- par·ti·san (n) 1. a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person; especially : one exhibiting blind, prejudiced, and unreasoning allegiance
Let me be perfectly clear. I am absolutely against any outside effort to censor, rewrite, modify or block the presentation of ABC's "Path to 9/11."
For anyone not familiar with the ABC Docu-drama titled "Path to 9/11" about the history leading up to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, you can get up to speed through this good article in VARIETY. An excellent and fair overview of the growing controversy surrounding the program can be found in John Podhoretz's article in the New York Post 'PATH' MISSED REAL9/11 STORY.
To the degree that ABC, it producers, writers or directors want to make changes to the supposed September 11th docu-drama in reaction to public pressure, political pressure or their own sense of right versus wrong is perfectly O.K. with me. That is the way the free market system and freedom of speech and freedom of the press should work.
I've not seen the show and I only know what I've read, mostly over at The Huffington Post. It sounds to me like the producers of the docu-drama may have gone over the top in making "drama" out of the 9/11 report. Shame on them.
Certainly Michael Moore went over the top in making Fahrenheit 9-11. But it was great and compelling movie in spite of its excesses. I criticized certain points in Moore's movie at the time, but never even remotely suggested it shouldn't be shown in theaters. In fact I urged people to see it and I went to see the movie myself. I enjoyed it thoroughly, excesses and all.
But calls today from so-called liberals for the cancellation, censorship or outright banning of the ABC drama are beyond the pale. These people are not liberals. They are partisans. And I frankly don't like having them around pretending to be liberals.
I was dead set against any form of censorship or cancellation of the CBS Reagan drama. The demand from "conservatives" that the drama be pulled was disgusting. That's the kind of thing done by the Taliban, the Iranian President and the ultra conservative Christian right.
I do not have any respect for those who would decide what I see, what I read or what I write.
That's not supposed to be what liberals do. We defend free speech at all costs.
I was appalled when CBS folded and relegated the Reagan drama to pay cable television. The losers were the American public. I was proud when my "liberal" friends joined me in fighting this censorship.
The New York Times correctly and courageously condemned conservative protestors by saying they "have helped create the Soviet-style chill embedded in the idea that we, as a nation, will not allow critical portrayals of one of our own recent leaders."
The Times Editorial Board and all true liberals should be equally vocal and forceful today in demanding that ABC not fold to the unwarranted pressure from a bizarre consortium of political partisans.
Any writer, left or right, who claims this is "different" is just splitting hairs and damn thin ones at that.
We have a world of opportunity to correct any misrepresentation that may or may not be present in the "docu-drama." The planned "Google Bombing"of the Path to 9/11 is just one extreme, but perfectly reasonable and legal example. Radio, television, the Internet and print media all stand ready to help people object to the movie and correct any inaccuracies.
*** Updated and Edited 9/10/2006 8:37 am ***