‘Path’ wears Falsies in D.C.

Center for Media and Democracy gives ABC first-place kudos

Forget the Oscars, Golden Globes and Emmys.The online Center for Media and Democracy has unveiled the winners of this year’s Falsies, which recognize “the most heinous polluters of the information environment over the past year,” according to the org’s Web site.

The left-leaning watchdog group, which tracks stealth PR, this year named ABC its first-place “winner” for the “Path to 9/11” mini.

ABC, the org says, “used the fifth anniversary of the September 2001 terrorist attacks … as an opportunity to rewrite history, broadcasting ‘The Path to 9/11,’ a six-hour ‘docudrama’ written and produced by conservative filmmakers.”

The CMD says that while the telepic’s script was said to be based on the official 9/11 Commission report, it “included fabrications that are directly contradicted by the report.”

Taking runner-up is the Natl. Assn. of Broadcast Communicators, which disputed a CMD report about many TV stations’ undisclosed use of public relations videos — or video news releases — as real news.

“This authoritative-sounding group (made of PR groups behind VNRs) wins second billing in this year’s Falsies Awards for defending such systematic deception of news audiences while claiming to support the FCC’s efforts to ensure compliance with sponsorship identification requirements.”

Award itself comprises a fake identity kit — (Groucho glasses and mustache), “a one-way ticket to Palookaville,” and a free e-mail subscription to all those online offers of Viagra and free money from Nigeria. But, says CMD senior researcher Diane Farsetta, “Winners don’t usually pick up their awards. And we never hear from them, either.”