American Airlines and Bill Clinton Issue Further Protests over “The Path to 9/11”

AdWeek reports that American Airlines is considering pulling advertising from ABC due to the inaccuracies in The Path to 9/11. The article quotes statements from both American Airlines and attorneys representing Bill Clinton:

Late Monday, American Airlines released the following statement: “The Disney/ABC television program, ‘The Path to 9/11,’ which began airing last night, is inaccurate and irresponsible in its portrayal of the airport check-in events that occurred on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

“A factual description of those events can be found in the official government edition of the 9/11 Commission Report and supporting documents.

“This misrepresentation of facts dishonors the memory of innocent American Airlines employees and all those who lost their lives as a result of the tragic events of 9/11.”

American said it would have no further comment beyond the statement at this time. But earlier in the day, it had sent a letter to those who had contacted the company with the same complaint, inspired by liberal blogger John Aravosis of Americablog. He received a letter that read:

“I think it is important for you to know that ABC had factual errors in its dramatization, and we are looking at possible legal actions as a result. . . . Please know this was a tragic incident in our company’s history and we hope you will be sympathetic to our employees and our airline on this day especially. Again, we are outraged by this situation, and we alerted ABC about its gross error. It is very unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, former President Clinton and his advisers remain unhappy with the film. Bruce Lindsey, CEO of the Clinton Foundation, and Douglas J. Band, counselor, wrote yet another letter to Robert Iger, chief at Disney (which owns ABC) today. It concludes:

“Having now seen the first night of this fiction, it is clear that the edits made to the film did not address the factual errors that we brought to your attention. ‘The Path to 9/11’ flagrantly ignored the facts as reported by the 9/11 Commission and invented its own version of history. The result, in our judgment, is irreparable damage to the Commission’s work. More importantly, it is a disservice to the American people.

“That the film directly contradicts the findings of the 9/11 Commission is troubling. That it defames dedicated public officials is tragic. But the fact that it misleads millions of people about the most tragic and consequential event in recent history is disgraceful.”

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