Friday, September 07, 2007

The Clinton Censors

By Jamie Glazov

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Cyrus Nowrasteh, the writer/producer of the ABC 6-hour miniseries The Path to 9/11 which aired last September, 2006. He has worked in television and motion pictures for a number of years, won two PEN awards for Best Teleplay, and specializes in history and docudrama.

FP: Cyrus Nowrasteh, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.

Nowrasteh: Good to be with you.

FP: Well, it looks as though among the twenty television DVDs slated for nationwide release on Sept. 11, your film, The Path to 9/11, is not one of them. It couldn’t possibly be that your $40-million, five-hour ABC miniseries, which has received seven Emmy nominations and attracted an audience of 25 million people, has no interest. It definitely has more interest than a lot of the garbage on DVD shelves. What is happening here do you think?

Nowrasteh: I’ve been told by a top Disney/ABC exec that “if Hillary weren’t running for President this wouldn’t be a problem”, meaning the DVD would be out. This is to appease the Clintons, plain and simple.

FP: So if there are powerful forces operating out there to protect Bill Clinton's presidential legacy and to help, in turn, Hillary’s bid for the White House -- and to make sure she is not damaged in any way by this DVD, how would their “political pressure” work exactly? How does it operate?

Nowrasteh: Well, last year at this time it was a coordinated effort from the Clintons, Sandy Berger, the DNC, and the far-left loony blogosphere to swamp ABC with emails and phone calls and threats to get them to block the broadcast, or recut the movie. Since then it’s been more subtle. I know there have been phone calls to top execs at Disney from President Clinton himself, and friends of the Clintons, of which there are many in Hollywood.

FP: You received death threats before your miniseries ran didn’t you?

Nowrasteh: Multiple threats. Yes.

FP: If the DVD is killed because of the reasons you are pointing to, what kind of precedent does this set?

Nowrasteh: A very dangerous one. Politicians and the nuts on the far-left sites will see it as a victory -- and other nuts will use this example to coordinate and shut down other entertainment they don’t like. Oliver Stone is the only film-maker to step up and realize how dangerous this is. Where are the other voices? The WGA? The DGA? PEN, of which I’m a member and 2-time award winner? Where are they? This is blatant stifling of creative expression .

FP: Tell us a bit about The Path to 9/11 and why the Democrats were – and are – so furious about it. Didn’t ABC almost cancel it last year due to “pressures” and some “edits” were imposed?

Nowrasteh: They were upset because we hit on the hot-button truth they didn’t want exposed: Their poor record in dealing with Usama Bin Laden and terrorism in the 90s, as well as the lead-up to 9/11. Now, the miniseries was also harsh on the Bush administration, especially Condoleeza Rice, and we point out their many failures as well. So there’s no bias here and those who say there is haven’t watched the show.

FP: What is the meaning in all of this and what can concerned citizens do?

Nowrasteh: This is ominous for any film-maker who wants to look at history with a sharp eye -- what it says is that you can attack conservatives and Republicans all you want, but if you criticize Democrats or liberals you risk being censored by their friends in Hollywood. It’s the same thing that’s going on from the the Democratic Congress about the “Fairness Doctrine”.

Last year, concerned citizens on the Left flooded Disney/ABC with emails and phone calls and nearly shut down the miniseries. What people are willing to do now, I have no idea....

FP: Cyrus Nowrasteh, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

Nowrasteh: Thank you.

Jamie Glazov is Frontpage Magazine's managing editor. He holds a Ph.D. in History with a specialty in U.S. and Canadian foreign policy. He edited and wrote the introduction to David Horowitz’s Left Illusions. He is also the co-editor (with David Horowitz) of The Hate America Left and the author of Canadian Policy Toward Khrushchev’s Soviet Union (McGill-Queens University Press, 2002) and 15 Tips on How to be a Good Leftist. To see his previous symposiums, interviews and articles Click Here. Email him at

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