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Factual Inaccuracies In The Path To 9/11

I was among the rabid right-wing bloggers fortunate enough to receive an advance copy of the ABC / Disney miniseries The Path To 9/11. While I applauded the filmmakers for bringing to light some hard truths regarding the attacks (where "hard" is defined as "un-"), I feel obligated to point out a few minor errors and inconsistencies:

  • The Starr Report alleged that President Bill Clinton engaged in oral sex with Monica Lewinsky, not Zacarias Moussaoui (though it's easy to see how the two names could get mixed up).
  • Evidence that the Taliban was founded by Tipper Gore is circumstantial at best.
  • There is no record of Madeleine Albright describing the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole as "more of a prank, really" and dismissing it as "no big deal."
  • Michael Moore spent most of 2001 working on his film Bowling For Columbine, so it's unlikely he could have found time to give the 9/11 hijackers flying lessons.
  • The scene in which Howard Dean punches Jesus is a dramatization.
  • The cockpit recordings from United Airlines Flight 175 have never been released, so there's no verification that that the last voice heard is a terrorist saying "this message brought to you by moveon.org."
  • Blooper! When the Clintons are in bed and Bill is reading to Hillary "to get her in the mood" he is holding Mein Kampf upside-down.
  • The 9/11 Commission did not conclude that citizens could guard against future attacks by purchasing Lilo & Stitch DVDs.
  • Sandy Berger and Osama bin Laden were not the co-stars of the 1983 hit comedy "Bosom Buddies," so it's unclear how they could have "forged a strong and lifelong friendship" while serving as such.
  • The finale, in which Bush crashes Airforce One into a remote Afghan stronghold, emerges unscathed from the wreckage, and defeats Al Qaeda using nunchucks and pyrokinesis, is actually a composite of several different events.

Posted on September 08, 2006 to Politics


lOlZZz!!!!!11ONE!!! frist!!!

Posted by: brodie on September 9, 2006 10:32 AM

I love it! Great!

Posted by: Chase on September 9, 2006 3:50 PM

Cute, up to the last one. If there's one thing this president has been since 9/11, it's serious and sincere about beating back Islamic terrorism. Of course, we all of us could have done a better job--just ask us!--but no one can justly accuse him of kicking the can down the road.

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector on September 9, 2006 4:12 PM

Matthew didn't say Bush wasn't serious, and it appears to me that "sincerity" in that bullet point refers to Bush's desire to "unite the nation" and "pursue a comprehensive strategy" against terrorism.

But it seems to me a judgement call. Bush's stated intent was to unite the country, but his actions have done the opposite. Was that insincerity or merely incompetence? I'm in the "incompetence" camp.

Posted by: Happy on September 9, 2006 4:37 PM

Fair enough -- I changed the last one.

Posted by: Matthew on September 9, 2006 5:20 PM

Bush loves saying 9/11 so much that he sould MARRY it!

Posted by: leah on September 9, 2006 6:18 PM

Little-known fact: This movie was orginally released in 1985 under the name "Gymkata." The role of George W. Bush was played by Kurt Thomas.

Posted by: Billy on September 9, 2006 11:45 PM

Fair enough -- I changed the last one.

I salute you for your classiness, sir.

I can now post this fine bit of comedy into alt.quotations with an easy heart!

Posted by: The Sanity Inspector on September 10, 2006 11:18 AM

Georgie with the power of pyrokinesis scares me. Now I'll probably have nightmares. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Posted by: freezio on September 10, 2006 4:45 PM

Bush DID marry 9/11 and that's why Laura is having a nervous breakdown. I know for sure about the breakdown because I read about it while waiting to purchase a bag of lettuce and some gum.

Posted by: Lisa on September 10, 2006 5:15 PM

Lisa, it's only true if you read it on the Internet.

Posted by: David on September 10, 2006 6:26 PM

Such a great blog! Your write-ups surely
are informative, educational, and interesting. Thus, I love the touch of humour into each of your blog. keep it up!

Posted by: tyn17 on September 10, 2006 6:59 PM

I started reading this, confused, as we've been watching it here in NZ (earlier than the rest of the world apparently? cause we're first in line time-wise, I suppose..), and then felt very slow when I realised the nature of the piece.

Time to get more sleep, I think. Well done. :)

Posted by: Kat on September 10, 2006 7:41 PM

What about the scene where Bill Clinton breaks down and cries like a little girl when Ronald Reagan tells him about Hilary and Patty Davis's lesbian love affair?

Posted by: ozma on September 10, 2006 10:56 PM

love it!

Posted by: divinemissk on September 11, 2006 8:58 AM

Bush on Bin Laden:

"You know, I don't know where he is. I just don't spend that much time on him".

Yeah, he's serious alright. Although a more demonstrative quote by Bush on his seriousness might have been:

"Let's go get those terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Ar...hey look everyone, a shiny thing in Iraq!"

Posted by: Nate on September 11, 2006 9:36 AM

THANK! YOU! for writing something FUNNY today!!

Posted by: Meleah Rebeccah on September 11, 2006 11:10 AM

I'm sure the Dems were offered a copy of the movie if only they had gotten that email verifying their shipping address.

Alas, the tubes in the internet were clogged and the email didn't arrive until Thursday.

Darn kids clogging my internet tube with their skateboard videos! What was wrong with thermal faxes and smoke signals?

Posted by: Scott on September 11, 2006 1:01 PM

I have to add:

Could Tom Shales have thought of a better word to describe ABC Execs than "Blunderingly"?

Come on! He used the $0.75* word "veracity" correctly, why use some unholy union of a verb/adjective?

Blunderingly, ABC executives cast doubt on their own film's veracity when they made advance copies available to such political conservatives...

*adjusted for inflation & the price of oil

Posted by: Scott on September 11, 2006 1:16 PM

You're absolutely right. Purchasing Lilo and Stitch will not prevent future attacks. It's supposed to be Season 1 of Grey's Anatomy.

Posted by: nic on September 11, 2006 1:39 PM

To prevent future attacks I purchased "The Wierd Al Show" (apparently ghostwritten by Karl Rove and a pack of dyslexic chimpanzees) and "Plan 9 from Outer Space" (whose plotline is just as believable as the Iraq-WMD story).

Posted by: Karl on September 11, 2006 5:36 PM

"Lisa, it's only true if you read it on the Internet."


Well, I just read it on the Internet (in Lisa's post). Does that make it true NOW?

Posted by: COMTE on September 11, 2006 6:53 PM

- Yeah, now that you mention it, that scene of the Carlyle Group board of directors openly weeping together and singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ during the 9/11 attacks, did seem a bit over the top.

- To the best of my knowledge, the US marines did not find the bodies of seven dead dwarves with signs of torture, while searching the Tora Bora region.

- It seems a little far fetched that Hillary was seen running from Trade Center 7 just minutes before it was ‘pulled’.

- That shot of Carter hugging Hussein back in the eighties – isn’t that just Carter’s head digitally superimposed over Rumsfeld’s?

Posted by: Lung the Younger on September 12, 2006 2:54 AM

Oh I did not just see a Gymkata reference?! Oh that is too good, too good. Kudos Billy. Kudos to you.

Posted by: Henri on September 12, 2006 12:58 PM

"The Path to 9/11" deleted scenes:

*The flashback scene, dated "1968, Spring Break", showing younger George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden at a wet t-shirt contest was deleted for gratuitous nudity and gratuitous factuality.

*Another flashback scene, this time "1983", showing Rumsfeld and Hussein sharing a post-coital cigarette while watching rape room footage on a closed circuit television was seen by the censors as in bad taste. Specifically the part with them smoking, which is unhealthy.

*All of the Dubya and Condi sex scenes were also deleted. In its place, there is footage of Howard Dean screaming as he drop kicks babies.

*ABC also decided to add snakes, nudity, swearing, and Samuel L. Jackson for the mid-season spin-off called "The Road to Snakes on a Plane -- Still Clinton's Fault"

*Cheney's blackface routine during a Focus on the Family prayer breakfast is conjecture.

*Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson did not fight the hijackers on the third plane. RNC head Gillespie asserts it was Chuck Norris and Benny Hinn.

*Jerry Falwell did not dry hump corpses found in rubble. It was Pat Robertson and Alan Keyes that did the dry humping.

*Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez torturing Senator John McCain for President Bush's amusement is exaggerated, at best.

*Taliban forces in Afghanistan used lazers and the Millenium Falcon to fight the US Army was deleted, since it ruined the pacing.

*All of Scott Glenn's scenes were deleted.

*The Rock's monologue about patriotism, Jesus, and sharing was deleted for pacing reasons. The scene where Gilbert Gottfried tells the Aristocrats Joke was not deleted.

*All scenes with protesters, critics, and unpatriotic folk were detained, I mean, deleted.

*Bush's menage a trois with the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was deleted for pacing reasons.

*All scenes with Lo Pan and Jack Burton were deleted, since they occurred in a different movie.

*The dance-rap number with Kangaroo Jack, Ricky Martin, and Gary Condit was deleted because of licensing issues.

Posted by: Karl on September 12, 2006 5:04 PM

Finally something funny on this subject!

Posted by: Chris on September 13, 2006 1:22 PM

Not sure what's funnier: a wealthy idiot with ties to Islamic religious fanatics vs. a wealthy idiot with ties to Christian religious fanatics


United States foreign policy: appeasing the crap out of dictators, despots, and absolute monarchs so long as they have oil, oil, oil.

I guess it depends on where you are sitting at the movie theater.

Posted by: Karl on September 13, 2006 5:47 PM