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Thanks to wolfiegirl for making a post regarding the ABC "docudrama" The Path To 9/11, the two part miniseries which premieres tonight at 9pm on ABC. I go through this mental debate any time another 9/11 film is available to see. Will I watch it or won't I? In this case, there are people from the "liberal" camp that don't want people to see the program and are trying to block it. At this point, I doubt they'll succeed with that, but they're trying to wave off as many people as they can. It is, after all, nearly time for elections, with primaries coming up in NY on Tuesday.

In considering the topic of this ABC project, and how the "Left" are intent on not letting anyone see it, especially just before an election - much as the "Right" didn't want people to see Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 whether or not it cost the Conservatives any votes, I had to think about the larger concept of this project, what it means and how I see it.

To me, the ultimate issue is that these films, be they United 93, or World Trade Center or any thing of the sort, are supposedly giving you "the true story" of the events. But they aren't. They can't. Filmmakers simply don't have all the information to give "the true story." So, in watching any of these tales, you are getting some truth, and some filler. When it came to the 9/11 Commission, despite hundreds of pages, we didn't get a good enough answer to explain the very basics: precisely what happened, why did it happen, what can and should be done to prevent it from happening again? So anything based upon what was said in those documents will automatically be muddied. Not a good start.

And this is my problem, as a New Yorker. If I am going to invest my time and emotions in watching a piece on this particular topic, I don't want to see half-truths, fabrications, likely reinactments or anything else of the sort. I remember what happened. And it hurts my intelligence and manipulates my emotions to see something that "modifies" the story for whatever reason or purpose.

Really, that's what I believe all of New York is waiting for, and I think THAT is at the heart of why a lot of people have no time, no patience, no stomach for any of these films. They're "entertainment." They're earning money for their producers or getting ratings points for their networks. How are we supposed to feel about these pseudo-real accounts? They're playing fast and loose with our emotions for their own purposes, and this may be a new low for television. And even saying that, I can understand why it's happening...

Of course, TV is ratings hungry. It's all about how many people tune in to a program. But with the audience splintered into all of the specialized channels, there's no way you can grab huge ratings any more. Unless... you have some big news event. And isn't this what all of these 9/11 tributes are about? Every channel is going to do something that day, be it cover a memorial, rerun the real time footage of what happened from five years ago, or air something related to this. It's not so much a tribute as it is an opportunity. And that makes me a little sick and a little sad.

I think if we could get the definitive view, the full story on what happened, all of us would tune in and watch it. We might need to squint through parts, turn away from the screen at times, and just sob our eyes out, but we would all make a point to get through it, jaws clenched tightly, fingers firmly gripping our armrests. But it would need to be exactly what happened, not a spin from one side of the Aisle or the other to try to change our political leanings, not some jazzed up version to tug on our heartstrings and to keep us tuned in through the commercial break. Anything less than reality would be an insult to the memories of those that died on that day, to those that mourn them, to New York, our city, and to our country.

(x-posted to newyorkers)

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
ninjaguydan
Sep. 10th, 2006 06:05 pm (UTC)
Fuck it, I'm watching Simpsons and cartoon network for the rest of this stupid week.

ragdoll
Sep. 10th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
Actually the reason the people on the "Left" don't want people watching it is because it's filled with lies, inaccuracies and situations completely made up. Both the writer and the director have serious Right Wing Agendas (affiliations to several Evangelical Christian Neo-con groups) and did not listen to anyone who pointed out said inaccuracies whether or not they had to do with the the FBI, the Clinton Administration or anyone else.

It sounds good to make it sound like some sort of political machinations but considering what's being said and where all the blame is being laid -- right before primary season, perhaps you ought to look at the other side as well before casting blame? Go and check out everything Keith Olbermann has said about the film and the people he's spoken to/cited before you make such sweeping statements. It's called research.
twopiearr
Sep. 10th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC)
Agreed. FANTASTIC article about it on Salon here:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/conason/2006/09/08/path_to_9_11/

which you can read for free by watching a 90 second ad even if you don't subscribe. Worth doing if this issue means anything to you at all.

While I will be the first to admit that F9/11 was neither wholly factual nor free of rhetoric, the distortions in that film do not sound on par with the distortions in this one.
ragdoll
Sep. 11th, 2006 10:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendation -- I'll read it ASAP. Keith Olbermann's put up the video from his interview with Tom Nicoletti, the FBI consultant who quit rather than continuing perpetrating lies on the production. You can watch it here. The transcripts from last week's shows contain even more information and facts rather than spin regarding the heinous ABC entertainment division.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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