Speaking of propaganda: NY Times story on movie dramatizing Obama’s role in bin Laden raid repeats Youtube film canard

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins

The New York Times published an interesting article about an upcoming cable TV movie about the SEAL raid that killed Obama. The thrust of the article is that the film appears to be essentially a campaign ad for Obama: It is produced a major Obama donor, plays up Obama’s role in the decision and will air on Nov. 4, just two days before the election. (Incidentally, this is a different production from the theatrical film on the same subject, Zero Dark Thirty, due out in December.)

The film even included a scene apparently implying (falsely) that Mitt Romney opposed the raid. That proved to be too much for the National Geographic Channel, which will air the film. They had the filmmakers excise that scene.

The article strikes an appropriately skeptical tone in dealing with the filmmaker’s denials that politics played any role in their decision. But towards the end of the article there is this head-spinning passage:

Beyond the political issues, the film may carry the risk of associating Mr. Obama with any backlash in a Muslim world already inflamed by the YouTube trailer for an insulting film portrayal of its prophet. In September riots erupted in Libya, Egypt and elsewhere as Muslim crowds reacted violently to what they perceived as the unforgivable insults of a scratch production, “The Innocence of Muslims,” some of which was posted on YouTube.

The claim that riots in Libya were instigated solely the YouTube film have been widely debunked — and in fact, it remains an open question whether the film had anything to do with it. The attack on the mission there was done by an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorsts. There were no protests.

In Egypt, where there were protests, the brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri was spotted there and was apparently involved in organizing the event. President Obama was burnt in effigy. The crowd’s chant was: “Obama, Obama, there are a billion Osamas!”

The claim that the protests were sparked by the Youtube film is looking more and more like a canard promoted by the administration, in the apparent hope of drawing attention away from the fact that al Qaeda was is growing in strength throughout the Middle East. It’s amazing that the Times — even in its art section — is still perpetuating this nonsense.

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Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner