Friday, July 09, 2004

fearandhype 9/11

it's really amazing that michael moore frightens and upsets conservatives so badly that they will pick apart every cut and camera angle to try to discredit him. and for every detail they find that they disagree with, they'll scream LIES and DECEIT and THE SKY IS FALLING. as if michael moore sits there in the editing booth thinking "how can i make the most maliciously misleading, unfair, and untrue piece of slander ever in order to further my anti-american goals?"

i looked at 5 pages of posts on after they counterintuitively decided to "attack" moore by releasing the movie (illegally) online for free. (moore has said he doesn't care if people pirate the movie as long as they see it. so his enemies decide to help him out by ensuring that many more people will watch?) i was not impressed by the site. all of the posts that were worth reading were reprinted from other media outlets. much of the rest was self-important back-patting, speculation, trivial bickering about minor editing choices, with the occasional "why didn't he include all the kickass pro-iraq-war argument?" or the super-lame "here's a pleasant story about iraq; if michael moore had his way blah blah blah." these are the kinds of people who were talking about how horribly inaccurate the film was before they'd even seen it. but, if you like partisan bickering and petty flamewars, you might enjoy reading some of the comments.

other sites like this one that compile all the "deceits" in the film are similarly subjective: every possible error and opinion that the writer disagrees with are "lies" no matter how trivial. they don't bother to analyze whether any of these anti-moore arguments or claims of inaccuracies are truly accurate or even make sense: they get added into the pot. the site is quick to point out when moore uses bush's jokes against him, but if moore dares to make a joke it's cataloged as a "deceit" (or even three: see 8-10). it pulls a "hitchens" and if it finds a fault with anything moore has ever said, even unrelated to the film, that too is cataloged as being a problem with fahrenheit 9/11. it attributes opinions and conclusions to the film that are not actually there. sure, some are the complaints listed are actually valid. but let's just put it this way... the introduction states:

Although the evidence in this report demonstrates dozens of plain deceits by Moore, there are some "deceits" in this report regarding which reasonable people may disagree. So if you find me unpersuasive on, for example, three alleged deceits, consider this article to have identified "Fifty-six Deceits" rather than fifty-nine.

i haven't taken the time to actually count how many of these i think are deceits (nor will i bother), but if i did i'm not sure it would even fall into the double digits. sorry dave.

honestly, after spending 4+ hours writing that lengthy rebuttal to the over-the-top rantings of christopher hitchens, i have pretty much cashed myself out on this debate. but that's okay: michael moore and especially craig unger are doing a decent job of defending themselves on their own. right now unger's site has several letters at the top that totally blow holes in the arguments of isikoff at newsweek (lib: this is the article you emailed me last week)... and unger knows a lot more about the bush-saudi connections (with detailed records and documents) than most of the people attacking f9/11's "accuracy". (but craig, why no permalinks to the letters?)

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