It is time to change the channel.
The LATimes reports this morning that the craptastic GOP-U-Drama will still be broadcast as scheduled on Sunday and Monday (I originally mis-typed this as "money," which seems oddly appropriate.) Tom Kean continues to dig himself further and further into the hypocrite hole:
Kean, in an interview Friday, continued to defend the movie as a "first-class project," adding that although the filmmakers took the recent criticisms seriously and made adjustments when warranted, much of the hostile reaction was political grandstanding from partisans who had seen little if any of the film. "That’s the blogosphere, frankly," Kean said of the controversy.
Oh, it’s the "blogosphere," is it? Just a bunch of liberal, partisan rabble rousers, eh? Hmmm…perhaps Mr. Kean should speak with JPod at the NYPost (NOT a liberal). Or Chris Wallace on Fox News (also NOT a liberal). Or Bill Bennett on CNN. (Really NOT a liberal.) Or Richard Miniter (who is not only NOT a liberal, I never, ever thought I would be quoting him in any sort of manner whatsoever). Or Brent Bozell on MSNBC. (Again, really NOT a liberal.)
Whatever public spin ABC and Disney may be putting on this flawed fantasy film, the director of "Path to 9/11" is making it abundantly clear where he stands:
"A lot of these critics haven’t seen the whole thing or, in some cases, any of it," Cunningham said.
"We have these CNN pundits who haven’t seen it who are taking scenes out of context as examples [of factual inaccuracies in the film]."…
"We have out CIA consultants and Clinton has his. It’s kind of a ‘he said, she said’ situation right now," Cunningham said.
Cunningham also said that the talk of ABC possibly pulling the show "is just a rumor right now."
So, let me get this straight: Mr. Make Up Your Own Reality to Fit Your Politics refuses to allow people to see a film that reportedly defames them, and then complains that they have no right to talk about the defamatory film because he has refused to allow them to see it. Anyone see any logic there at all beyond "Hello, I am a petulant moron who has been called on my immature, lying, craptastic film, and now I’m going to whine about my bruised ego."? (And while we are at it, the director of this partisan extravaganza is giving an interview to a college newspaper in Alabama?!? Who in the hell is doing PR for this turd of a film, anyway?)
Tim Rutten in the LATimes calls it right on the money this morning:
SURVEYING the smoking ruin that is ABC’s reputation after the "The Path to 9/11" debacle, it’s hard to know whether you’re looking at the consequence of unadulterated folly or of a calculated strategy that turned out to be too clever by half.
At the end of the day, it probably doesn’t make much difference because, either way, the lacerating controversy surrounding the network’s docu-dramatic re-creation of events leading to Sept. 11 is an entirely self-inflicted wound. For most of the week, ABC rather haughtily attempted to characterize itself as the victim of philistines, or self-righteously as a champion of free speech or, more pathetically, as just plain misunderstood by people who just don’t understand how television is done.
It is none of those things.
It’s an opportunistic and self-interested organization that somehow thought it could approach the most wrenching American tragedy since Pearl Harbor with the values that prevail among network television executives — the sort of ad hoc ethics that would make a streetwalker blush — and that nobody would mind.
I once sat in a car forever waiting for my mom to come out of a grocery store. I thought that was the definition of "interminable." I had no idea "The Path to 9/11" was in my future.
This is what happens during 4 1/2 lonnnng hours of "Path." Terrorists talk about killing Americans for Allah. FBI and other security officials try to track them but fail. 9/11 happens.
You don’t say.
This is the most anticlimactic, tension-free movie in the history of terrorist TV.
It’s hard to fathom a brouhaha brewed over such a bore. ABC has received tens of thousands of letters — including one from Bill Clinton’s office — insisting "Path" is wildly inaccurate and should not air. But ABC still plans to air the two-part movie.
Controversy could boost viewership, except "Path" is the dullest, worst-shot TV movie since ABC’s disastrous "Ten Commandments" remake. It substitutes shaky handheld cameras and dumb dialogue for craftsmanship. It could not be more amateurish or poorly constructed unless someone had forgotten to light the sets.
An appalling secondary concern is the tone makes almost every pre-9/11 American look like a fool.
Look, there’s a security guard yawning while terrorists plant the 1993 bomb at the World Trade Center. How dare a security guard work while tired.
Oh, hey, there’s an airline agent checking in a 9/11 terrorist even though he has a carry-on bag. Stupid airline agents.
Excuse us all, writer Cyrus Nowrasteh and director David L. Cunningham, for not acting like Hitler Youth in the glory days before ordinary Americans knew commercial planes could be turned into missiles.
It keeps going, too. It is the review that keeps on giving. But this paragraph is what made me sit up and say "amen."
Ground Zero is a sobering soil worthy of facts, not flimsy fiction. The victims of 9/11 deserve 2,996 times more careful and compelling filmmaking than what Nowrasteh, Cunningham and ABC have bored together. They are bearing false witness to the memory of the fallen.
Amen. And amen again. I don’t know about you guys, but I will be watching any network other than ABC. That goes triple for Sunday and Monday nights. You think that decent Americans of all political stripes can’t be disgusted by you trying to make a buck by whoring out the sacred memories of their friends and family who were lost on 9/11 to score political points with folks like your pal Rush Limbaugh? Think again.
Christmas shopping season is approaching, and I know exactly where I will not be spending my dollars. And I know several thousand of my friends who are probably feeling the same way right about now. Hope Bob Iger isn’t counting on a stock option bonus this year…