What Did ABC Edit?
The first portion of the transcript of my interview with “The Path to 9/11” writer/producer Cyrus Nowrasteh is posted. More will be added as it becomes available.
HH: Cyrus Nowrasteh, there’s controversy surrounding this film which will be showing in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, as well as the British Broadcast System, and all around the world. The controversy concerns whether or not edits were made. I have a preview copy, as do 900 other people. It’s not like I’m special. Is what I have what others will see on Sunday night?
CN: You know, I’m not sure yet. But as I understand it, there will be some minor changes.
HH: Are those changes of concern to you?
CN: You know, changes are always of concern, but I think I can live with these.
HH: There is a UPI and an AP story today saying that Sandy Berger and Madeleine Albright and others are all upset with this. They’re not singled out for any particular abuse. Condi Rice comes in for some as well. Why the hue and cry?
CN: Boy, that’s a good question. You know, I don’t even know if these people have seen the movie. This all started at the National Press Club screening in Washington, D.C., the evening of August 23rd. There was a Q & A afterwards. Governor Thomas Keane, who was chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and a senior consultant and credited as co-executive producer on the movie, myself and executive producer Mark Platt conducted a Q & A. We only showed night one. You can’t invite people to a 7:30PM screening, and show them a five hour movie. However, in their gift bags, as they left, was a DVD of night 2. In the Q & A, Richard Ben-Veniste, and some of his staffers, felt that the movie misrepresented some of these people. And they questioned well, why didn’t you show this, or why didn’t you show that? And Governor Keane, myself and Mark Platt responded. And what was wonderful, really, was a number of other people in the audience got up and just talked about how powerful they thought the film was, how much they liked it, how impressed they were, and most important to me, Mary Fetchett, the mother of a victim who died in the first plane that went into the towers, got up and thanked us for doing the movie.
HH: Can you tell us where the edits have been made? In what scenes?
CN: You know, I haven’t seen the edits, yet. I think there’s been a lot of concentration on this big sequence involving an attempted capture of bin Laden, and there’s just been a lot of discussion about Lewinsky stuff in the movie. I don’t know. You know, I think that the heartbeat of this movie is there. I think people