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Swiping Ideas From Hewitt

I was reading Hugh Hewitt's column at Townhall.com about the upcoming ABC mini-series, "The Path to 9/11", and the reaction from the Clinton contingent to the film. I enjoyed the article, as Hugh is a good writer with interesting thoughts, but what really grabbed my attention were the comments.

Now, Hugh Hewitt is a fine and responsible columnist, who is not in the habit of responding directly to comments from his readers. I, on the other hand, am sometimes a shameless opportunist, and the things written in the comments were to my mind telling about the whole matter. So, since Mister Hewitt will not be responding to the noise from the gallery, I have swiped that prerogative unto myself, and herein submit my thoughts. Let me be clear, that the opinions I present are my own, and in no way should suggest that Mister Hewitt agrees with me on any point. Maybe he does, maybe he does not, but this is my own opinion. I just grabbed the reader comments for material.

I printed out the comments section as of 2 PM on Thursday, September 7th. Lord only knows what else will show up there while I am plunking words down here. And in advance to anyone who might be unhappy with me quoting them, I would remind you all that there is a comment version of Caveat Emptor, to the effect that if you put your words out there for anyone to hear or read, they can and will be within their rights to quote you, so long as they do it accurately. Mwahahahaha, and all that.

So, to the text. I read ninety-five comments from fifty-four usernames. I can't tell you whether anyone used multiple names, but it seems accurate enough. There was representation from people who sounded reasonable, and from people who seemed quite unbalanced. While I will say that the unbalanced contingent was entirely from the Left in this case, I would warn the reader that Hewitt is a reasonable person who attracts reasonable readers; I have no doubt that if I were discussing, say, a Michael Savage piece, I would have to discuss quite a bit of mental abnormality from the Right. With that in mind, however, the Left spoke its mind in a way that hardly suggests that mind is in good order.

Tanabear started off with a smear, calling the film "more fiction". Shortly after that, Rod shot back for the Right in what became something of a false focus, saying that Bill and Hillary Clinton "are very smart and very egocentric. Neither cares about anything but themselves". One Phylo Se Fizer tossed out proof of his own bias and inability to post civilly, by starting out with the claim that "Hugh Hewitt is a shameless propaganda artist", instead of making at least a token effort to address the topic on its merits. Without a desire to give Phylo the attention he so obviously craves, I found it amusing that Phylo stated as fact alleged scenes from the movie which he has not seen one second of yet, a film he already slams as "The BS right wing television version" of 9/11. I found it amusing that Phylo even saw a right-wing conspiracy in the fact that ABC limited early distribution of the film to media critics - not "conservative hacks" as Phylo pretends, but professionals in the media business, as is common with every major release for which the network wants publicity. Phylo gets angry because former elected officials did not get the media copies, even though he is clueless to the fact that the present elected officials also did not get copies. Phylo, however unintentionally, demonstrates the conspiracy mindset of the Left, taking a blameless situation and twisting out of context to pretend it's a set-up to hurt the Left.

Apparently excited by the rush of adrenalin from Phylo, lefty Kimberly joined the choir, unable to maintain the pretense of rational commentary long enough to even avoid calling ABC's production studio a tool of "wing nuts", suggesting that censorship by people who might be embarrassed by the film would be "proper vetting". She went on to blame President Bush for the 9/11 attacks, solely on the basis that he was President when they occurred. Since by that point even Phylo had mentioned the 9/11 Commission Report, it seems strange that Kimberly was unaware that the planning and preparation by Al Qaeda began years before George W. Bush took office. This peculiar non-seqitur was taken up soon after by Left Angle, who seemed content to parrot whatever other Leftists had already tossed out. To be blunt, the Left could do little but blame Bush for being President when Al Qaeda carried out its plans, and try to find ways to insult people for bringing up inconvenient facts, however salient. One reader, Kimberly, was quite energetic in, well, lying, to pretend the 9/11 Commission had blamed Bush and praised Clinton. But I must not be cruel. Where Clinton is concerned, History will be quite cruel enough on the facts.

But there were some worthwhile comments made. Gc asked "is it true that Clinton cannot get a copy [of the film ahead of time]?" Icedog01 wrote a damning comment, simply by noting the series of terrorist attacks during the Clinton Administration, and the response - or rather its lack - by President Clinton. The list is so good, I will simply repeat it here:

02/26/1993 - World Trade Center bombed
03/08/1995 - Two U.S. diplomats in Pakistan murdered
06/25/1996 - Khobar Towers bombed
11/12/1997 - Four U.S. businessmen kidnapped and murdered
08/07/1998 - Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya bombed
10/12/2000 - U.S.S. Cole attacked by suicide bombers

President Clinton's response to any and all of these events? Excuses, nothing more.

And a reader known only as J.R. asked what also struck me when I read all the feigned outrage from the Left. When Michael Moore took images and facts out of context in a deliberate smear attempt on the Bush Administration, not one Liberal voiced a concern for context or accurate portrayal of events. And when President Bush was asked about the film, he did not worry himself with the lies and distortions posed by Moore, or threaten to sue, as Clinton has done here. Bush simply smiled a little and remarked that he did not expect he would take the time to see the movie. That Bill Clinton cannot manage as much grace, at all, in his case, suggests to me the difference in character and competence between these two Presidents.

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Comments (14)

I just read that thread bef... (Below threshold)
Robin:

I just read that thread before checking in here. Two terrific points were made in the comments. One, the arrogance and egotism on display by the Clinton gang in their strong arm attack on ABC is pretty telling of the entire Clinton presidency. It is simply appalling that they are so consumed with their portrayal that they overlook that the movie is about who the real enemy is - the terrorists.

Second, one person commented that the obvious problem for the Clinton Administration is that they were trying to apply legal standards to arresting and convicting non-US terrorists. We should have killed those who planned and perpetrated the attacks during the 90's, not tried them. The fall-out from the first WTC bombing demonstrated that this was viewed as a cop-out by our enemies, that we would not fight. It gave them the necessary mickey to continually bomb our interests overseas until they could once again attack us here.

This movie, docudrama, whatever you want to call it, is a great opportunity to review what we've done right and what we've done wrong. Too bad Clinton and company refuse to engage in teh debate.

It's too bad the Clinton ad... (Below threshold)
Mike:

It's too bad the Clinton administration didn't spend as much effort fighting terrorists as they are fighting their record.

As Hewitt noted the other d... (Below threshold)

As Hewitt noted the other day - before ABC caved to Clintonian demands and threats - there are enough people who saw the original version in the preview period, some 800+, that any significant changes will be noticed and noted, and ABC will be pilloried for them.

They had put the word out there would be some minor edits, but none which changed anything of the story. The line was that "the casual viewer wouldn't notice any difference at all."

The Clintons are mighty sensitive about stuff taken from the 9/11 Commission Report. I thought the Democrats LOVED that report?

Hell, imagine how mad they would be if ABC had got their hands on the one-of-a-kind documents Sandy Berger stuffed down his pants, smuggled out of the NSA, and destroyed at home?

Hilarity! would be breaking up the furniture . . .

hmmm I agree with Robin exc... (Below threshold)
anonymrs.:

hmmm I agree with Robin except re: the "real enemy" -- I am beginning to wonder if the real enemy isn't in reality the entire Clintonista regime. It is frightening to see this type of censorship even being suggested. ABC= Pravda West

A few years ago, I think it... (Below threshold)

A few years ago, I think it was CBS who had a Reagan "docudrama" which included entirely made-up scenes sprung only from the imagination of the writers that made Reagan look bad. When conservatives objected, we were castigated as attempting "censorship."

Public outcry quickly exceeded just conservatives, and the project was killed.

What Clinton's people are objecting to is quite different. All this stuff REALLY HAPPENED. Sandy Berger really did give the order NOT to fire missiles at bin Laden. We don't know the exact words he used, but we know he gave that order. Yet this is the scene to which the Clintonistas object most strongly, it has been said.

Conservatives object to lies about Reagan, and it's "censorship."

Clintonistas object to the TRUTH about Clinton, and nary a peep about it - except from conservatives, of course.

If we really knew what Sand... (Below threshold)
tom c:

If we really knew what Sandy Berger stuffed into his pants, we might truly know why Clinton and his minions were so paralyzed by this movie. I believe there was more incriminating evidence there than first reported.

Only the shredder knows now.

You know, I commented on a ... (Below threshold)
Robin:

You know, I commented on a local liberal blog about those Sandy Berger documents and, of course, someone had to jump in and defend Berger saying they were just copies of something already there. Can you imagine if a Bush official "took" documents out of hte National Archives, stuffed in his/her pants no less, and "inadvertantly" destroyed them??? Oh my, oh my, the outrage on the Left would be unbelievable.

I have been following this ... (Below threshold)
Lee Rodgers:

I have been following this story and the fury that is being generated by the Left is amazing. This morning it occurred to me that I had seen this all before. It was the Muslim response to a group of cartoons that they believe insulted their central religious figure. I am sure we are only a short way from Kos calling for the beheading of the executives at Disney...

Lee Rodgers your analaogy i... (Below threshold)
Luke:

Lee Rodgers your analaogy is awesome.

I'm not sure the beheadings would be required by the left wing moonbats, but when I visit DU I'm not so sure.

:)

Good point Lee Rodgers.... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Good point Lee Rodgers.

Whether its Islamo-fascism or left wing socialist fascism, fascism is fascism and extremists are extremists.

The best thing about this whole movie is not the movie itself, but how the left's reaction sheds so much light on what the left truly is all about.

It's not wise of you to mis... (Below threshold)
chris:

It's not wise of you to mischaracterize and disparage The Savage Nation or its audience most of which is also your audience. I'm sure your smarter than that.

I posted a comment making t... (Below threshold)
AST:

I posted a comment making the same point as Icedog's somewhere. I think this whole fuss benefits Republicans by demonstrating how irrational and vicious the left has become. Americans don't like censorship and prior restraint.

I saw Berger's objection and it was weak tea. He denied that he and the president never refused a request from the CIA to authorize an operation. That's a lawyer's statement. It begs the question, "Why weren't you prodding the CIA to get this guy? Why wait for CIA to do it for you?"

The history is there. They can't change it by suppressing this film. The record of attacks and tepid response leading up to 9/11 speak volumes. I remember vividly Bill Clinton's lame excuses after 9/11 about how they had tried to catch bin Laden several time and he wasn't there when they got there.

The question should be why didn't he send in the troops to demolish Al Qaeda's training camps? Why were he and Berger more interested in plausible deniability than in the safety of our citizens, military and state department employees?

One more thing. This is go... (Below threshold)
AST:

One more thing. This is going to be a difficult war. It's like global Whack-a-mole. We can't just get tired and fed up, because these people won't. We have to find and kill them wherever they pop up. This movie promises to demonstrate the struggle of John O'Neill who fought with the FBI hierarchy and the State Dept. for years trying to prevent 9/11.

He is a national hero, and he deserves to be more widely known.

I think that Clinton may cause another loss to the Republicans in a Congressional election.

I find it interesting that ... (Below threshold)
Drugstore Cowgirl:

I find it interesting that the Democrats, who are screaming about the Bush Administration taking away our rights and liberties, are once again proving that they are the ones who have taken away as many as they can and will continue to do so if they are not stopped.




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