The cat calls surrounding ABC's "The Path to 9/11" continue to grow louder. Not only is the network under fire for legitimate questions about the veracity of the primetime mini-series, which apparently goes to significant lengths to pin the blame of 9/11 on the Clinton administration, but ABC itself has failed to answer questions about the dubious way it has arranged for conservative partisans to view the program prior to air date (which has allowed them to cheerlead the movie online and on talk radio), yet Democratic activists have been stiff-armed. My own numerous calls to ABC's publicist requesting a screening copy of "The Path to 9/11" have been ignored. Even former President Bill Clinton's request for a DVD has gone unheeded by ABC.
But now comes the revelation that ABC has teamed up with education publishing giant Scholastic to spread misinformation about Iraq and Bush's War on Terrorism to millions of American high school students; students who might take part in ABC's sponsored teach-in surrounding "The Path to 9/11," which airs Sept. 10-11. Looking at the clear anti-Clinton factual errors included in the mini-series as well as the clear pro-Bush factual errors included in the classroom text, it's hard to pass the pair off as a coincidence.
As Media Matters for America first reported, the ABC and Scholastic-produced "Discussion Guide for the Classroom" that provides background information to students about 9/11 and the Middle East, is "rife with conservative misinformation." For instance, there's this reference to the invasion of Iraq:
The dictatorial government of Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003, following an invasion led by the United States.The U.S. government believed that Hussein had been developing weapons of mass destruction that he planned to use against American and other targets.
That's it, period. No mention of the glaringly obvious point that no WMD's were ever found in Iraq and that the Bush administration entire rationale for war turned out to be a fallacy. Yet this slick classroom guide is supposed to help 16, 17, and 18-year-olds better understand American history?
And there's this:
Bush has led the United States into Afghanistan and Iraq and reorganized the national government in an attempt to combat terrorist activity.
The classroom guide for "The Path to 9/11" clearly ties the attacks of Sept. 11, the Taliban and Iraq all together. In fact, the Scholastic text states at the very beginning:
The information below will help you become familiar with the people, places, and organizations that played a role in the events of 9/11 and those that led up to that tragic day.
But what does Iraq have to do with the events "that led up to that tragic day"? The answer, of course, is nothing. But that doesn't stop Scholastics from informing students:
Following are short descriptions of some of the countries [i.e. Iraq] and groups that were involved in some way with the terrorist attacks. [Emphasis added.]
Read more at Media Matters.
Say this about ABC, it is ambitious. Its effort to mislead people about 9/11 extends beyond American households and reaches into high school classrooms nationwide.
UPDATE: Scholastic has, for now, yanked its online teaching guideline for "The Path to 9/11." But Think Progress reports Scholastic will have the material back up online this afternoon. No word if significant changes will be made to the text.