Stockwell responds to such criticism in a statement sent with the DVD of the film.
Weinstein, a Hollywood producer and ardent backer of Democratic candidates, bought the film, which was made for theatrical release, after seeing it at Cannes. He is the one who made the unusual deal to have it air first on National Geographic Sunday and then be available on Netflix starting Monday. He is also the one who had Stockwell include news and archival images of Obama in the film to the point where the president is now a leading figure in the version that will air Sunday.
The National Geographic Channel is an interesting choice, given that Republican backer Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns 71 percent of the channel. But what seems to matter most to the executives running the channel is the chance to do something that could snap it out of the also-ran category of cable outlets -- at least for a night.
"This amazing film is destined to have a major impact on viewers who will see our channel's scope widen as we host the world's premiere of our first scripted project," Harold Owens, president of the National Geographic Channel, said in a statement last week.
Here's what I can tell you: The depiction of Obama is the story of this film, and in these polarized, partisan times, feelings toward the president will probably shape how viewers react to "SEAL Team Six."
It seems as if we can no longer have an intellectual discussion about issues like media balance, fair play and social conscience. Now, it's all about bias, and the conventional wisdom is that everyone is hopelessly biased and the only honest journalists are the ones who acknowledge their bias.
There is a feature film about the killing of bin Laden that's being done by Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, but she and the producers are waiting until after the election to release it.
I will not judge the motives of Weinstein and Stockwell in premiering their docudrama two days before the election. Nor will I try to tell you why Owens and National Geographic are willing to be party to it.
I just wish they had erred on the side of caution and not opened the door for the possibility of their TV production unduly influencing the political process. I wish they held off a few nights on premiering the film and feeding the beast of partisan paranoia that so devours us this election year.
"Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden" premieres at 8 p.m. Sunday on the National Geographic Channel. It will be available Monday on Netflix.