Docudrama to focus on Iran hostage crisis

July 16, 1991|By David Zurawik

LOS ANGELES J — LOS ANGELES -- As if blending fact and fiction doesn't make most docudramas controversial and confusing enough, wait until you hear the howl over what Ted Turner has in store for cable viewers this fall.

Turner Network Television (TNT) announced yesterday that it will air "Iran: Days of Crisis," a docudrama about the the taking of American hostages in 1979 and the behind-the-scenes machinations to get them released, this fall -- at the very same time when real-life hearings on the same topic are expected in Washington.

The hearings will deal with allegations that members of Ronald Reagan's campaign team in 1980 cut a secret deal with Iranian officials so that the hostages would not be released until after Reagan was elected and sworn in as president.

While the two-night film, scheduled to air Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, makes no direct allegations against the Reagan team, folks on the Republican side of the aisle are sure to raise some questions about the politics of the filmmakers.

The film is produced by Gerald Rafshoon, Jimmy Carter's White House Communications Director and longtime media adviser. Hamilton Jordan, Carter's chief of staff, is a consultant.

"We are not exploiting today's climate," Rafshoon claimed at a press conference held here yesterday to promote the film. He added, "I believe we have succeeded in balance."

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