With a sick daughter and wife, and potty training reaching a critical, make-or-break juncture, we decide to forgo the traditional fireworks outing this weekend, put the kids to bed (too young to know what they are missing), and watch the uncut version of The Path To 9-11. If you recall, this 5-6 hour docudrama was aired on ABC over two nights (September 10 and 11, 2006) at the five year anniversary of the infamous 2001 terrorist attack. I was among the 28,000,000 people who saw it at the time, but my wife had missed it. Two weeks prior to its airing in 2006, Disney/ABC came under tremendous pressure from Democrats in Congress (notably Harry Reid and Charles Schumer) as well as President Clinton’s lawyers to cancel the movie or at least cut material. According to the writer and producer Cyrus Nowrasteh, a letter was sent to Disney/ABC threatening revocation of their station licenses if they didn’t pull or recut the miniseries. Disney CEO Bob Iger caved to pressure and cut three minutes out of the program. The material that I believe was cut (based on my conversation with Cyrus last week at the showing of The Stoning of Soraya M.) is in the YouTube clip below.
The entire docudrama is absolutely outstanding. Watch it if you can. Unfortunately, Disney/ABC have blocked all efforts to sell or rent DVDs of the film via Netflix, Blockbuster, etc. I have a few copies because a kind man named Jesse handed them to me last week at the The Stoning of Soraya M. event. If you live near us, perhaps you could borrow a copy. Leave a comment if you are interested.
Incidentally, the efforts to block the release of The Path To 9-11 have themselves become the subject of a documentary entitled Blocking the Path to 9-11. It can be ordered for $20 .
UPDATE: Cyrus Nowrasteh has now confirmed that the scene above was the scene that ABC deleted.