Friday, May 28, 2004

A Right-Wing non-Critique of Fahrenheit 911

Since the only place anyone could have seen Fahrenheit 911 was at Cannes, I was a bit suspicious about this right-winger's critique... turns out I was right to be...

If Michael Moore is anything, he's highly political. Anyone who's ever been exposed to any of his work knows this. He freely admits it. There is no secret whatsoever that Moore is a bleeding-heart liberal. And that's okay. Believe it or not, people in this country have a right to be bleeding-heart liberal filmmakers. I know it's pretty astonishing that this kind of subversion isn't covered by the PATRIOT Act, but Moore really does have that right. I understand he's even permitted to criticize the government up to and including even the President!

So when I read Dan K Thomasson's whining screed about Fahrenheit 911 I almost had to laugh. The author seems to believe that liberalism and anti-Americanism are the same thing, that President Bush is above criticism, and most of all, that he's seen Fahrenheit 911. Now maybe Thomasson's been to Cannes and watched the film there, but I don't think so. Here's why:

Thomasson starts out with several accusations. He calls the film "political propaganda." He says it follows a "rule" the movie industry lives by, "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story even if it's billed as the truth." In other words, he is accusing the film of telling a story that is not supported by facts. He includes an entire paragraph of further accusations:

Moore professes to tell us the real reason for the U.S. invasion of Iraq is a connection between Bush and the Saudi royal family. As with most conspiracy theorists, he makes far more than he can prove out of the most tenuous connections. And he bashes everything else Bush has done since taking office. Bush is the most public of figures and, therefore, is practically libel-proof. Moore can say what he wants about the president short of accusing him of capital murder, which one gets the feeling he would like to do.
The problem is that Thomasson provides not one single quote from the film, not one minute example of what he calls an "anti-Bush harangue." As evidence to support his propaganda claim he uses the standing ovations the film received at Cannes and the fact that it won the Palm d'Or.

Sorry, Dan, but that evidence doesn't support your accusations. Even a 3rd grader can figure that out, but maybe Dan's target audience has the mental capacity of a 2nd grader. The absense of any supporting material whatsoever to support the criticism of the film further suggests that Dan Thomasson hasn't seen it. Nice try, Dan. Now write something after you've actually watched the film.

I don't dispute for a second that it's likely Michael Moore produced a film that has an air of propaganda. That's what he does for a living. That's the kind of work Moore does. He produces entertaining propaganda based on what he believes are the facts. And he's a bit of a douche for getting the facts wrong some of the time and giving impressions that aren't strictly related to the facts some of the time. Maybe the reason conservatives like Thomasson have their knickers in a knot over Moore and movies like Fahrenheit 911 is because they just can't stand the competition.


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