Mike Duffy, the Detroit Free Press' TV critic, did a piece on The Path to 9/11 today. He's no theocon or neocon; if anything, he airs on the live-and-let-live libertine side on his TV tastes. He gives it a thumbs up-"On a simple quality drama level, it's the best network miniseries in several years."
As per the flap that has Democrats hot and bothered, here's Captain Video's take-
"The Path to 9/11" does use the standard historical docudrama disclaimer in regard to telescoping events with "time compression" and using "composite and representative characters."
And in one cheesy note of semi-exploitation, the film relies rely rather heavily on news images of former President Bill Clinton embroiled in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, leading to congressional impeachment hearings. The implication? The president might have missed a chance to nab Osama bin Laden in the late 1990s because of the distracting pressures of the impeachment imbroglio.
"This president is not going to take chances," Richard Clarke is quoted as saying.
But on balance, over five often compelling hours, "The Path to 9/11" seems extremely scrupulous in trying not to assign blame for the events of 9/11 to the administrations of either Clinton or President George W. Bush.
If anything, Republicans and conservatives might have a minor beef about the casting of Penny Johnson Jerald as Condoleezza Rice after the actress' star turn as diabolical First Lady Sherry Palmer on "24."
If the show is as good as Duffy says it is, millions of people will watch the miniseries, which will put both the Clinton and Dubya teams in an awkward light. That runs counter to the Democratic talking points that Dubya screwed up by focusing on Iraq rather than al Qaeda. Folks in the media are critiquing the Bush administration but generally leaving the Clinton years alone, which is to the advantage of Democrats this fall.
When the Democrats are seen to be equally far-from-perfect from fighting Islamic terror groups, it makes the implicit claim that they're better than the Saddam-obsessed neocons in the White House harder to sell. If this movie goes away quietly, that critique of Democratic policies of the '90s does as well; Democrats prefer no coverage to even coverage in the entertainment side of the media, since no coverage gives the Bush-critique mindset of the news media far more play than a Clinton-critique.
Note that the emphasis on Bush is valid; they're in charge and it's their policies that will be modified from. However, giving the Democrats a pass isn't quite fair, either; we need to look at their track record as well, since they're fixin' to run Congress next year and the White House two years later.
Anyone who thinks this is a election-year gimmick to help Republicans needs to remember that Disney is a creature of the left, seeped in Hollywood culture. Former Democratic Senate boss George Mitchell is the chairman, hardly the guy who's going to do a number on the Clintonistas.
However, it's fun to watch liberals get indignant and start boycotting Mickey Mouse; they probably sneered at the Southern Baptist when they were dissing the Mouse for being too gay-friendly.