Mainstreaming of Michael Moore
Michael Moore. Say that name and conservatives east coast to west will be hard pressed not to launch into a righteous condemnation. This man, they declare, is responsible for one of the most successful propaganda campaigns in modern times thanks to the release of his documentary (sic) titled Fahrenheit 9/11, which won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Under the guise of “caring for the troops” and a desire to “get the truth out,” they will claim that Moore is responsible for taking the most important undertaking of our lifetime – the war on terror – and making a mockery of the Bush administration’s efforts at fighting terror. It’s no secret that there’s not a shred of love lost between conservatives in this country and Michael Moore. There’s not a Bush-supporting conservative, whether they be in Congress or elsewhere, who will hesitate to tell you their opinion on the controversial filmmaker.
What is perplexing, however, is the lack of widespread condemnation of Moore’s distortions and lies about the war on terror from prominent, vocal liberals. Sure, we all have liberal friends who will privately express their distaste with Moore’s award-winning ability to circumvent telling the truth during speeches, interviews, and in his movie, but what about those who have no compunction on loudly calling out the President for his alleged “lies and distortions”?
This “documentary,” which received the largest standing ovation ever in Cannes according to some when it was screened earlier that week before the awards ceremony, has been proven to be loaded with distortions and outright lies. Here, here, and here anyone interested in the truth will see in just what kind of “truth” Moore specializes. Slate’s Christopher Hitchens is no big fan of Moore’s either, if this piece is any indication. A particularly devastating critique of the Moore’s movie can be found here, should there be any lingering doubts about his lack of credibility.
Moore, recently attempted to define real patriots based on how people “hate” the troops by saying, “the way that you hate the troops is when you send them off, some of them, to their death, so that your rich benefactors can line their pockets even more. The Halliburtons, the oil companies. That is anti-American. That is unpatriotic. You do not support the troops when you do that.” But how does Michael Moore support the troops? By issuing this statement: “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not “insurgents” or “terrorists” or “The Enemy.” They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush? ”
Actively rooting for the enemy? There’s a word for that which I shall not mention here. But you know it.
Moore would have you think that every military family who has seen his “documentary” has come away believing that he has shown them the light. Not so. Know any military families with loved ones serving in Iraq? Ask them. Think he’s got a lot of friends in the Jewish community? Not hardly. In his book Dude, Where’s My Country?,published in 2003, he stated, “Of course many Israeli children have died too, at the hands of the Palestinians. You would think that would make every Israeli want to wipe out the Arab world, but the average Israeli does not have that response. Why? Because in their hearts, they know they are wrong, and they know they would be doing just what the Palestinians are doing if the sandal were on the other foot.”
He also finds that his fellow Americans are stupid. Speaking to the Mirror, a UK publication, he asserted, “Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don’t know about anything that’s happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing.” Astonishingly in the same piece, he bemoans taking heat from his critics: “Hardly a day goes by when my character’s not getting assassinated. Switch on your set any day and you’ll hear (he puts on a pompous, state-of-the-nation voice) tonight at 10pm…why Michael Moore hates America.”
Poor thing. This man, who’s a) attacked the integrity of British Prime Minister Tony Blair by saying “I personally hold Tony Blair more responsible for this war in Iraq than I do George W Bush,” b) accused Australian Prime Minister John Howard of “being in bed with an idiot” (the “idiot” being President Bush) for supporting the Iraq war effort, and c) insults his fellow Americans on foreign soil time and time again, is complaining about character assassination.
The foreign press, to its credit, has taken Moore to task. The British press, of who’s country has been our strongest ally in the war on terror, has given mixed reviews of the film. From the continent of Australia, another strong ally of the US, comes this Aussie piece, which blasted Fahrenheit 9/11 and called Moore a “master of fiction.” Much the same could be said for Poland, another US ally in Iraq, regarding the movie, which some in the Polish press called propaganda.” Kuwait, a friend to the US since they were liberated from Iraq in Operation Desert Storm, won’t even show the movie.
The German media, surprisingly enough, has judged the film rather harshly. Now when the German media gets involved in scrutinizing Moore’s work, its serious business, considering Germany was overwhelmingly against the Iraq war and made its voice known at the UN during the buildup to the war and beyond. The question is, if they can call out Moore on his obvious deceptiveness, why aren’t outspoken liberals in this country doing the same? In fact, why won’t they stop embracing him?
The Hollywood left just can’t get enough of Moore. Singer Linda Ronstadt called him a “great patriot” and “someone who is spreading the truth,” which promptly got her booed and kicked out of the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas during a performance in July. Robert Earl, one of the partners who has recently bought the Aladdin hotel and casino, made an offer towards Ronstadt to come back and sing there – alongside Michael Moore – a duet of America the Beautiful. Moore has accepted the offer (in actuality, the duet idea was more his than Earl’s). Lovely.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark, whom Moore supported, wouldn’t denounce Moore’s calling the President a Vietnam “deserter.” At the Democratic National Debate in January in New Hampshire, Clark said “I think Michael Moore has the right to say whatever he feels about this.” But it wasn’t really about “the right” to say it, but whether it was right to say it. Clark, who was quite chummy with Moore throughout the campaign and who was “delighted” to have Moore’s support, never criticized him. Democrats in Massachusetts just buzzed with the excitement at the thought of Moore’s arrival during the week of the Democratic National Conventions, as Jane Lane, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Democratic Party informed: “…having Michael Moore in Boston to enjoy the events just adds a lot of excitement to everything else going on. I don’t see it diminishing the real star of the week, but I think every Democrat in Massachusetts will be thrilled.” The left wing Congressional Black Caucus looked forward to having Moore speak to them that Monday. “We’re like minds. He shares that focus of bringing in a new leadership. We’re happy to have him” said CBC spokeswoman Candace Tolliver. Moore was a “star” and a “hero” to activists during the week of the convention. He headlined, along more notable Democrats like Howard Dean and Robert Reich, the Take Back America sessions that week. In perhaps the most shameful public recognition of all, Moore was seated two seats away from Jimmy Carter on the opening night of the convention.
This man deliberately made this film not because he’s interested in truth, as anyone can see from the countless pieces detailing the lies and distortions contained therein, and not because he cares about the troops unless of course that troop and/or troop’s family is against the war in Iraq. This is about one man’s almost unparalleled hatred of President Bush. It’s about a man whose venom is expressed at the expense of the troops and their efforts which on a surface level have been undercut by Moore and others like him – people who aren’t expressing honest dissent, but instead using despicable, deceptive tactics to score cheap political points. Our enemies must love him.
The only vocal Democrat who’s tried to distance himself from Moore is Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD), who had to deny hugging Moore at the June 23 movie premiere in Washington, DC. Where’s everyone else? Why aren’t these Democrats lining up en masse to criticize and hold this man accountable for his twisting and skewing of the facts about the war on terror, a war in which men and women put their lives on the line daily so people like him can spew their lies?
Silence is not always golden.