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DNC Weighs in on ABC Controversy

Calling the film a "despicable, slanderous, irresponsible fraud"--the two-part TV movie has yet to air but was screened in Washington--the DNC has asked party members to write to Disney Chief Robert Iger to protest what it calls a "conservative attempt to rewrite history" in the run-up to the November elections.

The DNC has put the following e-mail form letter on its site to make mass mailings easier. "Keep "Path to 9/11" Propaganda Film Off The Air," the party trumpets on its Web site.

"Mr. Iger,

"The Path to 9/11" mocks the truth and dishonors the memory of 9/11 victims to serve a cheap, callous political agenda. It irresponsibly misrepresents the facts and completely distorts the truth.

This film is a conservative attempt to rewrite the history of September 11 to blame Democrats, just in time for the election. You should honor the trust the public has given you with our public airwaves by keeping this propaganda off the air."

Former Clinton officials including Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, and representatives of the former president have already written to Iger to complain about the movie's portrayal of the Clinton administration in the run-up to the Sept. 11 attacks, particularly what they say are inaccuracies that make target individuals with missing opportunities to kill Osama Bin Laden.

ABC is not carrying any ads or sponsorships in the show-which airs on Sept. 10 and 11--and was proudly promoting the $40 million effort, including the Washington screening, for example, and reportedly teaming with Scholastic to encourage students to watch and discuss it.

The film actually ends with the Sept. 11 attacks, looking instead at the events that led up to them.

ABC is still editing the piece. Those edits are reportedly likely to make the film's portrayal of lost opportunities more general and less focused on individuals, though whether that will be enough to placate the Dems remains to be seen.

ABC has advised critics to wait for the finished piece, calling the film a dramatization with fictionalized scenes and composite and "representative" characters and dialog.