Mendacious Mockumentary Mania Mortifies Mickey Mouse Media Moguls

Quick hits:

* Joe Gandelman evenhandedly looks at the basic problems behind ABC’s decisionmaking. [Update] Matt Stoller also takes a whack at it.
* Scholastic runs away from its partnership with the film.
* ABC is considering pulling the film altogether. Think that is a good idea? Call them.
* The Clinton camp goes on offense.
* [Update] Rightwingers James Taranto and Seth Liebsohn (scroll to the bottom) recognize that people who opposed the Reagan miniseries cannot credibly support fictionalizing 9/11.

More? Fill in the latest in the comments.

151 replies
  1. 1

    Rightwingers James Taranto and Seth Liebsohn (scroll to the bottom) recognize that people who opposed the Reagan miniseries cannot credibly support fictionalizing 9/11.

    Actually I believe this falls under IOKIYAR, which is a principle recognized under international law.

    So that’s not true. You can complain about one thing and support another because it’s totally different. It’s like comparing apples and oranges.

  2. 2
    Zifnab says:

    It’s because the media is to liberal. We need some blatant fictionalized right wing propoganda to balance out all this left wing “truth”.

  3. 3
    RSA says:

    Sandy Berger seems to be upset by this scene:

    Berger is seen as refusing authorization for a proposed raid to capture bin Laden in spring 1998 to CIA operatives in Afghanistan who have the terrorist leader in their sights. A CIA operative sends a message: “We’re ready to load the package. Repeat, do we have clearance to load the package?” Berger responds: “I don’t have that authority.”

    Hugh Hewitt (link not working for some reason) boils this down into the following:

    The objections of various Clinton-era figures –Berger rightly argues he didn’t hang up a phone in one scene, for example– are absurd complaints about the tiny details

    Equivalently: “Jeez, people are complaining about tiny little details like hanging up the phone. Have you ever noticed that in movies and on TV, nobody says ‘Goodbye’ either at the end of a phone call? The things people worry about.”

  4. 4

    Interesting…

    Apparently this project was funded by a right-wing “Christian” group, per this story at dKos

    The details there seem to still be fleshing out, but it looks like a solid link. The “Christian” group was founded by the father of the 9/11 movie producer. There was an announcement by this group that they were working on a new made for TV movie called “The Untitled History Project”. There’s a Fox News article that refers to Path to 9/11 as being called “The Untited History Project” by producers.

    So this whole thing was an organized sham right from the start. It wasn’t at all accidental that they decided to advertise it through Rush Limbaugh, etc.

    If this one is true, and ABC doesn’t pull the plug, the network’s broadcast license should be pulled. They want to do this kind of crap, they can do it on cable.

  5. 5
    Par R says:

    I see that should the Left actually take control of the government in this country, one of the first things to go wull be the First Amendment, followed quickly by full censorship of all matters related to the arts, news, etc. Hmmm, why am I not surprised given the Left’s historic support of regimes such as Stalinist Russia…

  6. 6
    jg says:

    Hmmm, why am I not surprised given the Left’s historic support of regimes such as Stalinist Russia

    I thought the left were nazis? Are the facts changing again?

  7. 7
  8. 8
    demimondian says:

    On top of this, there’s this interesting comment thread at dKos, which shows the films organizers trying to bury their leavings in the cat box…and shows them unsuccessfully. Hooray for MSN Se…err, I mean, Google!

  9. 9

    I see that should the Left actually take control of the government in this country, one of the first things to go wull be the First Amendment, followed quickly by full censorship of all matters related to the arts, news, etc. Hmmm, why am I not surprised given the Left’s historic support of regimes such as Stalinist Russia…

    An interesting point considering I spent much of this week watching the Children of Arbat miniseries on DVD.

  10. 10
    Krista says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s just way too damned soon for any sort of movie about that event, be it a hopped-up drama, or the most dry, factual documentary ever to exist?

  11. 11
    chopper says:

    taranto said:

    On the other hand, one wishes the Clinton people had been as aggressive in defending the nation from bin Laden as they now are in defending their own reputations.

    funny, when the left complained about bush’s lack of action against AQ pre-911, they were accused of hindsight and ‘monday morning quarterbacking’. how odd that the GOP gets away with it regarding clinton.

    besides, given that clinton, albright and berger have done all of write a letter to ABC, i’d say that that’s a pretty stupid attempt at a zing.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    chopper says:

    I see that should the Left actually take control of the government in this country, one of the first things to go wull be the First Amendment, followed quickly by full censorship of all matters related to the arts, news, etc. Hmmm, why am I not surprised given the Left’s historic support of regimes such as Stalinist Russia…

    that’s odd, i don’t remember you comparing the right to ‘stalinists’ back when they complained to CBS about the reagan documentarty.

    as in both cases, boycotting advertisers and writing pissed-off letters to affiliates isn’t ‘stalinist’ nor is it gutting the first amendment. the former is ‘voting with your wallet’, something i thought you free-market types were all about. the latter is called ‘free speech’.

  14. 14

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s just way too damned soon for any sort of movie about that event, be it a hopped-up drama, or the most dry, factual documentary ever to exist?

    Well I for one am sick and fucking tired of some people thinking 9/11 is a holiday. holding parades and whatnot.

    It’s something that we ought to remember, but we ought not wallow in it.

  15. 15
    chopper says:

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s just way too damned soon for any sort of movie about that event, be it a hopped-up drama, or the most dry, factual documentary ever to exist?

    i’m all about documentaries on the subject. but movies and puff-pieces etc, no way. i don’t want to see the official story of 9/11 become a hollywood action movie.

  16. 16

    as in both cases, boycotting advertisers and writing pissed-off letters to affiliates isn’t ‘stalinist’ nor is it gutting the first amendment. the former is ‘voting with your wallet’

    It’s called Capitalism.

    But then Par R doesn’t know what it means to be a capitalist, because he’s been brainwashed by his Stalinist masters.

  17. 17

    i’m all about documentaries on the subject. but movies and puff-pieces etc, no way. i don’t want to see the official story of 9/11 become a hollywood action movie.

    Did I mention how much I hated the movie ‘Pearl Harbor’?

  18. 18
    chopper says:

    I thought the left were nazis? Are the facts changing again?

    mcbain to base..under attack by commie nazis. they won’t stop me from delivering these unicef pennies! go pennies! help da puny children who need you.

  19. 19
    tBone says:

    I see that should the Left actually take control of the government in this country, one of the first things to go wull be the First Amendment, followed quickly by full censorship of all matters related to the arts, news, etc. Hmmm, why am I not surprised given the Left’s historic support of regimes such as Stalinist Russia…

    Good point. I’m more interested in your feelings on pie, though. Which do you like best: blueberry, cherry, peach, apple, or rhubarb?

  20. 20

    TPMuckRaker has the story.

    Just to be clear here. I don’t have a problem at all with some religious cult making it’s own movies and selling them. It’s the appropriate way to respond to a complaint that the movies made in Hollywood don’t appeal to your tastes.

    What I don’t like is religious cults making movies and then misrepresenting them, because they’re afraid nobody will want to watch it if they tell the truth.

    Hmm, kind of reminds me of how the cultists tried to push Evolution into the schools by calling it Intelligent Design.

    Two weeks ago this was a Docudrama being promoted by Scholastic Books, now it’s just a fictional story. How fast your justifications change is evidence a plenty that you were misrepresenting yourself from the start.

  21. 21
    Richard 23 says:

    Even Harvey Keitel has some reservations:

    Keitel: When I received the script it said ABC history project –I took it to be exactly what they presented to me. History–and that facts were correct. It turned out not all the facts were correct and ABC set about trying to heal that problem..In some instances it was too late because we had begun.

    Q: Do you feel that anything should be changed in this film?

    Keitel: Yes I do. This is a tough issue.–(sure)

    You can compile certain things as long as the truth remains the truth. You can’t put things together, compress them and then distort the reality.

  22. 22
    Punchy says:

    Yeah, but Tim….

    …strolling thru swaths of spoof, slander, and fraud focusing fiercely on frying the former first lady and family is funny. The desire to demonstrate the decadence of dweebs in D.C. is declared dastardly in the docudrama’s denouement, as Clinton’s contrived clitoris proclivity claims to cloud his clairvoyance with respect to ridding the respectables of the wretched rascals residing in Talibanistan.

    Honestly, the media’s maelstrom only magnifies the mania many middle-class ‘Mericans may harbor, hinting at a hunch that they’ll halt the histronics and heckling by pulling the plug.

  23. 23
    SeesThroughIt says:

    mcbain to base..under attack by commie nazis. they won’t stop me from delivering these unicef pennies! go pennies! help da puny children who need you.

    Man, I love that scene. I particularly like that the Commie Nazi jet pilots wear monocles. It’s the little things that make a good joke great.

  24. 24
    Mac Buckets says:

    So are the Clinton-apologists arguing that the Clinton Administration never turned down opportunities to take down bin Laden — or are they just arguing that the opportunities they turned down aren’t accurately depicted in the film?

    At least the latter squares more with Clinton’s own statements.

    CLINTON, February 15, 2002: We got – uh – well, Mr. bin Laden used to live in Sudan. He was expelled from Saudi Arabia in 1991, then he went to Sudan.

    And we’d been hearing that the Sudanese wanted America to start dealing with them again.

    They released him. At the time, 1996, he had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here because we had no basis on which to hold him, though we knew he wanted to commit crimes against America.

    …Now I had one other option. I could have bombed or sent more missiles in. As far as we knew he never went back to his training camp. So the only place bin Laden ever went that we knew was occasionally he went to Khandahar where he always spent the night in a compound that had 200 women and children.

    So I could have, on any given night, ordered an attack that I knew would kill 200 women and children that had less than a 50 percent chance of getting him.

    Now, after he murdered 3,100 of our people and others who came to our country seeking their livelihood you may say, “Well, Mr. President, you should have killed those 200 women and children.”

    But at the time we didn’t think he had the capacity to do that. And no one thought that I should do that. Although I take full responsibility for it.

    To recap, Clinton didn’t (note he doesn’t say “couldn’t,” but “didn’t”) take him from Sudan because he felt there wasn’t a strong enough legal case. [Well then kill him, Bill — that’s what we have a CIA for!]

    Then (and this is undenied and never “amended” by Clinton like the Sudan charge) he didn’t strike his Kandahar compound solely because some of his friends and relatives there were women and children. So to spare maybe a couple hundred Friends of Osama, he didn’t take the chance to get rid of the terrorist most hold responsible for the murder of 3000 people on 9/11. Some would call that a tragically dumb decision, some would call it evidence that Clinton didn’t have the cajones to be Commander-in-Chief.

    Oh, but Clinton notes that no one could have forseen that Osama could kill thousands on American soil! Wait, didn’t Clinton get all the dire intelligence about Al Qaeda from FBI and CIA?

    This whole bit of the speech seems to say that, knowing now what he should’ve known then, he’d have blown Kandahar to bits. Right? That was the right decision, and it was rejected at the time.

    Just three months ago, when asked about print reports documenting his bin Laden confession, Clinton told the Commission, “That was a misquote.” But that was before he learned that his remarks were on tape.

    AMANPOUR: Sometime in 1996, or – you spoke to a group of people in Long Island about this whole controversial issue of Sudan.

    CLINTON: Actually, it was 2001. [In fact, it was 2002.]

    AMANPOUR: OK. Was Sudan asked to extradite him? Did you miss the opportunity to have him extradited?

    CLINTON: And I missed – what I said there was wrong. What I said was in error. I went back now and did all this research from my book. And I’d said that we were told we couldn’t hold him, implying that we had a chance to get him, but we didn’t. That’s not factually accurate.

    See, here’s what a real reporter would do if faced with that stunning retraction.

    REAL REPORTER: “So, Bill, somewhere in researching your book, you found something that changed your story from “you didn’t choose to take bin Laden” to “you never had the chance to take bin Laden” (which you wouldn’t have done anyway because there was no legal case?)? I’d love to see the “research” that provided you the opportunity to backpedal from a huge mistake like that!”

    I guess it all depends on what your definition of “didn’t” is, right, Bill?

  25. 25
    Punchy says:

    Man, I love that scene. I particularly like that the Commie Nazi jet pilots wear monocles. It’s the little things that make a good joke great.

    Explain? Link? Is this a Simpons Episode? (from the McBain ref)…?

  26. 26
    chopper says:

    now bill bennet is on board as well.

    man, ABC really screwed the pooch with this one.

  27. 27
    Pb says:

    NewsMax likes pie!

  28. 28
    tBone says:

    Screw Par R & NewsMax – what kind of pie does Mac like? After that last post, I’m guessing jackalope.

  29. 29
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Par R Says:

    I see that should the Left actually take control of the government in this country, one of the first things to go wull be the First Amendment, followed quickly by full censorship of all matters related to the arts, news, etc. Hmmm, why am I not surprised given the Left’s historic support of regimes such as Stalinist Russia…

    September 8th, 2006 at 1:47 pm

  30. 30
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Explain? Link? Is this a Simpons Episode? (from the McBain ref)…?

    Yeah, it’s a Simpsons thing…I forget which episode, but it’s a clip from a McBain movie. He’s flying a cargo plane full of UNICEF pennies to some needy children when suddenly, his plane comes under attack by Commie Nazis, so he ends up pushing the pallets of pennies out of the cargo hold. It’s not that funny in description, but it’s hilarious when you actually see it.

    Ever since it first aired, I thought the phrase “Commie Nazie” to be absolute comic genius. But for the past several years, ardent right-wingers have been trying to claim that it’s fact, not comedy. Which is comedy in and of itself, really.

  31. 31
    Rusty Shackleford says:

    Par R Says:

    I see that should the Left actually take control of the government in this country, one of the first things to go wull be the First Amendment, followed quickly by full censorship of all matters related to the arts, news, etc. Hmmm, why am I not surprised given the Left’s historic support of regimes such as Stalinist Russia…

    September 8th, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    It isn’t “censorship” if the material is defamatory, slander or libel.

  32. 32
    chopper says:

    So are the Clinton-apologists arguing that the Clinton Administration never turned down opportunities to take down bin Laden

    not that i know of.

    or are they just arguing that the opportunities they turned down aren’t accurately depicted in the film?

    given that the sandy berger scene is made up completely, i’d say yes.

    At least the latter squares more with Clinton’s own statements.

    none of the clinton quote that you cited jibes with the scene in the ABC drama at all. nor the madeline albright scene either.

    To recap, Clinton didn’t (note he doesn’t say “couldn’t,” but “didn’t”) take him from Sudan because he felt there wasn’t a strong enough legal case. [Well then kill him, Bill—that’s what we have a CIA for!]

    as he said, “As far as we knew he never went back to his training camp”. the only place they knew he’d be was in kandahar when he’d go back there. not that he shouldn’t have sent the CIA in to find him in say, sudan, but it’s not like ‘plan to 911’ is saying that, rather it’s making up whole scenes where the CIA is ready to go and the clinton administration slams the phone on them.

    Then (and this is undenied and never “amended” by Clinton like the Sudan charge) he didn’t strike his Kandahar compound solely because some of his friends and relatives there were women and children. So to spare maybe a couple hundred Friends of Osama, he didn’t take the chance to get rid of the terrorist most hold responsible for the murder of 3000 people on 9/11. Some would call that a tragically dumb decision, some would call it evidence that Clinton didn’t have the cajones to be Commander-in-Chief.

    some would say that he didn’t particularly feel like smoking half the royal family of dubai. then again, i can’t imagine any CiC doing something that stupid, even george bush, given the international fallout that would occur.

    personally, in hindsight, even if it was just as simple as killing 200 children based on less than a 50% chance of killing OBL, he should have taken it. he admits that as well. but if you’re going to seriously rag on the guy cause at the time he didn’t want to liquefy a coupla hundred kids for a less than 50/50 chance of killing a terrorist, that just shows you’re likely being led by an irrational hatred of the guy.

    i mean, if it comes out that bush could have blown up an iraqi preschool because it might have taken out al zarqawi earlier, would you hate on the guy for it? i sure wouldn’t.

    Oh, but Clinton notes that no one could have forseen that Osama could kill thousands on American soil! Wait, didn’t Clinton get all the dire intelligence about Al Qaeda from FBI and CIA?

    i don’t remember him getting a briefing called ‘bin laden determined to strike inside the US’. must’ve been someone else.

    all this ‘pin 911 on clinton’ stuff is amusing. i love how people act as if clinton and bush both scewed up equally, despite the fact that bush did fuck-all about AQ before 9/11.

  33. 33
    Richard 23 says:

    What I recall about the Sudan extradition story was that Sudan would not extradite bin Laden to the United States but offered to extradite him to Saudi Arabia. They refused the offer. That’s what wikipedia seems to recall as well.

    Sudanese officials, whose government was under international sanctions, offered to extradite bin Laden to Saudi Arabia in the mid-1990s. However, Saudi Arabia refused because of the political difficulties of accepting such a controversial figure into their custody.

    more:

    As a result of international pressure, Sudan asked bin Laden to leave the country. According to the 9/11 Commission Report, “Saudi officials apparently wanted Bin Ladin expelled from Sudan,” but would not accept offers to extradite him to Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden chartered a plane and moved to Afghanistan in 1996.

    Where’s the part about the silver platter?

  34. 34
    JWeidner says:

    Shorter mac:
    Clinton gets intelligence and doesn’t act = chop him off at the knees
    Bush gets intelligence and says “OK, you’ve covered your ass now” and doesn’t act = Mac kneels before him

  35. 35
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I said over a year ago on this blog the we Democrats were through bringing knives to a gunfight. We are going to kick ass and take names this November.

  36. 36
    Richard 23 says:

    Breaking News! Bush Planned To Strike Bin Laden Before 9/11

    …before 9-11 Bush had a plan to hit bin Laden’s bases in Afghanistan but it took a while for that plan to make it through the national security bureaucracy and it was finally approved on September 4, and by then “it was just a race against time.”

    I had not heard this before. Why hasn’t Bush struck bin Laden since 9/11?

  37. 37
    HyperIon says:

    i was quite surprised this morning to learn (via NPR) that Tom Kean is llisted as co-executive producer on this film. what is that about? it stikes me as a bit unseemly. i hope he’s not making any money off this.

  38. 38
    chopper says:

    I had not heard this before. Why hasn’t Bush struck bin Laden since 9/11?

    because 9/11 changed everything.

  39. 39
    jg says:

    So are the Clinton-apologists arguing that the Clinton Administration never turned down opportunities to take down bin Laden

    Is the ability to create false choices a skill that is required in advance in order to be a right wing troll or do they teach you it after you join the club?

    Clinton screwed the pooch big time. He didn’t act when he should have and didn’t do enough when he did make a move. There’s is simply no arguing though that he was fucked no matter what he did. If he gives the order that ends up killing those civilians he’s lambasted in the american press because previous to 9/11 the response would have been disproportional. I personally thought that to be a bullshit excuse at the time but that’s how these were then. With Lewinsky hanging over him he was handcuffed, everything he did was examined from the perspective of him trying to change the subject. You can’t deny this. It doesn’t excuse him but its still the facts of the times.

    Stop trying to stay on Bushs side by making up stupid ass positions you think the left is taking. Like Bush for his own self not because he’s better than if a dem was in charge.

  40. 40
    Pb says:

    LOL. As usual there’s nothing stupider than Blogs for Bush. I was just reading an actual account of that plan and that meeting the other day, actually:

    By early 2001, Clarke and a handful of counter-terrorism specialists at the C.I.A. had learned of an Air Force plan to arm the Predator. The original plan called for three years of tests. Clarke and the others pushed so hard that the plane was ready in three months. In tests, the craft worked surprisingly well. In the summer of 2001, an armed Predator destroyed a model of bin Laden’s house which had been built in the Nevada desert. But Clarke said, “Every time we were ready to use it, the C.I.A. would change its mind. The real motivation within the C.I.A., I think, is that some senior people below Tenet were saying, ‘It’s fine to kill bin Laden, but we want to do it in a way that leaves no fingerprints. Otherwise, C.I.A. agents all over the world will be subject to assassination themselves.’ They also worried that something would go wrong—they’d blow up a convent and get blamed.”

    On September 4, 2001, all sides agree, the issue reached a head, at a meeting of the Principal’s Committee of Bush’s national-security advisers, a Cabinet-level group that includes the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the director of the C.I.A., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Attorney General, and the national-security adviser. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz also attended that day. As Clarke, who was there, recalled, “Tenet said he opposed using the armed Predator, because it wasn’t the C.I.A.’s job to fly airplanes that shot missiles. The Air Force said it wasn’t their job to fly planes to collect intelligence. No one around the table seemed to have a can-do attitude. Everyone seemed to have an excuse.”

    Mentions of Bush in that meeting? Zero. Mentions of Richard Clarke in that Blogs for Bush post? Zero. Perhaps the *right* needs to do some research and find out the facts before they make baseless claims.

  41. 41
    jg says:

    There’s is simply no arguing though that he was fucked no matter what he did.

    ‘wasn’t fucked’

    I personally thought that to be a bullshit excuse at the time but that’s how these were then.

    ‘things were’

    this blog needs an edit feature.

  42. 42
    RSA says:

    Mac Buckets links to Clinton’s statements, but elides an interesting passage at the beginning:

    Clinton: And when I bombed [bin Laden’s] training camp and tried to kill him and his high command in 1998 after the African embassy bombings, some people criticized me for doing it.

    Somehow this works against the image of someone afraid to act; it destroys the nice narrative about it all being Clinton’s fault.

  43. 43
    cd6 says:

    Bottom line, if Clinton was serious about the Bin Laden threat, then he would have just nuked the entire country of Afghanistan off the map, way back in 1997. He didn’t, so to me it’s as if he’s as guilty a flying one of those planes himself.

  44. 44
    Proud Liberal says:

    sub-Par cried:

    I see that should the Left actually take control of the government in this country, one of the first things to go wull be the First Amendment, followed quickly by full censorship of all matters related to the arts, news, etc. Hmmm, why am I not surprised given the Left’s historic support of regimes such as Stalinist Russia…

    guess he doesn’t remember this:

    NEW YORK (AP) — Capping an extraordinary conservative furor over a movie virtually no one has seen, CBS said Tuesday it will not air “The Reagans”

    But conservatives said it was a question of accuracy.

    This was a left-wing smear of one of the nation’s most beloved presidents and CBS got caught.
    — Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center

    The miniseries became a hot topic on talk radio and the TV news networks. The chairman of the Republican National Committee wrote to CBS President Leslie Moonves, asking for historians to review the movie, and the conservative Media Research Center asked advertisers to consider boycotting the film.

    “This was a left-wing smear of one of the nation’s most beloved presidents and CBS got caught,” said Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center.

    Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie said putting the movie before a smaller audience on Showtime doesn’t address accuracy concerns. Without changes, Showtime should remind viewers every 10 minutes that the movie is fictional, he said.

    ahhh.. I do so love the hypocisy of the right, don’t you?

  45. 45
    chopper says:

    i just keep imagining what mac and his right-wing buddies would have said if clinton had smoked 200 kids and half the royal family of dubai in attempting to kill ‘osama bin-who?’ way back then during his impeachment imbroglio. he would have been strung up by his thumbs, or worse.

    either way he’s fucked is right.

  46. 46
    Proud Liberal says:

    ok… we can agree that in retrospect Clinton should have done more to kill bin Laden. Now what is Bush’s excuse? bin Laden isn’t a potential threat, he KILLED 3,000 Americans five long years ago. How come Bush hasn’t killed him? Why did Bush let him got in Tora bora? Why did bush disband the unit hunting him down? Why is Bush going along with Pakistan’s “truce” with al Qaeda? At least Clinton TRIED to kill bin Laden.. you remember all those missles that the righ wing nut jobs all said was ‘wag the dog” – the “aspirin factory” they derided?

    Guys…. very very few American’s are buying the Bush Bullshit anymore. Outside of the the MacBucket and Darrell IQ level anyways.

  47. 47

    Mac Buckets – Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  48. 48
    Otto Man says:

    Well I for one am sick and fucking tired of some people thinking 9/11 is a holiday.

    Try living in New York. Every time I use the PATH station at the World Trade Center, I have to walk past mobs of tourists, happily posing and broadly grinning for photos in front of the site. It’s unreal.

    It takes every ounce of will in me to keep from smacking the camera out of their hands. I came close once, during the Republican National Convention, when a couple of red state cowboys — in matching sequined red-white-and-blue flag shirts, no less — were grinning and laughing it up as they posed for photos there. This isn’t some Karl Rove photo op, I thought. This is where friends of mine died.

    Luckily, New York’s Finest were only a few feet away. They didn’t seem to like the rednecks either, but I knew they’d do their job. As always.

  49. 49
    Otto Man says:

    Did I mention how much I hated the movie ‘Pearl Harbor’?

    That movie was so godawful I was actually rooting for the Japanese.

  50. 50
    RSA says:

    I have to walk past mobs of tourists, happily posing and broadly grinning for photos in front of the site.

    What the fuck? I’ve only been there once, a few years ago, and just seeing it was almost enough to bring me to unmanly tears.

  51. 51
    Ryan S. says:

    he didn’t take the chance to get rid of the terrorist most hold responsible for the murder of 3000 people on 9/11. Some would call that a tragically dumb decision, some would call it evidence that Clinton didn’t have the cajones to be Commander-in-Chief.

    *Sniff* Ahh.. the smell of fresh baked a priori argument.

  52. 52
    Proud Liberal says:

    I have always been pissed that the Dems didn’t fight back on the issue of terror. It was as if they were conceding that area to the GOP. I do think those days are long gone. No more free pass if this is any indication:

    A new “hard-hitting” video released today by the Democratic National Committee slams Bush’s “new found interest” in Osama bin Laden on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks two months before the elections, after “years of hardly mentioning” the al Qaeda leader.

    The video shows “Bush Administration’s willingness to use fear and smear tactics to gain political advantage in a tough election year,” according to a DNC press release.

    “Specifically, after years of hardly mentioning Osama bin Laden, saying that ‘he wasn’t that concerned about him,’ and closing down the CIA office charged with his capture, President Bush seemed to have a new found interest, citing the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks seventeen different times in a speech this week,” the press release continues.

    Now thats what I’m talking about.

  53. 53
    Andrew says:

    Pearl Harbor
    by Team America

    I miss you more then Michael Bay missed the mark
    When he made Pearl Harbor
    I miss you more than that movie missed the point
    And that’s an awful lot girl
    And now, now you’ve gone away
    And all I’m trying to say is
    Pearl Harbor sucked, and I miss you

    I need u like Ben Affleck needs acting school
    He was terrible in that film
    I need u like Cuba Gooding needed a bigger part
    He’s way better than Ben Affleck
    And now all I can think about is your smile
    and that shitty movie too
    Pearl Harbor sucked and I miss you

    Why does Michael Bay get to keep on making movies?
    I guess Pearl Harbor sucked
    Just a little bit more than I miss you

  54. 54
    jg says:

    Some would call that a tragically dumb decision, some would call it evidence that Clinton didn’t have the cajones to be Commander-in-Chief.

    If ther ewas no impeachment proceedings and he didn’t make the move I’d agree about the cajones. Problem is I can’t, no matter how hard I try, ignore what I knew about that time. It may even be true that he didn’t have the stones for it but because of the other factors I can’t just condemn the guy.

  55. 55

    Try living in New York. Every time I use the PATH station at the World Trade Center, I have to walk past mobs of tourists, happily posing and broadly grinning for photos in front of the site. It’s unreal.

    Sigh.

  56. 56
    Par R says:

    Otto Man fantasizing about his nonexistentent manhood:

    “It takes every ounce of will in me to keep from smacking the camera out of their hands. I came close once, during the Republican National Convention, when a couple of red state cowboys—in matching sequined red-white….”

    Everybody that believes this nonsense, please raise their hands.

  57. 57
    orogeny says:

    Can someone explain to me exactly what the US had on Bin Laden in 1996? What crimes had he committed against America that would have justified killing 200 civilians in order to take him out? I was under the impression that the ’98 embassy bomings were his first real attacks on American interests. Is this wrong?

  58. 58
    Par R says:

    Yes, orogeny.

  59. 59
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    (1) Clinton himself has called on ABC to corect the film’s errors.

    (2) John Podhoretz (!) did a NY Post column yesterday calling the film a smear on Madelyn Albright and Sandy berger, and (to a lesser degree) on Clinton himself.

    His argument on the latter point is that neither the Clinton nor Bush Administrations can be seriously blamed for overlooking something like this when there was such a cloud of other international and security events to keep track of. (I’m not so sure of that myself, and the point on which I think Clinton really DOES unquestionably deserve condemnation was punting on to the next administration when it came to North Korea developing the Bomb.)

    (3) ABC has now folded to the extent of saying that they’re going to modify or remove all the segments that the Clintonites have been complaining about.

  60. 60
    mrmobi says:

    personally, in hindsight, even if it was just as simple as killing 200 children based on less than a 50% chance of killing OBL, he should have taken it. he admits that as well. but if you’re going to seriously rag on the guy cause at the time he didn’t want to liquefy a coupla hundred kids for a less than 50/50 chance of killing a terrorist, that just shows you’re likely being led by an irrational hatred of the guy.

    Chopper, I do not agree. Clinton made the only possible call for someone who wants to remain a decent human being. But I do think Mac irrationally hates at times.

    The quote above points out quite clearly, I think, the direction this country is headed. It has become commonplace to discuss incinerating 200 children on the 50% chance we’ll kill someone who may not even have operational control over the terrorists we are trying to stop. Go visit Red State and see the discussions which tend to be somewhere to the right of Attilla the Hun. American security now trumps all common decency and renders “quaint” the idea that it’s wrong to torture and kill prisoners.

    The Party of Torture decides who is bad and who is good, and who gets democracy at the end of the barrel of a gun. If we have to incinerate a few hundred children to get our bad guy, well, “freedom isn’t free,” especially for brown people. It’s especially bad if your country happens to have a lot of oil. Then you really have to play ball, you can’t have nukes, no no. But if you don’t have oil, you get a pass.

    It’s starting to look like ABC is waffling. I’m just happy to see Democrats starting to flex their muscles. We don’t need Goebbels-style revisionist history now, we need to be able to look at the recent past and learn from it. We won’t be able to do that if people are allowed to make shit up and try to foist it upon children in school as history.

    The recent poll that showed that 70% of American believed Saddam was involved with the 9/11 plot is why this kind of revisionism must be fought against. Rove has the Goebbels thing down to a science.

  61. 61
    Perry Como says:

    Everybody that believes this nonsense, please raise their hands.

    /me raises hand

    Par R, ever been to ground zero? Some of us take that train on a daily basis. The urge to smack the tourists that smile and grin and take photos is overwhelming. ‘Cause, you know, some of us actually witnessed the events that day with our own eyes and lost some good friends, so it’s a little more personal to us.

  62. 62
    Otto Man says:

    Otto Man fantasizing about his nonexistentent manhood

    Yeah, I have to fantasize that way, Par R. Not all of us can get off over the deaths of brown people.

    For the record, the cowboys in question were a fat guy in his 50s and a pencil-neck 20-something. I’m 6’4″, 220lbs. I’m pretty sure I could’ve taken them.

    But again, I’m a liberal and I’m able to restrain myself from those urges. Unlike conservatives, who tend to react with the well-reasoned instincts of “Hulk Smash!”

  63. 63
    Mac Buckets says:

    At least Clinton TRIED to kill bin Laden.. you remember all those missles that the righ wing nut jobs all said was ‘wag the dog”

    Come on, I’ve disproved that stupid meme at least three times this week.

  64. 64
    chopper says:

    Everybody that believes this nonsense, please raise their hands.

    (raises hands). you have no idea the goofballs that came out of the woodwork for the RNC.

  65. 65
    Mac Buckets says:

    i just keep imagining what mac and his right-wing buddies would have said if clinton had smoked 200 kids and half the royal family of dubai in attempting to kill ‘osama bin-who?’ way back then during his impeachment imbroglio. he would have been strung up by his thumbs, or worse.

    Even accepting your hypothetical, sometimes a President has to risk getting politically criticized to save American lives. That’s the cajones that it takes to protect our national security.

  66. 66
    chopper says:

    Come on, I’ve disproved that stupid meme at least three times this week.

    yeah, mac has SUPER GINGRICH POWER!

  67. 67
    Proud Liberal says:

    Andrew Sullivan has a new phrase which I think applies to some in here. Dead-end Bushies. Yep. These Dead-enders (you know who you are MacBuckets, Darrell, sub-Par) will defend Bush with their last dying breath) Kinda sad isn’t it? To totally abdicate one’s thinking and analytical ability. In the same way a cult member will look at simple facts and amazingly enough find a way to twist it until it conforms with their pre-programmed ideology – these dead enders are never without a retort no matter how absurd and silly it is to those of us not a member of their unique cult. Quite a phenomenon – its facinating to watch. MacBuckets, got another post, I want to study some more?

  68. 68
    chopper says:

    Even accepting your hypothetical, sometimes a President has to risk getting politically criticized to save American lives. That’s the cajones that it takes to protect our national security.

    yes, sometimes a president needs to kill the leaders of another country entirely to get at a terrorist. that’s a sign of true leadership.

  69. 69
    Davebo says:

    If only Eisenhower had bombed Yemen 3000 Americans would be alive today.

  70. 70
    mrmobi says:

    That’s the cajones that it takes to protect our national security.

    Burn to death 200 children = cajones
    Thanks, Mac. You’ve established that you were raised by serial killers.

  71. 71
    chopper says:

    Chopper, I do not agree. Clinton made the only possible call for someone who wants to remain a decent human being. But I do think Mac irrationally hates at times.

    to be fair, i said ‘in hindsight’, that is knowing that the dude would kill off 3000 americans in the future. in that case i see the decision to smoke some kids as pretty straightforward, tho still really hard to make for anyone save mac’s fantasy uber-mench commander-in-cheif who can bend steel with the sheer force of his will.

    of course then we get into ‘dead zone’ territory. i imagine a future-pensing bill clinton, lying on the ground, shot by a pissed off right-wing assassin after ordering the killing of 200 kids and the leaders of dubai, and as he breathes his last he sees a future where 9/11 doesn’t happen and smiles knowing what nobody else knows. fin.

  72. 72
    mrmobi says:

    Mac, you should change your screen name to:

    MacBucket O’Blood

  73. 73
    jg says:

    Mac Buckets Says:

    At least Clinton TRIED to kill bin Laden.. you remember all those missles that the righ wing nut jobs all said was ‘wag the dog”

    Come on, I’ve disproved that stupid meme at least three times this week.

    Are you really trying to say that you’ve disproved all of our memories of what was said on news broadcasts and talk radio?

  74. 74
    chopper says:

    Are you really trying to say that you’ve disproved all of our memories of what was said on news broadcasts and talk radio?

    he cited a few goopers who didn’t dig the ‘wag the dog’ theory. that proves that the GOP in general felt the same way, despite all the experiences the rest of america had at the time. don’t you see?

  75. 75

    Come on, I’ve disproved that stupid meme at least three times this week.

    I’m sure your mother agreed with you, but the rest of us require a bit more like uhh… I don’t know logic and facts.

  76. 76
    DwightKSchrute says:

    I have trouble accepting a “balanced” look at the issue in which there are multiple clips of Clinton talking about Monica Lewinsky and yet not one second of Bush’s visit with the kids in Florida with the My Pet Goat reading, reaction to the news we’ve been hit, etc. But I guess Fox News has redefined “balanced” and of course facts have “a notorious liberal bias”.

  77. 77
    jg says:

    chopper Says:

    Are you really trying to say that you’ve disproved all of our memories of what was said on news broadcasts and talk radio?

    he cited a few goopers who didn’t dig the ‘wag the dog’ theory. that proves that the GOP in general felt the same way, despite all the experiences the rest of america had at the time. don’t you see?

    Yes, I’m beginnng to see. If Squealer says we remember it wrong then we do. Snowball is such a traitor.

  78. 78
    Mac Buckets says:

    Somehow this works against the image of someone afraid to act; it destroys the nice narrative about it all being Clinton’s fault.

    Nonsense. The argument isn’t that he did nothing for five years, or that everything is Clinton’s fault (have you guys ever seen a shade of gray? never mind, I know the answer). I’m saying that he didn’t do enough to succeed to his own standard, and also that he couldn’t make the tough calls correctly. It was easy to bomb an Al Qaeda training camp — there’s no major political downside, because even if you miss Osama, you kill terrorists, or you kill nobody — which is exactly what happened.

    Again, it’s the toughest call in the world to make, but I know how I want my President to make it. If you’re convinced, as Clinton was, that this guy orchestrated the killings of Americans in the past, and will orchestrate more in the future…you’ve got to pull the trigger and pray for forgiveness.

  79. 79
    p.lukasiak says:

    Can someone explain to me exactly what the US had on Bin Laden in 1996? What crimes had he committed against America that would have justified killing 200 civilians in order to take him out? I was under the impression that the ‘98 embassy bomings were his first real attacks on American interests. Is this wrong?

    yes and no. By 1996, Al-Qaeda had been “linked” to the 1993 WTC bombing; however, there was insufficient evidence in the legal sense linking bin-Laden himself for an extradition request. In 1996, Bin Laden was a “bad guy” who was known to “want to kill Americans”, but international climate did not allow the US to go around violating the sovereignty of nations willy-nilly to kill all the people who didn’t like America.

    Given the actual facts (the bombing of the factory in Sudan, the bombing of bin Laden’s training camp in 1998, the plan to take out bin Laden through Pakistan that had to be called off at the last minute because of the overthrow of the Pakistani government by Musharraf, who subsequently refused to allow the US to use Pakistani land in the assault, and the fact that Clinton discussed the terrorist threat a minimum of three times a week during his National Security meetings) any “docudrama” that suggests that Clinton was unwilling or uninterested in dealing with the threat that bin Laden posed is pure bullshit. Were actions taken (and not taken) that, in retrospect, could be described as “mistakes.” Certainly–in retrospect.

    But if we are to “blame” Clinton for what he didn’t do, that blame has to be shared by the GOP leadership of Congress, who blocked efforts by the Clinton administration to make this nation safer from terrorist attacks — and who never missed an opportunity to criticize Clinton when he agressively pursued an anti-terrorist agenda.

    Compare this to Bush, whose disinterest in the threat posed by al Qaeda prior to 9-11 is legendary. Bush and the GOP virtually ignored the recommendations of the bi-partisan commission on terrorism; Bush’s only response was to throw the whole issue to Cheney, who formed a “committee” to deal with the terrorist threat that never met prior to 9-11). Bush’s “national security priorities” were focussed on the “threat” posed by Iraq, and on antagonizing North Korea to the point where the “Star Wars” program could be justified.

    One need only look at Bush’s failure to take out Zarqawi when he had more than ample opportuniity to in order to realize that Bush has never taken al-Qaeda seriously (Zarqawi, of course, was being provided safe haven by the Kurds, and was a sworn enemy of Saddam Hussein — his existence in an area of Iraq over which Saddam had almost no control was exploited by the Bush administration in order to give the impression that there were ties between Iraq and 9-11.) For Bush, the events of 9-11 were merely an opportunity to be exploited politically.

  80. 80
    Mac Buckets says:

    NewsMax likes pie!

    Is that all you guys have got? NewsMax? Not even Clinton used that dodge! Because, well, it’s recorded, moron. And on videotape given to the 9/11 Commission. But if it doesn’t come from the Crackheads at RawStory, you’ll never accept it. Pathetic.

  81. 81
    Mac Buckets says:

    But if we are to “blame” Clinton for what he didn’t do, that blame has to be shared by the GOP leadership of Congress, who blocked efforts by the Clinton administration to make this nation safer from terrorist attacks—and who never missed an opportunity to criticize Clinton when he agressively pursued an anti-terrorist agenda.

    I call bullshit! This meme has already been terminated with extreme prejudice.

  82. 82
    jg says:

    If you’re convinced, as Clinton was, that this guy orchestrated the killings of Americans in the past, and will orchestrate more in the future…you’ve got to pull the trigger and pray for forgiveness.

    Then why didn’t Bush do it when he took office? Did he not agree that this guy was a past and also future problem for us? Where were his balls?
    Why hasn’t he done it yet? Didn’t he say we will make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them? Don’t we know they are in the made up place of warizistan? Why not go get them?

  83. 83
    chopper says:

    It was easy to bomb an Al Qaeda training camp—there’s no major political downside, because even if you miss Osama, you kill terrorists, or you kill nobody—which is exactly what happened.

    or you kill half the royal family of dubai. but i doubt there’d be any downside to that. nope, no sir.

  84. 84
    jg says:

    Mac Buckets Says:

    But if we are to “blame” Clinton for what he didn’t do, that blame has to be shared by the GOP leadership of Congress, who blocked efforts by the Clinton administration to make this nation safer from terrorist attacks—and who never missed an opportunity to criticize Clinton when he agressively pursued an anti-terrorist agenda.

    I call bullshit! This meme has already been terminated with extreme prejudice.

    Because you said so? How many quotes from Orin Hatch will it take to revive this meme?

  85. 85
    chopper says:

    This meme has already been terminated with extreme prejudice.

    whatever you say, mac. your three senators trumps our shared experiences, totally.

  86. 86
    Proud Liberal says:

    Again, it’s the toughest call in the world to make, but I know how I want my President to make it. If you’re convinced, as Clinton was, that this guy orchestrated the killings of Americans in the past, and will orchestrate more in the future…you’ve got to pull the trigger and pray for forgiveness.

    Hey… for once I agree with MacBuckets, that is why I am so upset with this

    WASHINGTON, July 3 — The Central Intelligence Agency has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants, intelligence officials confirmed Monday. The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, the officials said.

    The decision is a milestone for the agency, which formed the unit before Osama bin Laden became a household name and bolstered its ranks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when President Bush pledged to bring Mr. bin Laden to justice “dead or alive.”

    and this

    Exclusive: CIA Commander: U.S. Let bin Laden Slip Away

    But in a forthcoming book, the CIA field commander for the agency’s Jawbreaker team at Tora Bora, Gary Berntsen, says he and other U.S. commanders did know that bin Laden was among the hundreds of fleeing Qaeda and Taliban members. Berntsen says he had definitive intelligence that bin Laden was holed up at Tora Bora—intelligence operatives had tracked him—and could have been caught. “He was there,” Berntsen tells NEWSWEEK

    and most recently, this:

    Pakistan’s “truce with the Taliban is an abject surrender, and al-Qaeda has an untouchable base of operations in Western Pakistan which will only expand if not checked

    The news of the Pakistani government signing a truce agreement with the Taliban in North Waziristan is far worse than being reported. We raised the alarm early morning on September 4, and newly uncovered information on the terms of the agreement indicate Pakistan has been roundly defeated by the Taliban in North Waziristan. The “truce” is in fact a surrender. According to an anonymous intelligence source.

    .

  87. 87
    Perry Como says:

    or you kill half the royal family of dubai. but i doubt there’d be any downside to that. nope, no sir.

    Who would we get to run our ports?

  88. 88
    chopper says:

    actually, hatch was one of the few who defended clinton during the strikes in afghanistan.

    others, however, are a different story.

  89. 89
    chopper says:

    Who would we get to run our ports?

    i’m sure the saudis could scrape up a few mullahs to do the job.

  90. 90
    chopper says:

    Then why didn’t Bush do it when he took office? Did he not agree that this guy was a past and also future problem for us? Where were his balls?

    good question. i guess if clinton struck but not hard enough while bush did nothing at all, then bush had even smaller balls then clinton.

  91. 91
    DwightKSchrute says:

    So if hindsight can be taken into account – If Clinton were to get information in 1994 that Tim McVeigh potentially “wanted to kill Americans” but hadn’t actually committed any terrorist act, would he have been right in a pre-emptive strike bombing a Kansas Militia compound in an attempt to kill McVeigh? Even if there was only a 50% chance he’d get McVeigh, but it was certain that a couple hundred other men, women and children that would be there and might be associated with him? What would the American publics reaction to this be? What would the political right’s reaction be?

    Kinda seems easier to say what kind of “cajones” a leader needs when you only think of terrorists as being brown Muslims from third world countries.

  92. 92
    jg says:

    i guess if clinton struck but not hard enough while bush did nothing at all, then bush had even smaller balls then clinton.

    Don’t forget the ‘deer in the headlights’ look on his face during the My Pet Goat moment. Cajones? Maybe Cheney chose himself as VP for a reason. I’m sure in a year or two Squealer will start to try to convince us the My Pet Goat incident never actually happened. It sure didn’t make it into the movie.

  93. 93
    Par R says:

    Kinda seems easier to say what kind of “cajones” a leader needs when you only think of terrorists as being brown Muslims from third world countries.

    Right On. Let’s just run our anti-terrorist programs on a politically correct basis.

  94. 94
    Richard 23 says:

    So what kind of pie does the ParRot prefer?

  95. 95

    Again, it’s the toughest call in the world to make, but I know how I want my President to make it. If you’re convinced, as Clinton was, that this guy orchestrated the killings of Americans in the past, and will orchestrate more in the future…you’ve got to pull the trigger and pray for forgiveness.

    Isn’t this the same Mac Buckets who was criticizing Cindy Sheehan for fantasizing about infanticide a couple threads ago?

    Glad to see your worldview has evolved, Mac. Anyone of those 200 children Clinton failed to incinerate could grow up to become the next generation’s Osama. Any Muslim child has that potential, obviously.

    Personally, I think we should nuke the entire Mideast from orbit.

    It’s the only way to be sure.

    Remember, you’re only criticized for the terrorists you DIDN’T incinerate alongside little children, not the ones you did. Who even remembers that Shehade asshole anymore? That was like 4 years ago. Clinton failed to kill Bin Laden 12 years ago. Even the royal family of Dubai would’ve gotten over it by now. Come on, people!

  96. 96
    JWeidner says:

    So what kind of pie does the ParRot prefer?

    mmmmmm….pie

    Like Homer Simpson to a donut, ParR takes the pie and gobbles it down

  97. 97
    jg says:

    I found where Mac gets his talking points about cajones.

    Personally, I think we should nuke the entire Mideast from orbit.

    It’s the only way to be sure.

    One of my favorite movies ever.

  98. 98
    Richard 23 says:

    Mmmmm, sacrelicious!

  99. 99
    Otto Man says:

    In an odd coincidence, I just opened up the new issue of Time. There’s an artist’s drawing of the fences at the WTC site on p. 51, complete with captions of tourists at the site, clamoring for pictures.

  100. 100

    One of my favorite movies ever.

    That movie just keeps on giving. That one, and “Predator.” Timeless classics. (I’d add “Terminator,” too, but the third one kind of irked me. Then again, it’s not as if every film in the Aliens/Predator genre has been wonderful, either. Cf… “AVP.”)

  101. 101
    Judy says:

    Both Clinton, Congress and Bush could have done more> Now before we get to Clinton had 8 years and Bush only months, let us remember there were mistakes on both sides. Clinton with Monica and Bush was fixated on Saddam since the beginning. If you don’t believe me ask the military folks. Why the Path to 9/11 insults me personally is sometimes I think there are evangelicals making a mockery of God by using Him for there own agenda. We should all be ashamed.

  102. 102
    Proud Liberal says:

    Bottom line:

    Time Poll conducted by Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas (SRBI) Public Affairs. July 13-17, 2006. N=1,003 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

    “Based on what you remember from President Clinton’s administration, do you approve or disapprove of the job Bill Clinton did in handling his job as president?”

    7/13-17/06

    70% APPROVE

    27% Disapprove

    2% Unsure

    Not bad for the guy that let bin Laden live. Oh.. and these are interesting too:

    Quinnipiac University Poll. May 23-30, 2006. N=1,534 registered voters nationwide. MoE ± 2.5.

    “Thinking about the United States presidents we have had since World War II — [see below] — which one would you consider the best president?”

    Ronald Reagan 28
    Bill Clinton 25
    John Kennedy 18
    Harry Truman 7
    Jimmy Carter 5
    Dwight Eisenhower 5
    George W. Bush 3
    George Bush Senior 2
    Gerald Ford 1
    Lyndon Johnson 1
    Richard Nixon 1
    No opinion 4
    .

    “Which of these eleven presidents we have had since World War II would you consider the worst president: [see below]?”

    George W. Bush 34
    Richard Nixon 17
    Bill Clinton 16
    Jimmy Carter 13
    Lyndon Johnson 4
    George Bush Senior 3
    Ronald Reagan 3
    Gerald Ford 2
    John Kennedy 1
    Harry Truman 1
    Dwight Eisenhower –
    No opinion 5

    .

  103. 103
    jg says:

    Then again, it’s not as if every film in the Aliens/Predator genre has been wonderful, either. Cf… “AVP.”)

    I don’t recognize the existence of Alien 4 (resur-erection or whatever its called), or Alien vs Predator.

  104. 104
    Larry says:

    Bush was fixated on Saddam since the beginning. If you don’t believe me ask the military folks.

    Good point.

  105. 105

    I don’t recognize the existence of Alien 4 (resur-erection or whatever its called), or Alien vs Predator.

    Fair enough, but even Alien 3 and Predator 2 had their flaws. (Frankly, one of the great miracles of Hollywood is that David Fincher went on from directing Alien 3 to directing Seven and Fight Club. Apparently, he’s at his best when he has Brad Pitt in his movies. I’m not sure why this is, though. (Some people like “The Game” and “Panic Room”, too, but I didn’t really care for either.)

  106. 106

    In an odd coincidence, I just opened up the new issue of Time. There’s an artist’s drawing of the fences at the WTC site on p. 51, complete with captions of tourists at the site, clamoring for pictures.

    Did you see this week’s Onion? I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

  107. 107
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    NewsMax likes pie!

    Is that all you guys have got? NewsMax?

    No, that’s all *you’ve* got, citing openly funded right-wing propaganda networks pushing their own covertly funded right-wing propaganda. I doubt that you will ever be able to comprehend just how used, how much of someone else’s tool of a tool of a tool you are being right now, even though it will surely be explained to you, at length, for years to come. But if that ever sinks in, if you ever figure it out, even decades later, let me know, and then we can try to have a real conversation for once. Until then, enjoy your NewsMax.

  108. 108
    Pb says:

    Now before we get to Clinton had 8 years and Bush only months, let us remember there were mistakes on both sides. Clinton with Monica and Bush was fixated on Saddam since the beginning.

    Ah yes, there were mistakes on both sides. First, we had Clinton’s unilateral invasion of Monica–thousands died, billions wasted, and yet Slick Willie got off scott-free! And then there was Bush’s personal problem, his immoral yet perhaps consensual fixation with Saddam and his alleged ‘weapon’. The Republican Congress never let him hear the end of that one!

    Wait… strike that, reverse it!

  109. 109
    jg says:

    Fair enough, but even Alien 3 and Predator 2 had their flaws. (Frankly, one of the great miracles of Hollywood is that David Fincher went on from directing Alien 3 to directing Seven and Fight Club.

    When I first saw Alien 3 I wanted David Fincher killed. For a while I wouldn’t acknowledge that movie was ever made either. Then I found out what happened to the movie he wanted to direct and I forgave him (Seven and Fight Club helped a lot there too). The special edition has his original cut before they replaced him and changed some shit around. Better, still not great but since I know he’s not completely respobsible for that mess of a movie I now accept it in my library.

    I first saw Alien in the theatre when I was 8. So scary and yet the most lasting image was Ripley in her underwear. Good times. :)

  110. 110
    Krista says:

    Who’s in the mood for a pie fight?

  111. 111
    Larry says:

    I see that should the Left actually take control of the government in this country, one of the first things to go wull be the First Amendment

    They had it for a long time, but the amendment stayed.

  112. 112
    Darrell says:

    Isn’t this the same Mac Buckets who was criticizing Cindy Sheehan for fantasizing about infanticide a couple threads ago?

    Glad to see your worldview has evolved, Mac. Anyone of those 200 children Clinton failed to incinerate could grow up to become the next generation’s Osama. Any Muslim child has that potential, obviously.

    Welcome to the ‘reality based’ left. The ‘ahole who formerly was an ahole’ is a pathetic sack of shit. Why don’t you make joke #447 about “pie”?.. because it’s sooo funny after the 7th or 40th time.. No original thoughts = ‘jokes’ about “pie” or “jackalopes”. Welcome to the left!

  113. 113
    Richard 23 says:

    Have some jackalope pie, douchebag. Welcome to the right!

  114. 114
    Richard 23 says:

    Notice, if you will, how Mac and Darrell fumblingly evade enlightening us on what kind of pie they like. I bet they hate pie, even apple pie. Shows just how un-American they really are.

    Yeah, “I like pie” isn’t funny to them because they are objectively anti-pie.

  115. 115
    Mac Buckets says:

    No, that’s all you’ve got, citing openly funded right-wing propaganda networks pushing their own covertly funded right-wing propaganda.

    The speech they transcribed was recorded, moron. The 9/11 Commission got a videotape of the speech. Clinton admits he said it. CNN acknowledged he said it. The story is 100% accurate. Sorry that RawStory didn’t beat them to it?

    So your weak, mindless “NewsMax NewsMax NewsMax” whining is displaying your complete and utter stupidity, along with a healthy dose of childish dishonesty.

  116. 116
    Darrell says:

    Notice, if you will, how Mac and Darrell fumblingly evade enlightening us on what kind of pie they like. I bet they hate pie, even apple pie. Shows just how un-American they really are.

    I think that after the 139th post on “pie”, somehow the humor rubbed off. But the mentally deranged left, keeps bringing up ‘pie’ as if it’s “clever”.. whatev whackjobs. You are some pathetic losers, that much is certain.

  117. 117
    jg says:

    Darrell(the pie man) Says:
    No original thoughts = ‘jokes’ about “pie” or “jackalopes”.

    Just more evidence you aren’t serious. Except maybe about pie. You like pie right?

    You have to be the biggest pie loving pie lover in the world to think we are talking about your love of pie because we have no ‘original’ thoughts. Whats up with ‘original’ anyway? That’s new. Was there a new email sent out to the troll roll? No more saying ‘serious’, now its ‘original’? You ever get tired of showing up here and not making an argument?

  118. 118
    Darrell says:

    Just more evidence you aren’t serious. Except maybe about pie. You like pie right?

    “Clap louder jg Clap louder for Dear Leader” This discussion on pie is just another jackalope diversion from the Bush fellating rightwingnuts.

  119. 119
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    CNN acknowledged he said it. The story is 100% accurate.

    Wow. All that, and the best you could come up with was NewsMax? So cite CNN, then.

    Sorry that RawStory didn’t beat them to it?

    I don’t know what your fixation over ‘RawStory’ is, other than the fact that I didn’t link to them. Is that why you keep bringing them up? Some sort of required stipulation in your lying asshole persona that you have to lie about something or smear someone in every post?

    So your weak, mindless “NewsMax NewsMax NewsMax” whining is displaying your complete and utter stupidity, along with a healthy dose of childish dishonesty.

    I guess so! Add projection to that list too. Geez, that’s sad.

  120. 120
    jg says:

    Darrell The Pie Man Says:

    “Clap louder jg Clap louder for Dear Leader” This discussion on pie is just another jackalope diversion from the Bush fellating rightwingnuts.

    I know all those words but they just make no sense arranged that way.

    You been eating too much pie dude.

  121. 121
    Mac Buckets says:

    Then why didn’t Bush do it when he took office? Did he not agree that this guy was a past and also future problem for us? Where were his balls?

    You guys are complete simpletons. Your brains lack the capacity to grasp any nuanced views, it seems. Either Clinton is 100% to blame and Bush is blameless, or Bush is 100% to blame and Clinton is blameless, right? If I say Clinton failed, then I must be saying that Bush hasn’t failed, right?

    So, in Balloon Juice Lefty Land, an adaquate response to a point about Clinton’s failures would be the zinger “What about Bush? He hasn’t gotten Osama yet, either!” To which I respond: Duh. No, he hasn’t. I never said Bush hasn’t failed in his efforts to get Osama — rather, I’ve said the opposite. Look up the term “mutually exclusive” sometime, or get an adult to do it for you.

    It’s amazing that you lot can tie your shoes in the morning. I’m guessing that there’s a lot of velcro and slip-ons represented by the lefties on this page.

  122. 122
    Richard 23 says:

    I think that after the 139th post on “pie”, somehow the humor rubbed off. But the mentally deranged left, keeps bringing up ‘pie’ as if it’s “clever”.. whatev whackjobs. You are some pathetic losers, that much is certain.

    Nice dodge double D. It just proves my assertion that you don’t like pie. Reread this thread to see how fucking dishonest you are. “Keep crapping. Crap louder.”

  123. 123
    Richard 23 says:

    “Darrell” said:

    This discussion on pie is just another jackalope diversion from the Bush fellating rightwingnuts.

    An obvious spoof, ahole.

  124. 124
    jg says:

    So, in Balloon Juice Lefty Land, an adaquate response to a point about Clinton’s failures would be the zinger “What about Bush? He hasn’t gotten Osama yet, either!”

    You are such an idiot you don’t even recognize your own argument style being thrown in your face.

    Either way the point isn’t that Clinton is blameless and Bush should be hanged or anything like that. Its about a propaganda film that is revising history to suit the republican narrative that Bush was handed this situation from Clinton, who was a pussy democrat who has proven once again what we all know about democrats. They can’t be trusted. They won’t go the extra mile for our security, blah, blah, blah. Maybe you’re too intelligent to fall for it. I can buy that. But then you’re also smart enough to realize a lot of people will fall for it. A lot of people want to believe it was all Clintons fault. This film is for them.

  125. 125
    Mac Buckets says:

    whatever you say, mac. your three senators trumps our shared experiences, totally.

    Your shared imaginary experiences of made-up victimhood that you can’t support with links to anything frankly do not interest me or any thinking human.

    So far, I think there have been THREE whole Republicans in Washington (out of about 300) cited who ever questioned the timing of the Afghan strike (one of whom immediately recanted and supported the strikes), and I’ve offered links to almost all the GOP leadership of the day fully supporting Clinton and rejecting the Wag the Dog stuff.

    But what are facts and real history compared to your fairyland “shared experiences?” Maybe Malkin’s right, and there is a derangement syndrome on the left.

  126. 126
    jg says:

    Your shared imaginary experiences of made-up victimhood that you can’t support with links to anything frankly do not interest me or any thinking human.

    You really do think we were all wrong in remembering the wag the dog stuff don’t you? You quote some right wingers and the stories over? Have you read 1984?

  127. 127
    Mac Buckets says:

    to be fair, i said ‘in hindsight’, that is knowing that the dude would kill off 3000 americans in the future. in that case i see the decision to smoke some kids as pretty straightforward,

    Careful chopper, or they’ll say you were also “raised by serial killers!”

  128. 128
    Mac Buckets says:

    You really do think we were all wrong in remembering the wag the dog stuff don’t you?

    No, you and the others are just imagining that it came from the GOP Congress — that’s why you can’t find but two or three quotes from a Republican in DC questioning the timing. “Wag the Dog” came from CNN and the Press Corp, looking for a sexy Hollywood tie-in to cleverly sell their stories on TV. Several of the Congressmen I linked to said that the media bombarded them with “Wag the Dog” questions on the morning the strike was announced, not the other way around.

  129. 129
    Mac Buckets says:

    You are such an idiot you don’t even recognize your own argument style being thrown in your face.

    That’s pretty pretty pretty pretty lame there, jg. The old “I was imitating you!” Weak. I might almost buy it, if 10 of your comreades-in-keyboards hadn’t posted the exact same black/white drivel on this very page.

    A lot of people want to believe it was all Clintons fault. This film is for them.

    From what I’ve heard (and you haven’t seen the film, either), it shows the failures of Clinton and the failures of Bush. I assume it will show Clinton’s failed attempts to strike bin Laden, to at least indicate he was concerned about the problem after each subsequent terrorist attack. Naturally, since between the first WTC bombing and 9/11, Clinton was in office for eight years and Bush for eight months, well, do the math — it might not be an equal screen-time situation, nor should any fair person expect it to be.

    What I hope it will show Americans is that neither Administration took the increasingly-frequent strikes of Islamic terrorists seriously enough until 9/11, and that neither Administration has a good enough excuse for their respective failures. Which is the exact, God’s-honest truth.

  130. 130
    Richard 23 says:

    From what I’ve heard (and you haven’t seen the film, either), it shows the failures of Clinton and the failures of Bush.

    But that’s not the problem. It shows some faked failures of the Clinton Administration and some real failures of the Bush Administration, from what I have read. If true, the problem is the distortion of history, the blurring of blame. Place the blame where it belongs but don’t make shit up!

    Making shit up and using fictional characters to act it out is one thing, but making shit up using real people who are still alive, well, that’s sick and wrong….

  131. 131
    Mac Buckets says:

    All that, and the best you could come up with was NewsMax? So cite CNN, then.

    I attribute to the folks who broke the story, when possible. That’s only fair, since they did all the work.

    I posted a snip from the Amanpour/Clinton interview regarding that speech and Clinton’s backpedaling above. Where do you think she’s worked for the last three decades? Fox News?

  132. 132
    Mac Buckets says:

    It shows some faked failures of the Clinton Administration

    No, I would say that it shows very real failures as documented in the 9/11 report, but condensed and dramatized for TV. Whether Berger dithered and hung up the phone or not is a detail to the larger story of indecision and missed opportunities, a story which squares with the testimony of at least one CIA operative in the 9/11 Report.

  133. 133
    tBone says:

    Mac, leaving aside the question of who’s more culpable for failing to prevent 9/11 – will you acknowledge that the way this film has been promoted has been ham-fisted, to say the least? When 900+ conservative commentators and bloggers get review copies but Clinton and others in his administration can’t get their hands on one, don’t you think it’s understandable that lefties would be a little suspicious of the filmmaker’s motives? Doesn’t that strike you as the teensiest bit odd?

    Thus ends my no doubt futile attempt to bring the thread back on topic.

  134. 134
    ImJohnGalt says:

    FYI, I just saw clips from Michael Moore’s new documentary “Sicko”. For more on the evening’s events, click here.

  135. 135
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    Now that I look at this in more detail, I realize that I already know the facts of the case, and they are fairly consistent with what Clinton was originally saying, and indeed with other remarks that I have linked to before… and to the extent that it could be interpreted otherwise, Clinton did the responsible thing and corrected himself. So what’s the problem here? What is this besides a pathetic attempt at a gotcha on your and NewsMax’s part? Oh, right. Nevermind, forget I asked. But thank you for confirming for me that I was right about both you and NewsMax in the first place!

  136. 136
    jg says:

    That’s pretty pretty pretty pretty lame there, jg. The old “I was imitating you!” Weak. I might almost buy it, if 10 of your comreades-in-keyboards hadn’t posted the exact same black/white drivel on this very page.

    Dude, the argument style I was talking about was the Darrellistic way the right has of going all, ‘Clinton did it too’ on just about evey Bush criticism. Not that you do it but to hear a right winger get all huffy like you did over an argument tactic the right patented was pretty funny to me.

    Naturally, since between the first WTC bombing and 9/11, Clinton was in office for eight years and Bush for eight months, well, do the math—it might not be an equal screen-time situation

    Oh, is that why? LOL I’m sure it had nothing at all to do with who wrote funded and produced it.

    What I hope it will show Americans is that neither Administration took the increasingly-frequent strikes of Islamic terrorists seriously enough until 9/11, and that neither Administration has a good enough excuse for their respective failures. Which is the exact, God’s-honest truth.

    No, thats not the truth whether you invoke God or not. Clinton did do something, Bush did nothing. Bush blew off the problem when he took office and directed efforts elsewhere. Clinton, while ineffective, at least showed he was aware of the problem. What did Bush do, at anytime before 9/11, to make us safer from any terrorism let alone specifically address AL Qaeda or OBL?

    Aside from the fake but accurate history the problem is simple and obvious. A propaganda film written and produced by right wing persons and groups is being shown commercial free on public airwaves two months before an election and it will tell the public through exagerated re-enactments of events that actually didn’t happen according to the people on the committee which is supposed to be the source of the material for the movie, that the reason 9/11 happened is more directly related to screwups on the part of the previous (and super liberal democrat) administration and not the current right wing conservative tough on crime and serious about our nations security republican administration.

  137. 137
    Proud Liberal says:

    MacBuckets world:

    No, you and the others are just imagining that it came from the GOP Congress—that’s why you can’t find but two or three quotes from a Republican in DC questioning the timing. “Wag the Dog” came from CNN and the Press Corp, looking for a sexy Hollywood tie-in to cleverly sell their stories on TV. Several of the Congressmen I linked to said that the media bombarded them with “Wag the Dog” questions on the morning the strike was announced, not the other way around.

    But alas the real world has many examples of Republicans using the “wag the dog” attack on Clinton for Bosnia, Kosovo and the attack on the “aspirin factory” Here are some samples:

    Rep. Dick Armey, GOP Majority Leader
    “The suspicion some people have about the president’s motives in this attack [on Iraq] is itself a powerful argument for impeachment,” Armey said in a statement. “After months of lies, the president has given millions of people around the world reason to doubt that he has sent Americans into battle for the right reasons.

    Rep. Gerald Solomon (R – NY)
    “It is obvious that they’re (the Clinton White House) doing everything they can to postpone the vote on this impeachment in order to try to get whatever kind of leverage they can, and the American people ought to be as outraged as I am about it,” Solomon said in an interview with CNN. Asked if he was accusing Clinton of playing with American lives for political expediency, Solomon said, “Whether he knows it or not, that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

    Sen. Dan Coats

    Coats, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement, “While there is clearly much more we need to learn about this attack [on Osama bin Laden] and why it was ordered today, given the president’s personal difficulties this week, it is legitimate to question the timing of this action.”

    Sen. Larry Craig, U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee
    The foregoing review of the Clinton Administration’s prevarications on Kosovo would not be complete without a brief look at one other possible factor in the deepening morass. Consider the following fictional situation: A president embroiled in a sex scandal that threatens to bring down his administration. He sees the only way out in distracting the nation and the world with a foreign military adventure. So, he orders his spin-doctors and media wizards to get to work. They survey the options, push a few buttons, and decide upon a suitable locale: Albania.


    GOP Activist Paul Weyrich

    Paul Weyrich, a leading conservative activist, said Clinton’s decision to bomb on the eve of the impeachment vote “is more of an impeachable offense than anything he is being charged with in Congress.”

    Wall St. Journal Editorial Board
    “It is dangerous for an American president to launch a military strike, however justified, at a time when many will conclude he acted only out of narrow self-interest to forestall or postpone his own impeachment”

    Sen. Trent Lott, GOP Majority Leader
    “I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time,” Lott said in a statement. “Both the timing and the policy are subject to question.”

    Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-NY)

    “Never underestimate a desperate president,” said a furious House Rules Committee Chairman Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-N.Y.). “What option is left for getting impeachment off the front page and maybe even postponed? And how else to explain the sudden appearance of a backbone that has been invisible up to now?”

    Rep. Tillie Folwer (R-Fla)
    “It [the bombing of Iraq] is certainly rather suspicious timing,” said Rep. Tillie Fowler (R-Florida). “I think the president is shameless in what he would do to stay in office.”

    Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum
    First, it [intervention in Kosovo] is a “wag the dog” public relations ploy to involve us in a war in order to divert attention from his personal scandals (only a few of which were addressed in the Senate trial). He is again following the scenario of the “life is truer than fiction” movie Wag the Dog. The very day after his acquittal, Clinton moved quickly to “move on” from the subject of impeachment by announcing threats to bomb and to send U.S. ground troops into the civil war in Kosovo between Serbian authorities and ethnic Albanians fighting for independence. He scheduled Americans to be part of a NATO force under non-American command.

    Jim Hoagland, Washington Post

    “President Clinton has indelibly associated a justified military response … with his own wrongdoing. … Clinton has now injected the impeachment process against him into foreign policy, and vice versa”

    Byron York, National Review

    Instead of striking a strong blow against terrorism, the action [launching cruise missles at bin Laden] set off a howling debate about Clinton’s motives. The president ordered the action three days after appearing before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Clinton’s critics accused him of using military action to change the subject from the sex-and-perjury scandal — the so-called “wag the dog” strategy.

    Wall St. Journal editorial
    “Perceptions that the American president is less interested in the global consequences than in taking any action that will enable him to hold onto power [are] a further demonstration that he has dangerously compromised himself in conducting the nation’s affairs, and should be impeached”

    yeah…. it was just the bad old media heh bucket boy?

  138. 138
    PeterJ says:

    Seems like it won’t be commercial free anymore…

    In another complication, President Bush has asked networks to clear time for an address to the nation Monday at 9:01 p.m. EDT, the start of the last hour of the movie on the East Coast. ABC announced plans to cover the speech before resuming the film.

    source

  139. 139
    Jess says:

    If you want to send a message to the corporate side of this… Use the block function on your cable box. This is season premeire sweeps month and blocking out ABC and Disney channels will cost them $$$$$ and nothing gets their attention more than that!

    This is from a comment over at Crooks and Liars–I don’t do TV, so I have no idea if this actually makes sense, but maybe it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.

  140. 140

    When I first saw Alien 3 I wanted David Fincher killed. For a while I wouldn’t acknowledge that movie was ever made either. Then I found out what happened to the movie he wanted to direct and I forgave him (Seven and Fight Club helped a lot there too). The special edition has his original cut before they replaced him and changed some shit around. Better, still not great but since I know he’s not completely respobsible for that mess of a movie I now accept it in my library

    I had no idea that they took away his creative control. That’s interesting. Maybe I’ll rent the special edition one of these days. (Of course, the script/plot was a mess to begin with, and there’s just no saving that pile of crap.)

  141. 141

    I like pie!

    Was this directed at me, Senator Corky?

  142. 142
    chopper says:

    Your shared imaginary experiences of made-up victimhood that you can’t support with links to anything frankly do not interest me or any thinking human.

    whatever you say, mac. your three senators totally are a majority of GOPers.

  143. 143
    chopper says:

    No, I would say that it shows very real failures as documented in the 9/11 report, but condensed and dramatized for TV. Whether Berger dithered and hung up the phone or not is a detail to the larger story of indecision and missed opportunities, a story which squares with the testimony of at least one CIA operative in the 9/11 Report.

    they should have put in the scene when bush was told about 9/11 while reading to the school kids and had him piss his pants, showing the urine dribbling off his shoe. that, of course, would have been fine as it was ‘just a detail’ in the overall narrative.

    i’m sure you would have no problem with such an addition.

  144. 144

    No, I would say that it shows very real failures as documented in the 9/11 report, but condensed and dramatized for TV. Whether Berger dithered and hung up the phone or not is a detail to the larger story of indecision and missed opportunities, a story which squares with the testimony of at least one CIA operative in the 9/11 Report.

    The interesting thing about Mac Buckets.

    He wouldn’t be making this argument if the movie had actually shown Bush’s culpability in ignoring the threat. He’d instead have been whining about how the liberal media were all a bunch of Bush haters.

    What a fucktard.

  145. 145
    p.lukasiak says:

    No, I would say that it shows very real failures as documented in the 9/11 report, but condensed and dramatized for TV. Whether Berger dithered and hung up the phone or not is a detail to the larger story of indecision and missed opportunities, a story which squares with the testimony of at least one CIA operative in the 9/11 Report.

    sorry, but while there are some instances where “condensing” is justified (e.g. taking statements made in two different meetings that were held around the same time, and combining them into one meeting), and while “dramatization” is a valid means of telling a story based on factual evidence, that is not what Path to 9-11 has done.

    Instead, it has created complete lies in order to make an ideological point. By now most people are familiar with the big fat lie presented as fact that CIA agents and Northern Alliance troops had bin Laden were actually close enough to bin Laden to see him — and were refused authorization to take him out by Sandy Berger despite the desperate pleadings of the CIA agent on the ground. That never happened, nor did anything close to it ever happen…. but were it not for the controversy, tens of millions of people would have watched the show and thought it HAD happened. (I suspect, and hope, that this entire sequence will be “edited out” of the show.)

    Perhaps even more insidious is the way in which the missile attack on al Qaeda training camps is portrayed. The show implies that Albright tipped off the Pakistani military in time for them to warn bin Laden that the attack was coming. Not only was it not Albright who contacted Pakistan about the attack, the notification was not made until the missiles were in the air — and it was later determined that bin Laden had left the training camp hours before the missiles were launched. Nor does it appear that the rationale for notifying Pakistan is discussed — Pakistan is a nuclear power, and the missiles were travelling through Indian airspace into Pakistani air space — Pakistani officials who saw the 44 missiles coming from Indian airspace could very easily have assumed that Pakistan was under a major attack from its enemy and authorized a nuclear counter-strike on India. Its all well and good, in hindsight, to say that killing 200 children would have been worth a 50% chance of taking out bin Laden. But you have to be insane to suggest that risking a nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India that could result in tens of millions of deaths was worth it. (I also suspect, and hope, that this entire sequence will be edited out of the film.)

    These two very glaring examples of how the Clinton administration response is represented, combined with statements of the screenwriter (“It also dramatizes the frequent opportunities the [Clinton] Administration had in the 90s to stop Bin Laden in his tracks — but lacked the will to do so.”) demonstrates the ideologically based distortions in the piece.

    Unfortunately, no amount of “cutting” of controversial scenes will be able to remove the distortions that are built into the overall narrative. A screenwriter and director who believe that the Clinton administration had “frequent opportunities…to stop bin Laden” and that the administration “lacked the will to do so” would not have created the necessary footage that could be inserted into the production at the last minute that would tell the truth.

    One of the decisions that the director made was to NOT dramatize either Clinton or Bush, and to rely on “documentary” footage of them. This choice meant that the huge difference in the attention paid by Clinton and Bush to al-Qaeda could not be shown — Clinton was constantly demanding more information on the terrorist threat while Bush virtually ignored it. The only way to really understand each Administration’s response to al Qaeda is by understanding the leadership role that Clinton took, and that Bush abrograted and delegated to subordinates who were more interested in pursuing other agendas.

    We do know that documentary footage is used to portray Clinton as being obsessed with the Lewinsky matter — a conclusion directly contradicted by the findings of the 9-11 Commission — yet we’ve heard no reports of footage of Bush’s frequent and extended vacations being used, nor of footage of the “My Pet Goat” debacle being used. In other words documentary footage of Clinton is used to create a false impression of him, while (it appears) that the documentary footage that would provide a true impression of Bush’s failure of leadership on the threat of terrorism was not used.

    As one right winger who saw the entire show has said in favorable comments, the anti-Clinton bias is “in the DNA” of the production– in other words, no amount of “editing” can change the overall misleading nature of the program. It is for this reason that the show needs to be scrapped entirely.

  146. 146
    Zifnab says:

    He wouldn’t be making this argument if the movie had actually shown Bush’s culpability in ignoring the threat. He’d instead have been whining about how the liberal media were all a bunch of Bush haters.

    ~OtherSteve

    The situation was further complicated Friday, when ABC and other networks agreed to carry live a 15-minute speech from President Bush on Monday night, the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. This speech will air at 9 p.m. Eastern time, forcing ABC to interrupt Part 2 of the miniseries in many markets, including New York and Chicago.

    ~via LA Times

    But that’s the beauty of it. The 15-minute Bush Speech actually cuts into the “Bush” part of the movie. So while many will never see a large chunk of the second half of in which (I’m sure conservatives will argue) Bush was held just as culpable as Clinton, ABC can play the “You didn’t see the whole movie so you can’t judge” card even AFTER the series airs.

  147. 147
    Richard 23 says:

    That never happened, nor did anything close to it ever happen…. but were it not for the controversy, tens of millions of people would have watched the show and thought it HAD happened. (I suspect, and hope, that this entire sequence will be “edited out” of the show.)

    Maybe they could leave the film intact and have big flashing red letters screaming “THIS NEVER HAPPENED” when the “dramatic” scenes take place. That way everyone’s happy!

  148. 148
    Mac Buckets says:

    But alas the real world has many examples of Republicans using the “wag the dog” attack on Clinton for Bosnia, Kosovo and the attack on the “aspirin factory” Here are some samples:

    Of course, that’s pretty much off-topic, except…

    Is that why you guys mistakenly think the GOP was against Clinton striking Al Qaeda and bin Laden — because a few questioned his attacks on Iraq? Are you conflating the two in your memories?

    For the record, the vast majority of the GOP supported Clinton even as he was half-assedly bombing Iraq on the eve of his impeachment hearing. Even Newt Gingrich applauded it, saying it was an “appropriate use” of the military.

  149. 149
    Mac Buckets says:

    Clinton, while ineffective, at least showed he was aware of the problem.

    He should get the Special Olympics Medal of Honor, then. For trying.

    Don’t drink all the Kool-Aid. Leave some for the rest of the history-censors.

  150. 150
    Mac Buckets says:

    A screenwriter and director who believe that the Clinton administration had “frequent opportunities…to stop bin Laden” and that the administration “lacked the will to do so” would not have created the necessary footage that could be inserted into the production at the last minute that would tell the truth.

    Look, pl, we all know you are the longtime King of the Clinton Apologists, but if you’re going to trash that quote, you might want to explain what exactly you’re disagree with — is it the “frequent opportunities” or the “will” part that you disagree with?

    That said, we also know that you wouldn’t be happy with the film unless it showed Clinton pulling UBL’s beating heart out his body. I’m sorry to inform you that history doesn’t have a left-wing bias. The Clinton administration was, in fact, ineffective in fighting Al Qaeda and bin Laden, and that cost us on 9/11. Which is not to say 9/11 was all Clinton’s fault — it wasn’t, of course. There’s plenty of blame to around.

    The film showed that Clinton was ineffective in fighting Al Qaeda for the length of his term, and it will show that Bush was ineffective in fighting terrorism for the length of his term until 9/11/2001 and probably beyond. I’m sorry if you think that’s unfair, but if you ever want to argue that Clinton was effective against AQ, I’ll be happy to have that discussion with you.

  151. 151

    He should get the Special Olympics Medal of Honor, then. For trying

    Then Bush gets two of those, I guess, since he’s tried twice as hard. And still failed.

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