Russell's Blog

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Dear Disney

Posted by Russell on September 06, 2006 at 5:53 p.m.
It seems like everyone's writing to Disney/ABC to complain about their little foray into propaganda. I doubt that The Path to 9/11 will have the same power to move people as Triumph of the Will, but it belongs on the same shelf.
Dear Mr. Iger,

It has come to my attention that ABC intends to air a program called "The Path to 9/11" on September 10 and September 11. I am writing to bring to your attention that the piece was written and directed by a Republican campaign official. The dramatization contains depictions of the events that are directly contradicted by the evidence gathered by the 9/11 Commission. This is not a documentary, but rather a Republican public relations infomercial.

The piece would be an outrage if it were not immediately recognizable as an extended political ad. Like so much of campaign material today, the piece is laden with inaccuracies and personal smears.

Many people would ask you to correct the "balance" of the piece by correcting the factual errors it contains. I am not of this view. If the Republican party wishes to use dishonest portrayals of events in its campaigns, it is welcome to do so.

I do not believe that it is your responsibility to provide a balanced view. To your viewers, you have a responsibility to tell the truth. To your investors, you have a responsibility to turn a profit. The responsible thing, in both senses, is not to air "The Path to 9/11." It is easily shown to be untruthful, and a majority of Americans will likely find it deeply offensive.

The Republican Party has plenty of money to pay for ads, and yet this program has been constructed as an elaborate campaign advertisement. You owe it to your investors, and to the public, to see that the Republican Party pays for its ads just like everyone else.

Russell Neches

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