Conservatives On The Path to 9/11: ‘Unacceptable,’ ‘Defamatory,’ ‘Strewn With A Lot of Problems,’ ‘Zero Factual Basis’

The criticism against ABC’s docudrama The Path to 9/11 isn’t isolated simply to Clinton aides. In fact, many conservatives have criticized the film. Here are a few examples —

John Podhoretz, conservative columnist and Fox News contributor:

The portrait of Albright is an unacceptable revision of recent history and an unfair mark on a public servant who, no matter her shortcomings, doesn’t deserve to be remembered by millions of Americans as the inadvertent (and truculent) savior of Osama bin Laden. Samuel Berger, Clinton’s national security adviser, also seems to have just cause for complaint. [NYPost, 9/8/06]

James Taranto, editor:


The Clintonites may have a point here. A few years ago, when the shoe was on the other foot, we were happy to see CBS scotch “The Reagans.” [OpinionJournal, 9/7/06]

Dean Barnett, conservative commentator posting on Hugh Hewitt’s blog:

One can (if one so chooses) give the filmmakers artistic license to [fabricate a scene]. But if that is what they have done, conservative analysts who back this movie as a historical document will mortgage their credibility doing so. [Hugh Hewitt blog, 9/6/06]

Chris Wallace, Fox News Sunday anchor:

When you put somebody on the screen and say that’s Madeleine Albright and she said this in a specific conversation and she never did say it, I think it’s slanderous, I think it’s defamatory and I think that ABC and Disney should be held to account. [Fox, 9/8/06]

Captain’s Quarters blog:

If the Democrats do not like what ABC wants to broadcast, they have every right to protest it — and in this case, they had a point. [Captain Quarter’s blog, 9/7/06]

Bill Bennett, conservative author, radio host, and TV commentator:

Look, “The Path to 9/11”³ is strewn with a lot of problems and I think there were problems in the Clinton administration. But that’s no reason to falsify the record, falsify conversations by either the president or his leading people and you know it just shouldn’t happen. [CNN, 9/8/06]

Seth Liebsohn, Claremont Institute fellow and produce of Bill Bennett’s radio show:

I oppose this miniseries as well if it is fiction dressed up as fact, creates caricatures of real persons and events that are inaccurate, and inserts quotes that were not uttered, especially to make a point that was not intended. [Glenn Greewald’s blog, 9/7/06]

Richard Miniter, conservative author of “Losing bin Laden: How Bill Clinton’s Failures Unleashed Global Terror”:

If people wanted to be critical of the Clinton years there’s things they could have said, but the idea that someone had bin Laden in his sights in 1998 or any other time and Sandy Berger refused to pull the trigger, there’s zero factual basis for that. [CNN, 9/7/06]

Brent Bozell, founder and president of the conservative Media Research Center:

I think that if you have a scene, or two scenes, or three scenes, important scenes, that do not have any bearing on reality and you can edit them, I think they should edit them. [MSNBC, 9/6/06]


Bill O’Reilly, Fox News pundit:

Ok, we’re talking about the run up to 9–11 and this movie that they’re re-cutting now — and they should because it puts words in the mouth of real people, actors playing real people that they didn’t say and its wrong. [O’Reilly radio show, 9/8/06]