Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Un-Revising History

Found this on Slate. I hope they screen more of these shorts, where they fact check The Path to 9/11 with subtitles on the screen. This could be the most effective rebuttal tactic I've ever seen.

Update 9/14/06:Liberal&Proud has posted a link to a more "low-brow" or "zazzy" "rebuttal". You Tube sho' is a useful thing...


Dante said...

This is what is considered the most inflammatory piece of the movie? That's just sad that there are so many people out there whining about a mini-series where this is the most inflammatory piece. At least I'll get to watch it myself when I finally get the download completed (should be today). Besides being judged entirely in hindsight, it just screams of "THIS PROBABLY DIDN'T HAPPEN!"

It's too bad the text covers up so much of the screen. This reminds me of the Ghostbusters DVD with the pop up comments enabled. They did a better job though with subitle-sized font.

I would love to see a footnoted version of this movie. Slate proceeds from the false assumption that this movie's sole source material is the 9/11 Commission Report. This movie has claimed other sources. I wonder what other sources if any they may have gotten this from. I don't think I buy this scene no matter who the source, but it would be interesting to know.

Dante said...

Oh and I was going to make a crack about George Tenent being Kevin Arnold's dad but I just couldn't come up with anything.

Patrick Armstrong said...

1. Being personally blamed for the eventual deaths of almost 3,000 Americans can make folks a might touchy. Especially when that blame stems from a fictional account that stands in opposition of the official report on the matter. It is not whiny to defend yourself or your colleagues from such a contention. It is not whiny to demand accuracy when defending history.

2. I would love to see a footnoted version of this movie. But you don't footnote fiction, you footnote history. We already have a footnoted account of the history this movie is covering. These footnotes come from interviews from primary sources within many administrations, the bureaucracy, and the intelligence community.

It is called the The 9/11 Commission Report (pdf).

Dante said...

"Being personally blamed for the eventual deaths of almost 3,000 Americans can make folks a might touchy."

No, someone is being blamed for not going through with a mission to capture/assassinate on person at the possible cost of many lives. That one person did go on to mastermind the deaths of over 3000 but like I already pointed out, liking the two is a very harsh thing to do without the hindsight we have now. It makes for good television drama but it's hardly how a rational person would go about assigning blame.

"But you don't footnote fiction, you footnote history."

Tell that to Richard Codon whose "Whisper of the Axe" novel has footnotes to point out the sources for the more factual pieces of his novel. "Twenty Years After" by Dumas has a singular footnote pointing out a piece of real historic information. "For Want of a Nail" by Robert Sobel references real historical items from the Revolutionary War. And I've seen many a Kennedy-based novel reference its source material. The one I remember most fondly is the Doctor Who "Who Killed Kennedy" novel that endnotes factual Kennedy information and fictional episodes of Doctor Who where you can find certain plot elements. It's not common but not out of the question for a novel to reference the factual material it is based on. I would like to see that here.

"It is called the The 9/11 Commission Report (pdf)."

And it wasn't the only source used for this movie which is why I'd like to see the additional sources.

Patrick Armstrong said...

RE: Footnotes. It is good of fiction writers to footnote history when they frame their stories within the scope of real events.

I also agree that this film, to live up to the billing of "docu-drama" should have used source material more readily when taking liberties with artistic license.

But footnoting and endnoting is designed to put your sources up for review, so that people can see where you're getting your information and verify or refute your conclusions and assertations.

Hopefully, this is what the Slate piece, or pieces like it, can be set up to do.