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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

National Geographic whitewash hits the wires

UPI just picked up the story:

Former ABC News reporter Peter Lance says a U.S. National Geographic Channel documentary on al-Qaida based on his book is a distortion.

The winner of five Emmy awards said the cable channel's "Triple Cross: Bin Laden's Spy in America," scheduled to air Aug. 28, "skews the documentary so much in favor of the feds that it actually distorts the factual story."

Lance's book, "Triple Cross," which will be released in September, accuses law enforcement officials of negligence in tracking down Ali Mohamed, an alleged al-Qaida agent in the United States for years before Sept. 11, Daily Variety reported.

The book says Mohamed was hired by the CIA and worked for the FBI, all the while providing information to terrorists.

National Geographic's Executive Vice President of Programming John Ford said the organization's producers never intended to base the documentary solely on the book.

"It's also based on our own independent research," Ford said. "I think he wants this show to reflect his own personal conclusions."

The disagreement began in June when Lance said he did not receive promised transcripts of interviews with law-enforcement officers he criticizes in his book.

Ford said Lance was "using this controversy to promote his book."

But Lance said, "They hijacked my work."

As you can see, National Geographic is still using Lance's title, "Triple Cross".