Tribute to the victims of 9/11 Samuel’s Footy Tips: Results

September 11

September 12th, 2006 at 02:30am

Good morning Stuart,

I thought I might share some of my recollection of how I found out about September 11. I remember that on the morning of September 12 (Australian) I was unwell and didn’t go to school…I stayed in bed until about 9:30am and when I got up to have breakfast Mum informed me that some planes had crashed in the US. I decided that I would watch one of the morning news bulletins. When I turned on the TV, I noticed that the news was running beyond its scheduled finishing time on one station, and then I noticed that the same thing was on every channel…and then I saw the footage…I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing, and I spent pretty much all day glued to the television, shocked and horrified by what was unfolding on the other side of the world.

I remember my friends who had been at high school that day telling me that the classrooms which had televisions on that day were also glued to the television, very few classes actually ran…an institution which pretty much banned contact with the outside world during school hours ground to a halt because of what was happening overseas.

I watched the entire two parts of the mini-series on Channel Seven, "The Path To 9/11", and I must say that I thought it was one of the best pieces of television I have ever watched…I’m normally not a fan of mini-series’, but this was just outstanding. I don’t see what all the fuss over it being too critical of the Clinton administration was about…it was somewhat critical of both the Bush administration as well. It was a very moving mini-series, and I hope it does get repeated at some stage because it deserves to be run more than once, and I would urge people who haven’t seen it, to watch it if it is repeated.

I’m sure we have all been touched by the events of that fateful day in 2001, and my thoughts (just like the thoughts of many others), are with those who lost people in the tragic events of that day.

Have a good morning Stuart,

Best wishes,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

Entry Filed under: Talkback Emails

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  • 1. Captain Flume  |  September 12th, 2006 at 3:01 am

    Hey Sam,

    I want to talk with you about two words.

    Objectivity and subjectivity.

    I want you to go look them up in a dictionary.

    I also want you to think about the possibility that your own country, Australia, is just as susceptable as any country to make mistakes in policy.

    Samuel. You have a brain, Try thinking for yourself once in a while. And now, for an alternate view of The Path To 9/11, see here

    Nice work Sam.

  • 2. Samuel  |  September 12th, 2006 at 10:29 am

    Captain Flume,

    Alright, you got me, which parts need more objectivity and sensitivity? And where did I say that Australia wasn’t susceptable to policy problems, or for that matter, terrorist attack?

  • 3. Loki  |  September 12th, 2006 at 10:46 am

    Very thoughful recollections from a day we will all never forget, Samuel. Captain Flume, I don’t see how objectivity and subjectivity apply here – these are just the writer’s point of view.

  • 4. Samuel  |  September 12th, 2006 at 11:13 am

    Now I see why Captain Flume is so upset…he doesn’t like the idea of “The Path To 9/11” being a partially fictional peice of television…sorry Captain Flume, but the show doesn’t pass itself off as being real (as you claim), but instead starts and ends each episode with a notice about it being partially fictional.

    It’s the television networks which tried to pass it off as real…if you must be angry with someone, be angry with them!

  • 5. Captain Flume  |  September 13th, 2006 at 12:40 am

    You’re missing the point. The film is distorting information and presenting it in a certain way in order to make you accept it as reality, and to be manipulated emotionally. I’m sure you’re no fan of Mike Moore, but he is often accused of presenting information in such a way as to make his targets look criminally incompetent. The right wing screamed blue murder about his film, yet you seem to feel such tactics are fine so long as its the religous right that uses them in their own so-called documentaries.

    What side of the fence you sit on politically has irrelevant. Having untainted information fairly presented in all media is the cornerstone on which democracy is built. The moment films like these are allowed to enter the public’s conciousness as truth without being called on it is another step closer towards fascism.

    If you can’t identify when a film like this is being subjective, and yes, sold to the public as the truth via TV networks or whomever… then I guess you deserve to be manipulated and misled by administrations like Bush’s.

    And by the way, a fact is a fact. Telling a lie and then ‘being critical of Bush too’ does not alter the lie.

    Praising films like this is a silly as calling Farinheit 911 an unbaised, balanced and fair piece of cinema.

  • 6. Loki  |  September 13th, 2006 at 10:20 am

    There was a very good two part Canadian documentary about 9/11 on SBS last night.

  • 7. Samuel  |  September 13th, 2006 at 11:52 pm

    Loki, I only saw bits and pieces of it, but it looked good.

    Captain Flume, it is a fictional tele-movie, based partially on fact. It should never have been marketed as fact, and I think the opening and closing screen filled with information about various bits of the story being completely fictional is the producers’ way of acknowledging that. In reality, the movie was critical of two fictional administrations, for reasons which are, mostly, fictional.

    You may be surprised to learn that I do like Mike Moore…his movies are also works of fiction, with some elements of fact…I’d call them works of opinion.

    Opinions are, by their very nature, based on a bias of some magnitude. The media is not unbiased, never has been and never will be, simply because humans are in charge of what the media presents, and humans are subjective. To say that “having untainted information fairly presented in all media is the cornerstone on which democracy is built” is an extraordinary show of your own delusions…the media will never be unbiased.

    Any reporter will be able to tell you that at any event, every person will tell you something slightly different happened, and it is the balance somewhere in the middle of those stories that tends to be the truth. To the same extent, every media outlet has a slightly different take on what happens in the world, and the truth lies in the balance of those stories.

    People need to learn to interpret what the media tell them, not just accept everything they see, read and hear as fact.

  • 8. Captain Flume  |  September 14th, 2006 at 12:54 am

    ‘Fictional administrations’?! I wouldn’t credit even you with being that naive Samuel.

    A free press is the cornerstone of democracy. Of course each outlet will spin it a different way — don’t insult my intelligence. My point was that fact — historical fact — must be reported accurately and not altered later for political reasons, no matter what mealy-mouthed qualifications are attached to them. By saying ‘this is fiction based on fact’ and then promoting the movie in the US via the ABC network as ‘The Official True Story of 9/11’ seems wrong to me.

    And by saying glibly and smugly ‘people need to learn to interpret what the media tells them’ is arrogant. Not everybody had access to the education you and I had, Samuel, and if something is sold to them as being factual, most will believe it to be so.

    Using your reasoning, if a movie denying the holocaust was made, used evidence selectively and then made the rest up, whacked a ‘dramatisation’ tag at the front of the show, and then got promoted by Disney’s ABC as ‘The Official True Story of The Holocaust’, would you still send lauditory comments about it to radio announcers? It’s the same thing, man.

    In any case, the movie told lies and had a clear political agenda. I quote from :

    ‘Fact is, this film has been produced by David Cunningham, whose father is the founder of a right-wing evangelical Christian sect called Youth with a Mission (YWAM). Cunningham founded The Film Institute (TFI) as an offshoot of YWAM. TFI’s mission statement says it’s “dedicated to a Godly transformation and revolution TO and THROUGH the Film and Television industry.” That is, the nutjobs are trying to infiltrate Hollywood so that they can spread their extremist take on Christianity via Hollywood, which is widely percieved as a bastion of liberalism.’

    Anyway Samuel, it’s your right to air your views on radio and your blog in support of this rubbish. I just thought you should be made aware who you are supporting here.

    I’ll leave you with this letter from some of America’s leading modern historians.

    Have a nice night Samuel,

    Dear Robert Iger:

    We write as professional historians, who are deeply concerned by the continuing reports about ABC’s scheduled broadcast of “The Path to 9/11.”

    These reports document that this drama contains numerous flagrant falsehoods about critical events in recent American history. The key participants and eyewitnesses to these events state that the script distorts and even fabricates evidence into order to mislead viewers about the responsibility of numerous American officials for allegedly ignoring the terrorist threat before 2000.

    The claim by the show’s producers, broadcaster, and defenders, that these falsehoods are permissible because the show is merely a dramatization, is disingenuous and dangerous given their assertions that the show is also based on authoritative historical evidence. Whatever ABC’s motivations might be, broadcasting these falsehoods, connected to the most traumatic historical event of our times, would be a gross disservice to the public. A responsible broadcast network should have nothing to do with the falsification of history, except to expose it.

    We strongly urge you to halt the show’s broadcast and prevent misinforming Americans about their history.


    Arthur Schlesinger
    Sean Wilentz, Princeton University
    Michael Kazin, Georgetown University
    Lizbeth Cohen, Harvard University,
    Nicholas Salvatore, Cornell University;
    Ted Widmer, Washington College;
    Rick Perlstein, Independent Scholar;
    David Blight, Yale University;
    Eric Alterman, City University of New York.

    PS. I am surprised you are a Mike Moore fan.

  • 9. Samuel  |  September 14th, 2006 at 1:44 am

    Yes, fictional administrations…with characters heavily based on real people.

    I would be interested to know what you think of the many movies which have been made about the sinking of the Titanic. Each and every one of them has a different version of events, sure they all have the basics correct, such as the boat hitting an iceberg and various control decisions which were made directly prior to impact, but so much of the rest of these movies is made up…for some reason it seems to be acceptable to make up scenarios for what the trapped people were doing as the boat sunk.

    All of those movies are based heavily on a factual event which was one of the great disasters of the 20th century, but are in essence, fictional works.

    I agree with you that fact should be clearly seperated from fiction, and I’m disappointed that “The Path To 9/11” was advertised as being a true account of historical events, but I still think that fictional works which are based on historical events, but in essence works of fiction, should be entitled to make up fictional history for their fictional stories.

    And by saying glibly and smugly ‘people need to learn to interpret what the media tells them’ is arrogant. Not everybody had access to the education you and I had, Samuel, and if something is sold to them as being factual, most will believe it to be so.

    One of my close friends has a saying, “just tax the stupid people”, whilst I don’t agree with it per sé, I can see where he is coming from, considering that he is in a job where he deals with hundreds, if not thousands, of people from the general public on a day-to-day basis. Many of these people would be the group you refer to Captain Flume, and yes, they are very impressionable. For this group, I fear that “I want to share a few million dollars with you” emails would be just as authoritative, if not more so, as the television news.

    My point is that producers of fictional content, no matter how much it may be based on real events, have a creative licence, and it is (occasionally unfortunately) up to the end viewer/listener/etc to make up their own mind. If they are not capable of doing that, then that is bad luck…that may sound harsh, but I struggle to see why the rest of us should suffer from a lack of creative content because a small minority are unable to tell the difference between fact and fiction, even when the content is clearly marked as fact or fiction.

    Using your reasoning, if a movie denying the holocaust was made, used evidence selectively and then made the rest up, whacked a ‘dramatisation’ tag at the front of the show, and then got promoted by Disney’s ABC as ‘The Official True Story of The Holocaust’, would you still send lauditory comments about it to radio announcers? It’s the same thing, man.

    It depends on whether or not I knew that it was being advertised as “The Official True Story”. I didn’t know that “The Path to 9/11” had been advertised as a true and official story, and I’m very disappointed that it was. To the best of my knowledge, Channel Seven did not advertise it that way, and that is the advertising I saw.

    To answer your question, if the movie in your scenario was advertised as you suggested, and contained the dramatisation tags, then I would be annoyed with the network, and be praising the producers (assuming the show was good).

    PS. I am surprised you are a Mike Moore fan.

    Well I wouldn’t say “fan”, I would say that I find his movies to be thought-provoking…the same as I would say about talk-radio. I disagree with a heap of things said on talk-radio, and in Michael Moore’s movies, but I agree with other things, and enjoy hearing the opposing points of view as they provide an insight into how people on the other side of the fence see things…and sometimes that is enough to change my mind to some extent.

    I can see that we aren’t going to agree on every point of this argument Captain Flume, but your opposing views have given me something to think about, and have changed my mind slightly…and that’s what I call a good debate.

  • 10. Chuck A. Spear  |  September 14th, 2006 at 1:58 am

    Yo Bitches. I am back from my dramatic exit (again) from the internet. A big hello to Loki and Captain Flume.

    There is a lot to read in these posts so I will get my PA to read them out while feeding me grapes.

  • 11. Captain Flume  |  September 14th, 2006 at 2:28 am

    Samuel, I agree we won’t agree, but thanks for at least acknowledging some of my points.

    I’m just wondering, for average people like you and me who haven’t read the 911 report, which this movie trumpets as being based on, and the ‘fiction’ it admits is combined with… how is average joe going to decide which is which? Arent you concerned people could get confused or misled?

    The history of 911 is too important to be lied about. Too easy to be exploited for political reasons. That is why this movie is so contemptible. Because it is politicizing a senseless act and is blantantly misleading. I don’t think your arguement about the dramatization of the sinking of the Titanic is in quite the same league. George Bush is not going to use the sinking of the Titanic to support his reasons for invading a country.

    Anyway man, a good debate. I am glad you are mature and humble enough to change your mind, it’s applaudable.

  • 12. Captain Flume  |  September 14th, 2006 at 2:44 am

    Hello Chuck. Yes, it was dramatic. I was reminded of the moment Bilbo Baggins stood neath the boughs of the Party Tree and slipped on the ring of Power… I believe it was on the occasion of his eleventy-eleventh birthday. You aren’t fingering any magic rings through your pocketses now, are you?

    I hate surprises.

  • 13. Chuck A. Spear  |  September 14th, 2006 at 3:39 am

    The only ring I am fingering is the one I just pulled from a beer can.

    People seem to think that terrorism started on 9/11 and it was unprovoked. Fair enough it was an atrocity but so was Kennedy’s bombing of civilians in South Vietnam in 1962 where he initiated chemical warfare on civilians. Or Reagan’s attacks on Central America in the 80’s. America in its fundamental belief in its world superiority and state inspired terrorism via Israel in the Middle East, including the perpetual lies told by its gov’t to its people caused this. Its subsequent lies and ineptitued have made it worse for all concerned.

    The only way to stop terrorism is to stop participating in it.

  • 14. Captain Flume  |  September 14th, 2006 at 5:14 am

    Go on fingering as many rings as you can. God knows I’ve fingered a few tonight Chuck.

    I agree. It is dispiriting to see the crap that has been dealt to us from liberal, labour, republican and democrat over the years.

    But the time has come to make a stand, man. To draw a line in the sand over which you do not… also dude, ring-cans are not the prefered nomencleture — ring-pulls, please.

  • 15. Loki  |  September 15th, 2006 at 9:42 am

    I must say I was very disappointed to see Mike Moore’s physical state nowadays – he has put on a lot of wight since he appeared in that very nice ABC Television show (which is now being associated with Naomi Robson cannibal capers) Frontline.

    I was also confused about his movie Bowling for Columbine – I was looking forward to an inspirational movie about ten pin bowling, but it seemed to be all about people who own guns, or something like that.


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