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Okay all you "Free Speech" people - comments?

By maxwell edison ·
The following is a Michael Medved article that I cut and pasted, in its entirety, from

As of this posting (Friday afternoon, 6.30 Pacific Time) the liberal campaign to censor the ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11" has reached new heights of demagogic hysteria. Tom McMahon, executive director of the Democratic National Committee sent out an e-mail to supporters that began: "This is it: crunch time for getting the slanderous ABC television docudrama 'The Path to 9/11' yanked off the air. The network schedule has this slanderous attack on Democrats slated to start on Sunday night, September 10, at 8 o'colck -- and as long as it stays ont he schedule, we have work to do. Take a minute right now and tell Disney president Robert Iger to keep this right wing propaganda off the airwaves."

Unlike Mr. McMahon and his hyperventilating Democratic colleagues, I've actually watched the miniseries in question-- in its entirety -- and there is no chance that any sane observer who bothers to sit through all five hours of this riveting presentation could ever describe it as "right wing propaganda." As a matter of fact, the miniseries is particularly hard on the Bush administration and Condaleezza Rice, as well as highlighting the way that Clinton and his aides fell short in their dealing with the terrorist threat. In terms of running time of the presentation, at least ninety minutes of the mini series focuses on events during the Bush presidency-- representing at least 30% of the total program. Meanwhile, Bush was president during the period covered by the miniseries (February, 1993, through September 11, 2001) for only eight months; Clinton was president for eight years (less a single month). In other words, Clinton occupied the White House for 93% of the actual historical period under consideration, but his shortcomings occupy less than 70% of the miniseries running time.

In other words, by one easily quantifiable measure, "The Path to 9/11" doesn't inapporpirately focus on Clinton and his failures; if anything, it concentrates disproportionately on the disappointing performance of President Bush at the very beginning of his term.

The most depressing aspect of the concentrated Democratic campaign to "yank" (their word) this 40 million dollar production from the ABC schedule would be the message such censorship would send to other networks and producers. If ABC does (God forbid) decide to cancel the much-hyped showing of the miniseries because of liberal pressure, then everyone in Hollywood would learn the lesson that you must avoid serious projects, at all costs; you can easily get away with "Wife Swap" or "Temptation Island" or "Fear Factor," but if you attempt to broadcast a chilling, carefully crafted, deeply moving investigation of our national, bi-partisan failures in responding to terrorism, then some yahoo will squal and protest and attempt to shut you down. This is the text-book definition of censorship: prior restraint. That means cutting off speech before it even occurs, rather than protesting - or correcting the record- after you've actually heard what the other guy has to say.

Nor is the current Democratic effort to censor ABC in any substantive sense comparable to the conservative protests against the CBS miniseries about "The Reagans." The objection to that show was that President Reagan, stricken with Alzheimer's disease, had no possibility of responding to the sleazy, intimately personal attack on his reputation. By contrast, Bill Clinton can easily respond to any perceived cheap shot in the "The Path to 9/11" --- in fact he already has responded, while admitting he hasn't even seen the thing. The network is already making adjustments to the final edit to register some of President Clinton's objections. One can only hope that they stop there, rather than surrendering to the mob mentality, complete with pitchforks and torches, mobilized by Democratic Party demagogues who demand the cancellation of the miniseries.

That cancellation would represent a tragedy for the producers --who've already experienced the most vitriolic personal attacks, complete with publication of their home addresses, accompanied by death threats (one of them pronounced on my radio show, earlier today, by a troglodyte caller who talle writer-producer Cyrus Nowasteh "I hope you die") and warnings that "the gloves are off."

Please, put the gloves back on. Recognize that weeks ago ABC scheduled a one hour panel discussion after airing the miniseries so that people who objected to it in any way could make their opinions heard. As Justice Brandeis famously observed, the best remedy for bad ideas is good ones; the best response to bad speech is good speech. Free discourse -- and the whole medium of television -- will suffer if ABC buckles to pressure to stifle one of the most significant and substantive productions in TV history.


And by Robert Novak:

WASHINGTON -- The unusual Democratic outrage over ABC-TV's "The Path to 9/11" film to be shown Sunday and Monday reflects private concern in the party that the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attack can reverse the political tide running against Republicans.

The highly partisan Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York composed a tough letter to Robert A. Iger, CEO of Walt Disney (ABC's parent company). The letter cites two scenes from the program casting doubt on the Clinton administration's legacy in fighting terrorism.

Slaughter added as co-signers of the letter three senior Democrats who would join her as committee chairmen if Democrats win control of the House. They were Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, senior member of the House; Rep. Jane Harman of California, a top party spokesman on national security; and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, a left-wing leader.


And a Bill Clinton letter to ABC:

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Here's a speech for free.

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Okay all you "Free Speech ...

They are morons, you can't argue for free speech and then stop someone apeaking freely. Well you can but if you do you are an idiot.

I won't comment on the series, because I haven't seen it. I look forward to a fair and balanced treatment of this important issue.

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Fair and balanced has already been done

by NickNielsen In reply to Here's a speech for free.

The 9-11 Commission Report:

These guys didn't pull any punches that I can see given the information available.

Television hasn't been about fair and balanced since Edward R. Murrow, if it was even fair and balanced then.

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TR We require

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Fair and balanced has alr ...

a tongue in cheek smiley.
It's still too close, you can't get fair and balanced when emotions are this high. I still get a cold wash down my spine when I see the video, just before I get really angry again and I didn't lose anybody. It was too callous for articulation.

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I read your post as well as the link, now....

by btljooz In reply to Okay all you "Free Speech ...

I feel that Hollywood ALWAYS 'fictionalizes' every true story at least to a point and always will, for whatever reason. I also feel that the media spin doctors will always spin.

That being said, could all this POLITICO controversy be propaganistically motivated? When everything is said and done, what politician has NEVER, ever used propaganda to his/her own advantage?

I say, let the show air and allow CITIZENS to make up our OWN minds about it! After all, this film was researched thouroughly and the families of some of the victims of 9/11 were even consulted for accuracy of some of the MAIN points.

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I think the main point was

by jdclyde In reply to I read your post as well ...

how the Democrats are trying to censor this, while they hypocritycally always claim to be the ones always in support of "free speech".

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The ACLU, DNC fellow travellers

by Too Old For IT In reply to I think the main point wa ...

Only feel that there are nine amendments in the Bill of Rights.

Nothing new here.

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eight and a half actually

by jdclyde In reply to The ACLU, DNC fellow trav ...

As obviously it is only they that have unquestionable freedom of speech, and it is their patriotic duty to question each and everything the President does.

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you know, we won WWII for the world ....

by Too Old For IT In reply to eight and a half actually

... without the help of the ACLU and the New York Times.

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Oh clueless one.

by Oz_Media In reply to you know, we won WWII for ...

I certainly hope you were joking but I couldnt see the jest you were getting at.

Perhaps, if you actually are serious about your statement (perhaps I missed the joke somewher), you could explain to me just HOW America won a war that ended on the Russian front?

Were there other countries involved also or was America the soul survivor? I don't get it, you don't REALLY believe that do you?

I (and millions of others including the majority of American peers on TR) can prove you wrong if you do. In fact if you can find me a single historical fact to support your claim that America won WWII, I would even concede at that.

Fact, you can't, America didn't win the war in Europe. Sizeable numbers of American forces HELPED see the end of the war, wih a great effort by Russia that thwarted Germany's attempts to gain control of the oil south of Stalingrad, which was to be obtained by controlling Stalingrad.

Did the German army surrender to the USA or was it not the two largest and most experienced of Hitlers armies that actually surrendered to Russia on Jan 31st 1943 that was the turning point?

Are you one of those unaware folk who claim the Brits would be speaking German if it weren't for America? Even though Hitler's attempts to invade England were thwarted long before the US arrived in force on D-Day?

Or are you one of those who feel that the American tactics on D-Day were the turning point? Even though Canadian and British troops proved to be far more successful in their D-Day missions than the US was, which was almost a complete slaughter due to poor military engineering and execution of your D-Day role?

I am not saying the US didn't HELP win WWII, but you CERTAINLY didn't WIN it, as you so claim.

Therefore, I am somewhat confident you were joking, I haven't seen anyone here make such a false claim in several years now. Not someone known to be pretty aware, such as yourself, anyway.

You did NOTHING for the world 'on our own' as you claim, you only came on board after you were attacked yourselves, again in fear of a complete take over by Germany. The US acts out on fear, not defense, always has and always does it seems.

To correct your comment, the US joined the millions of allied forces who won WWII over a 5 year period without the ACLU. 3 years late to the party but welcome and wanted all the same.

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America did win the war

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Oh clueless one.

When it was over they were the dominant world power. Crippled us brits, a quality piece of statemanship. I just hope we get to return the favour at some point.

I'm not uncognisant of US support during both world wars, but I also know what we had to pay to get it.

Given the only other option was defeat, I suppose you've got to consider it a good deal really.

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