Fahrenheit 9/11 (1/10)

Copyright © 2004 by Tony Medley

Anybody who goes to a Michael Moore movie for facts is whistling Dixie. That leaves the question, then, as to why anyone would go to a Michael Moore movie; especially this Michael Moore movie. Well, that’s pretty easy to answer. Anyone who hates President Bush will go to this Michael Moore movie, and will be rewarded, because it’s full of biased, highly edited nonsense.

It starts out showing Gore winning the election, alleging Florida blacks were disenfranchised, and then blames Fox News for Bush actually winning. It ignores all the subsequent data, compiled in large part by Florida newspapers, that show that Bush really did win Florida.  Oh, well.

Then it cuts to President Bush and Administration members being in makeup for television appearances, leaving you to draw the conclusion that everything they say is just for show. It also castigates President Bush for holding his cool before the grammar school children while being told of the 9/11 attack. I thought this showed what Hemingway would call “grace under pressure.” But Moore casts aspersions at it.

There is one hilarious segment in the middle about a small town in Virginia that Homeland Security thought was targeted for a terrorist attack. I was rolling in the aisles laughing at it.

But basically this is a diatribe against President Bush and his family that goes on and on and on, seemingly ad infinitum. I guess it would be too much to hope that an egotist like Moore would actually be able to cut something he shot and make a 90-minute movie.

It’s too bad that Moore is such a bigot because the first President Bush is definitely deserving of  criticism for a lot of the things he did, like killing the Reagan Revolution by firing all the Reagan people as soon as he took office, raising taxes after promising he wouldn’t (remember “read my lips?”), snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Desert Storm, running a foolish campaign for reelection, etc., etc.

Instead of building a dispassionate case, all Moore does is concentrate on establishing an alleged Bush-Saudi connection in order to prove a dubious premise that the Bush family was more interested in protecting the House of Saud and the profits it allegedly makes from the Saudis than it was in protecting America.

Anyone interested in a factual breakdown of Moore’s perfidious treatment of the truth should read the article by Christopher Hitchens, hardly a friend of the right. Here’s a very short snippet of what he has to say:

To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.

Hitchens’ entire article, entitled Unfairenheit 9/11: The Lies of Michael Moore may be read at http://slate.msn.com/id/2102723/.

This movie fails on every level. Its point of view is irrelevant. Any similar film on the other side of the political spectrum would be equally repugnant. It is a dishonest, cruel, devious piece of invective. This vituperative film is comparable to the mendacious films produced by totalitarian Nazi and Communist regimes whose sole aim was to promote their contemptible ideologies and should be roundly condemned.

Since Moore’s reputation is one who plays fast and loose with facts, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to see this movie, unless you just love to hate President Bush. You won’t learn much from it, and you will probably fall asleep at the end, where it drags soporifically.

July 3, 2004

The End