What Was Spike Lee Thinking?

From the O’Dwyer’s newsletter op-ed section:

The Brooklyn filmmaker had featured 9/11 conspiracy theorists in the final installment of his four-part “NYC Epicenters 9/11-2021 ½” series to be aired next month on HBO.

He interviewed members of the nutjob “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth” group, which spread the garbage that the World Trade Center was destroyed by controlled demolition and not by aircraft.

In giving them facetime, Lee justified the group. He then set up a false equivalency situation by including interviews with scientists who trashed the notion that 9/11 was an insider job.

The Architects and scientists shouldn’t be on the same set, Spike

The filmmaker defended his work, telling the New York Times on Aug. 23 that he survived past criticism of his films “Do the Right Thing” (racist), “Mo’ Better Blues” (antisemitic) and “She’s Gotta Have It” (misogynist).

He said it was up to viewers to make up their minds about 9/11. After reviewers hammered Lee for showcasing the 9/11 debunkers, Lee caved and is re-editing the last episode.

How out of touch could Spike be?

His endorsement of the 9/11 conspiracy spreaders is a boost to those who deny the results of the 2020 election and safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Does Lee want to be a leader in the army of truth-deniers that is ripping the nation apart? One wonders if Lee has gotten his COVID-19 shot, or is that going to be part of his next documentary?

HBO also doesn’t emerge from the Epicenters mess smelling like a rose.

Trump Took Federal Money After the 9/11 Attacks


Amount Donald Trump took in federal money that he claims now was for charitable works, the New York Daily News reports. “Though the billionaire presidential candidate has repeatedly suggested he got that money for helping others out after the attacks, documents obtained by the Daily News show that Trump’s account was just a huge lie. … Records from the Empire State Development Corp., which administered the recovery program, show that Trump’s company asked for those funds for ‘rent loss,’ ‘cleanup’ and ‘repair’ — not to recuperate money lost in helping people.”

Trump Bragged as the Towers Smoldered

40 Wall Street actually was the second-tallest building in downtown Manhattan, and it was actually, before the World Trade Center, was the tallest — and then, when they built the World Trade Center, it became known as the second-tallest. And now it’s the tallest.

— Donald Trump, giving an interview to WWOR on Sept. 11, 2001, saying his building was now the tallest in lower Manhattan, as the Twin Towers lay smoldering in ruins.

Wrong Jeb, Your Brother Did Not ‘Keep Us Safe’ – Not on 9/11, Not When He Invaded Iraq Based on False Intel and Not When He Crashed the Economy on His Way out of Town

At the Republican National Convention in Tampa last month, Jeb Bush diverged from the prepared remarks on his teleprompter and attempted to rewrite the history of his brother’s disastrous years as president:

JEB BUSH: I’ve been so blessed to be part of a family that has committed its life to public service. My grandfather and father have been incredible role models for me and served our country honorably. And my brother, well, I love my brother. He is a man of integrity, courage and honor. During incredibly challenging times, he kept us safe. So Mr. president, it is time to stop blaming your predecessor for your failed economic policies. You were dealt a tough hand, but your policies have not worked.

With the exception of his assertion that he loves his brother, nearly everything in Jeb’s statement is a lie — and the biggest lie is his assertion that George W. Bush kept the nation safe. A few weeks before the attacks on 9/11, for starters, George Bush dismissed and then ignored a warning from the CIA that Osama bin Laden was determined to strike inside U.S. borders. When the attacks came, 11 years ago today, the president allowed himself to be ferried from one secure spot to another, leaving command and control of the United States in the hands of his recklessly incompetent vice president, Dick Cheney.


9/11 and Our Nation’s Not-So-Secret Secret Shame

Paul Krugman posted the following in the New York Times Op-Ed blog Sunday. He has since come under some pretty fierce criticism, but, as Dave Weigel pointed out, “denying that 9/11 and counterterrorism strategy became ‘wedge issues’ is denying a few years of political history. The criticism is of Krugman for expressing it.”

The Years of Shame

Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. The atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons.

National Geographic Trashes Its Brand with Bush ‘Infomercial’ on 9/11

On “Countdown” last night, Keith Olbermann and Markos Moulistsas rightly savaged the National Geographic Channel for producing a Fox News style interview with George Bush on the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Olbermann noted that while Bush refers to 9/11 as a “monumental” and “significant” event but he never uses word like “tragic” or “sad.” Moulitsas suggested that the reason Bush did not describe the attacks as “tragic” is because he and his party did not view the attack as a tragedy but rather as an opportunity to install a more authoritarian regime inside the government.

The Bush interview and the release of Dick Cheney’s memoir were strategically timed to come out around the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks next month.


Republican Senators Killed Health Care for 9/11 First Responders at Behest of GOP Lobbying Group That Advocates Offshoring American Jobs

Think Progress:

[Senate Republicans’] brazen obstruction … took some victims last week when they used another filibuster to block the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. Named after a New York City policeman who died from health complications, this legislation that provides health care to 9/11 first responders and emergency workers who suffered illnesses from working at Ground Zero.

Not one Republican senator came to the floor to explain why the desperately needed, fully paid-for compensation didn’t deserve to pass. When Fox News’ Don Imus pressed Sen. John Thune (R-SD) for an explanation, Thune said the tax cuts are a bigger priority because “there is a deadline.” And when first responders came to the Senate to advocate for the bill yesterday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) actually called the Capitol police on them to prevent a sit-in.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., found a new depth for his loathsomeness when he trivialized the bill: