Senate Review of 'Zero Dark Thirty' Threatens Freedom of Speech

Dr. Ted Baehr of Movieguide(R) Speaks Out Regarding Senate Inquiry

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- "Government should be very, very cautious and careful about interfering with freedom and speech," says Movieguide® founder and CEO Dr. Ted Baehr, in reference to the investigation of the CIA and "Zero Dark Thirty" led by United States Senators Dianne Feinstein, Carl Levin, and John McCain.

Dr. Baehr worked at the US Attorney's Office from 1970-1972, during the time when they were prosecuting The New York Times for releasing the Pentagon Papers.

"Freedom of speech trumped," says Dr. Baehr. "Censorship lost."

This experience, as well as over 30 years of representing the voice of American family values in the Hollywood entertainment industry, has given Dr. Baehr a unique perspective on this issue.

"Anytime you fight a war," Dr. Baehr states, "there will be repugnant acts. Freedom of Speech protects the right of filmmakers to tell their stories, and that right should be protected and upheld at all costs."

"There is a moral obligation that the filmmakers must consider, though," Dr. Baehr adds. "If the filmmakers know that creative liberties were taken that impact the truth, they have a responsibility to note that in the opening credits. There should always be responsibility."

Dr. Baehr also cites the recent movie "The Gatekeepers," which went much farther than "Zero Dark Thirty." "The Gatekeepers" depicts intense torture within the Israeli military as a way of gathering intelligence that stops multiple bombings and potential mass killings. "Zero Dark Thirty" does not come close to the intensity of "The Gatekeepers."

"Why should we point fingers at 'Zero Dark Thirty,' but not 'The Gatekeepers?'" Dr. Baehr points out. "There have always been some things outside the freedom of speech, but this isn't one of them."

Dr. Baehr also noted, "The US Government put pressure on the Walt Disney Company for the excellent TV movie 'Path to 9/11' which stopped the video distribution of the TV program, although it was one of the highest rated ABC movies. The sad part of the 'Path to 9/11' story is that the Clinton administration and their friends in Congress didn't see the TV movie before they destroyed its future. If they had, they would not have opposed it. They were merely acting on rumors."

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Dr. Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC) ministry and publisher of its family guide to movies, Movieguide® ( CFTVC and Movieguide® are international non-profit ministries dedicated to "redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media."                                                           

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