You may have heard talk of the TV network that decided to devote hours and hours of its prime-time schedule to a deliberately false rendering of significant historical events in order to flatter the ignorance and ideology of its nation’s rulers and mislead its citizens. Yes, it’s true. Al Manar, the Hezbollah television network, did recently broadcast in Lebanon a prime-time series based on the notoriously dishonest Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Here at home another network, ABC, and its parent, Disney, broadcast a prime-time, commercial-free miniseries, The Path to 9/11, also devoted to a deliberately dishonest rendering of history designed to flatter our current rulers.
How did Disney’s decision differ from Hezbollah’s? It’s hard to say. The various statements coming from Disney and ABC executives have been so contradictory–both internally and when compared with known facts–it’s nearly impossible to figure out what they intended to accomplish. After all, it’s not every day that a global media corporation spends tens of millions to make a film to give away without commercials and offer free on iTunes, and bases it all on lies. It is particularly odd when it turns out to be the very same corporation that decided to forgo hundreds of millions of dollars when it refused to distribute another movie, Fahrenheit 9-11, that took a differing view of this same historical event because, as one of its executives explained, “it’s not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle.”
The network initially trumpeted the program in full-page ads as “based on the 9/11 Commission Report.” But it explicitly contradicts the findings of almost every part of that report, in order to cast blame on the Clinton Administration–inventing scenes, characters and dialogue along the way. To take just one of many examples, as Editor & Publisher reported, the film “explores the terrorist threat starting with the 1993 bombing at the World Trade Center, and there is little question that President Clinton is dealt with severely, almost mockingly, with the Lewinsky scandal closely tied to his failure to cripple al-Qaeda.” The commission concluded exactly the opposite. Clinton instructed his staff to ignore his domestic troubles and, as the report explains, “All his aides testified to us that they based their advice solely on national security considerations. We have found no reason to question their statements.”
Former National Security Council senior director for counterterrorism Roger Cressey has added in a Washington Times op-ed that Clinton “approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al Qaeda.” Recall that most Republicans and many in the media were themselves obsessed with the President’s penis at the time and accused Clinton of playing “wag the dog” with every attempt to take action against Al Qaeda.