The article was written by Howie Kurtz, the Post's media critic.
First off, Kurtz's piece breaks the news that two more major portions of the Disney/ABC account of 9/11 are simply made up. The first:
Tenet is depicted as challenging Albright for having alerted Pakistan in advance of the August 1998 missile strike that unsuccessfully targeted bin Laden.Kurtz also reveals that the tv show's major premise, that Monica Lewinsky somehow played a role in thwarting US efforts to catch bin Laden, is not even mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report - the report that Disney/ABC claims is THE basis for the entire tv show:
"Madame Secretary," Tenet is seen saying, "the Pakistani security service, the ISI, has close ties with the Taliban." Albright is seen shouting: "We had to inform the Pakistanis. There are regional factors involved." Tenet then complains that "we've enhanced bin Laden's stature."
Albright said she never warned Pakistan. The Sept. 11 commission found that a senior U.S. military official warned Pakistan that missiles crossing its airspace would not be from its archenemy, India.
The Sept. 11 commission found no evidence that the Monica S. Lewinsky scandal played a role in the August 1998 missile strike...But just as important, Kurtz is sometimes criticized by some on the left who think he has a conservative bias. Whether or not that perception is true, this is one hell of an article from Kurtz, it's incredibly damning of Disney/ABC. But just as importantly, a journalist who is not perceived as having a liberal bias is the one who wrote this story. That makes the piece much more credible. And what's more, the story is in the A section of the paper, giving it even more heft.
The tide has turned. This is now a full-fledged public relations disaster for Disney.
I know that sometimes I enjoy a little hyperbole on this blog, but this time I'm not just posturing to scare Disney. PR disasters are my business. I can smell 'em. I was worried about this campaign a few days ago. I was even worried this morning. But no more. The thing just exploded in the past few hours. The Democrats are now piping mad and fully engaged. The media is on the story and it most certainly won't let go. This is the most exciting 9/11-related story they've got as the 5-year anniversary of the attacks approaches. What's worse for Disney, the spin in these articles and TV shows is decidedly anti-Disney/ABC - Disney/ABC has lost control of the story and the message, and that's when the meltdown begins.
Just look at the past few hours:
- More former Clinton administration officials have weighed in, including Bruce Lindsey. That's a sign that while Bill Clinton may not be saying much publicly about this matter, behind the scenes he's piping mad and has set the dogs loose.
- Editor and Publisher magazine has found even more significant errors in the tv show.
- The Democratic Party issued a vicious letter attacking Disney for interfering with the national elections, and implying quite strongly that Disney may pay a price with their broadcast licenses.
- A Disney/ABC insider's email leaks proving that the intent behind this show is to blame Clinton for everything, and causing Disney/ABC a major embarrassment.
- 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste goes on national TV to blast the show.
- A top former Bush counterterrorism official goes on national TV to blast the show.
- The Washington Post writes a damning front-section story on the entire affair for tomorrow's paper.
I honestly don't see how Disney/ABC can even air this program on television any more. It's become a laughing stock.