FNC airing 'Path to 9/11' scenes


Fox News Channel is touting the fact that it has obtained controversial unseen footage from ABC's miniseries "The Path to 9/11" and is planning to air the video during "Hannity's America" on Sunday night.

Before "Path" aired in September, Democrats and former aides to President Clinton demanded changes to the mini, which revolves around the events leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks, saying that it contained fictionalized scenes and unfairly blamed the Clinton administration for failing to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. Ahead of "Path's" broadcast, ABC was said to have made minor edits, including altering a scene in which an actor playing Sandy Berger, national security adviser to Clinton from 1997-2001, declines to give the CIA the authority to attack bin Laden.

FNC recorded video of the unedited scene during a Jan. 19 speech given by "Path" writer-producer Cyrus Nowrasteh at California State University, Channel Islands, in Camarillo, where he explained his side of the story and screened the footage. Because it was a public event, FNC said, it was able to record the video and the speech.

"Hannity's America" senior producer John Finley said FNC captured about 2 1/2 minutes of unedited footage and plans to show the scene, said to be of good quality, in its entirety as part of a roughly 15-minute segment centered around the scene itself. During the segment, Sean Hannity will interview Nowrasteh as well as Michael Scheuer, the former CIA agent who created and advised a secret CIA unit for tracking and eliminating bin Laden.

"I think that because of the very public discussion about the movie before it aired and all of the very public objections raised by the members of the Clinton administration, that the American people deserve the chance to see what it is they were objecting to and see the whole thing before it was edited," Finley said.

ABC declined comment but reiterated its statement from September that the mini is not a documentary but a dramatization, and "as such, for dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue and time compression."

Finley said that FNC also had asked for comment from ABC, which had yet to respond by Thursday afternoon. "Hannity's America" airs at 9 p.m. Sunday.