ABC-Sponsored teaching materials falsely suggest Iraq had WMD, link War in Iraq to 9/11


Using Scholastic, ABC Peddles False Information to School Kids Based on Flawed, Partisan "9-11 Docu-drama"

September 6, 2006 (Washington, DC) - Media Matters for America has found ABC is "generously sponsor[ing]" high school teaching materials in connection with its "docu-drama" the Path to 9/11 that leave out key information, resulting in a distorted account of pre-Iraq War WMD claims, and falsely link the war in Iraq to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

"By pushing material with misleading information to students of all ages, ABC and Scholastic are engaging in the worst kind of political propagandizing and misinformation campaign," said Media Matters President and CEO David Brock. "It appears they are actively seeking to misinform our children on recent historical events that have shaped our world. Such behavior from a major network like ABC is not only unprecedented; it is highly inappropriate and deeply troubling."

Scholastic Inc., which describes itself as "the global children's publishing, education and media company," is reaching out to more than 100,000 high school teachers around the country in an effort to publicize the ABC miniseries "The Path to 9-11." Scholastic is not only urging teachers to discuss and debate the events leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, but is also providing them with multiple "resource sheets" which contain misleading information about the Iraq war.

A Scholastic/ABC document titled "Student Resource Sheet 1" says of Iraq, "The dictatorial government of Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003, following an invasion led by the United States. The U.S. government believed that Hussein had been developing weapons of mass destruction that he planned to use against American and other targets."

The "Student Resource Sheet" omits any mention of two crucial facts: We now know Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction, and there is a voluminous and growing body of evidence that indicates that the Bush administration knew its claims about weapons of mass destruction were unsupported, as Media Matters has documented here, here, and here.

The "Student Resource Sheet" also seems to link the war in Iraq to the 9/11 terrorist attacks: "Following the terrorist attacks on September 11, the United States began a global "War on Terror" to stop terrorist groups and state-sponsored terrorism. President Bush has led the United States into Afghanistan and Iraq and reorganized the national government in an attempt to combat terrorist activity."

The controversial ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11," is also under heavy criticism for pushing false, misleading and overtly political misinformation about the factors leading to the 9/11 attacks from officials closely tied with the 9/11 Commission Report and current and previous administrations.

Links to the Scholastic Resources:

Student Resource Sheet 1 (PDF)

Student Resource Sheet 2 (PDF)

The Path to 9/11, Part 1: Classroom Discussion & Debate (PDF)

The Path to 9/11, Part 2: Classroom Discussion & Debate (PDF)

Beyond the Classroom Discussion and Debate (PDF)

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.