Scarborough hosted Brent Bozell, but no progressive to talk about ABC "docudrama"
Research ››› ››› SIMON MALOY
On Scarborough Country, Joe Scarborough invited Media Research Center president Brent Bozell to comment on the controversy surrounding ABC's planned "docudrama," The Path to 9/11, and address claims that the miniseries is slanted one way or the other. Bozell has also regularly appeared on Scarborough Country when conservatives voice displeasure at the media.
L. Brent Bozell III, president of the conservative Media Research Center, appeared on the September 6 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country to discuss ABC's planned "docudrama," The Path to 9/11 -- a two-part miniseries written and produced by a conservative activist that uses twisted and invented facts and storylines to create a false picture of the Clinton administration's role in failing to prevent the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, while largely ignoring Bush administration failures. Host Joe Scarborough invited Bozell, a conservative media critic, to comment on the controversy surrounding the film and address claims that The Path to 9/11 is slanted one way or the other, despite the fact that progressive media watchdogs such as Media Matters for America and the weblog Think Progress have noted numerous reported examples of misinformation in the film and led the campaign to ask ABC to address the film's factual problems. Bozell also regularly appears on Scarborough Country when conservatives voice displeasure at the media. It appears, then, that when conservatives have a particular problem with the media, Scarborough turns to Bozell for analysis. But in a segment to discuss a media event with which progressives have strongly taken issue, Scarborough turns not to a progressive media critic, but to ... Bozell. Again.
A Nexis search revealed that Bozell appeared on Scarborough on February 17, 2005, to criticize the Public Broadcasting Service's alleged "liberal" bias; on April 26, 2005, to criticize polling Bozell claimed was biased against Republican efforts to change Senate rules to prevent the filibuster of judicial nominees; on May 16, 2005, to attack Newsweek for its retracted story on U.S. interrogators flushing a Quran down the toilet at the Pentagon's detention facility at Guantánamo Bay; and on November 28, 2005, to criticize the media's reporting on the Bush administration's secret CIA prisons. Bozell has appeared on Scarborough Country at least four times this year to criticize "bias" in the media.
Bozell was one of several media conservatives identified by Media Matters using essentially identical language to defend the film as "non-partisan." He appeared on the September 6 edition of Scarborough Country opposite former Bush counterterrorism official Roger Cressey:
SCARBOROUGH: Brent Bozell, are you suffering from vertigo tonight? I mean, for years, we've been hearing about how ABC, NBC, CBS is slanted, has a bias against conservatives, but now a lot of people are believing that this docudrama intentionally distorts the facts regarding the Clinton administration.
BOZELL: Well, look, you know, as opposed to President Clinton, I have seen this. And, OK, I don't know where that puts me on the pecking order, but let's be clear about something: The 9/11 Commission Report is not an infallible truth. There are plenty of people who have disputed elements therein. I'm not taking sides, one side or the other. I'm just saying that it is a disputed document by some people. One wishes -- I agree with Roger -- I wish that this had stuck to being a documentary and not gone the way of docudramas, but it did. There will be some things that people on the Clinton side disagree with, as do the Bush people, as well. But I don't think, from what I saw, I didn't see any deliberate attempt to bash either the Clinton side or the Bush side. Look, both -- both administrations do bear a degree of responsibility with all the warning signals that we had that were overlooked.