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UPDATE:I just noticed that CBS is running a real documentary on 9/11 tomorrow (Sunday) night, the one by the Gaudet brothers -- they happened to be filming a FDNY firehouse on 9/11 and followed the whole thing. It's narrated by Robert DeNiro. I remember seeing it several years ago; it was quite good, and would make an excellent alternative to ABC's defamatory excrement (I just saw several lengthy clips -- I can't believe how deliberately false and defamatory it is).

As for the FCC, I don't know federal communications law, but I'm hoping that someone among the Kossacks reading this may know some. (UPDATE: A respondent below has provided excellent information on filing a complaint with the FCC, and another respondent has links to a petition campaign ready to start if/when ABC airs this crap.)

My question is whether this miniseries could be defined as political matter, and, if so, what that might mean in terms of ABC's obligation to disclose it as such, as well as other responsibilities such a definition might entail.  My reasons, and the text of the FCC regulation, below:

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Just now on "The Randi Rhodes Show", Richard Holbrooke mentioned this article, about a new Pentagon/CIA report, as showing just how bad the situation is and how badly we have underestimated the insurgency in Iraq:

Rebels With More Funds
By ERIC SCHMITT and THOM SHANKER

Published: October 22, 2004

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Oct. 21 - Senior American officials are beginning to assemble a new portrait of the insurgency that has continued to inflict casualties on American and Iraqi forces, showing that it has significantly more fighters and far greater financial resources than had been estimated.

The full article is available (registration required) at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/22/international/middleeast/22insurgents.html?hp&ex=1098504000&am p;en=e40ae916b3f0b5bd&ei=5094&partner=homepage

More below the break . . .

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"President Bush knows that there were two versions of this appropriations bill.  What he also knows, but chooses not to tell the American people, is that the version I voted for would not have added to our enormous federal deficit; it required fiscal responsibility by rolling back part of the tax cut for Americans with incomes above $200,000 a year, and by requiring that half of the reconstruction funds be in the form of a loan to Iraq.

"What the President also doesn't tell the American public is that the version I and the other Senate Democrats supported would have extended to National Guardsmen and reservists called up to active duty, and to their families, the health care system which regular active duty military personnel enjoy.

"Finally, the President doesn't tell you that he hated this fiscally-responsible, troop-supportive version of the Iraq appropriations bill so much that he threatened to veto it if it came to his desk in this form, and that the Republican Senate leadership gave in to him and removed these provisions, provisions which would have kept our deficit from ballooning and would have provided health care to the families of Guardsmen and reservists who are risking their lives for us in Iraq."

My full e-mail letter to the Kerry campaign is copied below.  How do I/we get them to see that this is how Kerry needs to answer?

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National security appears to the make-or-break election issue this year among independent voters.  John Kerry can -- and should -- win over Bush on national security hands down in the court of public opinion.  There are two main reasons why this hasn't happened yet:

  1. The media continue their insidious "disinforming" of the American public by not informing them, in depth and consistently, of the biting fact that the highest-level former military, intelligence, and foreign service officers in this country are virtually unanimous in condemning Bush's foreign, military, and anti-terrorism policies; many of them are so concerned about our national security that they are actively working for the Kerry campaign.  That Kerry has won over an Air Force general (Tony McPeak), who is a former Republican, underscores how desperate our national security situation truly is; and

  2. Spokesmen for the Kerry campaign (most recently and appallingly, Mary Beth Cahill on NPR's "Morning Edition" today), instead of hammering home that Kerry is much stronger than Bush on national security, try to divert the focus from national security by claiming that it is only one of a number of important issues.  Pay attention, Mary Beth:  people who are worried about whether or not they and their children are safe are not going to be diverted from that primary concern by a discussion of the economy or health care issues.

This situation will not change unless Kerry in Thursday night's debate, and his spokesmen and surrogates in their various interviews, make the following arguments over and over again, in succinct "sound bites", backed up supporting evidence from non-partisan and bi-partisan sources:
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Sat Sep 18, 2004 at 10:10 AM PDT

Navy verifies Kerry's war medals

by GreekGirl

I've heard very little about this in the mainstream press (not surprisingly), but an AP article on Yahoo reveals that Vice Admiral R. A. Route, the Navy's inspector general, conducted a review of Kerry's medal awards process at the request of conservative and pro-Bush Judicial Watch.

His conclusion?

"Our examination found that existing documentation regarding the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed," Route wrote in the memo sent Friday to Navy Secretary Gordon England.

Unhappy with the results, Judicial Watch's president, Tom Fitton, said the group would appeal, calling Route's review a "whitewash" because:

"[t]he Navy IG obviously is afraid of the political ramifications of a thorough investigation into a presidential candidate's service record".

Yes, he actually had the balls/stupidity to say that in the face of Bush's AWOL status, refusal to obey a direct order, and failure to fulfill his term of Guard service -- not to mention the Republicans' control of everything, including the Pentagon. <g>

In response to Judicial Watch's request for an investigation into Kerry's anti-war activities after his return from Vietnam, Vice Admiral Route dismissed it by implying that, had there been anything there in terms of either Kerry's anti-war activities or the awarding of his medals, the Nixon administration and Pentagon would surely have jumped on it at the time (this, of course, also subtly attacks the swift boat liars' revisionist memories):

"Our review also considered the fact that Senator Kerry's post-active duty activities were public and that military and civilian officials were aware of his actions at the time. For these reasons, I have determined that Senator Kerry's awards were properly approved and will take no further action in this matter."

Those of you who are Yahoo members can help give this story more prominence by going to the Web page and rating it highly (its current 2.92 rating is no doubt artificially low thanks to the activity of freepers):

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040918/ap_on_el_pr/kerry_navy_awards_6

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When the 9/11 widows first announced their support for Kerry's candidacy, I surmised in a comment posted on a dKos thread that the press, because they wouldn't dare attack them outright, would simply ignore them.  Of course, this is exactly what has happened, for the most part.

But now MSNBC.com has a Newsweek interview online with Kristen Breitweiser -- it's excellent:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6030699/site/newsweek

For those of us who were disgusted and sickened by the shameless and hypocritical marketing of 9/11 at the RNC, we may now take delight in its' having been Karl Rove's worst mistake so far, as seen by Breitweiser's response to the question of what finally led her to decide to support John Kerry:

For me, it was the [Republican National Convention] ... At the convention, 9/11 was spoken about constantly and I thought, where was this interest, this passion, this fervor for the last three years when we [9/11 widows] were begging and pleading and screaming to get 9/11 issues addressed by this administration? They wanted nothing to do with it, and then there's a convention where that's all they're talking about: 9/11.

Hell hath no fury like righteous widows scorned.

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One of the great unreported stories -- one which should be crowed from the rooftops by Kerry and his surrogates -- is the support Kerry is receiving from retired military officers of the highest caliber, versus the noticeable lack of such heavy guns supporting Bush's candidacy this time around.

The Kerry campaign, or perhaps MoveOn.org and other 527's, needs to focus public attention not only on Kerry's own stable of generals and admirals -- which includes former members and chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Central Command -- but remind the mainstream press (or at least the American public via ads) that Bush has no military support of equal caliber outside of Tommy Franks, whose own support is suspect given Senator Bob Graham's account of his conversation with Franks about the diversion of resources from Afghanistan to Iraq before the invasion.  In fact, General Zinni has been quite critical publicly of Bush's military policies (as, most recently, has Lieutenant General James T. Conway, the outgoing commander of US Marines in Iraq), and General Norman Schwartzkopf has explicitly said that, although he spoke on behalf of Bush's nomination at the 2000 Republican convention, he most decidedly does not support him now.

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We have just reached a horrible milestone: over 1000 servicemen and women killed in Iraq, after an invasion that should never have occurred.  This sorrowful reminder provides an opportunity for John Kerry to consolidate his message regarding his commitment to our national security and to our servicemen and veterans.  It also provides an opportunity for him to show that this has been a consistent concern of his since he volunteered for combat duty in Vietnam and became an anti-war leader after his return.

John Kerry could make both his stump speech message and his ad campaign resonate with American voters by showing that his concern, from 35 years ago until the present day, has been to serve our country, to ensure our national security, and to provide for our soldiers both while serving and afterwards.  He should not go back on his anti-war statements but rather show them to be part of his consistent, decades-long concern with both our nation's security and with the men and women who shoulder the primary responsibility for ensuring that security.

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Are journalists and editors: a) stupid; b) utterly lacking in analytical ability; c) overly sensitive to the baseless charge of "liberal media bias" deliberately flung about by conservatively-biased political pundits; d) consciously colluding with the conservative -- especially neo-con -- gaggle who rules the airwaves today; or e) infected by some combination of the previous four flaws?
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