11 Sep 2006

Path to 9/11

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ABC’s redacted Path to 9/11 concluded tonight. All sophisticated viewers, I think, agree with John Fund, that, however slightly fictionalized, docudramas based on events within living memory are a fundamentally bad idea. There is simply no legitimate way to combine the needs of theatre with factuality.

Although I’m no admirer of the genre, I thought Path to 9/11 was not entirely a bad thing. It seemed to me that the television mini-series represented our culture’s collective unconsciousness, whispering in our ear a (basically valid) warning about the sclerotic tendencies of large institutions faced with unprecedented challenges. I don’t think any of the purported facts were terribly far off the mark, and the spectacular reaction of William Jefferson Clinton, a number of officials from his administration, and the Democrat Congressional leadership was every bit as entertaining as the program.

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