ABC is marketing its docudrama, The Path to 9/11, as “based on the 9/11 Commission Report.” It is defending the films multiple inaccuracies by claiming some scenes were “drawn from a variety of sources.”
But yesterday, writer and avowed conservative Cyrus Nowrasteh admitted that the films most controversial scene was based on nothing at all. Nowrasteh told a right-wing radio station that the scene was “improvised.” From the New York Times:
Mr. Berger’s character is also seen abruptly hanging up during a conversation with a C.I.A. officer at a critical moment of a military operation. In an interview yesterday with KRLA-AM in Los Angeles, Cyrus Nowrasteh, the mini-series’ screenwriter and one of its producers, said that moment had been improvised.
“Sandy Berger did not slam down the phone,” Mr. Nowrasteh said. “That is not in the report. That was not scripted. But you know when you’re making a movie, a lot of things happen on set that are unscripted. Accidents occur, spontaneous reactions of actors performing a role take place. It’s the job of the filmmaker to say, ‘You know, maybe we can use that.’ ”
Nowrasteh’s attitude appears completely inconsistent with ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson. In promotional materials accompanying the film, McPherson said, “When you take on the responsibility of telling the story behind such an important event, it is absolutely critical that you get it right.”