lilithchilde argues that yes it’s a manipulative performance piece but, "If you're going to draw your conclusions from shallow and slanted sources (which most of us do), it's still probably best to get several slants to work with." Yes, i know everyone has agendas/biases, but i try to avoid actual shallowness (personal attacks, twisting/misrepresentation of facts, etc.) altogether, though we know of course i’m all about multiple perspectives. (And really now, defending Michael Moore’s use of deceptive half-truths and carefully phrased by saying that’s what the bad guys do? Gee and here i thought i was ends-justify-the-means girl.) And yes i’m being slightly unfair in basing my opinion of the film on what other people say. For example, akronohten wrote: "Then mom and I went to see Fahrenheit 9/11. I was a bit skepctial going in, after reading this Christopher Hitchens piece, but I doubted whether we were seeing the same film."
At first i was saying that i wasn’t inclined to discuss the film much since it’s Michael Moore, for whom i have about 0 respect, and that from what i understand, it says/shows little that hasn’t already been said/seen before, so i’ve basically had all the discussions already. And yet, i found myself reading everything about the film i came across. I actually jumped over to the Jolt, which was clearly a mistake, though i was pleased to see PK and PD and really anyone with rational arguments on any side, and okay it wasn’t such a mistake after all. And i now have two more sites to point people to.
There’s also, as always, the blogosphere. lilithchilde is quite right that of course i’m not going to get a full perspective by just reading the people who are out to discredit the film, but to be fair i’m always looking for the stuff that discredits whatever argument i’m looking at. Why would i look for stuff that supports it? That’s the job of the original argument, to make the best case it can. This of course brings us back to the fact that Moore’s film is a piece of emotional manipulation. I’ve talked about my problems with that in this entry and in an earlier one. Anyone who wants to refute anything said in anything i link to is welcome to comment to me and/or contact the person who wrote the linked piece.
I keep saying i'm refusing to see the film, just like i refused to see Gibson's Passion movie or read The DaVinci Code. Apparently i'm not the only one to think of Gibson's movie. Andrew Sullivan’s not on that list, but he too has Gibson parallels.. (Amusingly, Andrew was also bored when he saw the film, which amused me.) Michael Moore: inheritor of the exploitation film genre?
A different Slate article than the one i keep pimping says "Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is unfair and outrageous. You got a problem with that?" Well yeah, i do actually. See above. Andrew Sullivan slams those who recognize the flaws in Michael Moore’s film but praise it anyway.
Yet another blogger slams the film. Aw, Michael Moore disses Americans, how touching. In a link from my father, look who’s mad at Michael Moore now. *snerk* And Speaking of Nader, excuse me while i shoot daggers at him. More on Nader here. Glenn Reynolds mentions there’s a new book out slamming Michael Moore (and at least one blogger has begun reading it).
I think i’ve reached burnout reading all the stuff pointing out the errors in Moore’s movie. Glenn has yet another roundup, and i mostly just kinda skimmed, but hey look, a documentary about Michael Moore; i’m possibly in love. There’s also this piece, which touches on the 2000 election (something i haven’t seen mentioned in other stuff commenting on the film) and just generally has copious linkage, including an list of additional commentaries on Moore at the bottom.
One interesting tidbit is that he 9/11 Commission "found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior officials within the Saudi government funded al Qaeda.".
"Michael Moore - don't be on my side. You're making my side look like lying, immoral propagandists." -lasultrix
David Adensik critques The Onion.
Anyway, the title of this entry. One film clip people keep talking about is GWB continuing to read to grade schoolers for 7 minutes after having learned about the WTC crashes. Now, i’m confused as to what people would rather him have done. My instinct is that he just can’t win. If he had rushed off to the White House, people would have complained that he was rushing into things, jumping to conclusions, hell even that he had been expecting this and was eager to go to war. Don’t you want a President who waits to get his thoughts together before acting? Would you rather he have run off and terrified the little kids?
The Slate article i like so much says it well:
The president is also captured in a well-worn TV news clip, on a golf course, making a boilerplate response to a question on terrorism and then asking the reporters to watch his drive. Well, that's what you get if you catch the president on a golf course. If Eisenhower had done this, as he often did, it would have been presented as calm statesmanship. If Clinton had done it, as he often did, it would have shown his charm. More interesting is the moment where Bush is shown frozen on his chair at the infant school in Florida, looking stunned and useless for seven whole minutes after the news of the second plane on 9/11. Many are those who say that he should have leaped from his stool, adopted a Russell Crowe stance, and gone to work. I could even wish that myself. But if he had done any such thing then (as he did with his "Let's roll" and "dead or alive" remarks a month later), half the Michael Moore community would now be calling him a man who went to war on a hectic, crazed impulse. The other half would be saying what they already say—that he knew the attack was coming, was using it to cement himself in power, and couldn't wait to get on with his coup. This is the line taken by Gore Vidal and by a scandalous recent book that also revives the charge of FDR's collusion over Pearl Harbor. At least Moore's film should put the shameful purveyors of that last theory back in their paranoid box.
And then, mostly for my own reference, from pages 3 and 4 of the ABC interview with Michael Moore about the movie:
TAPPER: You declare in the film that Hussein's regime had never killed an American …
MOORE: That isn't what I said. Quote the movie directly.
TAPPER: What is the quote exactly?
MOORE: "Murdered." The government of Iraq did not commit a premeditated murder on an American citizen. I'd like you to point out one.
TAPPER: If the government of Iraq permitted a terrorist named Abu Nidal who is certainly responsible for killing Americans to have Iraq as a safe haven; if Saddam Hussein funded suicide bombers in Israel who did kill Americans; if the Iraqi police — now this is not a murder but it's a plan to murder — to assassinate President Bush which at the time merited airstrikes from President Clinton once that plot was discovered; does that not belie your claim that the Iraqi government never murdered an American or never had a hand in murdering an American?
MOORE: No, because nothing you just said is proof that the Iraqi government ever murdered an American citizen. And I am still waiting for you to present that proof.
You're talking about, they provide safe haven for Abu Nidal after the committed these murders, uh, Iraq helps or supports suicide bombers in Israel. I mean the support, you remember the telethon that the Saudis were having? It's our allies, the Saudis, that have been providing help and aid to the suicide bombers in Israel. That's the story you should be covering. Why don't you cover that story? Why don't you cover it?