Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The ABCs of 9/11: Disney is the center of a maelstrom of criticism in the blogosphere—it’s beginning to seep through to the mainstream media—and from Democratic leaders for its upcoming ABC “docudrama” presenting the Republican spin on the events leading up to 9/11.

There are echoes of the CBS biopic of Ronald Reagan, which was withdrawn after conservative commentators claimed it was insufficiently hagiographical—except in this case ABC seems determined to press ahead regardless of the attacks on the show’s credibility.

There doesn’t seem to be much question that this is an overtly partisan move on Disney’s part. It commissioned a well-known conservative activist to write the screenplay, and it has distributed advance copies to Rush Limbaugh and right-wing bloggers while denying them to the Democratic politicians portrayed in the movie and to progressive bloggers.

Moreover, the network has been alerted to numerous factual inaccuracies, and simply refused to make changes. So this is not a case of being careless with the truth; it's a deliberate political maneuver.

So is this a smart move by Disney?

Any boycott of ABC, its affiliates and its advertisers is likely to have a minimal impact—most boycotts are ineffective, except at generating ink.

So I guess that if the movie succeeds in throwing some momentum back behind a floundering GOP and prevents the Democrats from retaking the House this fall—something political analysts had considered increasingly likely—Disney might have bought itself some friends in high places. But if the Democrats do as well as predicted, they’re not likely to forget something this brazen.

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