ThinkProgress has a quite damning response from Richard Clarke to the ABC movie’s accusation that Clinton refused a chance to kill bin Laden.
1. Contrary to the movie, no US military or CIA personnel were on the ground in Afghanistan and saw bin Laden.
2. Contrary to the movie, the head of the Northern Alliance, Masood, was no where near the alleged bin Laden camp and did not see UBL.
3. Contrary to the movie, the CIA Director actually said that he could not recommend a strike on the camp because the information was single sourced and we would have no way to know if bin Laden was in the target area by the time a cruise missile hit it.
ThinkProgress is running an email campaign directed at Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, which is ABC’s parent company. The site has a canned message, but allows you to edit to taste.
Here’s the one I sent:
Mr. Robert Iger
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Walt Disney Company
Dear Mr. Iger:
A question of journalistic ethics: Is it appropriate for a major network to air a purported documentary on an incendiary topic which invents facts and incidents?
If so, then there can be no objection to ABC’s plan to broadcast “The Path to 9/11.” But if not — if a network documentary ought to be held to journalistic standards of accuracy — then broadcasting that film would represent a major ethical violation.
I suggest that you consult with ABC’s own counterterrorism expert, Richard Clarke, about the movie’s falsification of the historical record.
If you have any justification to offer for broadcasting that film during the run-up to a national election, I would be interested in hearing it.
Disney has a proud history of providing brilliant fantasy entertainment. ABC News has an equally proud history of providing factual accounts of actual events. Those two traditions need to be kept separate. Mixing fantasy into the news serves no good purpose.
Very truly yours,
My experience on the Hill a million years ago suggests to me that messages sent in mass campaigns are heavily discounted, especially if they all use the same language. So be creative.
In addition, there’s probably some value in sending a message directly to Iger rather than going through ThinkProgress. Messages I sent to various addresses at Disney bounced back, but not a message to:
No guarantees, but worth a try. Send your message once through ThinkProgress, and again as a personal email.
Of course there’s no need to remind the exceptionally polite and sensible readers of this site to play nice. Personal abuse, threats, and four-letter words all backfire in this context.
ABC has a “viewer response” email system. You’re limited to 500 characters. Here’s my short version:
As your own counterterrorism expert, Richard Clark, has pointed out, “The Road to 9/11” grossly distorts the historical record by making events that never happened. It is obviously unethical to air such false and incendiary material, from a flagrantly partisan source, on the anniversary of the disaster. I urge you to cancel the program.
Second update It’s also worth phoning your local ABC affiliate. If they start bailing, the network will get the message fast. Phone numbers here.