This is not to be believed. From a letter from Senate Dems to ABC (emphasis is Spruiell's):
Presenting such deeply flawed and factually inaccurate misinformation to the American public and to children would be a gross miscarriage of your corporate and civic responsibility to the law, to your shareholders, and to the nation.
The Communications Act of 1934 provides your network with a free broadcast license predicated on the fundamental understanding of your principle obligation to act as a trustee of the public airwaves in serving the public interest...
Should Disney allow this programming to proceed as planned, the factual record, millions of viewers, countless schoolchildren, and the reputation of Disney as a corporation worthy of the trust of the American people and the United States Congress will be deeply damaged. We urge you, after full consideration of the facts, to uphold your responsibilities as a respected member of American society and as a beneficiary of the free use of the public airwaves to cancel this factually inaccurate and deeply misguided program.
A Capt. Ed flashback to the DNC's response to the pulling of CBS's "The Reagans" program three years ago. This was their reaction to conservative activists getting the program pulled. That particular pulling came without any Congressional threats on CBS.
"No, there are no First Amendment violations here. The RNC protested the content of a program, which is its right, and CBS voluntarily pulled that program off the air, which is its right.
"But the decision makes it very easy to imagine a future where representatives for the Bush administration have the power to disapprove of any content that touches politics, policy, or history — including news programs."
Here's a big slice o' ironic from a dKos writer, circa 2003 (emphasis mine):
I know that Ronald Reagan is God in the right-wing pantheon, but he was really just a man, and a flawed one at that. I know the crybabies on the right can't take any kind of criticism of those they hold near and dear, but the fact that CBS is thinking of cancelling the miniseries is a little bit too much pandering to their poor, easily offended sensitivities for my taste...
If you are interested in seeing this miniseries despite (or because of) the way it will cause all those whining and sobbing wingers to fall apart and reveal their fascistic tendencies to eliminate freedom of speech, please write and let your opinion be heard, too.
As Allah notes, many on the right have conceded that the Berger scene's dramatization was a step too far, and that more myths shouldn't be added to the already-charged 9/11 narrative.
You can’t play nice with them. I conceded they had a point about the scene with Sandy Berger. Ace conceded it. Dean conceded it. Geraghty conceded it. Others have conceded it. Facts is facts, and “composite” scenes play a little too loose for a film about 9/11. But the fightin’ nutroots wanted to see some fight...
Strange, I don't remember the Left conceding similar points on "The Reagans."
Allah says this sets a precedent for the next time Republicans get ticked off about something on TV. I really believe (hope, hope, hope?) that Republicans aren't dumb enough to pull something like this. I know they do a lot of dumb stuff, and some social conservative parts of the coalition can go a little heavy on the government intrusion, but wow, I just don't think Republicans are quite this good at shooting themselves in the foot.
Must be the NRA influence-- we're very good with firearms.
This is just colossally unprincipled, no matter which Party you belong to, and I think everyone but the Kos Kidz will see that. Friggin' thugs.
This is the kind of stuff that will keep conservatives from staying home this fall. Republicans don't even have to do anything. Unbelievable.
Update: What the threat really means, from the free speech champions at AmericaBlog.
The Senate Democratic leadership just threatened Disney's broadcast license. Not the use of the word "trustee" at the beginning of the letter and "trust" at the end. This is nothing less than an implicit threat that if Disney tries to meddle in the US elections on behalf of the Republicans, they will pay a very serious price when the Democrats get back in power, or even before.
I was kind of expecting him to condemn the action after that first sentence, because it seems so obvious that a condemnation should come after, "The Senate Democratic leadership just threatened Disney's broadcast license."
Update: Townhall blogger WhereAreMyKeys has ABC contact info, if you're interested in giving them a piece of your ming.