Historians Disturbed by Alleged "Flagrant Falsehoods" Urge Halt to Broadcast

The netrooters are really up in arms over this ABC Docudrama "The Path to 9/11." With good reason. It is attempts to air such programs that edge us closer, step by step, to a true Orwellian reality.

Let's play it safe, and demand that the public's airwaves do not become a medium for the transmission of political and historical white washing and falsifications.

Without further ado, here's the letter:
Dear Robert Iger:

We write as professional historians, who are deeply concerned by the continuing reports about ABC’s scheduled broadcast of “The Path to 9/11.” These reports document that this drama contains numerous flagrant falsehoods about critical events in recent American history. The key participants and eyewitnesses to these events state that the script distorts and even fabricates evidence into order to mislead viewers about the responsibility of numerous American officials for allegedly ignoring the terrorist threat before 2000.

The claim by the show’s producers, broadcaster, and defenders, that these falsehoods are permissible because the show is merely a dramatization, is disingenuous and dangerous given their assertions that the show is also based on authoritative historical evidence. Whatever ABC’s motivations might be, broadcasting these falsehoods, connected to the most traumatic historical event of our times, would be a gross disservice to the public. A responsible broadcast network should have nothing to do with the falsification of history, except to expose it. We strongly urge you to halt the show’s broadcast and prevent misinforming Americans about their history.


Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
Sean Wilentz, Princeton University
Michael Kazin, Georgetown University
Lizbeth Cohen, Harvard University,
Nicholas Salvatore, Cornell University;
Ted Widmer, Washington College;
Rick Perlstein, Independent Scholar;
David Blight, Yale University;
Eric Alterman, City University of New York.
Here is a link: http://electioncentral.tpmcafe.com... (I came across this letter via media matters.org.)

I don't watch television, and this is part of the reason why. Besides the anti-social aspects of TV watching, the tendency to pick up faulty and inflammatory information is a real drawback. TV just isn't as good as moving around, and enjoying the great outdoors, or being amongst neighbors and fellow citizens.

In summary: Kill Your Television.


  1. Docu-drama? What is this all about? Propaganda is what it looks like to me--at its best. Not going to even imagine what it is at its worst! Will be interesting to see what Disney does about it. There is some good TV but one must be alert when watching. Tennis seems to be a pretty safe bet except that it takes so much time! I'm with you: get outside; it's better for all aspects of your health.

  2. It should be "docudrama" - in quotes. But I think you're right, if the reports are right, that it is nothing other than propaganda.



Aldo Leopold: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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