Thugs for life: Dems threaten ABC's broadcast license over "Path to 9/11" Update: Stolen Honor redux?

Via Spruiell. I forget the context, but I remember Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee saying a while back how disappointed he was in the Democrats over something, and I told him there’s an easy fix for that: expect nothing from them, like I do, and you’ll never be disappointed. Turns out I was wrong, though, because even with zero expectations, I can’t quite believe they’d stoop to this. As naked an example of intimidation as you’ll see this side of British Muslims playing good cop/bad cop with Tony Blair. If the GOP pulled this crap, it’d be top of the f’ng fold tomorrow in the Times. As it should be.

Wonderful network you’ve got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it:

[T]he manner in which this program has been developed, funded, and advertised suggests a partisan bent unbecoming of a major company like Disney and a major and well respected news organization like ABC… Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation…

The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest. Nowhere is this public interest obligation more apparent than in the duty of broadcasters to serve the civic needs of a democracy by promoting an open and accurate discussion of political ideas and events…

These concerns are made all the more pressing by the political leaning of and the public statements made by the writer/producer of this miniseries, Mr. Cyrus Nowrasteh, in promoting this miniseries across conservative blogs and talk shows…

Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program. We look forward to hearing back from you soon.

My only question is this: was that letter typed, or did they use letters cut out from magazines?

You can’t play nice with them. I conceded they had a point about the scene with Sandy Berger. Ace conceded it. Dean conceded it. Geraghty conceded it. Others have conceded it. Facts is facts, and “composite” scenes play a little too loose for a film about 9/11. But the fightin’ nutroots wanted to see some fight, and Reid — who suddenly seems willing to crap in whatever color the fringe left tells him to — wanted to show he was a tough guy by throwing his weight around with ABC.

Fair enough. Everything is a precedent. There’s nothing anyone can do except remember and use it when Michael Moore’s new movie comes out and someone on the Republican side criticizes it as inaccurate and the droning about dissent-crushing begins. Here’s a post to help memorialize it for future reference. I hope others will do so too.

Update: Oh — and Scholastic, the schoolbook publisher, has suddenly reversed course and decided that they won’t use the miniseries as a teaching tool after all, even though it’s been edited. I bet their texts have lots of interesting passages about terrorism, “root causes,” etc etc. To paraphrase Harry Reid, it’d be a shame if someone started looking into them.

Update: The front page at dKos has to be seen right now to be believed. Just keep scrolling.

Update: I can’t say it any better than Bryan did in the comments:

You all should go look at the DNC’s web page. With the fifth anniversary of 9-11 on the horizon, what are they all about? Reflection? National unity? Defense?

Nope. Censorship. Plain and simple.


Update: I’m pinching this from Ace, who pinched it from someone else. Guess who’s up in arms about the disingenuousness hackery of the miniseries. That’s right: the leading authority in the field.

Update: If you’re going to link, don’t link this post. Link Texas Rainmaker’s. That’s another way to stick this incident up Reid’s ass — use it as an opportunity to discuss Clinton’s record as a miserable failure, to borrow another favored left-wing term, on terrorism.

Call it a “teachable moment.”

Update: Bryan’s been having fun with the Democrats’ “send a message to Disney” window.


Update: Captain Ed welcomes you to the Enforced Perspective Party. And he’s exactly right — they’ve snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Again.

Let’s hope they can do it one more time in November.

Update: No wonder Reid felt safe threatening Disney. We all forgot who the Chairman of the Board is.

Update: Ed Driscoll e-mails to say that no, in fact, not all of us forgot.

Update: (Bryan) Or flashback. To 2004. The *Swiftboat Veterans for the Truth were participating in a documentary called Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal. It was about John Kerry’s actual service in Vietnam, as opposed the one he has built his career on. You did know that he served there, didn’t you?

Sinclair Broadcasting owns 62 local TV stations around the country. It planned to air Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal on about 40 of them in October 2004. That would be right before the presidential election. But the Kerry campaign got wind of it and threatened Sinclair that its licenses might be in jeopardy if it aired the doc and Kerry happened to win.

The polls were close, so Sinclair caved. It ended up airing just a few minutes of Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal inside a bromide wrapper.

I’m of the opinion that ABC will likewise cave, Friday evening.

The Democrats will have stomped on the First Amendment, again, just ahead of a national election. Like the man said in A Few Good Men, they just can’t handle the truth.

*correction. Stolen Honor is mainly about Vietnam POWs betrayed by Kerry.

(Thanks to Chris R. for remembering all of this.)

Update: Reader John C. helpfully crops the screencap.


Update: Video so tasty it deserved its own post!