Tuesday, September 19, 2006



Remember back in the earlier days of Fox News when it was still in vogue for people to argue that the channel really was fair and balanced? And that all the other cable news nets were so riddled with liberalism that we just didn't recognize balanced coverage? The various bobbleheads on the network would go out of their way to keep up the facade, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. It was probably one of the biggest wastes of my time on a given day arguing with some jackass who would come at me with the "fair and balanced" canard and I would feel that it was my duty to protest. These days, you don't really hear that sort of nonsense, or at least, it's not used in any argument or discussion that I've read. I'm not even sure that Fox News argues it anymore. I suppose that the turning point came after the "Outfoxed" movie came out. But by that time, the channel already had an enormous audience (by cable news network standards) so why bother anymore with the fallacy.
Which brings me to Mr. Cyrus Nowrasteh, the writer of the dreadful Path to 9/11. He's now going around telling anyone who will listen (in this instance, a column for the Wall Street Journal) that the movie is totally accurate and he doesn't understand why people are calling it a Clinton hatchetjob. Of course, anyone who has actually seen it knows that it's filled with all sorts of inaccuracies and made up scenes that paint Clinton in a poor light. George W. Bush also gets a made up scene or two as well, except his make him look like a decisive and determined leader. Nowhere in the film do we see Bush frozen for seven minutes after he learned that the second plane had hit the south tower of the World Trade Center.
So now Cyrus is going around yelling from the rooftops that the movie is totally accurate and he's not a conservative with an agenda. Check that, he actually say in the WSJ piece, "[...] nor am I a political conservative." Really? Do I really need to dignify that with a response? Alright, he's a quick exercise, go ahead and Google "cyrus" and "conservative". Nope, nothing to see there. I absolutely love how Nicole Belle over at Crooks and Liars went after him:
How could the media call you a conservative when all you did was make up scenes for your mini-series which didn’t happen, that made Clinton look bad and Bush look decisive and then forward advanced copies of the movie to only conservative outlets? I mean, really, how could they?
I guess what I cannot figure out is why? Why is he out there now pissing and moaning about this? The program aired over a week ago. As far as news cycles go, that is an eternity. Is he trying to pump on DVD sales or something (and you just know that the DVD is going to have a completely unedited version that should be even more damning to his protestations)? The movie was never going to be considered the definitive work on the subject, no matter how hard he tried to push it. So why bother? I would think that those who agree with his viewpoint probably already saw it and those that vehemently opposed it might have seen it just to tabulate all of the inaccuracies. Were there any unsuspecting viewers out there with no opinion or understanding of the subject that now believe this movie to be the definitive source of information? Personally, I think that the impact of the film as far as a propaganda hit piece was minimal. It was a "television event" that has come and gone. It did not have the cultural significance that "The Day After" had, which I understand is something the creators desperately wanted to achieve. Unlike that seminal "television event", Path to 9/11 has been exposed for what it was and most people have moved on.

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