It looks like Media Matters still has a lot to learn about conservatives. They think they’ve busted Disney-ABC’s docufantasy The Path to 9/11, because the filmmakers promised that Bush would get a similarly harsh treatment as what they did to Clinton. Yet as MM point out, it is only Condi Rice who gets the bad treatment, while Bush looks macho and decisive; and they had to rearrange a few facts to make that happen.
But that’s just not how this works. Sure, it was an unfair and untruthful treatment, when they invent macho conversations immediately before 9/11 which never happened, have Bush ordering planes to be shot down, which probably never happened, and fail to even mention the Goat story we know Bush was so enthralled with on 9/11. But these aren’t complete fictions, but rather rearrangements of history in order to make the storyline more clear (ie, that Clinton was sucky and Bush was brilliant).
So a nitpicker can surely find parts of the movie that completely alter the reality of what happened, but that’s not the point. Conservatives just have a different standard of reality, so you’ve got to grade this stuff on a curb. I mean, if you’ve got some psychopathic nutcase thinking he’s Napoleon, isn’t it good enough when he acknowledges his defeat at Waterloo? Of course. That’s real progress. Similarly, the fact that the producers of Path didn’t have Bush personally stop the entire attack with a pair of chopsticks and a glue-gun is strong evidence that these people put their whack-job beliefs on hold for a few hours so they could deal honestly and sanely with a few historical facts. Relatively speaking, anyway.
So I really don’t see where Media Matters gets off on suggesting that the movie’s creators were disingenuous when they stated they had tarnished Bush’s image too. Because to them, they did. After all, even in the movie Bush didn’t stop the attacks, and we’ve got to give them credit for that. Or they could have included the part where a coked-up Clinton reads The Pet Goat to Bin Laden while pleasuring Saddam. This showed real restraint on their part.
And sure, they could have put a little more truth into their movie. Who couldn’t? But that’s not the point. These people have been thrashing around the shallow-end so long they imagine they’re Olympic swimmers, and it’s just wrong for us to try to throw them into the deep-end all at once. We need to work this a little at a time, and be proud of them when they can turn-down the imagined heroics of our incompetent leaders a little. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.
And who knows, the next time someone actually trusts them to make a movie, maybe they’ll have learned to have enough faith in facts to actually include some in their work. Anything’s possible, right?