Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, September 11, 2006

American threatens ABC with lawsuit

American Airlines (not a random American citizen) is threatening to sue ABC over its shoddy "Path to 9/11" mockumentary:
I think it is important for you to know that ABC had factual errors in its dramatization, and we are looking at possible legal actions as a result. According to the 9-11 Commission report, it was not American Airlines, nor was it even the right airport that was depicted. In reality, it was another airline, flying out of Maine.

Please know this was a tragic incident in our company's history and we hope you will be sympathetic to our employees and our airline on this day especially. Again, we are outraged by this situation, and we alerted ABC about its gross error. It is very unfortunate.

Roger Frizzell
Vice President, Corporate Communications & Advertising
American Airlines
Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation has sent another letter to the House of Mouse expressing its anger:
September 10, 2006

Dear Mr. Iger,

We are deeply disappointed that ABC and the Disney Corporation chose to air "The Path to 9/11." The final product was fraught with error and contained contrived scenes that are directly contradicted by the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report. The film has undoubtedly cemented in millions of viewers' minds a false impression of critical historical events.

While there is not enough room here to fully document the fiction in your film, attached to this letter is a detailed fact sheet listing the numerous inaccuracies in the film according to the 9/11 Commission.

Nine days ago, we wrote to you asking simply that the miniseries tell the truth, as researched extensively and definitively by the bipartisan 9/11 Commission. We asked that your network not present outright fiction as historical fact to the American public. In fact, we took pains to detail sequences in the movie that were plainly invented, based upon the version of the film that was shown to television critics and distributed to many conservative commentators. During our two recent conversations, you assured us that you were personally taking the responsibility to ensure that appropriate edits to the film would be made. Publicly, ABC said that the editing process was ongoing and that it was irresponsible" to condemn the film before seeing the finished product.

Having now seen the first night of this fiction, it is clear that the edits made to the film did not address the factual errors that we brought to your attention. "The Path to 9/11" flagrantly ignored the facts as reported by the 9/11 Commission and invented its own version of history. The result, in our judgment, is irreparable damage to the Commission's work. More importantly, it is a disservice to the American people.

That the film directly contradicts the findings of the 9/11 Commission is troubling. That it defames dedicated public officials is tragic. But the fact that it misleads millions of people about the most tragic and consequential event in recent history is disgraceful.


Bruce R. Lindsey
Chief Executive Officer
William J. Clinton Foundation

Douglas J. Band
Counselor to President Clinton
Office of William Jefferson Clinton
Amusingly, though, "Path to 9/11" didn't get good ratings last night, despite the publicity and controversy. It trailed NBC's "Sunday Night Football" and only managed to tie CBS' rerun of a previously released documentary.

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