Bowling for Fahrenheit

Surfing for something to kick around the blog, I noticed Christianity Today’s review of Michael Moore’s latest film/documentary/satire/comedy (real name: Fahrenheit 9/11, whatever that is supposed to mean). CT calls it “heavily sarcastic, rather entertaining, and somewhat incoherent.” The title he borrows from Ray Bradbury, and the poster borrows a picture of George Bush (putting just Moore on the poster would be . . . unappealing?).

I liked some of Moore’s early stuff (such as Roger and Me) but he’s kind of flying out of orbit lately. Why should we care? Because seeing is believing for most people. Americans increasingly get their news from what might be charitably termed “the alternative media,” sources like talk radio, Drudge, and hyped books like the recent slew of “I hate Bush” books all being examples. These are all outlets on the fringes of journalism that hype controversy and are largely insulated from editorial review. Moore’s success on the big screen seems to open a new niche for this alternative media. Ironically, the 9/11 Commission has released a bunch of good, accurate information lately (such as “Overview of the Enemy“), not by any means slanted in favor of the President, but with good facts, historical context, and reasoned analysis. I’m afraid people will watch Moore’s movie and skip the Commission reports.

It’s not the politics that’s the issue, it’s the genre. My concern is that Moore’s approach can make any person or cause look foolish, stupid, or evil. What’s his next target: The Boy Scouts? Religion? Mormons? Baseball? Apple pie? Lawyers? And will satirical documentaries displace Hollywood action flicks the way reality TV has displaced sitcoms and dramas?

Comments

  1. “if they are undecided, this type of extended communication is the form most likely to persuade.” -Kathleen Jamieson, a specialist in political communication and director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center.
    ——————————————–
    This is exactly what Dave is pointing at…I think. That folks would look at a bunch of “images” & then make public policy choices based on images, half-truths & distortion.

  2. Alas, I’m a failure–I tried so hard to be “non-political” in my post and keep the focus on the emerging satirical documentary genre (which will doubtless have right-leaning copycats given Moore’s success). I’m no fan of mainstream news organizations, which IMHO do have a liberal slant if not a liberal monopoly, but at least there was editorial control and the goal or ideal of objectivity and balance. Marketing biased news and commentary to an ideologically targeted audience segment is not a step forward for journalism. As a polity, we don’t need more fragmentation.

    By “borking” Judge Bork’s nomination, the left politicized the judicial confirmation process, a development most view as regrettable but difficult to reverse. Likewise, impeaching Clinton seems like it unleashed similar ugliness, to no particular purpose (it wasn’t like he could have run again). Seems like journalism and the media are now going the same direction, toward overt, self-conscious bias in what was before (in theory) an apolitical profession.

  3. judy brooks says:

    Also:
    Dave—since the beginning of the film industry, films have been used as propaganda. Note particularly the hundreds of newsreels promoting WWII. These are all political. And, though the majority of US citizens might agree with them (not counting, of course, the ones proudly detailing the gathering of Japanese Ameircans into the detension centers), that doesn’t make them any less political.

    There is nothing new here.

    What I worry more about is the mainstream news that has jumped for joy with all the news of the impending war—Ann Curry (today show) delightedly showing off the aircraft carrier, trying on uniforms, trying out goggles, etc. What a “hip hip horray” cheerleading event the news media was for the Iraq war!

  4. Blaine, that was an interesting answer — twice! — but I’m not sure where you get the notion that we should wish that everyone had equal presentation skills. Perhaps in the context of raw information transfer that would be a worthy aim, but when we’re talking about what’s essentially a feature-film Op-ed piece, I’m not sure that’s desirable.

    I think that your 2nd paragraph comes dangerously close to suggesting that speech be limited to proven speech or factually-based speech, out of some justfication that infantilizes the citizens. What reassures me (a little) is that Moore is not a leader, he’s just some film-maker that has made a movie that’s made to kick up some dirt. Doesn’t the fact that he’s some private citizen venting give you at least some reassurance that the film’s effects will be limited?

    In reference to what history has taught us about leaders having people do awful things through their presentation skills, Moore might reply that Bush is one such leader, and that his film is meant as a check to such awful tendencies as those he sees.

  5. C’mon lyle, even George Will rolls his eyes and makes a gagging noise when Bush pulls out the “discrimination” card.

  6. Dave,

    I didn’t mean to send the thread off into a discussion of the politics rather than the genre–but simply to suggest that the “emerging satirical documentary genre” is an unsurprising extension of/variation on/ response to trends and trendsetters in coservative media that present as factual news what in reality is closer to propaganda — the only difference between Moore and, say, Bill O’Reilly, is the polarity of the politics and the size of the screen.

    Measure,

    I don’t mean to rush to Moore’s defense — although it’s a temptation I have to fight, since I sympathize with his politics but like to think that I prefer a less charged mode of discourse — but the web site you cite simply demonstrates the same tactics that Moore has borrowed from the right. Take this snippet, for example, in which the author of the site uses a characterization by a Fox News Reviewer to set up a Moore-shaped straw man, then “rebuts” the straw man rather than Moore:

    …as one reviewer put it, “it seemed that Charlton Heston and others rushed to Littleton to hold rallies and demonstrations directly after the tragedy.” The portrayal is in fact false.

    Fact: The Denver event was not a demonstration relating to Columbine, but an annual meeting (see links below), whose place and date had been fixed years in advance.”

    Moore never said the convention was a demonstration “relating to Columbine,” the FoxNews reviewer said it “seemed” that way in his (conservative) view.

    This is just one example of the kind of distortion that, sadly, seems to be the lot of much political discourse today–be it Moore’s movie, Limbaugh’s talk show, a book by Ann Coulter, a liberal editorial in the Village Voice, or, I would add, political campaign ads on both sides of the aisle.

  7. Dave,

    I think Moore would reply that he’s simply using his medium to reply to propagandistic use by conservatives in other media — I don’t know that the film category deserves special consideration just because the Nazi’s made movies (they used something akin to talk radio, too).

    “What we need is for Ken Burns to do a couple of documentaries on current “political” topics so the emerging genre has a positive example to follow.”

    That would be just as problematic — and perhaps moreso, because while Moore already has a reputation as a controversialist, Burns has the rep as an “object” narrator–which means he’d have even more power to convince people of his take (whatever that might be). I know a number of professional jazz musicians who were appalled by the way he constructed a history of jazz — but because it’s just music, nobody’s going to call Burns “satanic” for tweaking the facts for the sake of narrative. Imagine, though, the propagandistic power Burns could wield if he applied those slow zooms onto still shots, those warmly-lit and quirkily-angled interview excerpts, etc. onto a political subject — whether from a conservative or liberal angle.

  8. Dave, I’m with you. Michael Moore seems so goofy. But I guess conspiracy is more popular/interesting than accurate information.

  9. Dave: I share your fear.

    First, we have a genuinely great work of literary genius that has been ‘ripped off’ w/o the author’s permission & despite his requests for his work not to be hijacked in such a manner.

    Second, the “nuclear war” type of playing is not a great course to take. As you pointed out, since the first “Borking,” there are more (pun intended) on both sides. Since Rush…there are (more) Moore’s.

    As I wrote in letters to movie theater chains, why do they want to ‘politicize’ what Americans watch for entertainment? I have no desire to see picket lines outside of movie theaters when I want to go relax & catch a flick.

    Even less…if Limbaugh is as horrible as y’all think…then watch out for the counter-attack. In fundraising, Leftist 527s jumped the gun & have been doing a ‘great’ job. The right will counter. Moore scores a surprise coup with his latest film (with the stolen name). The right will counter.

    Do we really want to return to the 1800s where Newspapers were openly partisan? Are you prepared for TV news to become openly partisan? Movies? TV?

    Is nothing public & apartisan?

  10. David Edelstein’s review of Fahrenheit rung a bell for me, and I think it’s applicable to Dave’s ideas:

    “Fahrenheit 9/11 must be viewed in the context of the Iraq occupation and the torrent of misleading claims that got us there. It must be viewed in the context of Rush Limbaugh repeating the charge that Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster murdered in Fort Marcy Park, or laughing off the exposure of Valerie Plame when, had this been a Democratic administration, he’d be calling every day for the traitor’s head. It must be viewed in the context of Ann Coulter calling for the execution of people who disagree with her. It must be viewed in the context of another new documentary, the superb The Hunting of the President, that documents—irrefutably—the lengths to which the right went to destroy Bill Clinton. Moore might be a demagogue, but never—not even during Watergate—has a U.S. administration left itself so open to this kind of savaging. “

    I don’t agree with everything Edelstein’s saying here, but I do agree that Fahrenheit must be viewed as a part of an overall political context, that of cariacatures and political cartoons.

  11. Even so, Measure, I would reserve the terms “Satanic” and “evil” for those who use guns and kill people, as opposed to those who make movies about people who use guns or kill people.

  12. From NYT op-ed quoted by lyle:

    “Mr. Bush got us into a mess by overdosing on moral clarity and self-righteousness, and embracing conspiracy theories of like-minded zealots. How sad that many liberals now seem intent on making the same mistakes.”

    I’m lamenting right along with the second sentence; I doubt, however, that you’re concurring with the first sentence.

  13. Here’s an interesting National Review article (I know, “Ministry of Disinformation”) about Moore’s political objectives with the movie.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200406290902.asp

  14. I think Bush is an awful communicator too, Blaine. Moore would probably cite the “right-wing propaganda machine” or something to justify his film as a counterbalance.

    Now as for this: “With such a complicated organization and so many actors, how are ordinary Americans supposed to realize when they are being told the whole story?”

    You seem to have figured it out, and you’re an ordinary enough American — plus nobody I’ve spoken to seems utterly enslaved to the media in the ways you describe. I think you need to have more faith in people’s abilities to sort the media. Or maybe I need less of that faith. I dunno. I just don’t think people are as stupid as they seem.

    Interesting, though, that while you say you don’t want to limit opinionated speech, you think Moore goes “too far” and that he’s harmful to democracy. That seems to imply that you do in fact want some sort of limits. Is that true? How does Moore go far compared to say a Rush Limbaugh? Is it just the means at his disposal to convey his message that makes you uncomfortable? Or is it the message itself? Consider whether a politically inverse version of Fahrenheit 9/11 would make you as uncomfortable.

  15. I was hoping my comment wouldn’t be interpereted as politically biased one way or the other.

    My point is that Mr. Moore is a terrible liar, not that there is anything wrong with a liberal or conservative bias in a documentary.

  16. Jeremy, there’s an exception to Godwin’s Law when the reference contributes sustantively to the discussion. The pioneering German use of film as a tool for political manipulation of the masses is an instructive comparison, not a gratuitous insult. Just because we have a free press and free markets doesn’t mean we can’t stumble down the same road. I’m not saying F9/11 is propaganda (another loaded term). I’m just saying it moves the noble “documentary” category away from journalism/history and toward politics/propaganda.

    What we need is for Ken Burns to do a couple of documentaries on current “political” topics so the emerging genre has a positive example to follow.

    I’m not really hashing on Moore–he’s just a guy who makes movies. His political views don’t deserve serious consideration, nor do those of anyone in Hollywood except those who earn that consideration (say by running for office and getting elected).

  17. Jeremy: I agree with the “factual” statement, but not his opinion on the outcome. I’m overjoyed that Bush is over-dosed on morality & righteousness (i.e. brining agency to others & not just discriminating in favor of americans).

  18. Jeremy: There is a _slight_ diff between _explicit_ open warfare over facts & _implicit_ bias in the Media. The latter is what we have; I don’t want the former (or the latter…but it is too much to hope for fair & balanced, right?)

    Dave: Wow. Body slam. I didn’t know you were conservative? Of course, that squares with this ‘liberal NYT’ op-ed:
    ————————-

    But the rush to sling mud is gaining momentum, and “Farenheit 9/11″ marks the polarization of yet another form of media. One medium after another has found it profitable to turn from information to entertainment, from nuance to table-thumping.

    Talk radio pioneered this strategy, then cable television. Political books have lately become as subtle as professional wrestling, and the Internet is adding to the polarization. Now, with the economic success of “Farenheit 9/11,” look for more documentaries that shriek rather than explain.

    It wasn’t surprising when the right foamed at the mouth during the Clinton years, for conservatives have always been quick to detect evil empires. But liberals love subtlety and describe the world in a palette of grays — yet many have now dropped all nuance about this president.

    Mr. Bush got us into a mess by overdosing on moral clarity and self-righteousness, and embracing conspiracy theories of like-minded zealots. How sad that many liberals now seem intent on making the same mistakes.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/30/opinion/30KRIS.html

  19. juidy brooks says:
  20. Kevin, of course I’m just regurgitating! What else did you expect?

  21. Kevin: I’m currently (about 5 months and counting) following the no Rated-R policy (ok, no new Rated-R movies…I’m not giving up Braveheart).

    Ergo…I have not seen the film; nor would I if it were PG-13. I won’t let my $ promote something that is…as Dave points out, creating & building contention in an overly contentious society. Guess that means I should spend money on manners & niceness school too, eh? ;)

  22. Kevin: I’m still wiating for your review of GodMakers I & II. Thanks. :)

  23. Lyle says: “Do we really want to return to the 1800s where Newspapers were openly partisan? Are you prepared for TV news to become openly partisan? Movies? TV?”

    Weren’t you insisting over at T&S a while back that that was already the case? My NYTimes for your FoxNews?

    “…nor is it necessary to watch violence/nudity in order to condemn it.”

    Sure, but if that’s the case, and you and others here insist on criticizing Moore for being loose with the facts, you’re chasing your tail. The movie is full of lies, so I refuse to see it, to see if it’s full of lies. Reminds me of the stupid joke my friends told in high school:

    Geek #1: This school lunch tastes like CRAP!
    Geek #2: How do you know what crap tastes like?
    Geek #1: Because I just had some of this school lunch, and it tastes JUST LIKE IT!

    Dave: I hope you were joking with the Nazi bit, because if not I herewith must invoke, for the second time this week in discussions with conservatives (the other was over at T&S), Godwin’s Law.

    Finally, where are the defenders of the free market and free speech when the market produces a product that they don’t like but that the people want? Isn’t it a bit ironic that Bradbury’s book is about censorship?

  24. Making a liberal-slanted documentary is fine. Knowingly presenting lies as facts, as it has been shown Moore is fond of, especially in “Bowling for Columbine,” is Satanic.

    http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html does a good job of showing these lies in that movie.

    Michael Moore is a liar of the worst kind, and focuses his energy against conservatives. And this is why the holywood elite, and the french, apparently, love him.

  25. Measure’s right that Moore is guilty of portraying his point of view as the only truth. Rather than characterize that as Satanic, however, I’d see it as a successful use of oratory and presentation skills. What we’re really worried about here is that people will not be able to distinguish between Moore’s perspective and “The Truth,” and all that really tells me is that Moore is really, really good at getting his message across convincingly.

    Moore has told the public that this film represents his own perspective, however slanted it may be. He hasn’t (to my knowledge) represented his film as other than his own views. This may be what Dave is concerned about — we have someone who’s so good at presenting a skewed POV that people absorb it to be The Truth. But what concerns me about Dave’s post is that it seems to place the burden inappropriately on the producers rather than the public — shouldn’t we have some responsibility to educate ourselves and learn to discern truth from error?

  26. judy brooks says:

    Measure, surely you must be joking. Satanic? Not politically biased? What?

    Satanic MIGHT be more appropriately used to define what has happened in an administration which is supposed to represent “the people,” yet has told so many lies that the only way those deceptions can be uncovered is by people who use the same tactics. If “satanic” is descriptive of Moore, then ‘ULTRA-satanic” is a good lable to put on those who tricked some Americans (including the media) into believing that it was necessary to go to war with Iraq.

  27. My apologies for the lack of question marks in my previous post.

  28. Note: re: Moore as a media balance vs. conservative radio: howard stern blames a Bush-FCC-Clear Channel conspiracy for his programs problems/fines.

  29. Oh . . . forgot, the bit about Bush being a propaganda-spreading leader. That may be true. I’m not defending Bush here, only criticizing the sophistry in general. I think Bush is an awful communicator.

  30. p.s. nor is it necessary to watch violence/nudity in order to condemn it; nor to watch this film (kinda like how I don’t go see Godmakers) in order to critique it & its content (or lack thereof).

    Dave’s querry is re: the problems this ‘type’ of film creates. Not what is ‘actually’ in the film.

  31. Personally, instead of Michael Moore’s movie, I’d love to see someone make a movie aimed at the LDS membership that points out that the Book of Mormon really doesn’t have much of anything nice to say about war in general. It does show the occasional necessity of fighting in self-defense while waving the “Banner of Moroni”, but it seems to me that at this point, the Iraqi people have just as much cause to raise their own “Banner of Moroni” and to protest the indignities and atrocities that have been waged on “[their] God, [their] religion, and freedom, and [their] peace, [their] wives, and [their] children”.

    Nibley points out in his writings that the fatal mistake the Nephites made that led to their final downfall was that they grew tired of fighting a defensive war, and decided instead to go on the offensive. Mormon, after deciding that his brethren had become far too willing to shed the blood of the Lamanites, became a conscientious objector who “did utterly refuse from this time forth to be a commander and a leader of this people” (Mormon 3:10-11), and the bottom line teaching of the Book of Mormon with regard to war is that “it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed”. Insofar as we desire to punish those who would punish us over real or imagined grievances by means of the “work of death”, we place ourselves firmly in the camp of the wicked. This is a place in which I would really prefer not to find my fellow brothers and sisters of the Church.

    Given the prophecies we have given by prophets of God about the necessity of a rescue of the Constitution by the Elders of the Church someday, it seems to me that far too many members of the Church are willing to uncritically believe the reasons provided to us by our elected officials with regard to why it was necessary to go to war in the first place. The Nephites wrote the Book of Mormon as if to say, “Look what happened to us; make sure it doesn’t happen to you, too”, and the warning seems to be going either unheeded or unnoticed in too many cases, so far as I can tell.

  32. Quoting lyle:
    “Now, with the economic success of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” look for more documentaries that shriek rather than explain.”

    I’m sorry, but this is just ridiculous coming from someone who has not seen the movie. On what basis can you make such a claim? I find it interesting that most of the criticisms of the movie actually take issue with the offered explanations for the events. I don’t recall much “shrieking.”

    I again dismiss any commentaries about the movies content by those who have not seen the movie.

  33. Some interesting comments here… I’ve now seen the movie and written a review:

    http://www.bobandlogan.com/archives/000133.html#more

    I’d be interested in anyone’s feedback.

  34. Steve, at least the movie will teach an entire generation how to spell “Fahrenheit”–this may be its enduring contribution to the country. It has the same sneaky “h” as “Fuhrer,” you may have noticed. Perhaps Moore’s use of a German word in the title is a clever allusion to the pioneering but masterful Nazi use of film as a political propaganda device?

    BTW, here’s Ray Bradbury’s response: “Author Ray Bradbury has ripped into filmmaker Michael Moore for using the title ‘Fahrenheit 9/11′ for his new Bush-bashing movie, an obvious takeoff on the 84-year-old’s science-fiction classic ‘Fahrenheit 451.'” Link:

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=38776

  35. Steve, I am not saying that we should restrict opinionated speech, only that Fahrenheit seems to go too far. And I’m not taking a policy stand that the government should step in and stop him, only that what he is doing is harmful to democracy. Such drastic skewing of facts and misrepresentation of events impairs regular Americans’ abilities to come to good conclusions. And while I think it’s ridiculous that people would go to that movie for any sort of information, I’m sure that plenty of people do.

    Moreover, I think that Moore has significantly more power to influence people than you seem to concede. I would guess that many more people will see his movie than will read Bob Woodward’s books, but Woodward’s books surely offer Americans better information to form an opinion.

    And does “raw information transfer” ever happen? Maybe in accounting and sports scores, but everything that Moore and anyone in the media talks about is placed in context. The media and the stickers on the subway say “Bush lies.” And he did, I guess, lie since he used intelligence in the State of the Union that turned out not to be true. But what does that “lie” mean outside of an understanding of what was going on, what Bush was hearing from whom and how often? With such a complicated organization and so many actors, how are ordinary Americans supposed to realize when they are being told the whole story?

  36. judy brooks says:

    The liberals DID try something—soft-spoken, elloquent Mario Cuomo. He lasted only about 2 weeks in the hugely CONSERVATIVE media that’s so prevalent out there nowadays.
    Sadly, I think the liberals have realized that they have to lower the bar to where the conservatives have placed it for so many years.

    Thank you, Jeremy for your intelligent response.

    BTW, Moore’s title (I haven’t seen the show either, and worry that it might backfire on liberals), is brilliant if you’ve read Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

  37. There’s a great Op-Ed review of Moore’s film by Paul Krugman (link here) in Friday’s NYTimes. He doesn’t like many of the movie’s spiced up but ultimately tangential bits, but ultimately praises the way the film (finally) forces some issues.

    A couple of excperts:

    There has been much tut-tutting by pundits who complain that the movie, though it has yet to be caught in any major factual errors, uses association and innuendo to create false impressions. Many of these same pundits consider it bad form to make a big fuss about the Bush administration’s use of association and innuendo to link the Iraq war to 9/11. Why hold a self-proclaimed polemicist to a higher standard than you hold the president of the United States?

    And for all its flaws, “Fahrenheit 9/11″ performs an essential service. It would be a better movie if it didn’t promote a few unproven conspiracy theories, but those theories aren’t the reason why millions of people who aren’t die-hard Bush-haters are flocking to see it. These people see the film to learn true stories they should have heard elsewhere, but didn’t. Mr. Moore may not be considered respectable, but his film is a hit because the respectable media haven’t been doing their job.

    Krugman’s conclusion also resonates with my way of thinking:

    Viewers may come away from Mr. Moore’s movie believing some things that probably aren’t true. For example, the film talks a lot about Unocal’s plans for a pipeline across Afghanistan, which I doubt had much impact on the course of the Afghan war. Someday, when the crisis of American democracy is over, I’ll probably find myself berating Mr. Moore, who supported Ralph Nader in 2000, for his simplistic antiglobalization views.

    But not now. “Fahrenheit 9/11″ is a tendentious, flawed movie, but it tells essential truths about leaders who exploited a national tragedy for political gain, and the ordinary Americans who paid the price.

  38. Update: I heard on the news this morning that Fahrenheit 9/11 took in $22 million this weekend, the biggest opening ever for a documentary. So expect to hear a good deal more discussion in news magazines and on TV in coming weeks about the movie and the public reaction.

  39. We can hardly blame this downturn in the timbre of political discourse on Moore. For years now, conservatives have had media vehicles that have used distortion, sensationalism, and hyperbole, posing as objective (“fair and balanced,” if you will) news, to reach an audience that otherwise simply would not pay attention to politics. 20 million voters say their sole primary “news” source is Rush Limbaugh. The recent “I hate Bush” books you mention (some of which, it should be mentioned, aren’t from the pens of lefty “fringe” journalists, but former governmental figures that worked faithfully under Reagan and/or Bush 1 before growing disenchanted with Bush 2), were preceded by several years by a number of mean-spirited and factually flexible bestsellers written by Ann Coulter, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, and their ilk. I wish that liberals could find a way of articulating their views to the masses without resorting to sloppy, Limbaugh-level rhetoric, but it doesn’t surprise me that some liberals have decided to sex things up a bit in order to compete with the conservatives for Joe Sixpack’s attention.

    (I should say at this point that I haven’t yet seen Moore’s movie, so I can’t really judge. Have you seen it, Dave, or are you basing your “flying out of orbit” characterization on the Christianity Today review?)

    You ask “will satirical documentaries displace Hollywood action flicks the way reality TV has displaced sitcoms and dramas?” Would that be a bad thing? If some dude watches Moore’s flick instead of, say, the Tombraider sequel, I don’t think society is worse off. He may or may not agree with Moore’s take on the issues (which he doesn’t pull out of thin air, however he might spin them); it might compel the otherwise politically apathetic guy to follow the actual news a bit more closely.

    In short, I don’t think its a matter of someone choosing to watch Moore instead of reading up on the 9/11 commission. I think it’s a matter of choosing to watch whatever is on TV instead of reading up on the 9/11 commission. I think Moore would be delighted if his film compelled them to neglect the former and look a little more closely at the latter. I personally wish liberals could come up with ways of competing with Limbaugh and Co. without lowering our tone to their level, but I think it’s inevitable that some would choose to fight fire with fire.

  40. What I find most interesting about the debates raging around the movie is how few of the participants actually saw the film on opening weekend. I would guess that several of those with rather lengthy posts above have not actually seen the movie. It seems interesting to me that Michael Eisner tried to block the movies distribution without having seen it personally. Many of the objections raised about the movie are simply not true and generally misrepresent what the film actually says. Much of the movie is simply images – events that actually did happen. Its hard to argue with the brutal war images. How are images of dead and mangled children, killed and injured in the US bombing campaign, misleading. The children were in fact killed and injured. I donÂ’t get how that is dishonest, much less satanic. So fess up lengthy posters – have you actually seen the film, or are you just regurgitating talking points.

  41. You can pick one argument to discredit the whole page if you want, but it is clear that Moore inentionally mislead the viewers of BFC.

    I have not revealed my political bent, and I refuse to do so in this argument. I have and would rail against idiot conservative commentators (For example, Bill O’reilly or Michael Savage) just the same. (But as far as I know, they haven’t made fake documentaries and told everyone that it’s true, so they are undeserving of the satanic label in my eyes so far.) The fact is, Michael Moore makes up facts and presents them as truth.

    This is exactly, EXACTLY what Satan does in corrupting the truth. The half-truth, “I am not my brother’s keeper” is connected to the first sin in the Bible, after the fall.

    Just because Moore helps gets certain political views across through his movies, doesn’t mean that his evil methods should be ignored.

  42. While I also don’t think that what Moore is doing is satanic, I think it’s pretty ridiculous to praise his presentation skills. If what we are after is distinguishing truth from error, we should wish that everyone had equally clear presentation skills, not that a film producer is able to make a movie in which there is inaccurate information he does not have to support and for which he does not have to answer.

    And speaking to where the burden falls, I agree that it is every citizens duty to self inform themself. But what percentage of the the voters of this country can we count on to undertake such a task? In theory, we should have no problem with anyone expressing their views however they want, but (speaking pragmatically) history has shown us that large groups of people have done awful things because of leaders with “good presentation skills.”

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