Blocking The Path to 9/11

To borrow the recurring refrain of Glenn Reynolds, they told me that if George W. Bush were reelected, free speech would be in jeopardy. And they were right!

Remember the controversy over the ABC miniseries “The Path to 9/11”? For some mysterious reason, it has yet to appear on DVD. Why might that be? Now the story is told in a documentary by John Ziegler that is to be screened tonight at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Times reports:

[“Blocking The Path to 9/11”] makes the case that former President Bill Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have pressured television and studio executives into quashing the DVD release of ABC’s 2006 miniseries “The Path to 9/11.” The privately financed documentary argues that the Clintons, who decried the original miniseries as a right-wing hatchet job, are out to salvage their political influence and legacy at the expense of free expression.

We are informed by Andrew Breitbart that John Ziegler “is a really good guy” who understands the power of media bias. Andrew comments:

Countless movies are being made to affect the culture, the election. One was made that tried to play it straight, and because the Clintons pulled a stunt claiming it was a GOP hit job (what if it was?!), the producers were left holding the bag. A movie that was seen by tens of millions, cost $40 million to make and was stunningly photographed and entertaining, cannot make its way to the public via DVD. It’s pathetic and should outrage everyone.

The linked Los Angeles Times article concludes:

Officials at ABC declined to comment about a DVD release of the original miniseries.

“They used to say money and profits dictated everything in Hollywood,” said [“Path to 9/11” screenwriter Cyrus] Nowrasteh , who has been working steadily on projects including an “on-again, off-again” pilot for Disney. ” ‘The Path to 9/11’ had a huge viewership, yet it didn’t mean a thing.”

Nowrasteh has, however, dropped his membership in PEN, a worldwide organization of writers dedicated to fighting censorship. “You’d like to see an organization dedicated to the freedom of creative expression, right here in town, come forth,” he said. “My film gets buried; they do nothing.”

But PEN officials who discussed the issue internally don’t see this as a censorship issue.

“From our standpoint, it had many hours of broadcast time, so it was exposed. It’s not like it was stifled and no one heard it,” said Adam Somers, executive director of PEN Center USA in Culver City. “In our opinion, it was a business decision by Disney. You have to assume if Disney thought they’d make money, they’d release it.”

The PEN addendum to this affair is almost unbelievable.

UPDATE: In his own post on this subject, Glenn’s recurring refrain comes out a little differently than I anticipated: “They told me that if George W. Bush were re-elected, films that made the President look bad would be quashed. And they were right! They just didn’t say which president…”

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