As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Laziest Propagandists

So Fox News, a channel that makes a living out of smearing the Clinton Administration, didn't want to pay actors and lighting crews and cameramen and editors to do it, so they've decided to just rip off Disney to do it:

NEW YORK — In a move that could rekindle a heated political debate, Fox News said Thursday that it planned to broadcast footage from ABC's controversial miniseries "The Path to 9/11" that was edited out of the docudrama amid criticism that it inaccurately portrayed the Clinton administration's response to the terrorism threat.

The outtakes, scheduled to air Sunday, depict then-national security advisor Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger refusing to approve a CIA request to attack Osama bin Laden, an event that Berger and the Sept. 11 commission say did not occur.

Now, if Disney/ABC provided the tapes for Fox News to use, that would be sort of evidence of some vast right-wing conspiracy or something. But in this case, Fox actually did what pirate DVD makers do: they bootlegged it.

Fox News obtained the outtakes by taping a public talk that Cyrus Nowrasteh, writer and producer of "The Path to 9/11," gave to a World Affairs Council chapter last Friday at Cal State Channel Islands. Nowrasteh discussed making the docudrama and played several minutes edited out of the movie.

Fox News had learned of his appearance from an article in a Ventura County paper, and it received permission from the World Affairs Council to record the event, "Hannity's America" producer John Finley said. The council is a nonprofit educational group.

"We saw an opportunity and sent a crew out there," Finley said.

Kind of like some 18 year-old kid sees the opportunity and brings a Handicam into the matinee screening of "The Departed," and three days later you can buy a copy on the streets of Beijing for a buck and a half.

Meanwhile, it's not like this stuff is even exclusive, although it is illegal.

An early version of the miniseries that ABC distributed to television critics is readily available on and other websites.

Fox News does not have ABC's permission to broadcast the unaired footage, but an attorney for the network said officials there believed that the newsworthiness of the material put it under the fair-use exception to the copyright statute.

It's newsworthy to run footage that's four months old that you couldn't get through normal channels, so you STOLE it? How about the "24" finale online then, the one that my friend in their post-production department gave me? It's newsworthy, right? I'll only put up the very, very end, so it's fair use, yeah?

Fox News: not only dishonest on the air, but dishonest and lazy off the air. They could have made their own bullshit film ripping apart the Clintons: I'm sure they'd get an audience. But that would, you know, cost money.