinton — regarding 9/11, but that’s not the point…

    As far as the 9/11 Commission, I have a big question… Most Democrats I know claim the 9/11 commission investigations were deeply flawed. Why are these same people now embracing this committee and their opinions? Also, why in the world are they quoting Jamie Gorelick, when it was her memo during the Clinton Administration that prevented a lot of investigation from being done thoroughly? (Think Murrah Federal Building…)

    Just food for thought. I still see this as a very big deal regarding the First Amendment. That these democrats would even stoop to veiled threats regarding pulling a station’s licensce bothers me greatly. There is absolutely no excuse for our elected officials to behave in this manner…

    Oh, and by the way – I’m neither Democrat nor Republican — just for the record. (o:

  3. The difference lies in the fact that ABC is public airspace and Michael Moore’s movie was an independant feature. You can’t push revised, right-wing history on people by using public airspace. If you are an independant filmaker and you choose to distribute your movie through different channels, then that leaves you freedom to do what you will.

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