What are the left’s talking points for today on The Path to 9/11?
In the rarefied atmosphere of “respectable” (we have to call them something) lefty blogs, the drumbeat today will be over a post by Max Blumenthal at HuffPo that reveals the shocking truth about the “fakeumentary” and it’s connections to (wait for it)...A VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY!
In fact, “The Path to 9/11” is produced and promoted by a well-honed propaganda operation consisting of a network of little-known right-wingers working from within Hollywood to counter its supposedly liberal bias. This is the network within the ABC network. Its godfather is far right activist David Horowitz, who has worked for more than a decade to establish a right-wing presence in Hollywood and to discredit mainstream film and TV production. On this project, he is working with a secretive evangelical religious right group founded by The Path to 9/11’s director David Cunningham that proclaims its goal to “transform Hollywood” in line with its messianic vision.
This is a bald faced lie. There is no “well honed propaganda operation” of right wingers except in the fantastical imagination and paranoid mind of Max Blumenthal. And only liberals would have the naivete to swallow such a gross twisting of the facts that Blumenthal does throughout this incredibly shallow and extraordinarily thin conspiracy theory about the making of The Path to 9/11.
In his laughable scare piece about the reach and extent of conservative influence in Hollywood, Blumenthal makes an ass of himself by highlighting the most tenuous of connections between people and organizations and passing them off as proof of conspiracy while sprinkling his “indictment” with words and phrases so overly dramatic and uproariously conspiratorial in tone that one would think the piece was penned by a 12 year old little girl breathlessly revealing secrets to her friends at a slumber party:
Before The Path to 9/11 entered the production stage, Disney/ABC contracted David Cunningham as the film’s director. 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 in film industry jobs “so that they can begin to impact and transform Hollywood from the inside out,” according to a YWAM report.
Last June, Cunningham’s TFI announced it was producing its first film, mysteriously titled “Untitled History Project.” “TFI’s first project is a doozy,” a newsletter to YWAM members read. “Simply being referred to as: The Untitled History Project, it is already being called the television event of the decade and not one second has been put to film yet. Talk about great expectations!” (A web edition of the newsletter was mysteriously deleted yesterday but has been cached on Google at the link above).
That “mysterious” title has been used dozens of times by dozens of studios to describe a work on the boards. The only thing mysterious about it is Blumenthal’s ignorant posturing that it somehow denotes something evil.
But it is in Blumenthal’s revealing notion of who and what YWAM is that we see not only a towering intellectual conceit about people of faith on the part of the left but also the reason Democrats will continue to lose national elections as long as they have such childish, shallow, and indeed despicably condescending views of people who believe in God.
In perusing the YWAM website, one finds that the group’s foundational mission is to spread the gospel. They are missionaries. World class missionaries I might add. There are left wing missionaries. There are right wing missionaries. There are non partisan missionaries. There are Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Anglican, and host of other protestant missionaries. There is nothing sinister or even extreme in this. In fact, having spent some time around Catholic missionaries in my youth, I know for a fact that these are some of the most down to earth and practical people on the planet. You don’t convert people by getting in their face and preaching. Not anymore. These days, missionaries are much more likely to win converts by pitching in and digging that new water well for the village or working with other groups to bring electricity to the area.
Of course, Blumenthal only brought up YWAM because the son of the founder of that group, David Cunningham, is the director of the project. Blumenthal is under the impression that by pointing out the father is a missionary, he is hoping to tar the younger man as some wild eyed evangelical nutcase. All Blumenthal does is embarrass himself. Not only is YWAM one of the most respected worldwide gospel outreach groups on the planet, it is funded largely by mainstream protestants and protestant organizations.
And this brings us to the left’s unbelievable stupidity when it comes to dealing with people of faith. They don’t have a clue. People who believe so strongly in something that can’t be touched, can’t be smelled or felt, are a total and complete mystery to our lefty friends. They have no personal experience with faith – faith in anything at all – so they tiptoe around those whose quiet and unassuming faith in something larger than themselves first frightens them and then makes them envious and resentful.
I am not talking about the small, vocal group of Christians whose politics and fundamentalist faith scares both liberals and many secular libertarian conservatives. People like Loren and David Cunningham are pretty ordinary in their beliefs. And to see Blumenthal quaking in his boots over the younger Cunningham’s group, The Film Institute, only shows how truly myopic one can be when preconceived notions meet up with reality.
That reality is that Blumenthal did not continue to quote from TFI’s mission statement. If he had, much of the scare effect he was trying to achieve would have been blunted:
Our next big project is to assist in the development of the new YWAM auxiliary – The Film Institute (TFI). The Film Institute is dedicated to a Godly transformation and
revolution TO and THROUGH the Film and Television industry;
TO it, by serving, living humbly with integrity in what is often a world driven by selfish ambition, power an money – transforming lives from within,
and THROUGH it, by creating relevant and evocative content which promotes Godly principles of Truth married with Love.
Gee. Batten down the hatches and lock up the wife and daughter. HERE COME THE CHRISTIANS! Imagine the gall of these people. Trying to change Hollywood from “a world driven by selfish ambition, power and money” (as fair a critique of Hollywood as you’ll find anywhere) to a place that creates “relevant and evocative content which promotes Godly principles of Truth married with Love.”
I don’t know about you but those people should be LOCKED UP! Truth in Hollywood? Married with Love? What can they be thinking?
Too radical. Much too radical.
As Blumenthal is unable to distinguish mainstream Christan thought from fringe skirting fundamentalists, he is also having definitional problems with figuring out exactly who and what a conservative is:
Early on, Cunningham had recruited a young Iranian-American screenwriter named Cyrus Nowrasteh to write the script of his secretive “Untitled” film. Not only is Nowrasteh an outspoken conservative, he is also a fervent member of the emerging network of right-wing people burrowing into the film industry with ulterior sectarian political and religious agendas, like Cunningham.
Nowrasteh’s conservatism was on display when he appeared as a featured speaker at the Liberty Film Festival (LFF), an annual event founded in 2004 to premier and promote conservative-themed films supposedly too “politically incorrect” to gain acceptance at mainstream film festivals. This June, while The Path to 9/11 was being filmed, LFF founders Govindini Murty and Jason Apuzzo—both friends of Nowrasteh—announced they were “partnering” with right-wing activist David Horowitz. Indeed, the 2006 LFF is listed as “A Program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center.”
Who is Cyrus Nowrasteh? Well, Cy wrote and directed The Day Reagan Was Shot who had another, more prominent member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy serving as Executive Producer on the project.
Yes, that Oliver Stone. And one thing Max doesn’t mention is that right wing partisan hack Nowrasteh was skewered by conservatives across the country for his screenplay:
“But for Hollywood, admirable actions by people associated with the Reagan White House are not the stuff of drama. So Messrs. Stone and Nowrasteh depict certain cabinet members as uninformed weaklings and Mr. Haig as a brooding, swaggering, cursing, face-slapping coup-plotter. Other cabinet members and senior White House staffers are cowering wimps.”(Former Reagan National Security Advisor James Allen)
Gee, Max. Looks like conservatives thought that Nowrasteh was a Hollywood liberal back in the day that he was, much to your satisfaction I’m sure, trashing the Reagan White House and Al Haig in particular. The fact that he is now “burrowing” into the film industry must raise the hackles of conservatives even more, eh?
No matter. Nowrasteh has identified himself time and again as a libertarian rather than a conservative. But don’t tell that to our Max. It will only confuse him further. And these “sectarian, political and religious agendas” are about as “ulterior” as the nose on Blumenthal’s face. The “agenda” – if there even is one – is out in the open for all to see. Who’d ever thought promoting values like honesty and integrity could get one in so much trouble?
The real nitty gritty of Blumenthal’s imaginary conspiracy is in the connection to David Horowitz whose David Horwitz Freedom Center (it is no longer the Center for the Study of Popular Culture) has become a liberal bete noir ever since the lefty apostate began to target liberal professors in an attempt to highlight the jaw dropping left wing bias in the academy.
Blumenthal mentions the wildly successful Liberty Film Festival and the fact that Horowitz has given the conservative event a huge boost by bringing it under the auspices of the DHFC. Why it makes one whit of difference that “while The Path to 9/11 was being filmed, LFF founders Govindini Murty and Jason Apuzzo—both friends of Nowrasteh—announced they were “partnering” with right-wing activist David Horowitz” is a total mystery. Is Blumenthal seriously trying to connect the Liberty Film Festival to The Path to 9/11?
In Blumenthal’s conspiratorial world, Nowrasteh, who is a “friend” of the founders of the LFF, can now be made a key cog in plot to take over Hollywood because of this third person removed connection to Horowitz. It’s loony. And it doesn’t wash. Blumenthal’s feverish attempt to smear Nowrasteh continues with this unbelievable bit of dishonesty regarding an interview in Horwitz’s Frontpage Magazine:
With the LFF now under Horowitz’s control, his political machine began drumming up support for Cunningham and Nowrasteh’s “Untitled” project, which finally was revealed in late summer as “The Path to 9/11.” Horowitz’s PR blitz began with an August 16 interview with Nowrasteh on his FrontPageMag webzine. In the interview, Nowrasteh foreshadowed the film’s assault on Clinton’s record on fighting terror. “The 9/11 report details the Clinton’s administration’s response—or lack of response—to Al Qaeda and how this emboldened Bin Laden to keep attacking American interests,” Nowrasteh told FrontPageMag’s Jamie Glazov. “There simply was no response. Nothing.”
There’s no other way to say it. The quote is a deliberate attempt to twist Nowrasteh’s words and what he was trying to say. Here’s the actual quote from the interview:
The 9/11 report details the Clinton’s administration’s response—or lack of response—to Al Qaeda and how this emboldened Bin Laden to keep attacking American interests. The worst example is the response to the October, 2000 attack on the U.S.S. COLE in Yemen where 17 American sailors were killed. There simply was no response. Nothing.
Any objective observer would be forced to concede that the italicized portion that Blumenthal deliberately left out changes the meaning and intent of Nowrasteh’s critique of the Clinton response entirely. Blumenthal owes Horwitz and Nowrasteh an apology for his deliberate attempt to obfuscate what was said in the interview.
And by the way, the statement is true. Clinton did nothing in the aftermath of the attack on the Cole:
In early leaks from Losing bin Laden, Richard Miniter, an investigative journalist, claims Mr. Clinton allowed the Sept. 11 attacks to happen by squandering more than a dozen opportunities to capture or kill bin Laden. In two cases, the terrorist leader’s exact location was known, the book says.
Although Clinton supporters would doubtless reject the implication of responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, senior members of the Clinton White House did confirm, in interviews for the book, that they shied away from an attack immediately after the Cole bombing for reasons of diplomacy and military caution.
Blumenthal delivers more misrepresentative twaddle when he delves into the film’s promotion:
A week later, ABC hosted LFF co-founder Murty and several other conservative operatives at an advance screening of The Path to 9/11. (While ABC provided 900 DVDs of the film to conservatives, Clinton administration officials and objective reviewers from mainstream outlets were denied them.) Murty returned with a glowing review for FrontPageMag that emphasized the film’s partisan nature. “’The Path to 9/11’ is one of the best, most intelligent, most pro-American miniseries I’ve ever seen on TV, and conservatives should support it and promote it as vigorously as possible,” Murty wrote. As a result of the special access granted by ABC, Murty’s article was the first published review of The Path to 9/11, preceding those by the New York Times and LA Times by more than a week.
Murty followed her review with a blast email to conservative websites such as Liberty Post and Free Republic on September 1 urging their readers to throw their weight behind ABC’s mini-series. “Please do everything you can to spread the word about this excellent miniseries,” Murty wrote, “so that ‘The Path to 9/11’ gets the highest ratings possible when it airs on September 10 & 11! If this show gets huge ratings, then ABC will be more likely to produce pro-American movies and TV shows in the future!”
The “conservative operatives” (Gee…when is someone going to invite me to be a conservative operative?) who got a sneak peak of the film are a mystery. Is Blumenthal talking about the screening of Part I of the film at that hot bed of right wing conspiracies The National Press Club on August 23? This is almost exactly “a week later” than the FPM interview with Nowrasteh.
If he has another, more private event where the film was screened, perhaps he could enlighten us with some details. Considering the fact that the rest of his article is so full of gross misrepresentation and wild flights of fancy, he owes it to the reader to be a little more specific in his charges about a special screening for “conservative operatives.”
On this score – that “conservative operatives” screened the movie – I think it safe to conclude that Blumenthal is demonstrating that he either doesn’t know what kind of an organization The National Press Club is or that he is deliberately misrepresenting the kinds of people who were at the screening, including that well known right wing conspirator Richard Ben Veniste who first brought to light the inaccurate portrayal of the composite scene where Bin Laden was surrounded and not captured.
And what of Murty’s “glowing review” that emphasized the film’s “partisan nature?
Fortunately, Nowrasteh and the producers of this miniseries have gone out on a limb to honestly and fairly depict how Clinton-era inaction, political correctness, and bureaucratic inefficiency allowed the 9/11 conspiracy to metastasize. Let me say here though that “The Path to 9/11” is not a partisan miniseries or a â€œconservativeâ€ miniseries. It simply presents the facts in an honest and straightforward manner (the producers have backed up every detail of the miniseries with copious amounts of research and documentation), and the facts are that for seven years, from 1993 to 2000, the Clinton administration bungled the handling of the world-wide terrorist threat. The miniseries is equally honest in depicting the Bush administration. It shows a few points where administration officials, following in the tradition of the Clinton years, do not follow certain clues about the terrorist plot as zealously as they should have. Nonetheless, “The Path to 9/11,” by honestly depicting the unfolding of events over eight years, makes it clear that most of the conspiracy leading up to 9/11 was hatched during the seven years of the Clinton administration, and that since Bush was in power for only eight months when 9/11 occurred, he can hardly be blamed for the entire disaster.
Only in the world inhabited by liberals like Blumenthal would a review that highlights the non partisan nature of the film be considered some kind of right wing imprimatur. What Blumenthal and the rest of the left are so excised about is that conservatives are excited that finally, after 5 long years, The Narrative the left has constructed about 9/11 is being challenged by the truth. They successfully whitewashed the public discussion following the release of the 9/11 Commission Report thanks to a massive amount of finger pointing at the very real and disgusting failures of the Bush Administration both before and on the day of the attacks. Lost in the shuffle were not only Clinton’s failures in killing Osama but also the entire law enforcement strategy used by the Clintonistas that was such an abject failure. That, and a curious blindness about the nature of al-Qaeda and the challenges posed by the terrorists from an ideological point of view.
This also is apparently brought out in the film which of course, affects our current politics. Hence the savage effort to deny the American people an opportunity to judge. Conservatives are not making a huge deal out of scenes that show Bush Administration officials sleepwalking toward disaster. We’ve pretty much accepted the failures and moved on. Democrats cannot accept the failures of the Clinton Administration because to do so gives the lie to their entire critique of the War on Terror and especially the War in Iraq. They appear to be stuck in a pre-9/11 world where the Clinton Administration emphasis on arresting Osama and al-Qaeda was the preferred method in dealing with the terrorists. Anything that exposes that fact must be destroyed.
Finally, Blumenthal believes that his “conspiracy” is nothing less than a bunch of “political terrorists:”
Now, as discussion grows over the false character of The Path to 9/11, the right-wing network that brought it to fruition is ratcheting up its PR efforts. Murty will appear tonight on CNN’s Glenn Beck show and The Situation Room, according to Libertas in order to respond to “the major disinformation campaign now being run by Democrats to block the truth about what actually happened during the Clinton years.”
While this network claims its success and postures as the true victims, the ABC network suffers a PR catastrophe. It’s almost as though it was complacent about an attack on its reputation by a band of political terrorists.
We should be used to this kind of scurrilous, calumnious, hysterical, over the top rhetoric from liberals by now. But somehow, it never gets old seeing liberals brand dissent from their worldview as “terrorism.” The truth about the Clinton years and their efforts against al-Qaeda is contained in the 9/11 Commission Report. It is there for anyone willing to look. No amount of name calling, conspiracy mongering, lies, distortions, misrepresentations, or even threats will change what has already been uncovered about those years of relative inaction and confused policy choices.
We slept. Osama plotted. And our government – both Clinton and Bush – failed miserably to protect us. If this is the only thing people come away with from watching The Path to 9/11 the overwhelming majority of conservatives will be happy.
It says something profound about the left that if in fact, this is what people think after watching the film, that they will be livid with anger – an anger born of frustration that their carefully constructed version of the “truth” has been revealed as the sham it has always been.
Let me make something perfectly clear – something I have said in other posts talking about the film but not touchd on here.
I abhor the inaccuracies in the film. I agree with one conservative who said that putting words in Albright’s mouth – especially since the film is supposedly depicting real life people – is close to libelous.
But the reaction by the left to this film has been so exaggerated, so over the top as to be beyond belief. The overwhelming number of people who reviewed this film have said that it does NOT blame Bill Clinton for 9/11. My point has always been that the left is opposing the showing of this film because 1) Clinton actions are criticized and 2) Bush’s actions aren’t criticized enough. The latter being the main point of anger for liberals in that it goes against everything they have tried to lie about for the past 5 years. They want the enduring image of 9/11 to be George Bush sitting in a classroom reading a children’s book not the towers collapsing or people jumping out of buildings. Anything that goes against The Narrative is a threat to expose the entire tissue of lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations, conspiracy fantasies, and deliberate falsehoods perpetrated over the last 5 years with the help of an all too willing media and a vast network of former government officials always willing to shift blame for their own inadequacies in the face of Islamic terrorism.
As Hugh Hewitt says today, this film needs to be seen even without any scenes showing anything the Clinton Administration did or didn’t do. It needs to be seen so that people understand the nature of the threat posed to our country. When so many see the War on Terror as nothing more than a political ploy being used by the Bush Administration to gin up fear in order to win elections, or more laughably, establish some kind of neo-conservative super-state, a movie like The Path to 9/11 is vitally necessary if only to disabuse those casually interested in politics of the left’s dangerous myopia.