09/06/2006 02:36 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Noble Eightfold Path Away from The Path to 9/11

1. LIES AND SPECIAL PLEADING ARE ALL THEY HAVE LEFT. I know we know this, but it bears repeating, if only to stave off weltschmerz and numbness. Jonah Goldberg is reduced to begging we cut Bush "some slack" because things could be worse. And it goes downhill from there. Ever read right-wing blogs? Ever see Marat/Sade? Smerconish, on this site, promotes the boob Santorum as "a man of rare substance and conviction," never mind the actual content of his convictions. (Or what that rare substance actually is.) And now this: a "docu-drama" that's all drama and no docu, which ABC/Disney is touting as the true story.

2. THEY'RE PROBABLY RUNNING IT WITHOUT COMMERCIALS TO SPARE ADVERTISERS THE PROBABILITY OF BEING BOYCOTTED. Which is not to say there's no one left to boycott, of course. Start with ABC itself, add Disneys Land and World, and then make your own list. Be creative!

3. WHEN YOU GIVE A COPY TO LIMBAUGH BUT NOT TO BILL CLINTON OR MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, YOUR INTENTIONS ARE CLEAR. Not to mention, when the writer you hire is Cyrus Nowrasteh who, while describing Michael Moore as "an out-of-control socialist weasel," is not above describing himself, ultra-weaselly, as "more of a libertarian than a strict conservative." That's what they all say. It's today's version of "I was a conduit" during Watergate. Now that their Dear Leader is revealed as a man physically incapable of telling the truth (and emotionally incapable of caring), the Glorious Cause a farrago of lies, and the GOP little more than an organized crime scam for conning the Christian rubes in the holy cause of petro-imperialism and war profiteering, you scan the landscape in vain to find any "conservatives." They're all "libertarians" now, which is weasel-speak for, "Don't blame me. Cheney said Rumsfeld knew what he was doing."

4. RATHER THAN SEND A CURTLY-WORDED MESSAGE TO ABC, WHY DON'T BERGER, ALBRIGHT, ETC. SUE THE NETWORK? As Rocky the Flying Squirrel used to say, "That's what I call 'a message!'" Come on, we'll all chip in a few bucks and hire David Boies. Who's with me? (Or he'll do it pro bono, for fun.)

5. THOMAS KEAN, FORMERLY ONE OF THE FEW REASONABLE REPUBLICANS LEFT ON EARTH, HAS BEEN ABSORBED INTO THE B.O.R.G. (BODY OF REPUBLICAN GHOULS) AND HAS LOST HIS GOOD REPUTATION FOREVER. Presumably Kean was paid as an adviser--otherwise he's a complete fool; they spent forty million on this farce--and so they've got memos above his signature blessing the lies. Thus, his squirmy, evasive defense of it today as being "reasonably accurate." Or perhaps this is a public service. "Close enough for Government work," is how wiseguys used to excuse a job done slipshod and half-assed. Now they can say "reasonably accurate."

6. WHEN OLIVER STONE CAN CREATE A 9-11 MOVIE WITHOUT CONTROVERSY, BUT ABC CAN'T, SOMEONE AT DISNEY HAS TO BE FIRED--REPEATEDLY. But then, maybe it's not "can't," but rather "doesn't want to." Why else hire a director whose principle credit is his religious affiliation? Thus Digby, from the excellent site Hullaballoo: "David Cunningham, the young director, is the son of a famous leader of a controversial evangelical youth ministry called Youth With A Mission. It has been heavily criticized over the years for its authoritarian teachings and cult-like attributes. Cunningham's alma mater is the YWAM 'college' called the University of Nations, which teaches filmmaking as a way to spread the gospel." Good news and bad news about the gospel: "gospel" means "good news," which is the good news. It has nothing to do with "the truth," which is the bad news.

7. ATTN. SCHOLASTIC: SHAME ON YOU. LYING TO THE CHILDREN! Okay, the study guide this company is issuing to school systems for this feast of televisual baloney is for grades 9-12, which means the intended student audience consists of teenagers, who themselves can be shameless liars. But still: they may be drug-using, sex-having, hip-hop loving, computer-hacking young hoodlums, but they're children, damn it.