A closer look at the Bush record -- from
the war in Iraq to the war on the environment
take the exit ramp off the Bush presidency in November?
Colin Powell's Legend
Colin Powell's sterling reputation in Washington hides his life-long role
as water-carrier for conservative ideologues.
Recounting the controversial presidential campaign
Is the national media a danger to democracy?
The Clinton Scandals
The story behind President Clinton's impeachment
Pinochet & Other Characters
The Dark Side of Rev. Moon
Rev. Sun Myung Moon and American politics
Contra drug stories uncovered
How the American historical record has been tainted by lies and cover-ups
The October Surprise
The 1980 October Surprise scandal exposed
From free trade to the Kosovo crisis
Other Investigative Stories
Editor's Note: Political analyst and Disney
shareholder Brent Budowsky is sending the following letter to Disney's
board of directors protesting the company's funding and broadcasting of
a docu-drama, "The Path to 9/11," which used fabricated scenes and
dialogue to blame the Clinton administration for the terrorist attacks
that occurred eight months into George W. Bush's presidency:
Dear Board of Directors:
As a Disney Investor through a long term family account, I call on you
to remove Mr. Robert Iger as the CEO of this company, to retain a
premier executive search firm to select candidates for his replacement
and to send me, via overnight or two-day delivery, a written copy of the
company by-laws with attention drawn to regular and emergency procedures
to bring a matter to the attention of all investors through an emergency
vote, if needed.
As a patriotic American who believes deeply in our country, I want to
say first to each and every one of you who serves on the Disney Board, I
hope you are all as ashamed as governors of the company, by the
discredit you have brought on the company, as I am, in being an owner of
equity in a company that has distorted and demeaned our Nation's
commemoration of one of the solemn moments in our national history.
Because of your actions in "The Path to 9/11," what should have been a
healing and unifying moment in America to commemorate the greatest
single national tragedy in our history on our shores, was turned into a
multi-day spectacle that ripped open our wounds and further divided our
In my humble opinion, what you have done may be the single most
degrading moment in the history of network television and one of the
most shameful, wounding exploitations of this terrible event. When our
troops are under fire and our nation is so divided, it is particularly
shameful that your product was
so warped and twisted that our Nation spent precious days discussing its
misrepresentations, falsehoods, and radical biases rather than spending
those hours unifying and healing ourselves and our country.
For a public company, using public airwaves, to so brazenly use this
moment to interfere with a national election is almost a single
compendium of so much that has divided and embittered so many in our
nation, at so important a time in our history, and so momentous an
occasion in our national life.
The inaccurate and false statements of events including
a former President of the United States; the use of misrepresentations
of events to promote an ideological point of view that could be
interpreted as support for torture that has violated a recent Supreme
Court decision and could be interpreted as support for eavesdropping
actions that many believe violate the United States Constitution; the
use of innuendo and language that clearly involve not only extreme bias
but repetition of partisan attack talking points that one party is using
in a national election to demean the other; these actions are
unprecedented in the history of network television.
The demeaning, sneering, personal treatment of senior government
officials was reminiscent of government-produced propaganda films in
nations that do not honor democratic values.
The personal way you portrayed certain high-level women such as
Madeleine Albright and Barbara Bodine was so snide and haughty that I
personally found it reprehensibly sexist as well as intellectually and
factually false and dishonest.
These actions have done extreme and long-term damage to Disney's
reputation for integrity, probity and solid American values. No doubt,
for the same reprehensible reasons you allowed such a defective and
deformed product to air on your network, you probably have no idea of
the alienation and rage you have created with tens of millions of
Americans who are patriotic citizens deeply and profoundly offended by
what you have done, who have been, until now, your customers.
Mr. Iger, I call on you to resign, you have done more damage in your
short tenure to the credibility and reputation of the Company than every
previous CEO in its long and distinguished history.
Members of the Board, if Mr. Iger refuses to honorably step down, I call
on you to remove him. There must be accountability.
I have one final action I call on you to take.
You have interfered with a national election; you have further divided a
divided country; you have further wounded a wounded nation; you have
produced what was essentially propaganda film unworthy of a great
in a democratic nation; you have selectively leaked to partisans and
ideologues who have used it to demean other Americans in the most
shamefully partisan ways; you have presented false, condescending and
sexist impressions of people who are not only former high-level leaders
but human beings worthy of far more fair and respectful treatment; and
you unilaterally injected several days of warped and deformed debate,
about your warped and deformed product, on a Nation commemorating a
momentous occasion that for the rest of us, should have been unifying
By doing so, you brought discredit and dishonor to yourselves and your
I therefore call on you, as a gesture of national
reconciliation, to at least make a good faith effort to undo some of the
damage you have done, to our country and your company, to within 72
hours announce a $40 million cash donation, in the name of your
shareholders and customers, to a respected charity that helps homeless
veterans who have served our country and fallen on hard times.
At least, if you do this, some good will come out of this shameful and
disgusting episode that has further divided our country, and done so
much damage to your honor, reputation and credibility.
I am, Sincerely,
Brent Budowsky was an aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen on intelligence
issues, and served as Legislative Director to Rep. Bill Alexander when
he was Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Leadership. Budowsky
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org..
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