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Saturday, 09 September 2006 10:51

The Path to Infamy for Disney and ABC: Here are the Facts

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These are the facts:

It’s the standard Rovian/Swift Boat practice to crank up the right wing echo chamber with falsehoods about a project or accusation, deny access to opposing viewpoints, and then claim that the objectors don’t know what they are talking about because they haven’t seen what they are objecting to.

This is exactly what was done with "The Path to 9/11," when, it appears, the ABC Network granted unusual liberties to the contracted right wing director and producer/writer of the film to conduct a right wing media campaign to praise the partisan political ad known as "The Path to 9/11." Indeed, as Max Blumenthal recounts in such detail, the center of virtually the entire "Path to 9/11" project can be found in David Horowitz and his radical right wing molotov cocktail "organizations." Horowitz is the male Ann Coulter, a former Trotskyite turned Stalinist.

Govindini Murty worked with Horowitz to use his extremist and incendiary "FrontPageMag" as the launch for "The Path to 9/11." In addition to Murty’s "call to arms" review of the film, the magazine did a front page interview with the producer/writer of "The Path to 9/11," Cyrus Nowrasteh. Nowrasteh, as Blumenthal documents, has an ideological relationship to both Horowitz and Murty through a group that is trying to "recast" Hollywood rightward,  a right wing film conclave called the Liberty Film Festival.

While Murty was successfully cranking up the right wing media echo chamber, ABC was denying the people it was falsely portraying in "The Path to 9/11" – Bill Clinton and his senior staff – the right to even see the film, even as the right wing media shills were receiving DVDs. If this isn’t a Swift Boat operation, we don’t know what is.

Furthermore, as BuzzFlash has pointed out, the interview in "Front Page Mag" with Cyrus Nowrasteh reveals him to be a parrot of Karl Rove talking points. It is just about the same responses you would get from interviewing Ken Mehlman. Any claim that ABC has made that the production was done with attention to accuracy or fairness is totally debunked by this interview, readily available to the public.

That brings us to the director of the film, one David Cunningham. As both Blumenthal and TPMMuckraker reveal, Cunningham is part of a cultlike movement to Christianize Hollywood. We will quote Blumenthal here: "Cunningham is no ordinary Hollywood journeyman. He is in fact the son of Loren Cunningham, founder of the right-wing evangelical group
Youth With A Mission (YWAM). The young Cunningham helped found an auxiliary of his father's group called The Film Institute (TFI), which, according to its mission statement, is "dedicated to a Godly transformation and revolution TO and THROUGH the Film and Television industry." As part of TFI's long-term strategy, Cunningham helped place interns from Youth With A Mission's "global training network" in film industry jobs "so that they can begin to impact and transform Hollywood from the inside out," according to a YWAM report."

So the director of the film, the writer/producer, and the chief publicist all are part of a Hollywood Horowitz right wing hit squad, comparable to an entertainment industry version of the Swift Boaters. They are not people who just happened to end up working together. They are working together because they have an agenda – and that agenda is highly partisan and extremist.

Meanwhile, ABC rolled out the carpet for the right wingers promoting the film, hosting a private screening for them – while, remember, denying access to the former President of the United States. ABC News even went so far as to show its true partisan colors with a headline that reads, "Clintonistas Claim Foul Over ABC 9/11 Film."

ABC is continuing to deceive the true nature of its collaboration with the White House and the right wing on "The Path to 9/11." It is claiming that it knowingly produced a fictionalized version of the events leading up to 9/11, but it is advertising the program abroad as "exactly what happened."

The $40 million question is where did the 40 million dollars come from? Are Disney shareholders paying for this travesty, since it has no commercial backing? (Which also raises the question that if it they won’t lose any money by canceling it, the least that they can do to "prove" that they are not doing a partisan hatchet job for the GOP is to delay running it until after the election.)

The Pensito Review takes a shot at figuring out the origin of the financing. By connecting the dots, it is possible that Richard Mellon Scaife or other funders of the ultra fanatical Horowitz are really the money behind "The Path to 9/11." Scaife surreptitiously funded the "Arkansas Project" that was the prelude to the Ken Starr inquisition – and he has long funded sleazy GOP slime attacks.

We are sure ABC will indignantly say that they spent the $40 million dollars as a "public service," but that’s a little hard to believe when they are providing a timely partisan attack, aimed at influencing an election, as a public disservice.