Let me make clear I’ve never been a big fan of Disney and ABC. When Disney bought ABC, I feared the worst — and those fears were confirmed when Disney turned ABC into a marketing arm for the company.
But now, with ABC’s planned “docudrama” on the leadup to 9/11, I find myself in the very uncomfortable position of defending them.
Just for the sake of argument, let’s presume that all the program’s critics are correct (a severely dubious possibility, but let’s run with it). Let’s say that the piece is a total smear of the Clinton administration and a near-perfect whitewashing of the Bush administration in recognizing and addressing the rising threat Al Qaeda posed. That through half-truths, selected omissions, and outright fabrications (kind of a mirror-image Fahrenheit 9/11), the tale told is all about how Bill Clinton was too busy selling military secrets to China, boinking everything in a skirt, and arranging the murders of dozens of people who might have some dirt on him, and the Bush administration was too busy trying to put “W’s” back on their computer keyboards (you can’t talk about Wahabism, War on Terror, or World Trade Center without that key letter) to catch up on what was brewing.
So, what should be done about it?
According to some key Democrats on Capitol Hill, it’s a Capital Offense. They want to “look into” revoking ABC’s broadcasting license and putting the network off the air.
It’s a familiar tactic. During the 2004 campaign, some folks put together a piece on the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth. When Sinclair, a chain of television stations, planned to air it, a bunch of the Left wanted to pull their licenses, too.
Now, I’ve been offended by my share of things on television. Janet Jackson and that boob (no, not Justin Timberlake) bugged me — mainly because I hated that grotesque jewelry she wore, mutilating the natural beauty and grace of the human female breast. I also thought it was almost as tacky to pull that off (no pun intended) during the Super Bowl, an event billed as a “family-friendly” event — and very few families would consider a pierced nipple “something the whole family can enjoy.” (For one, infants could injure themselves.)
And when CBS (in an eerily-prescient form of “fake but accurate”) planned a “biography” of Ronald Reagan that was little more than a thinly-veiled smear piece, there were lots of howls of protest and outrage. But the strongest action I can recall was a threat to boycott sponsors of the shows. And it worked — CBS moved it to Showtime, a network completely free of advertising sponsors to threaten.
Instead, the Democratic party is showing one area where it actually has some testicular fortitude — if you say something (or even might be planning to say something) that threatens their heroes, that makes them look bad, they’ll go straight for your jugular with all the power of the federal government they can muster. Constitutional principles (freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and so on) be damned.
So if you like the idea of Congress deciding just what opinions and viewpoints can and can not be aired over the public airwaves, feel free to support the NutRoots’ takeover of the Democratic party and their move to take the reins of government. For one, it’ll take that awful burden of thinking for yourself off your hands.