On Friday, September 8, just forty-eight hours before ABC planned to air its so-called “docudrama,” The Path to 9/11, Robert Iger, CEO of ABC’s corporate parent, the Walt Disney Company, was presented with incontrovertible evidence outlining the involvement of that film’s screenwriter and director in a concerted right-wing effort to blame former President Bill Clinton for allowing the 9/11 attacks to take place. Iger told a source close to ABC that he was “deeply troubled” by the information and claimed he had no previous knowledge of the institutional right-wing ties of The Path to 9/11‘s creators. He reportedly said that he has commenced an internal investigation to verify the role of the film’s creators in deliberately advancing disinformation through ABC.
After stating that she was “looking into” my questions about the production of The Path to 9/11, ABC Vice President of Media Relations Hope Hartman declined to comment on this story.
All week, ABC has withstood withering criticism for The Path to 9/11‘s imaginative screenwriting that depicts Clinton and members of his administration either ignoring threats from Al Qaeda or botching operations that could have eliminated terror-master Osama bin Laden. Iger conceded in a September 5 press release that key scenes in The Path to 9/11 were indeed fabricated, calling the film “a dramatization, not a documentary.” Behind the scenes, Iger reportedly made personal assurances to some of the film’s most prominent critics that those scenes would be edited out. But even though some deceptive footage was cut from the original, much of its falsified version of events leading up to 9/11 remains.
Iger now bears ultimate responsibility for authorizing the product of a well-honed propaganda operation–a network of little-known right-wingers working from within Hollywood to counter its supposedly liberal bias. This is the network within the ABC network. Its godfather is far-right activist David Horowitz, who has worked for more than a decade to establish a right-wing presence in Hollywood and to discredit mainstream film and TV production. On this project, a secretive evangelical religious right group long associated with Horowitz, founded by The Path to 9/11‘s director, David Cunningham, that aims to “transform Hollywood” in line with its messianic vision, has taken the lead.
Before The Path to 9/11 entered the production stage, Disney/ABC signed David Cunningham as the film’s director. Cunningham is no ordinary Hollywood journeyman. He is in fact the son of Loren Cunningham, founder of the right-wing evangelical group Youth With A Mission (YWAM). According to Sara Diamond’s book Spiritual Warfare, during the 1980’s YWAM “sought to gain influence within the Republican party” while assisting authoritarian governments in South Africa and Central America. Cunningham, Diamond noted, was a follower of Christian Reconstructionism, an extreme current of evangelical theology that advocates using stealth political methods to put the United States under the control of Biblical law and jettison the Constitution. Cunningham instilled his radical ideology in young missionaries by sending them to “Discipleship Training School.” A former student of Cunningham’s school claimed “similarities between cult mind controlling techniques and the [Discipleship Training School] program instituted by YWAM.”
When the young Cunningham entered his father’s ministry, he helped found an auxiliary group called The Film Institute (TFI). According to its mission statement, TFI is “dedicated to a Godly transformation and revolution TO and THROUGH the Film and Television industry.” Cunningham has placed over a dozen interns from Youth With A Mission’s Discipleship Training School in film industry jobs “so that they can begin to impact and transform Hollywood from the inside out,” according to a YWAM report.