Sunday, September 10, 2006

Threatening license revocation?

I have not seen the much talked about ABC 9/11 miniseries, however, whatever its flaws, I am appalled by some of the overwrought reactions I have seen from some of its critics.
As Professor Bainbridge notes:
Of course, in a way, I can understand the Democrats' outrage. They are so used to Hollywood being a reliable part of the Democratic propaganda machine that the very idea of a network movie making any criticism of a Democratic administration must come as a serious shock to the system.
The letters from Democratic lawmakers to ABC implictly threatening ABC affiliates broadcastig license, however, are an unacceptable infringement of First Amendment values.
This seems to me a terrible move on two levels. Firstly, it seems like the Dems want to stifle free speech:
I think this may be the biggest miscalculation I have seen this election season. I mean this one is positively biblical. The Senate Democrats just threatened to go after ABC's broadcasting license if it airs The Path to 9/11. Not fix it, not alter it. Kill it or they will come for you.
Do they have any idea what they look like to the average American? They look not like defenders of the truth, they look exactly, precisely, like they are trying to hide something. This is an absolutely stunningly stupid move. This may play well to the true, hard-left believers, but to average Americans you just hurt yourselves very, very badly.
Secondly, while the Clinton Administration (as well as the current Administration) can hardly be blamed for not realizing how dangerous Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were going to be, the record is not exactly prisitine: apart from the Sandy Berger shenanigans, see this post from Power Line, and this column from Investor's Business Daily. Ann Althouse points out that while the miniseries may be inaccurate, these ferocious attacks are bringing renewed focus on some uncomofortable hard facts, such as this NBC News clip, with Tom Brokaw, who is hardly a Republican stalwart:

Also see this Power Line post, which underlines why it is important that we not forget what went wrong before 9/11 under the Bush as well as the Clinton administrations: the Democrats seem to want to go back to the old system. Do read the whole thing.

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