Monday, September 11, 2006

Seven Things Democrats Should Love About The Path to 9/11

Ok, I'm gonna play devil's advocate here. I caught a lot of inaccuracies in this controversial show, and I generally agree that it was a hatchet job, but here's a few points about it that, to the filmmakers credit, Democrats could love:

1) Terrorists hate Bill Clinton. I mean, they call him Satan and mock-execute him. If he was so soft on terrorists, why did they hate him so much?

2) Bush's T-shirt. Bush is shown on the morning of September 11th, having just finished a run, standing in a dorky yellow sweat-stained t-shirt talking about how "this whole day is about education". He looks hopelessly out of touch.

3) Richard Clarke is a badass. This Clinton Administration holdover seemed to be about the only dude in the Bush Administration who had any balls. Whether it's giving orders on his front porch or rushing to the White House the morning of the attack, he certainly comes off better then Condi, George, or Dick (who appears to be a senile 90 year old in the film)

4) Colleen Rowley is a badass. The current Democratic congressional candidate from Minnesota is the Cassandra of terror, ringing the bell over Moussaoui.

5) The Bush administration sits on it's hands. This is the major theme of the second half of the movie, and White House higher-ups ignore warnings from the Northern Alliance and from their own FBI agents, doing nothing but infighting while the attack approaches. Generally, the second half is almost as hard on the Bushes as the first was on the Clintons. Not quite, of course, but almost.

6) The shot of Condi Rice holding a report entitled "Bin Laden determined to attack within the United States" and sitting at her desk doing nothing.

7)Probably most damaging of all, the coda at the end. Text at the very end announces that of the 44 recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, the government, i.e. the Bush Administration, received almost all failing grades last year in the Commission's follow-up. This is a point that Democratic politicians have been hammering home, and that last bit of text that closed the film could have been written by Howard Dean's office.

I bring these points up only because, while I generally found the film disingenuous and downright mendacious at points (Bush didn't give his "moment of silence" speech until after all the planes had crashed, to cite just one example from the last five minutes) I also didn't find it to be the blunt instrument of propaganda that I expected it to be. I can't stand the Administration, and I loved Olbermann tonight, but the greatest sin I saw in Path to 9/11 was the cheap cynicism of melodrama.

Oh, and the way that ABC made it's own reporters out to be heroes. That must have been the hook in the pitch meeting for sure.


Anonymous Vermont Neighbor said...

"If he was so soft on terrorists, why did they hate him so much?"

That's the point. The extremists hate everyone, and they don't value a John Kerry or Cindy Sheehan anymore than someone who's on the conservative side of the fence. The writings in the holy Quran are quite explicit and direct.

12:20 PM  

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