One of the claims of conservative defenders of ABC's "The Path to 9/11" is that the Bush administration was as misleadingly portrayed as the Clinton administration. For instance:
- "Last night's episode included scenes that were not flattering to the Republican Bush administration, which took over eight months before the 9/11 attacks." -- Sept. 12 WorldNetDaily article by Art Moore, the same article that whitewashed scriptwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh's conservative politics.
- "The film doesn't play favorites, and the Bush administration takes its lumps as well. Condoleezza Rice, for one, takes a hit." -- Brent Bozell, Sept. 6 column.
- "'The Path to 9/11' also depicted President George W. Bush's administration in an unfavorable light, but Republicans made no similar totalitarian threat against ABC." -- Lowell Ponte, Sept. 13 NewsMax column.
But both Bozell and WND are conflating "not flattering" -- which nobody disputes; it's hard to quibble with an unflattering depiction of events if it's factually accurate -- with false and misleading, which is what the Clintonites were complaining about. Neither WND nor Bozell offer any examples of misleading or inaccurate depictions of Bush administration officials or their actions in "The Path to 9/11," as Clintonites did of their depictions.
That may be because, to the contrary, the Bushies are shown as acting more heroically than the historical record shows. As Media Matters documents, President Bush and his administration are shown as being more proactive against terrorist threats and, on 9/11 itself, quicker to call for shooting down terrorist-hijacked planes than the facts warrant. One might even call it flattering.
Have we heard conservatives -- who, in their attacks on the CBS miniseries on the Reagans, to be sticklers for historical accuracy -- demand that "The Path to 9/11" tell the truth about the Bush administration? Nope -- because those falsehoods make Republicans look good.
UPDATE: Added Lowell Ponte quote.