I need your help with something. The Democrats have themselves in a tizzy because they are convinced that Disney and ABC sent copies of “Path to 9/11” exclusively to wild-eyed conservatives.
For all I know, this is true. But I’m wondering if it may be entirely a myth — explainable by the fact that it was marketed to talk radio.
There has been plenty of misinformation on this topic, and a lot of it has swirled around Justin, and a misunderstanding of his connections to talk radio. We heard (from folks like Glenn Greenwald) that he got a copy because he is a guest blogger on my obscure blog, with its tiny audience. Then, when that turned out to be untrue, they said it’s because he works for a conservative talk-radio host. Then, when that turned out to be untrue, they said he works at a talk-radio station that broadcasts mostly conservatives.
In other words, one that makes money.
I’m trying to get to the facts. From what little I know, many of these actual facts seem inconsistent with the theory that “only conservatives” got advance copies.
For example, my commenter Loafing Oaf says:
I watched Bill Maher’s show tonight and he had a lefty editor from Salon.com on who had rec[ei]ved a screener copy. So…another Greenwald theory doesn’t hold up in court.
I have heard that, as you would expect, major newspapers and magazines have been reviewing advance copies. Wild-eyed conservative publications like TIME, and the New York Times.
To me, it sounds like virtually all of the complaints I have heard are explainable by Disney and ABC choosing to market the film to talk radio. In other words, in many cases where Democrats complain that “x got a copy and y didn’t” . . . you’ll find that x has connections to talk-radio, and y doesn’t. For example: “Rush Limbaugh got a copy, and Bill Clinton didn’t.”
Because I haven’t been all over the blogosphere in the past few days reading about this, I could be wrong, so I’m soliciting your input. I’m putting most of this in the form of questions, which compares apples to apples, rather than comparing apples to people in talk radio.
Maybe you folks have the answers to my questions. Let’s gather information on this, with links to hard news and not questionable liberal blogs — like Think Progress, FireDogLake, and Greenwald, who spread the myth that my guest blogger got his copy because he is a conservative blogger. I don’t trust anything they say. Keep that in mind.
And if the truth really is that only conservatives (and Salon, and TIME, and the New York Times) got a copy — that’s fine. The facts are the facts.
Here are my questions:
Democrats complain that ex-President Clinton didn’t get a copy. Did current President Bush? His Administration is apparently portrayed in the movie as having dropped the ball.
Democrats complain that Sandy Berger didn’t get a copy. Did Condoleeza Rice? She is apparently portrayed badly in the movie. Did Dick Clarke? He’s apparently a hero.
Democrats complain that Kos didn’t get a copy. Is anyone familiar with a conservative blogger who is not in radio who was sent a copy by Disney/ABC publicists?
(Again, I’m not making claims here; I’m just asking a question. Since Greenwald fans are reading the blog today, it’s a guarantee that his sycophants will misread this and claim that I am a “liar” because I am “claiming” that right-wing bloggers haven’t gotten copies — if it turns out that some did. Message to the Greenwaldites: I’m not making any claims. I haven’t done much blog reading lately, so if there are such bloggers, don’t call me a “liar” — just tell me who they are, with links, and not links to lefty sites.)
I just went to Instapundit’s site and did a control-F search for the term “9/11.” I didn’t see anything that indicates he has been sent a copy of the movie. [UPDATE: I e-mailed Glenn to ask if he did, and he confirms he didn’t — unless one arrived at his office on Friday.] I did the same thing at Power Line and got the same result. [UPDATE: Hinderaker e-mails to say he didn’t get a copy either.] Maybe these blogs have posted something that indicates they got a copy. If they have, tell me. [UPDATE: A review of Malkin’s site doesn’t reveal that she got a copy either.]
Hugh Hewitt apparently got a copy, but he’s in radio. Numerous Democrat sites pointed to my blog as having received a copy, but my guest blogger is in radio. He’s a producer for a highly-rated talk-radio host, and borrowed a copy sent to that show.
Conservative blogger Ace of Spades had to phone my guest blogger Justin to ask him about scenes in the movie. I know this because Ace e-mailed me to get Justin’s phone number. Because Ace didn’t get a copy.
Red State appears to have a copy, but I don’t know how they got it. Liberal blogger John Aravosis has a copy, but I don’t know how he got it either.
Democrats complain that Keith Olbermann and Jon Stewart didn’t get a copy. Who would be a parallel conservative on television for conservatives? Brit Hume? Did he get a copy? Has anyone asked?
It seems clear that people in talk radio got a copy. Rush Limbaugh got a copy. [UPDATE: I got suckered on that by the lefties; a commenter says he did not get a copy from ABC.] Bill Handel, my guest blogger’s boss, got a copy. He is hardly a doctrinaire conservative.
Ah, Democrats say, but he works at a conservative radio station. So? We have a talk radio station that runs mostly conservatives. I wonder why that is. Maybe it wants to make money?
The one thing I’ve heard that sounds odd to me is that Alan Colmes reportedly didn’t get a copy. I don’t know whether that’s true or not. I have read it on sites I don’t trust, like Greenwald’s and Think Progress. Also, I know Colmes is in radio, but I don’t know when (morning or evening), the extent of his audience, or the source of the information that he didn’t get a copy. If this turns out to be correct, maybe someone can contact the publicists and ask them.
Let the distributed power of the Web shine. Go to work and tell me what you find. Who got advance copies of “Path to 9/11”?
Whatever the facts are, let ’em roll. Because it’s all about the accuracy. Isn’t that what the Democrats say about the movie itself?
UPDATE: In trying to look into this issue, I ran across Glenn Greenwald’s post from yesterday, which implies that liberal blogs like FireDogLake asked for a copy and were refused:
According to Hewitt, it was audience size which determined who received screeners, not ideology. Currently, the average number of visitors to Hewitt’s blog is 41,000. Firedoglake has 50% more; blogs such as Crooks & Liars and Atrios have almost triple Hewitt’s audience; and the readership of DailyKos is ten times larger than Hewitt’s. If one were using audience size as the determining factor for which bloggers received screeners, Hewitt would still be waiting for his. But he was one of the first to receive a copy, while others with larger audience (measured in the tens of thousands, not the “tens”) were expressly refused.
The “expressly refused” link is to a FireDogLake post. Did FireDogLake ask for a copy and get “expressly refused,” as Greenwald’s link implies? Hard to say, based upon the post by Jennifer Nix:
The folks at Think Progress and Eschaton are reporting that ABC is not only refusing to provide advance copies of “The Path to 9/11” mini-series to progressive bloggers like yours truly, but to–jaw drop–President Clinton , Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright.
What does “progressive bloggers like yours truly” mean? Did Nix ask for a copy and get refused? I don’t know. Maybe she did and just doesn’t say so clearly in this post — or maybe she just means that, per Think Progress (already shown by me to be inaccurate), lefty bloggers in general aren’t getting copies.
Well, as I show above, Instapundit didn’t get a copy. John Hinderaker didn’t get a copy. Talk radio people did.
UPDATE x2: Commenter Paul G. says:
I’ve heard Rush Limbaugh state several times that the copy he received DID NOT come from ABC, and he still has not gotten a copy from them. Many of the left have been using him in particular as an example of one the of “conservative talk show hosts who was sent an advance copy by ABC.”
Actually, Limbaugh said that he was invited and attended a prescreening in Washington, D.C. in which the audience was roughly 50-50, conservatives and liberals.
The picture clarifies further the more facts you get. Thanks, Paul.