Tacky tragedy

When I was a TV critic, I watched an entire show before commenting on it. But I’m not a critic, only a blogger, so I will say that after an hour and a half it’s evident that the ABC “docudrama” on the road to 9/11 is offensive and exploitive and I haven’t even gotten to the politics of it yet. It’s effort at faked up reality is obnoxious; my wife passed by and said we have plenty of reality and don’t need to make it up. The jumpy camera. The made-up dialogue. The cheesy acting. The controversy for the sake of ratings. It’s just crap. And on this night of all nights, it is unpardonable.

CBS is supposed to stream its 9/11 rerun because the FCC is chilling its speech. I recommend that. Or Google Video is airing 7 Days in September. Watch either, not ABC.

  • Jim

    I’ve had the New York Giants on all evening. It’s now 16-14, Colts ahead by 2. I just flicked through during a commercial and ABC has subtitles and guys talking some language I don’t know. There’s some guy with a machine gun praying right now. I switched back to football. You’re right on the money about ABC. That sucks, big time!


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    italian blogger from Milan


  • TV doing bad recreations, I for one am shocked, shocked to see gambling is going on…

    but then I don’t watch much television, nor am I critic…

    but with TV like this I don’t wonder why…

  • Anonymous

    I liked the movie. It reminded me that 9/11 was the last in a series of events that the Clinton Administration ignored.

    I heard a 9/11 widow this morning on the radio talking about how awful it was to detail the events in her husband’s life as she completed the Compensation Fund form that ultimately awarded something around $2 million.

    Why is the husband who died of the heart attack worth less to the US than the husband of the 9/11 widow?

  • Jimmy

    Normally, I stay away from all September 11-themed movies/documentaries, etc. I don’t care if others watch, it’s jsut not for me, and I live miles and miles away from New York state, let alone NYC. However, after reading all the stuff about this movie I had a morbid curiosity to watch; to see if the hype on both side of the political spectrum came close to the truth. Well, sadly, the negative hype turned out to be spot on. Shame on ABC. They knew from the beginning they were getting trumped up garbage and still they did nothing — or at least very little. I got a little over an hour in before I turned off the television and picked up a good sci-fi book for escape.

  • kat

    A former military aide to President Clinton, retired Air Force Lt. Col. Robert “Buzz” Patterson, said he recognizes the television production conflates several events, but, in terms of conveying how the Clinton administration handled its opportunities to get bin Laden, it’s “100 percent factually correct.”
    “I was there with Clinton and Berger and watched the missed opportunities occur,” Patterson declared.
    I did watch it–but I changed the channel everytime those mullahs started wailing and chanting. It gave me the heeby jeebies. Bin Laden and his cohorts truly are crazed moonbats–absolute nutcases.

  • The whole situation should not even be airing on public TV They need to have a bit more respect for those that are suffering still.

  • carsonfire

    (I know this is old news, but I’m catching up after a recent, prolonged computer frazzle)

    I’m not sure how this film was much more tacky than any other dramatization of violent and emotional events, and I include Shakespeare in that (who could hardly be accused of writing factual, non-sensationalist histories). The film’s key strength — and the reason I think most liberals objected to the film — is that, details aside, it presented the broad sweep of history that evening newscasts do not, and the broad sweep of history makes for a bad frame for conspiracy theories and Democratic party policy, alike. This did not seem to be a deliberate choice on the part of the filmmakers; but history is history. To correct Stephen Colbert, reality has a well-known slant only when rewritten by liberal partisans; if recent history is treated honestly, it does not “slant” for the benefit of people who want to ignore history, and, indeed, threaten and badger other people into helping them rewrite more self-gratifying versions.

    I see Jeff Jarvis in other posts complaining about the conspiracists. But the biggest weapon that these fear mongers have is ignorance of the broader scope of history, which allows them the ability to convince a lot of gullible people to believe wild stories that defy logic and facts.

    But the broad sweep of the history of terrorism also reveals the gaping holes in current Democratic party rhetoric and policy. And for this reason, I should have realized that Jeff would dislike this film, despite how sensible he is on many other aspects of 9/11 and terrorism. The only real strategy the Democratic party has offered is to simply return to diminishing the concern over terrorism, while ratcheting up their hatemongering on political rivals, lulling themselves and others into a false sense of security with bureaucratic solutions: assign a few commissions to appoint people to watch the docks, then go back to pretending it’s not that big a deal when terrorists kill lots of innocent people.

    For all its other sins, the ABC movie — to be faithful to history in general — had no choice but to show terrorists burning Clinton in full effigy, shooting at his face in a movie screen, and calling him Satan. There was no choice but to show the general *historic* truth, which is that terrorists hated the US even when the administration and house were both in Democratic control, and were planning a big 9/11 event long before Bush ever took the oath of office. The film was made by liberals, and ended with a somewhat disingenuous summation that the Bush administration was failing us in not adapting more of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations, but that finger wagging couldn’t change the sweep of history that they were compelled to dramatize.

    The film was not deliberate right-wing propaganda. But history itself has become right-wing propaganda, by default, because the left has disengaged from history, ignores its lessons, rewrites events to please themselves, and insists that abstractions that flatter themselves and their self-righteous natures are more true than historic reality.

    Jeff Jarvis himself has identified this “ostrich” mentality among many on the left. Despite the shaky cameras, the ABC film was anti-ostrich.