National Geographic Channel says it didn't consider the election when scheduling a drama about the hunt for Osama bin Laden
Timing isn't always everything — or at least it's apparently not when it comes to the premiere date of "Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden."
Reacting to criticism that the premiere date for the film might have been chosen to influence the election, National Geographic Channel has released a statement asserting that the channel has "no political agenda" in releasing the Weinstein Company-distributed fictional account of the mission last May that killed the terrorist leader who masterminded the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The film is scheduled to show two days before the November presidential election.
"'SEAL Team Six' is a film that will provide our viewers with the first full length dramatization detailing one of the war of terrorism's most crucial and historic events," National Geographic Channel said. "It also showcases the extraordinary bravery and resourcefulness of the United States military and national security teams. The National Geographic Channel has no political agenda, and believes that audiences can and will judge projects of this type on their own merits."
In a seeming attempt to display its balance, the channel also pointed out that it had special access to Republican President Bush for a program on Sept. 11, 2011.
"National Geographic Channel also has a reputation of getting inside access, and bringing big events to our viewers first — for instance, we were the first and only network to have an exclusive with George W. Bush for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 (our highest rated show last year)," the statement continues.
Since the news of the premiere date broke late last week, certain conspiracy-minded corners of the internet have suggested that National Geographic might be attempting to boost President Barack Obama's image in the days before the election.
"While I’m sure many will be interested in watching — including me — I have to wonder just what effect it might have on the election and how the timing of the presentation smacks of an outright free documentary in support of President Barack Obama," a writer for the Independent Sentinel posited.
"SEAL Team Six," which stars William Fitchner, Cam Gigandet and rapper Xzibit, was originally titled "Code Name: Geronimo" and slated for a theatrical release before National Geographic Channel struck a deal to premiere the film.