Misleading version of ‘Path to 9/11’ aired in NZ, Aus
Monday September 11th 2006, 12:18 pm


As covered in my last two posts, last minute edits were required to The Path To 9/11 before it could air in the USA. However, the unedited version appears to be the one which aired last night in Australia and New Zealand.

WebWeaver did a live blog of the program as it aired in NZ. From this description, it appears that this is also the version which aired on the Seven Network in Australia. Seven also ran a disclaimer at the beginning of the Sydney broadcast:

Due to subject matter, viewer discretion is advised.

The following movie is a dramatization that is drawn from a variety of sources including the 9/11 Commission Report and other published materials, and from personal interviews. The movie is not a documentary.

For dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, as well as time compression.

The Path To 9/11 was written by Cyrus Nowrasteh and directed by David L. Cunningham, both right-wing political activists. Cunningham is associated with the ‘Untitled History Project‘ of The Film Institute, an organised attempt to insert conservative revisionism into ‘Hollywood.’ Looks like they’ve succeeded in this case, certainly in broadcast markets outside of the USA.

American Airlines will be very nonplussed with the fictionalised scene showing a AA counter agent allowing hijacker Mohammad Atta to board, despite a security warning from a American Airlines computer system. The problem is it didn’t happen. This is only one of numerous defamatory fictionalisations of events contained in the program as aired in Sydney. Somehow, I don’t think the disclaimer run at the beginning of the Sydney presentation on Seven is going to satisfy American Airlines’ lawyers.

xapto commented on the Seven/Yahoo message boards:

Section 1.8 of the code of practice states “A licensee may not broadcast a program, program promotion,… which is likely, in all the circumstances, to” … “simulate news or events in such a way as to mislead or alarm viewers;”

Certainly this program contains extremely misleading information.

While the code goes on to say “none of the matters in Clause 1.8 will be contrary to this Section if” … “Said or done reasonably and in good faith in broadcasting an artistic work” [or] “Said or done in broadcasting a fair report of or a fair comment on any event of matter of identifiable public interest.”

However, it is clear that that this is not being presented as a purely artistic work and this program is not fair and is admittedly biased.

Should Channel 7 not be held responsible for these breaches of the code? or should we just say “well, hey, it happens.” and let it continue.

We cannot do anything about the US ABC transmitting the program, but Channel 7 does have regulations that it must comply with and just because ABC may show it, Channel 7 is not under the same obligation. Given the controversy and factual errors that 7 MUST be aware of, they have a responsibility to either advise viewers of the factual errors or refuse to broadcast the program.

From what I can find so far this morning (to 11:30am AEST), there’s no stories on ABC, SMH, The Age or News.com.au discussing the inaccuracies of the program, despite the worldwide firestorm on the ‘net.


MORE: Bushwatch’s great P’shop spoof…

image: bushwatch.com

Salon.com: The September 11th that never was.

Democraticunderground.com discussion: ABC docudrama will blame Clinton and Dems for 9/11.

DailyKos: Disney is like a box of Stupid

WaPo: Tom Shales reviews: “ABC’s Twisted ‘Path to 9/11” … “Factually shaky, politically inflammatory and photographically a mess”

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