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September 07, 2006


A summary from WaPo:

Top officials of the Clinton administration have launched a preemptive strike against an ABC-TV "docudrama," slated to air Sunday and Monday, that they say includes made-up scenes depicting them as undermining attempts to kill Osama bin Laden.

Former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright called one scene involving her "false and defamatory." Former national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger said the film "flagrantly misrepresents my personal actions." And former White House aide Bruce R. Lindsey, who now heads the William J. Clinton Foundation, said: "It is unconscionable to mislead the American public about one of the most horrendous tragedies our country has ever known."

I said over at Daily Kos this morning, the fact that the Clinton team is diving into this with such vehemence suggests they feel it's a clear winner for our side; even in defending themselves, they never get too far ahead of the curve.

I'm at work and only picking up news by osmosis/blogs, but it appears they're finding all kinds of credible witnesses to shoot this stuff full of holes. ABC can hardly not broadcast, but it'll be the most pre-discredited show of recent memory. And I'll bet Scholastic quietly backs off the plan to use the movie in schools.

There are all kinds of righty-alert warning signs on the project -- the director; some of the source material; using only the Pub 9/11 co-chair as adviser -- but, as my wife says, the reddest flag should have been the presence of Pub-through-and-through Patricia Heaton (she apparently plays a Clinton-appointed ambassador as some sort of elitist harpy who doesn't care if Americans are blown apart).

Great that cable has dropped Bush's big speech for the story. Now: can we put some heat on Tom Kean Jr. over it?

Keith Olberman's newscast has been going after Bush and his minions tooth and nail for past 2 weeks. Clearly MSNBC thinks this is a winner, too. This might, now I say might, be the beginning of a wholesale move away from the administration at a time they can least afford it. Not because MSNBC has a great desire to (witness their out-FOXing FOX Sunday newscasts) but because they think there are cash generating eyeballs out there to support it.

If that's the case, it's very important not to confuse what's commercially necessary with a real change of heart. We still need to be really careful, even if ABC backs down.

ABC won't back down, but the local stations can be induced to air expert panel discussions to discuss the program. Call or e-mailing the local affiliate, even if owned and operated by ABC, is worth it.

NBC sees a chance to tarnish ABC's news reputation, and with CBS going with Katie Couric and the Vanity Fair route, NBC has a shot at news redemption. The MSNBC pushback is something. Olberman quite obviously believes what he's saying, and he has been very strong calling Bush on the WWII-fascism-Communism analogies.

Apropos of which, someone did a great takedown of Gingrich for repeating Condi Rice's analogy between the Dems now and when they wanted to end our Civil War. Might work for Condi, but for Georgia's own Newter to admit the Civil War really was about slavery and put the South on the side of the jihadists is too funny.

It was Tristero at Digby's who did the job on Gingrich.

See a tongue-in-cheek visual of "A Guide to the ABC’s For Dummies"...here:


Dear DemFromCT,

Don't take the bait! Stay on track. You're too important to waste your time on 'Spin Movies." This is how they killed us last time, spending our time ranting about "Swiftboating."

In the words of the song, "Keep your eyes on the prize, Hold on, Hold on."


we can multitask. ;-)

oh, and mickey... check this out.

The reaction today threatens to obscure Bush's "all terror, all the time" message from earlier in the week. Cable wanted to talk about ABC, not Bush or his speech. I can't imagine this is how it was all planned.

Well, they got the focus back to terror. You silly thing, underestimating the Rovians. All it took was a little sexy, hot video of bin Laden and the boys having hot, steamy, terrorizing desert fun.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled shaking and ignoring of war crimes.


No way was the reaction to Disney's movie unanticipated.
You think all the fighting over the swift boat movies hurt Bush in 04? Hell no.
So far it's going as planned, i'm sure.
If ABC pulls the film, it might be even worse for the Dems, since I'm sure bootleg copies will flood the internet.


I defer to your judgement - but please multitask. There are imposter kings out there to topple, speechifying to beat the band...

mickey, you fear Republicans and rove way too much. The wheels are coming off. See it for what it is.

Several comments suggest that 24 hours of national security focus wins for Rs. It doesn't.

First of all, the news inevitably comes back to iraq.

Second of all , military lawyers disagreeing with Bush, R's in Specters committee on FISA delaying that vote and disagreeing with Bush, and the arguments about how cheesy the 9/11 movie is all hurt and don't help Republicans. If that's all they got, they lose.

Third, national security is not a winning issue for Rs any more. Bush's 24 hour play just associated him with secret prisons and torture. When you don't trust the president, "trust me to do the job" falls flat. That's what 38% approval means.

Well, we viewers aren't ABC's customers, we're the product. They sell advertising based on how much product they can deliver at a given time. We could talk to a few of ABC's actual customers. For example:


CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, Sept.10 – As film editors struggle to correct flaws in ABC’s docudrama “The Path to 9-11,” it was revealed today that the Bush administration and ABC-Disney are collaborating on a remake of the movie “Top Gun.” In a highly unusual move, ABC has made available a videotape of a focus group led by the President and Vice President for the purposes of reshaping a rough version of the sequel to the 1986 blockbuster. Parts of the focus group can be viewed at:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=The+Bush+Cheney+%27Top+Gun%27+Focus+Group&search=Search and http://www.thebushcheneytopgunfocusgroup.com/

ABC’s disclosure came in the wake of controversy over its miniseries about events leading up to the attacks of 9/11. A statement issued by the network said the existence of its “Top Gun” project was made public due to anger over issues of dramatization. “ ‘The Path to 9/11’ is not a documentary, and for dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictional scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, and time compression,” a spokeswoman explained. “But the public doesn’t get it, so we figured everyone might as well know now that we are also making a film that is entirely fictional, one we can’t be attacked for since it won’t depend on any relation to the truth of some report.” She added, “We don’t want to have to ask the Democrats for their thoughts, and besides, people like fiction more than documentaries.”

An aide to Robert Iger, the president of Disney, ABC’s parent company, took a preemptive strike at would-be critics. “Just as with ‘The Path to 9/11,’ no one has seen the final version of the new ‘Top Gun,’ so criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible,” the aide said. An international hit, the original “Top Gun” was credited with being the biggest recruitment vehicle ever for the armed forces. Tom Cruise, who originated the lead role of “Maverick,” has not been asked to star in the remake. The casting of the new movie is still a secret, but in the video of the focus group, Mr. Bush himself takes the role of “Maverick” and even sings new songs from the movie’s soundtrack. “This film is a sign of our faith, commitment, and leadership in advancing America’s ideals at home and abroad,” said a spokesman for the White House’s Office for Public Diplomacy, who added, “It will boost recruitment, convince skeptics of our noble cause, and show the Muslim world what freedom and liberty are all about.”

In addition to the website listed above, Ian Maxwell MacKinnon and Eric Zinman, who produced the focus group, invite viewers to see archives of previous Bush-Cheney performances at the website http://www.492cafe.org/audio/comedy-satire/mackinnon.ian/ Included are readings from the Bush Bible, Q&A sessions, and the songs “Faith-Based Gospel” and “The Sun Never Sets On The Eagle,” sung by President Bush, accompanied by the Vice-President on piano.

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