In Fahrenheit 9/11 Michael Moore has made a moving and powerful film whcich shows things most Americans have not seen and makes arguments most Americans have not heard. Not surprisingly, the right-wing noise machine has started up to keep people from seeing the film that every citizen should see. I hope to discuss the film later, but for now I will debunk the right-wing talking points.
Moore is fat and boisterous.
Sure, but who cares? Moore is on his best behavior in this film. He is almost always off-camera and maintains a subdued tone throughout. He sticks closely to the truth and presents a pretty reasonable position. The film stands by itself; don’t engage in ad hominem attacks against its creator.
Moore just distorts the truth; haven’t you seen his other films?
Moore has taken some heat for his other films. Sometimes he’s been a little loose with the facts in order to make a good point. Other times his argument sounds good, but when you think about it the logic is unclear. But again, Moore is on his best behavior in this film; it’s not all like the work he’s done before and he’s been much more careful with the facts. So don’t ignore this film because of problems with the previous one. Again, give it a chance.
Moore hates America and the troops.
Michael Moore loves America. He’s spent much of his adult life trying to make this country better. You might disagree with his methods or beliefs, but I do not think his motives can reasonably be impugned. To attack him this way is simply childish.
Similarly, Moore loves the troops. He shows us the system that abuses them. He shows us the horror they’ve been forced into. He gives them a voice, and shows us how they feel. And he shows us that after all this, they try their best to serve their country. And finally, he shows us a woman who used to think that way — that opposition to the war was in opposition to the troops — until her own son died in Iraq. No one could watch this film and still think Moore hates the troops.
Can you give an example?
He implies the Saudis got out on 9/11, but they got out after traffic was reopened.
I’ve transcribed this part of the film myself; you can see what Moore implies if you care. (I don’t see why it matters so much if you know all the facts.) But I don’t think Moore implies what you say.
He notes air traffic was closed and that lots of people were stranded. But only a few people wanted to get moving: the bin Ladens and other Saudis. (Prince Bandar admits this himself.) He points out the White House approved flights to take the bin Laden’s out of the country. (Richard Clarke said this under oath.) He notes that they were allowed to leave with only a cursory inspection. He emphasizes that they got nothing on the record. (The 9/11 Commission concluded this.)
Further facts only help Moore’s case. While traffic was “reopened” on September 13, most of the planes flying around were empty commercial flights leaving the smaller airports where they made an emergency landing. Private planes, like the Saudis used, were rare. Worse, the government has repeatedly denied these flights took place, even the people on the plane and at the airport have records to confirm the story. (Details.)
Either way, Moore’s underlying point is valid. The Saudis wanted to get out of the country fast. The White House not only let them, but it may have helped them. Family members who could of helped us find bin Laden were flown out of our jurisdiction, while we arrested random muslims.
He doesn’t show all the people Saddam tortured!
Uh, how is that a lie? The media and the government have been trumpeting this point to no end. The job of the movie is to give you the other side; there’s no need for Moore to repeat things you’ve already heard.
It’s not really a documentary because Moore is making an argument.
First, this is simply wrong on the facts. As no less an expert than Roger Ebert has said “Most documentaries, especially the best ones, have an opinion and argue for it.” Anyone who knows about film, or even anyone who’s watched a couple documentaries, will tell you the same thing.
Second, who cares? Moore’s film does not pretend to be objective; no one could watch it for more than a minute without realizing Moore has a point of view. That does not make the film any less worth seeing. Moore backs his arguments up with facts and footage; he doesn’t lie so you can choose to believe him or not. The only reason I can see not to listen to him make his case is because you’re afraid he might be right.
posted July 01, 2004 02:01 PM (Politics) (36 comments) #
Not surprisingly, the right-wing noise machine has started up to keep people from seeing the film that every citizen should see.
Just as the left-wingers do with right-wingers. Yes, it’s annoying, but … BFD.
Moore is fat and boisterous.
Many people don’t like loudmouth jerks. It’s a reasonable criticism, despite being largely meaningless to most people, who are looking for entertainment, information, or both.
Moore just distorts the truth; haven’t you seen his other films?
This is a perfectly valid and reasonable criticism. You make your own reputation, and we can only trust you if you earn our trust. Let’s say I go to see F 9/11; why should I trust the assertions he makes? Yes, I can go do the research later, but that’s a lot of work, and unless I am willing to do it, why would I bother seeing the movie at all?
I use Woodward as an example a lot. If he had a poor track record, there’s no way I would read his books, because I couldn’t trust them, and it is nearly impossible for me to verify his claims. But because he has been so trustworthy over the last 30 years, well, he’s earned my trust.
Of course, it’s easier for me to verify Moore’s claims than Woodward’s (since Woodward uses primary sources that are under lock and key), but nevertheless, I need to be willing to do some research if I am going to accept what he says, because he has created for himself such an untrustworthy reputation.
Moore hates America and the troops.
Yeah, that’s dumb.
Yes, though I won’t bother to. Of course, his lies are primarily those of omission, and you might be thinking of actual falsehoods.
He implies the Saudis got out on 9/11, but they got out after traffic was reopened.
The last time I looked into this, there was no significant evidence to support the claim. I’ve not looked into it in the last few months, though I imagine I might again soon. So I won’t address this, or even read your comments about it, for now.
He doesn’t show all the people Saddam tortured!
I agree with you, though I do think that Moore’s film — from everything I’ve seen about it, including his own words — is unbalanced. People should not go to see this movie and believe that it represents a balanced exposition of the case for and against Bush’s handling of 9/11 and Iraq.
It’s not really a documentary because Moore is making an argument.
It’s not a good documentary because of what I said above. But “good” is my subjective opinion. I prefer a documentary that really provides all the information so I can make up my own mind, and that’s not what this is. But my opinion is by no means gospel truth on the matter, and I don’t pretend otherwise.
posted by pudge at July 1, 2004 02:59 PM #
I’m all for Bush-bashing, but it wasn’t a good film. See my fuller comments here.
posted by Russ Abbott at July 1, 2004 04:44 PM #
Michael Moore is a great person, and I’m sure everyone needs to see F9/11. But I won’t. Why? Because it’ll depress me even further about the state of the world and my utter inability (not even being an American citizen) to do anything about it.
posted by badly dubbed boy at July 2, 2004 04:03 AM #
I’m going to see it. I’ll base my judgements on what I see in the film. Just like I do with every other movie/documentary I watch.
and yes, some of the criticism has been… lacking. some of it has been decent, but a lot of it is (as far as I can tell) unsubstantiated. Such as criticism from people who haven’t even seen the damn movie.
posted by Steve at July 2, 2004 01:56 PM #
In the same film, Moore claims that Saddam never threatened any American…a claim perposterous on its own, but he later follows that up by taunting President Bush, claiming his impetus for the war is that Saddam tried to murder his father.
posted by Karl at July 3, 2004 06:23 PM #
Not only does Moore misrepresent the truth in Fahrenheit 9/11, he outright lies! If anyone wants proof of it, go to Fahrenheit Fact at http://www.fahrenheit_fact.blogspot.com. A guy named Curtis and I have dedicated our time to giving the information he leaves out and calling him to the carpet on his falsehoods.
posted by Recovering Cynic at July 4, 2004 12:32 AM #
Well, this guy says he’s found 56 deceits in F911. care to deconstruct them all?
posted by bryan at July 4, 2004 11:25 PM #
The people “exposing” Moore’s deceits are even more dishonest and deceitful than Moore himself. Hilarious.
posted by Army Guy at July 6, 2004 09:23 AM #
Karl: I believe what Moore said is that Saddam did not pose a threat to America. Saying that he did not make a threat is a completely different thing. Clearly Bush believed that Saddam was a threat, but Moore was saying this fear was unfounded. The clip of Bush is completely consistant with this.
I don’t know if one can really measure deceitfulness, but I agree with army guy that most of these claims against Moore are pretty silly and often deceptive.
posted by Aaron Swartz at July 6, 2004 11:53 AM #
Here’s my opinion on the 59 deceits.
Joke, Empty, Misquote, Misunderstand (John Lott!), Empty, Empty, Outside, Empty, Wrong, Joke, Joke, Irrelevant, Empty, Empty, Outside, Misquote, Misquote, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Empty, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Wrong, Irrelevant (chatter while SS snook up), Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, PotentialMinor, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Outside, Outside, Joke, PotentialMinor, Empty, Wrong (Mylroie!), Empty, Wrong (Hayes!), Irrelevant, Empty, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Irrelevant, Empty, Joke, Irrelevant, Misquote, Outside, Empty, Irrelevant, Outside, Outside.
Irrelevant: The deceit is apparently that Moore didn’t present both sides or didn’t show some other supposedly mitigating piece of info (e.g. Clinton did it too! (especially weird, since Moore doesn’t like Clinton either)). Moore never claimed to present both sides.
Outside: About something Moore didn’t even say in the film but had said elswhere!
Joke: Moore wasn’t being serious here, he was making a joke.
Misquote: That’s not what Moore said.
Misunderstand: That’s not what Moore meant.
Wrong: The facts are wrong. Often because the author relies on discredited right-wingers.
Empty: What’s the error here?
PotentialMinor: This could be an error, but it’s so minor that it’s irrelevant.
posted by Aaron Swartz at July 6, 2004 12:29 PM #
ArmyGuy: The people “exposing” Moore’s deceits are even more dishonest and deceitful than Moore himself. Hilarious.
In what way? And does this excuse Moore’s lies, just because (in your unsubstantiated opinion) his critics lie more than he does?
posted by pudge at July 6, 2004 06:43 PM #
Wow. It was 56 deceits, not 59. I personally like how you can claim to know that “that’s not what Michael Moore meant,” and dismiss things as “irrelevant” which directly affect the picture moore portrays.
While it’s fine for the man to present “his side” of the story in his movie, it’s quite another thing to misrepresent mitigating circumstances and leave on the editing room floor crucial bits of information that would have a real impact on the way his “villains” are perceived. How is that freakin’ irrelevant?
What if someone were to take posts on your weblog, spin them out of context and paint you as a neo-nazi skinhead thief? Well, they just didn’t show “supposedly mitigating pieces of information” or “both sides of the story.” Would you say that was irrelevant?
No, for someone who’s supposed to be giving us the real truth about the Bush presidency (like the afghan pipeline canard), misleading portrayals are entirely relevant to the discussion.
posted by bryan at July 7, 2004 02:04 AM #
What is it about the left saying that Bush always “implied” that Saddam was linked to 9/11.
Moore does the same.
posted by bryan at July 7, 2004 02:54 PM #
posted by Zach at July 7, 2004 02:57 PM #
Okay, I’ve read some of Recovering Cynics blog and stopped at the Senate Military argument. Complete garbage. Okay. Moore’s argument in the film is that the Congressmen and Senators who voted for this war seemed unwilling to send their own children to this particular war. The point he is trying to make is that if this is a “just cause”, then why aren’t the people who send others to fight in it willing to send their own children? If this is the type of discrediting that Recovering Cynic and David Kopel (from whom RC got his argument) are undertaking, it isn’t even worth reading. They are more misleading than they claim Moore is.
posted by entspeak at July 8, 2004 08:59 AM #
I think it’s hilarious people are consumed with dissing Michael Moore when the real facts of 9/11 have yet to come out. There are some very severe questions about 9/11 [mainly raised by victim’s families] that have yet to be answered.
As a citizenry, we must stop this corruption and deceit. It is the worst it has ever been and must stop now.
subscribe to this amazing independent daily news email today:
if you want to start dissecting the lies of 9/11, start with Anthrax and WTC 7 … and down the rabbit hole you go …
posted by moloch at July 8, 2004 09:50 AM #
Actually the criticisms rendered are hardly worth the time to go through, on your part or the person(s) who may have sent them in. If you want a good rip roaring critique of where Moore lies, excuse me, “distorts” the truth, goes on pointless though feel good rants of little substance, and otherwise pretty much leaves anyone watching his movie with little to really get their teeth around other than it seemed to feel good, I’d go to:
Moore’s not particular interested in going head-to-head with anyone who’d challenge him in his facts or assertions, Hitchens clearly gives him the chance and the fact is that he and Hitchens have done so before. By all means take the opportunity to visit my blog to see where I had problems with Moore’s take on things. Fundamentally I want to see Bush out of office, but Michael Moore’s respect for this country, the people in it, and how he goes about presenting his case all leave a nasty taste in my mouth.
posted by James at July 8, 2004 04:47 PM #
Great post, Aaron!
posted by Elin at July 9, 2004 10:19 PM #
Okay, You wanna know what really pissed me off. How is it possible that not a single democratic senator would sign one of the protests against the election results that would have given Gore a very good chance of winning the election. I wanna know what their motives were behind that one. Was there a pay off, were they simnply to cowardly to do anything, what could possibly stop them form signing these complaints???? WHATS UP WITH THAT????
On top of that i’m getting really tired of hearing people say that what Moore is saying is one big huge lie. I mean some of it may be over stated or exagerated, but as Aaron said Moore doesn’t really speak through most of the movie. The facts and qoutations and everything are right out of the poepls mouths, how are they lies? yes there’s obviously a bias here, but c’mon it’s not like there isn’t a huge bias in the american media as it is. It’s a nice change of pace from the bombardment of the same thing on every station,kissing the governments ass. Let’s face it there’s just too much there for it ALL to be Quote Unquote “LIES”. If you want to see the facts where he forms these accusations from…READ THE NEWSPAPER.
For anyone who calls this propaganda…if you want propeganda turn on them 6 o’clock news.
posted by Jameson at July 12, 2004 01:21 AM #
Longtime lurker, and I have to say “me too” about Jameson’s first paragraph.
For me, there were quite a few powerful moments in the film, but the very first scenes before the credits about Gore/Bush and the Florida debacle were mindblowing. Particularly the senate session for the confirmation.
I was in the States during this thing and I didn’t see one report about that, and I was looking for something. And to watch Gore standing there validating a decision which worked agaisnt him, with no support for the congressional representatives, was the ultimate public humiliation -tragic. Where was the advocacy?
Watching those Senators clap when Gore said “the rules do care” -to Maxine Waters- kinda sums up the sorry state of affairs. The old, “let’s rally around the President” mentality. In some ways, this thinking led to the sheep-like mentality exhibited by a lot of folks in their support for President Bush, and his form American hegemony.
For the rest, Aaron, you’ve made some cogent points.
posted by gummi at July 12, 2004 07:04 AM #
Aaron, thanks for your post.
I am getting sick and tired of all the people who claim that Moore distorts the truth only to see these very people then engange in the worst forms of character assasination. They distort Moore’s position on the film or call it a “lie” simply because Moore doesn’t go and give every freeking historical context for the facts he does presents.
The case of the oil pipeline through the Caspian sea and Afghanistan is a perfect example of this. So what if Clinton was supposed to be in agreement with such a project?
Clinton is the guy who bombed a Sudanese factory the day that the Lewinsky hearings were being held. A factory that turned out to be a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility and whose disappearance caused the deaths of millions who lost access to basic medicines.
If there is something that proves that Moore’s passions are a love of this country and a profound love of the democracic foundations of our society is that he does not spare the Democrats some of the heavy criticism that they deserve for approving the Patriot Act withour reading it or for failing to support the Black Community who wanted an inquiry into the Florida election theft.
But it is easier to go for Moore’s character than to listen to his arguments and that’s what the critics are doing. However much you may dislike him personally, I think F 9/11 is possibly one of the few films that may invigorate our democratic politics and tradition.
posted by Joe at July 12, 2004 08:10 PM #
You know what the really great thing about this movie is? It incites these kinds of debates and coversations, it’s obvious that America is buzzing about this film and so are your neighbours to the north Canada (yes i’m canadian..and i’m damn proud of it). No matter what point of view you want to take on this film, whether you support it or diagree with what is said it still invokes some emotion in you no matter what your stance on it is. Hopefully that it will incite the people of America to go out and VOTE!!!! 50% of the poeple in the united states did NOT vote….that’s insane. As much as this film is an attack on George Bushes policies and action and relationships, it may very well be the catalyst to this years election and let’s cross our fingers that there is a higher voter turn out and that no states are rigged in the favor of any party. If anyone saw Moore on the Charlie Rose show he said that he really doesn’t care if people agree with his opinions he just really want’s people to go out and vote, and in a democratic society that’s very important.
I know i rambled on a bit in my last post gumbi but i had to get some stuff off my chest, i’ll trry not to be so repetitive. Speaking of powerful moments in the film, how about the mother form flint and her encounter at the white house and the images of dead american soldiers being burned, beaten, and hanged. That was tough to watch. I have to say that the most disturbing sceane(’s) to me was the sceane where the american soldiers were talking about the “rush” the got from killing Iraqi people, not to mention that they listen to music when they kill people (if i was that band i’d be pretty pissed off about that), and that when they got there they shot anything that moved.
Don’t take what i’m saying the wrong way, I really hope that every single one of those soldiers makes it out of their alive (sadly that won’t happen), it’s just scary how people could get hese feeling killing another human being. I also understand that war is kill or be killed but it’s like a game to them. It was also disturbing to see that most of the tropps were young men, witrh long lives ahead of them. Now that’s a travesty, i hope these men make it home alive. (that means i’m also hoping that when they come back they don’t suffer from any forms of gulf war syndrome, because i think they’ve had it bad enough already.)
posted by Jameson at July 12, 2004 11:30 PM #
A summary of Christopher Hitchen’s piece:
“[The left is] solemn, mirthless, herbivorous, dull, monochrome, righteous, and boring … wistful and semienvious … mind-numbing and lugubrious … unintentionally funny … [not very] smooth … turgid. [Moore has] the filmic standards, if not exactly the filmic skills, of Sergei Eisenstein or Leni Riefenstahl [and made] a piece of crap … an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing … a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness … a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of “dissenting” bravery. [But I am being too kind.]”
Fallacy: Because Moore thinks suspects in crimes (Osama) should be innocent until proven guilty, he must oppose the capture of suspects!
Fallacy: Because Moore thinks the government should treat suspects (Osama) as innocent until proven guilty, he cannot make up his own mind about whether a suspect is likely guilty or not.
I don’t remember this point made in the movie: “The Afghan government, in supporting the coalition in Iraq, was purely risible in that its non-army was purely American.”
Fallacy: Dedicating a film to the Americans who died in Afghanistan means their lives have been wasted.
Fallacy: “Either the Saudis run U.S. policy … or they do not.” (They could influence it.)
Fallacy: “Either we sent too many troops, or were wrong to send any at all.” (You caught this.)
Fallacy: A competent job requires ensuring “no Taliban or al-Qaida forces survived or escaped”. (One, I don’t think Moore supported attacking the Taliban, except insofar as was necessary to get al-Qaeda. Two, it would have been possible to do a better job without doing a perfect job; Moore was arguing for a better ruthlessness-success tradeoff.)
Possibly wrong: Afghanistan is doing so great! (I’ve heard there are some serious problems.)
“[Moore] refers leaden sarcasm to irony … may not appreciate the distinction … [is] long and paranoid (and tedious) … [full of] innuendoes … windy and bloated … a big lie and a big misrepresentation … a dizzying succession of smaller falsehoods, beefed up by wilder and (if possible) yet more-contradictory claims … “
Fallacy: If the 9/11 Commission can find nothing wrong, Moore must be crazy to point it out! (The 9/11 Commission could be wrong or just not care about this sort of thing.)
Wrong: “Clarke is presented throughout as the brow-furrowed ethical hero” (I think he’s on the screen once for a couple second statement.)
Fallacy: If the Bush administration is planning wars, that means Bush must be busy. (Bush doesn’t do the work, there are other people in the administration for that.)
Fallacy: If friends visit Bush on the ranch, he must be doing work. (He’s probably just be chatting.)
Probably wrong: Nobody would complain if the golf course clip was of another president. (The complaint is that instead of acting on his big statement, he goes vacationing.)
Fallacy: The only thing Bush could have done was to wait for 7 minutes or to run out of the room. (He could have calmly said goodbye.)
“half-baked fantasies … flabbergasting … utterly propagandistic … astonishing falsifications … loaded bias against the work of the mind … “let’s have it both ways” opportunism … vulgar … pompously … flat-out phony … tomfoolery … rubbish … betrayed your craft … patronizing .and insulting … lacks gravitas”
Fallacy: The administration can’t both ignore legitimate warnings and issue fearmongering false ones.
Fallacy: If Moore points out airport regulations are biased and ineffective, he must want them to be stricter! (Try that with Bruce Schneier…)
Fallacy: If Moore supports an integrated army, then he can’t complain when poor blacks join it. (!)
Fallacy: If Moore points out how the army’s human costs have been concealed, he must oppose doing a war well, since that would cost more.
Wrong: “he won’t even appear on TV”
In short, the article appears to be a bunch of logical fallacies and incorrect statements of fact, held together with insulting adjectives. I couldn’t find a single insight in the piece. (There were a couple claims that were probably new when he wrote it, but they were buried pretty deep and were also wrong.)
posted by Aaron Swartz at July 13, 2004 11:11 AM #
I saw the movie and loved it. Thought it was an extremely well-crafted documentary. Of course, my definition of what a documentary can be may differ from those reading this post.
That said, I did have one overwhelming thought as the credits rolled and the audience cheered once the doc had ended. (Not lying. The audience really cheered.)
My thought was this… I’m a avid Survivor (reality TV show) viewer. And the one thing that always struck me was, “Man! Mark Burnett hires the best editors in the business!” In truth, I could not watch Survivor if it were filmed in real time and unedited. It’d be boring. And that’s merely 39 days on an island edited down to a weekly program over 13 (I think) episodes.
Moore has edited years of material down to 110 minutes. And he has done so in a way that conveyed his agenda masterfully.
So… to sum up my thought as the credits rolled and the crowd cheered… there may be lies in the film. There may be instances where the truth is simply omitted and thereby what is left is misleading (completely different than lying).
… AND there was likely some HEAVY editing that herded the audience’s perspective. Hey… that’s fair.
I think everyone should see this film. If anything, just to talk about its content in a more engaging form than would be possible if someone had not seen it.
Then, go see some of the material that folks are saying about Kerry. Determine if that is a lie. Or suffers an omission to appear more persuasive. Or whether there is some heavy editing involved.
See it all. Absorb it. Process it. Then, once everything is taken into account, form a logical, intelligent decision/opinion.
Seems reasonable to me. :-)
posted by Tim at July 16, 2004 05:01 PM #
Aaron: Good rebuttal of Hitchens’ article. He seems to think these days all he need do to attack those with whom he disagrees is to exercise his vocabulary, if not much logic.
Hitchens must be feeling the heat. He threw in with Paul Wolfowitz because Wolfowitz always thought Saddam Hussein was an evil SOB, I too think that Wolfowitz deserves some credit for this — the rest of Bush’s neocons seem to have willingly played ball with Saddam before his invasion of Kuwait. What Hitchens can’t bring himself to admit are the same things that Wolfowitz stubbornly can’t admit: You shouldn’t expect that people in Iraq, after having been regarded as pawns in our geopolitical games, will accept our image as John Wayne with a white hat on, riding in to save them. So Hitchens will never accept that ideologues like Wolfowitz should be fired for putting our troops into a situation where the populace is bound to be largely hostile without having at least prepared them and country for what we really face – it ain’t parades and flowers.
Therefore, Hitchens’ criticism of Moore is flawed. It is NOT necessarily a contradiction to think that going to war is a bad idea, but once that the war is underway, to think that you had better do it right and commit the necessary force to do it right.
posted by TimH at July 17, 2004 03:18 PM #
Aaron, you are simply quite brilliant. Nothing more to declare.
Except one more word on Hitchens. There isn’t anything one could say against him that he hasn’t said himself. He has some nerve in describing Moore as ‘windy and bloated’. Has Hitchens ever had a point that didn’t come in shouting down insults on his opponents?
The cheapest - and funniest, in its pathetic way - shot has to be comparing Moore to Leni Riefenstahl. There isn’t one single thing in style or film technique or much less content that could be comparable, not to mention Leni filmed propaganda reels in enthusiastic praise of her target of worship, and never made anything polemical or in attack of anyone. But Hichents clearly couldn’t let the chance to indirectly add a “nazi!” to his list of pathetic childish insults pass him by.
posted by momo at July 19, 2004 07:01 AM #
Conspiracies are bipartisan. Moore’s target in Fahrenheit 9/11 is the Bush administration. If Kerry is elected, vacations his way through his term, sits on his hands while The Golden Gate Bridge falls into the bay, lies to the American people, and starts an unnecessary war, I’m sure Moore would be more than happy to make a film targeting the democrats. Politics is big business, big business is what America is built on, and every organization has it’s secrets. We are surrounded by conspiracy, I’m just glad Michael Moore was smart enough to capture it on celluloid. Moore isn’t alone in his quest to reveal the truth. Go see The Manchurian Candidate when it opens on the 30th and see just how closely art imitates life.
posted by Kate at July 21, 2004 01:43 PM #
I’m not suprised, but I am saddened by the continual repetition of the claim that “Bush stole the election”. Before you swallow that claim, do some research. I make the following assertions which can be checked - but don’t make the mistake of taking someone elses word about it, find the original sources and check them yourself.
Assertion 1: The Supreme Court did not rule on who won the the election - only on whether the method being used to count and recount the ballots conformed to existing Florida and United States law. As a consequence of that ruling, the official count was allowed to stand - and thus the election became final. (Find the actual ruling and read it)
Assertion 2: In the ruling, the court found that the standards to be used in performing the recount violated existing law because they were not being used uniformly to count all ballots in the state. (Find the ruling and read it)
Assertion 3: All the ballots that were to be recounted were preserved and made available later for review. Several groups including newspapers and public interest groups examined the ballots using at least 4 different standards for counting the votes (remember - the supreme court stopped the recount because the standards were not uniform). For each count, the same standard was applied to ALL votes, i.e. first ALL the disputed votes were counted using method 1, then they were ALL counted using method 2, etc. The published conclusion was that for 3 of the 4 methods, if the SAME standard were used, Bush won the election by a bigger margin than the official result. Only the ballots in the counties which went heavily for Gore were examined. (It’s a fairly old news story, but a search of the morgue (where they keep old copies of the newspapers)at any reputable newspaper should be enough to confirm this.
Assertion 4: Since we operate by “secret ballot” it is probably impossible to determine how many ballots were marked incorrectly by confused voters. Since we cannot match ballots to voters, we cannot know if someone who claims to have made a mistake really did. (I base this on my own logic - feel free to tell me if my logic is flawed)
Assertion 5: The infamous “butterfly ballots” were designed by the local Democratic powers that be, so if design of the ballots changed the outcome of the election, it would be more accurate to say that the election was thrown away by the bungling of Gore supporters. Bush supporters had no part in creating the problem. (Again - you can read about this in the newspapers published around the time of the controversy).
Speculation 1: If the same standardized recount had been done statewide with all ballots, might the margin of victory for Bush have been still larger? Or would it have increased the vote tally for Gore? I have wondered about this since only those counties which went heavily for Gore were recounted. Logically, if Bush had more votes statewide and the counties being recounted were mostly for Gore, Bush must have done better in the other counties.
Speculation 2: If military absentee ballots had been subjected to the same audit by the same standards as the butterfly ballots were, would that have shifted the tally even more. For some reason, military personnel tend to vote more Republican than the general population and Florida has a lot of military personel who have to vote absentee. There were some questions about whether all of their votes were counted since some were slow arriving from where the personnel were stationed.
Observation: We know the election was close but by the laws of our land, love him or hate him, G. W. Bush was elected president for 4 years. Whether the laws produced the true winner will never be known ‘til judgement day.
Note: I’m neither Republican nor Democrat but I do vote. I’m “unaffiliated” because I do not subscribe to either party’s creed.
posted by Gary at August 5, 2004 05:32 PM #
Statewide recounts have been done and under every scenario (even including military ballots) Gore would have won.
posted by Aaron Swartz at August 5, 2004 11:01 PM #
FACE IT !! MOORE IS AN IDIOT !! PLAIN AND SIMPLE !! HE WOULD LIE TO HIS OWN MOTHER TO SERVE HIS SELF-INTEREST !! HE FITS IN WELL WITH THE KERRY CROWD !! THESE PEOPLE NEED TO GET A LIFE !!
posted by fred at August 9, 2004 09:55 PM #
Moore is not an idiot. All he did was expose the TRUTH, he even had the documents and tapes to back it up. Dont blame Moore, blame Bush for misleading the country. I know it’s hard to swallow for some of you who put your trust in Bush and America that you were mislead all along. Personally as a young african american female NONE of this is a suprise to me. If it makes you feel better do the research for yourself like Moore did. Dont hate him for doing his homework. As for me I dont put my trust in Bush, I put my trust in GOD. Did Moore make Bush sit in a classroom for so long when America was under attack?, Did Moore make Bush shake the Saudi’s hand over and over again post 9/11. WAKE UP, Bush does’nt care about you, why are you defending someone who knowingly sent innocent good men on a wild goose chase to die for nothing. Now who’s the Idiot, you or Moore?
posted by Linda at August 10, 2004 07:45 PM #
This is my first post here, and while I haven’t read all of the posts I have read quite a few of them and have recently seen the movie my self. I also recently saw Bowling for Columbine.
One of my good friends is an avid Moore follower and is currently reading one of his books. And my 2 best friends that are in the reserve have recently left to go for training before going to Iraq.
After seeing seeing the Movie and seeing how everyone has responded to it, I have notice all the highly emotional, ALL CAPS, slander on both sides of the issue. This does nothing more than make others mad use ALL CAPS.
But the movie it’s self polarizes people. For example right after watching the movie a bostorious lady behind me broadcasted to the theater audience.
She said,”Vote. Get out and vote people, I don’t care who you vote for, just get out and vote.”
I found myself responding audibly, “I care who I vote for.”
I didn’t even think about my reaction at the time,but I’m starting to realize how I was influenced by the film. I did have a quick talk with another lady that made it half way through bootcamp, who was obviously pushed to one side of the other. The movie is so controverial and it polarizes people so much that it is almost impossible to have a logical argument with someone about this movie.
This is what I think though. I think Moore is perhaps trying to be honest and yet controverial because controvery sells. I don’t think that Moore is just trying to make a buck(well millions).
I think were he runs into problems is that he is Hyper-Emotional and Hyper-Legal at the same time.
For Example, Iraq has never MURDERD Americas as opposed to KILL Americas, and that Iraq has never theated AMERICA, BUT Iraq has given it’s military orders to kill AMERICAN civilians.
These things that Moore claims are of course true, but are very very Misleading.
And an Example of the Hyper-Emotional part it is all over 9/11 but a great example is found in Bowling for Columbine, conserning the shooting of a little girl by a 6 yrs old boy(I think it was 6). Moore follows her Mother for a whole scene that is over dramaticized. What he doesn’t tell us is that the mother was running a crack house and that even if guns were illegal she still probably what have had a gun in the house. Moore makes us feel sorry for this woman when she has been destroying peoples lives with crack.
This I think is why 9/11 is very very misleading, boarding on lies. I think what bothers me the most is that Moore calls it a documentary when he is not trying to tell the truth but according to him trying to counterbalance the media, but instead of balancing the scales he goes overboard for the sake of controvery.
posted by GodsMoon at August 11, 2004 01:08 PM #
MICHEAL MOORE FOR PRESIDENT !!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Billy at August 14, 2004 08:08 PM #
I think too many people are caught up bashing up the film while ignoring one of the most important points of the film, the ending point in fact (the initial credits).
Does any critic care that people are dying, and for no justified reason. Every critical piece on F9/11 skips over any deaths and beats up any factual mistake that Moore makes.
But can anyone understand that so many people are dying for people in business suits?
Over 10,000 Iraqis and over 900 US troops have died since the invasion… I mean “liberation” of Iraq.
posted by Wardo at August 21, 2004 08:31 PM #
I saw very similar documents about Reagan during 80’s in Czechoslovakia. Very professional communistic manipulation - good job, indeed. People just want to be cheated.
posted by Radovan Janecek at October 24, 2004 07:41 PM #
I guess what I think is that both sides of the spectrum are so driven about what they believe that very few people take the time to think for themselves. I’ve been reading right wing, conservative literature, defacing kerry and dissecting moore. And although I have a very hard time agreeing with such republican notions, I’ve at least read them, and when they come from a rational and intellectual writer, I try to factor that into my thoughts.
On the so called “liberal” side of things, I do agree with not fully trusting your government, or for that matter, your precious media (keep in mind who owns such companies, and what sells, media IS NOT OBJECTIVE). There are too many “hints” (not lies, not facts, because no one will live up to their mistakes and decisions) and there are too many “coincidences” that make me question putting men like bush in power again, but guess what… we don’t have a choice, because no candidate that has the power, the money, the status, and the corporate support necessary to run for presidential office, no candidate with these critical backers will ever represent the American populous as we should be represented.
The guys that do want a change get swept under the rug and kicked to the curb (think howard dean, and edwars as VP, not prez) by the real political and economical factors running this nation, and I may be going out on a limb here (see how honest I am to note my potential inaccuracies, unlike most critics) are: insurance, real foreign policy (the stuff they don’t talk about on nightly news), pharmaceuticals, basically BIG business, basically what bush represents. The funny thing is that I don’t honestly believe that bush JR is pulling the strings, I think he’s a front. He’s never demonstrated to me in any of his debates or speeches that he is #1 capable of efficiently running a nation, #2 capable of making decisions on his own (keep in mind the 7 minutes he sat and thought, now that’s what I call a mover and a shaker). But if he’s a front, who’s running the show??? Which leads me to the fact that something like 9/14 hijackers on 9/11 were saudi’s… hmmmm… have we, since 9/11, even attacked the saudi’s… by golly nope, we haven’t, that’s interesting, I wonder why, could it be the ties that the bush family has with the saudi’s, or maybe that the US gets an obscene amount of our oil from such nation.
anyway what all this comes down to is that I just don’t feel right about the way America has been run, and I feel hopeless to change the direction of the nation except for talking, discussing, and most importantly, voting. And I want to debate intelligently, and I want to make an educated vote, but nobody, not our government, and surely not the media, have given me factual data to make that decision on my own. I think it’s imperative for voters to keep in mind that not everything you hear, that goes for 9/11, bush, kerry, and anything else, not all of it is propaganda, there’s usually a seed of truth to everything, and that’s enough for me to keep questioning, and for that I thank people like Michael Moore for doing what I do not have the resources to do, bring forth the side of the story that the media and the government don’t trust their own citizens to know.
posted by Nikki at October 26, 2004 04:33 PM #
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