Sunday, August 01, 2004

High-Temperature Liar

More evidence Michael Moore's film lied--beyond mere partisan disagreement. According to the Associated Press, the (Bloomington Illinois) Pantagraph newspaper in central Illinois asked Moore and his production company, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., to apologize for using a "doctored" image from the paper in Bush-basing fictional "Fahrenheit 9/11" film.
A scene early in the movie that shows newspaper headlines related to the legally contested presidential election of 2000 included a shot of The Pantagraph's Dec. 19, 2001, front page, with the prominent headline: "Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election."

The paper says that headline never appeared on that day. It appeared in a Dec. 5, 2001, edition, but the headline was not used on the front page. Instead, it was found in much smaller type above a letter to the editor, which the paper says reflects "only the opinions of the letter writer."

Pantagraph columnist Bill Flik concludes, "Illogically, if not inexplicably, a page apparently was "pasted together" to look like an actual Pantagraph page for the movie shot."

Of course, Moore is a serial faker, and this latest atrocity--literally cutting-and-pasting history and dropping facts down the memory hole, a la Winston Smith in Orwell's 1984--is more comic than consequential. More important is that Moore's films are not just un-related to the truth--they're negatively correlated; i.e., the opposite. Indeed, Moore's latest appears modeled on Adolf Hitler's observation, in Mein Kampf, that "The great mass of people ... will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one." No serious appraiser has identified any integrity either in the film itself or in Moore's post-production ravings.

Still worse is the nearly uncritical cheerleading in the liberal media. They mostly love the film--and exempt Moore from the post-Watergate fact-checking they so zealously apply to Republicans. My favorite example is the title of David Edelstein favorable review in Slate: "Proper Propaganda - Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 is unfair and outrageous. You got a problem with that?" Yes, David; yes I do.

There are a few outliers. Writing in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, NPR's Scott Simon journalistic "j'accuse" displayed extraordinary--if possibly career-limiting--courage:
Michael Moore has won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and may win an Oscar for the kind of work that got Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, and Jack Kelley fired.

Trying to track the unproven innuendoes and conspiracies in a Michael Moore film or book is as futile as trying to count the flatulence jokes in one by Adam Sandler. Some journalists and critics have acted as if his wrenching of facts is no more serious than a movie continuity problem, like showing a 1963 Chevy in 1956 Santa Monica.
And on the June 27th "Meet the Press," PBS's Gwen Ifill--no conservative she--was even tougher:
You know, I look at this movie as a journalist, and as a journalist I have this affection for facts and accuracy. And even though there are facts in this movie, on whole it's not accurate. Michael Moore is guilty of the same thing that he and a lot of Democrats say that the Republicans are guilty of.
Still the vast majority of media give Moore a pass--a fact worth remembering when reading so-called "news" in the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS.

But worst yet is the evil axis between Moore and the Democrat party. Except for the centrist DLC, the party and its politicians embrace Moore--and defend the indefensible:
[DNC Chair Terry] McAuliffe was asked by CNN, "Do you think the movie was essentially fair and factually based?" "I do," McAuliffe said. "I think anyone who goes to see this movie will come out en masse and vote for John Kerry. Clearly the movie makes it clear that George Bush is not fit to be president of this country." . . .

In addition to McAuliffe, other Democrats at the Washington screening included Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, Montana Sen. Max Baucus, South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, New York Rep. Charles Rangel, Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, and others. Harkin told the Associated Press that all Americans should see the film. "It's important for the American people to understand what has gone on before, what led us to this point, and to see it sort of in this unvarnished presentation by Michael Moore."
As Rick the conservative crusader notes:
This is akin to the president, vice-president and Senate Majority leader Frist attending a screening of a film by the modern-day equivalent of the John Birch Society whose premise is that John Kerry is the head of an anti-American, communist cabal who's aim is to give away American sovereignty to the United Nations. What would the reaction of the national media be if such a film were . . . taken seriously by the leadership of the Republican Party? Dan Rather would be apoplectic.
Just the other day, Al Gore--remember him? He once was the next President of the United States--accused George Bush of "deliberately lying to the American people." Gore also called Administration advocates--remember us? We're called "Republicans"--"a network of 'rapid response' digital Brown Shirts." So Bush = Hitler and Republicans = Nazis. Gore is, of course, completely un-hinged. But so, apparently, are all the Dems--and they're marching off the cliff to the tune of Michael Moore.

Another new low for Democrats; another reason why they cannot be trusted with this country.

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