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Thursday, January 8, 2009

CNN follows suggestion of Indy film review?

Posted by on Thu, Jan 8, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Paul O'Neill, as seen in I.O.U.S.A.
  • Paul O'Neill, as seen in I.O.U.S.A.

In late October, we published a review (by the author of this post) of I.O.U.S.A., Patrick Creadon's deeply unsettling documentary about America's unsound finances, particularly the $10 trillion national debt. Among the experts featured in the film were Warren Buffett, patron saint of value investing, and Paul O'Neill, an early, principled casualty of the George W. Bush administration.

In our review, the following recommendation was made: 

"Instead of a celebratory inauguration speech outdoors in freezing Washington, D.C., in January, President Obama or McCain should convene a national town hall meeting. The first hour and a half would consist of a television broadcast ofI.O.U.S.A., and the next two, three, four hours would consist of a president-moderated discussion on how our nation can address the problems outlined, in unforgiving detail, in the film."

Now word comes that CNN will show the film—in its broadcast premiere—this Sunday, Jan. 11, at 2 p.m. Following the film, a panel of experts will hold an "unscripted panel discussion with policy leaders about various economic solutions currently under consideration." 

Among the panelists will be former presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bill Bradley and economist and Clinton aide Alice Rivlin. 

All unfounded claims of credit aside, I.O.U.S.A. is an important and timely film that performs a valuable service in making comprehensible the scale of our country's financial distress, and CNN should be commended for performing this service.

The complete press release comes after the jump.

CNN TO AIR TIMELY DOCUMENTARY AND DISCUSSION

ABOUT U.S. ECONOMIC CHALLENGES

U.S. Broadcast Premiere of Critically Acclaimed Film I.O.U.S.A.

Included in Exclusive Televised Event

January 8, 2009-In response to public demand for information about the scope

of the country's financial challenges, CNN/U.S. will air the television

premiere of the acclaimed documentary I.O.U.S.A., together with an

unscripted panel discussion with policy leaders about various economic

solutions currently under consideration.

The two-hour program will feature an exclusive televised version of the

nonpartisan film I.O.U.S.A., which examines the U.S. government's fiscal

landscape and the consequences for the national economy. Since its premiere

at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, the film has garnered rave reviews from

critics; has been nominated for a Critics Choice Award; and is on the short

list for an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature.

This exclusive televised event will air on CNN/U.S. on Saturday, January 10

at 2:00 p.m. EST and on Sunday, January 11 at 3:00 p.m. EST, and will be

hosted by Ali Velshi and Christine Romans, co-anchors of CNN's Your $$$,

the network's weekend business roundtable program.

Throughout the broadcast, Velshi and Romans will engage a distinguished

group of panelists including Pete Peterson, Chairman of the Peter G.

Peterson Foundation and former U.S. Commerce Secretary; Dave Walker,

President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and former U.S.

Comptroller General; Alice Rivlin, noted economist and former Director of

the Office of Management and Budget; and Bill Bradley, a Managing Director

of Allen & Company and former U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential

candidate in discussions about issues raised in the film and their ties to

current economic events.

I.O.U.S.A. uses candid interviews, archival footage, and economic data to

tell the story of America's mounting debts. Interview subjects include

noted investor Warren Buffett, former Federal Reserve Chairmen Alan

Greenspan and Paul Volcker, former U.S. Treasury Secretaries Paul O'Neill

and Robert Rubin, Rivlin, Walker, and Concord Coalition Executive Director

Bob Bixby. The conclusion of the film offers suggestions for how best to

recreate a fiscally sound nation for future generations. I.O.U.S.A. was

directed by Patrick Creadon ("Wordplay") and distributed in the United

States by Roadside Attractions ("Super Size Me"). Michael Kane is the

executive producer of the program for CNN.

About the Peter G. Peterson Foundation:

Founded by the former senior chairman of The Blackstone Group with a

commitment of $1 billion, the Foundation is dedicated to increasing public

awareness of the nature and urgency of key fiscal challenges threatening

America's future, and to accelerating action on them. To address these

challenges successfully, it works to bring Americans together to find

sensible, long-term solutions that transcend age, party lines and

ideological divides in order to achieve real results. For more information,

see www.PGPF.org .

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