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Author Topic: Michael Moore's new movie  (Read 7204 times)
Danny Boy
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« on: June 22, 2004, 10:51:45 PM »

With all the hype about Michael Moore's new flick coming out I found this article most entertaining, especially the third paragraph...








Unfairenheit 9/11
The lies of Michael Moore.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, June 21, 2004, at 12:26 PM PT


 
Moore: Trying to have it three ways
 
One of the many problems with the American left, and indeed of the American left, has been its image and self-image as something rather too solemn, mirthless, herbivorous, dull, monochrome, righteous, and boring. How many times, in my old days at The Nation magazine, did I hear wistful and semienvious ruminations? Where was the radical Firing Line show? Who will be our Rush Limbaugh? I used privately to hope that the emphasis, if the comrades ever got around to it, would be on the first of those and not the second. But the meetings themselves were so mind-numbing and lugubrious that I thought the danger of success on either front was infinitely slight.

Nonetheless, it seems that an answer to this long-felt need is finally beginning to emerge. I exempt Al Franken's unintentionally funny Air America network, to which I gave a couple of interviews in its early days. There, one could hear the reassuring noise of collapsing scenery and tripped-over wires and be reminded once again that correct politics and smooth media presentation are not even distant cousins. With Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, however, an entirely new note has been struck. Here we glimpse a possible fusion between the turgid routines of MoveOn.org and the filmic standards, if not exactly the filmic skills, of Sergei Eisenstein or Leni Riefenstahl.

To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of "dissenting" bravery.


Continue Article

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In late 2002, almost a year after the al-Qaida assault on American society, I had an onstage debate with Michael Moore at the Telluride Film Festival. In the course of this exchange, he stated his view that Osama Bin Laden should be considered innocent until proven guilty. This was, he said, the American way. The intervention in Afghanistan, he maintained, had been at least to that extent unjustified. Something—I cannot guess what, since we knew as much then as we do now—has since apparently persuaded Moore that Osama Bin Laden is as guilty as hell. Indeed, Osama is suddenly so guilty and so all-powerful that any other discussion of any other topic is a dangerous "distraction" from the fight against him. I believe that I understand the convenience of this late conversion.

 
Recruiters in Michigan
 
Fahrenheit 9/11 makes the following points about Bin Laden and about Afghanistan, and makes them in this order:

1) The Bin Laden family (if not exactly Osama himself) had a close if convoluted business relationship with the Bush family, through the Carlyle Group.

2) Saudi capital in general is a very large element of foreign investment in the United States.

3) The Unocal company in Texas had been willing to discuss a gas pipeline across Afghanistan with the Taliban, as had other vested interests.

4) The Bush administration sent far too few ground troops to Afghanistan and thus allowed far too many Taliban and al-Qaida members to escape.

5) The Afghan government, in supporting the coalition in Iraq, was purely risible in that its non-army was purely American.

6) The American lives lost in Afghanistan have been wasted. (This I divine from the fact that this supposedly "antiwar" film is dedicated ruefully to all those killed there, as well as in Iraq.)

It must be evident to anyone, despite the rapid-fire way in which Moore's direction eases the audience hastily past the contradictions, that these discrepant scatter shots do not cohere at any point. Either the Saudis run U.S. policy (through family ties or overwhelming economic interest), or they do not. As allies and patrons of the Taliban regime, they either opposed Bush's removal of it, or they did not. (They opposed the removal, all right: They wouldn't even let Tony Blair land his own plane on their soil at the time of the operation.) Either we sent too many troops, or were wrong to send any at all—the latter was Moore's view as late as 2002—or we sent too few. If we were going to make sure no Taliban or al-Qaida forces survived or escaped, we would have had to be more ruthless than I suspect that Mr. Moore is really recommending. And these are simply observations on what is "in" the film. If we turn to the facts that are deliberately left out, we discover that there is an emerging Afghan army, that the country is now a joint NATO responsibility and thus under the protection of the broadest military alliance in history, that it has a new constitution and is preparing against hellish odds to hold a general election, and that at least a million and a half of its former refugees have opted to return. I don't think a pipeline is being constructed yet, not that Afghanistan couldn't do with a pipeline. But a highway from Kabul to Kandahar—an insurance against warlordism and a condition of nation-building—is nearing completion with infinite labor and risk. We also discover that the parties of the Afghan secular left—like the parties of the Iraqi secular left—are strongly in favor of the regime change. But this is not the sort of irony in which Moore chooses to deal.

He prefers leaden sarcasm to irony and, indeed, may not appreciate the distinction. In a long and paranoid (and tedious) section at the opening of the film, he makes heavy innuendoes about the flights that took members of the Bin Laden family out of the country after Sept. 11. I banged on about this myself at the time and wrote a Nation column drawing attention to the groveling Larry King interview with the insufferable Prince Bandar, which Moore excerpts. However, recent developments have not been kind to our Mike. In the interval between Moore's triumph at Cannes and the release of the film in the United States, the 9/11 commission has found nothing to complain of in the timing or arrangement of the flights. And Richard Clarke, Bush's former chief of counterterrorism, has come forward to say that he, and he alone, took the responsibility for authorizing those Saudi departures. This might not matter so much to the ethos of Fahrenheit 9/11, except that—as you might expect—Clarke is presented throughout as the brow-furrowed ethical hero of the entire post-9/11 moment. And it does not seem very likely that, in his open admission about the Bin Laden family evacuation, Clarke is taking a fall, or a spear in the chest, for the Bush administration. So, that's another bust for this windy and bloated cinematic "key to all mythologies."

A film that bases itself on a big lie and a big misrepresentation can only sustain itself by a dizzying succession of smaller falsehoods, beefed up by wilder and (if possible) yet more-contradictory claims. President Bush is accused of taking too many lazy vacations. (What is that about, by the way? Isn't he supposed to be an unceasing planner for future aggressive wars?) But the shot of him "relaxing at Camp David" shows him side by side with Tony Blair. I say "shows," even though this photograph is on-screen so briefly that if you sneeze or blink, you won't recognize the other figure. A meeting with the prime minister of the United Kingdom, or at least with this prime minister, is not a goof-off.

The president is also captured in a well-worn TV news clip, on a golf course, making a boilerplate response to a question on terrorism and then asking the reporters to watch his drive. Well, that's what you get if you catch the president on a golf course. If Eisenhower had done this, as he often did, it would have been presented as calm statesmanship. If Clinton had done it, as he often did, it would have shown his charm. More interesting is the moment where Bush is shown frozen on his chair at the infant school in Florida, looking stunned and useless for seven whole minutes after the news of the second plane on 9/11. Many are those who say that he should have leaped from his stool, adopted a Russell Crowe stance, and gone to work. I could even wish that myself. But if he had done any such thing then (as he did with his "Let's roll" and "dead or alive" remarks a month later), half the Michael Moore community would now be calling him a man who went to war on a hectic, crazed impulse. The other half would be saying what they already say—that he knew the attack was coming, was using it to cement himself in power, and couldn't wait to get on with his coup. This is the line taken by Gore Vidal and by a scandalous recent book that also revives the charge of FDR's collusion over Pearl Harbor. At least Moore's film should put the shameful purveyors of that last theory back in their paranoid box.

But it won't because it encourages their half-baked fantasies in so many other ways. We are introduced to Iraq, "a sovereign nation." (In fact, Iraq's "sovereignty" was heavily qualified by international sanctions, however questionable, which reflected its noncompliance with important U.N. resolutions.) In this peaceable kingdom, according to Moore's flabbergasting choice of film shots, children are flying little kites, shoppers are smiling in the sunshine, and the gentle rhythms of life are undisturbed. Then—wham! From the night sky come the terror weapons of American imperialism. Watching the clips Moore uses, and recalling them well, I can recognize various Saddam palaces and military and police centers getting the treatment. But these sites are not identified as such. In fact, I don't think Al Jazeera would, on a bad day, have transmitted anything so utterly propagandistic. You would also be led to think that the term "civilian casualty" had not even been in the Iraqi vocabulary until March 2003. I remember asking Moore at Telluride if he was or was not a pacifist. He would not give a straight answer then, and he doesn't now, either. I'll just say that the "insurgent" side is presented in this film as justifiably outraged, whereas the 30-year record of Baathist war crimes and repression and aggression is not mentioned once. (Actually, that's not quite right. It is briefly mentioned but only, and smarmily, because of the bad period when Washington preferred Saddam to the likewise unmentioned Ayatollah Khomeini.)

That this—his pro-American moment—was the worst Moore could possibly say of Saddam's depravity is further suggested by some astonishing falsifications. Moore asserts that Iraq under Saddam had never attacked or killed or even threatened (his words) any American. I never quite know whether Moore is as ignorant as he looks, or even if that would be humanly possible. Baghdad was for years the official, undisguised home address of Abu Nidal, then the most-wanted gangster in the world, who had been sentenced to death even by the PLO and had blown up airports in Vienna* and Rome. Baghdad was the safe house for the man whose "operation" murdered Leon Klinghoffer. Saddam boasted publicly of his financial sponsorship of suicide bombers in Israel. (Quite a few Americans of all denominations walk the streets of Jerusalem.) In 1991, a large number of Western hostages were taken by the hideous Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and held in terrible conditions for a long time. After that same invasion was repelled—Saddam having killed quite a few Americans and Egyptians and Syrians and Brits in the meantime and having threatened to kill many more—the Iraqi secret police were caught trying to murder former President Bush during his visit to Kuwait. Never mind whether his son should take that personally. (Though why should he not?) Should you and I not resent any foreign dictatorship that attempts to kill one of our retired chief executives? (President Clinton certainly took it that way: He ordered the destruction by cruise missiles of the Baathist "security" headquarters.) Iraqi forces fired, every day, for 10 years, on the aircraft that patrolled the no-fly zones and staved off further genocide in the north and south of the country. In 1993, a certain Mr. Yasin helped mix the chemicals for the bomb at the World Trade Center and then skipped to Iraq, where he remained a guest of the state until the overthrow of Saddam. In 2001, Saddam's regime was the only one in the region that openly celebrated the attacks on New York and Washington and described them as just the beginning of a larger revenge. Its official media regularly spewed out a stream of anti-Semitic incitement. I think one might describe that as "threatening," even if one was narrow enough to think that anti-Semitism only menaces Jews. And it was after, and not before, the 9/11 attacks that Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi moved from Afghanistan to Baghdad and began to plan his now very open and lethal design for a holy and ethnic civil war. On Dec. 1, 2003, the New York Times reported—and the David Kay report had established—that Saddam had been secretly negotiating with the "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-il in a series of secret meetings in Syria, as late as the spring of 2003, to buy a North Korean missile system, and missile-production system, right off the shelf. (This attempt was not uncovered until after the fall of Baghdad, the coalition's presence having meanwhile put an end to the negotiations.)

Thus, in spite of the film's loaded bias against the work of the mind, you can grasp even while watching it that Michael Moore has just said, in so many words, the one thing that no reflective or informed person can possibly believe: that Saddam Hussein was no problem. No problem at all. Now look again at the facts I have cited above. If these things had been allowed to happen under any other administration, you can be sure that Moore and others would now glibly be accusing the president of ignoring, or of having ignored, some fairly unmistakable "warnings."

The same "let's have it both ways" opportunism infects his treatment of another very serious subject, namely domestic counterterrorist policy. From being accused of overlooking too many warnings—not exactly an original point—the administration is now lavishly taunted for issuing too many. (Would there not have been "fear" if the harbingers of 9/11 had been taken seriously?) We are shown some American civilians who have had absurd encounters with idiotic "security" staff. (Have you ever met anyone who can't tell such a story?) Then we are immediately shown underfunded police departments that don't have the means or the manpower to do any stop-and-search: a power suddenly demanded by Moore on their behalf that we know by definition would at least lead to some ridiculous interrogations. Finally, Moore complains that there isn't enough intrusion and confiscation at airports and says that it is appalling that every air traveler is not forcibly relieved of all matches and lighters. (Cue mood music for sinister influence of Big Tobacco.) So—he wants even more pocket-rummaging by airport officials? Uh, no, not exactly. But by this stage, who's counting? Moore is having it three ways and asserting everything and nothing. Again—simply not serious.

Circling back to where we began, why did Moore's evil Saudis not join "the Coalition of the Willing"? Why instead did they force the United States to switch its regional military headquarters to Qatar? If the Bush family and the al-Saud dynasty live in each other's pockets, as is alleged in a sort of vulgar sub-Brechtian scene with Arab headdresses replacing top hats, then how come the most reactionary regime in the region has been powerless to stop Bush from demolishing its clone in Kabul and its buffer regime in Baghdad? The Saudis hate, as they did in 1991, the idea that Iraq's recuperated oil industry might challenge their near-monopoly. They fear the liberation of the Shiite Muslims they so despise. To make these elementary points is to collapse the whole pathetic edifice of the film's "theory." Perhaps Moore prefers the pro-Saudi Kissinger/Scowcroft plan for the Middle East, where stability trumps every other consideration and where one dare not upset the local house of cards, or killing-field of Kurds? This would be a strange position for a purported radical. Then again, perhaps he does not take this conservative line because his real pitch is not to any audience member with a serious interest in foreign policy. It is to the provincial isolationist.

I have already said that Moore's film has the staunch courage to mock Bush for his verbal infelicity. Yet it's much, much braver than that. From Fahrenheit 9/11 you can glean even more astounding and hidden disclosures, such as the capitalist nature of American society, the existence of Eisenhower's "military-industrial complex," and the use of "spin" in the presentation of our politicians. It's high time someone had the nerve to point this out. There's more. Poor people often volunteer to join the army, and some of them are duskier than others. Betcha didn't know that. Back in Flint, Mich., Moore feels on safe ground. There are no martyred rabbits this time. Instead, it's the poor and black who shoulder the packs and rifles and march away. I won't dwell on the fact that black Americans have fought for almost a century and a half, from insisting on their right to join the U.S. Army and fight in the Civil War to the right to have a desegregated Army that set the pace for post-1945 civil rights. I'll merely ask this: In the film, Moore says loudly and repeatedly that not enough troops were sent to garrison Afghanistan and Iraq. (This is now a favorite cleverness of those who were, in the first place, against sending any soldiers at all.) Well, where does he think those needful heroes and heroines would have come from? Does he favor a draft—the most statist and oppressive solution? Does he think that only hapless and gullible proles sign up for the Marines? Does he think—as he seems to suggest—that parents can "send" their children, as he stupidly asks elected members of Congress to do? Would he have abandoned Gettysburg because the Union allowed civilians to pay proxies to serve in their place? Would he have supported the antidraft (and very antiblack) riots against Lincoln in New York? After a point, one realizes that it's a waste of time asking him questions of this sort. It would be too much like taking him seriously. He'll just try anything once and see if it floats or flies or gets a cheer.

 
Trying to talk congressmen into sending their sons to war
 
Indeed, Moore's affected and ostentatious concern for black America is one of the most suspect ingredients of his pitch package. In a recent interview, he yelled that if the hijacked civilians of 9/11 had been black, they would have fought back, unlike the stupid and presumably cowardly white men and women (and children). Never mind for now how many black passengers were on those planes—we happen to know what Moore does not care to mention: that Todd Beamer and a few of his co-passengers, shouting "Let's roll," rammed the hijackers with a trolley, fought them tooth and nail, and helped bring down a United Airlines plane, in Pennsylvania, that was speeding toward either the White House or the Capitol. There are no words for real, impromptu bravery like that, which helped save our republic from worse than actually befell. The Pennsylvania drama also reminds one of the self-evident fact that this war is not fought only "overseas" or in uniform, but is being brought to our cities. Yet Moore is a silly and shady man who does not recognize courage of any sort even when he sees it because he cannot summon it in himself. To him, easy applause, in front of credulous audiences, is everything.

Moore has announced that he won't even appear on TV shows where he might face hostile questioning. I notice from the New York Times of June 20 that he has pompously established a rapid response team, and a fact-checking staff, and some tough lawyers, to bulwark himself against attack. He'll sue, Moore says, if anyone insults him or his pet. Some right-wing hack groups, I gather, are planning to bring pressure on their local movie theaters to drop the film. How dumb or thuggish do you have to be in order to counter one form of stupidity and cowardice with another? By all means go and see this terrible film, and take your friends, and if the fools in the audience strike up one cry, in favor of surrender or defeat, feel free to join in the conversation.

However, I think we can agree that the film is so flat-out phony that "fact-checking" is beside the point. And as for the scary lawyers—get a life, or maybe see me in court. But I offer this, to Moore and to his rapid response rabble. Any time, Michael my boy. Let's redo Telluride. Any show. Any place. Any platform. Let's see what you're made of.

Some people soothingly say that one should relax about all this. It's only a movie. No biggie. It's no worse than the tomfoolery of Oliver Stone. It's kick-ass entertainment. It might even help get out "the youth vote." Yeah, well, I have myself written and presented about a dozen low-budget made-for-TV documentaries, on subjects as various as Mother Teresa and Bill Clinton and the Cyprus crisis, and I also helped produce a slightly more polished one on Henry Kissinger that was shown in movie theaters. So I know, thanks, before you tell me, that a documentary must have a "POV" or point of view and that it must also impose a narrative line. But if you leave out absolutely everything that might give your "narrative" a problem and throw in any old rubbish that might support it, and you don't even care that one bit of that rubbish flatly contradicts the next bit, and you give no chance to those who might differ, then you have betrayed your craft. If you flatter and fawn upon your potential audience, I might add, you are patronizing them and insulting them. By the same token, if I write an article and I quote somebody and for space reasons put in an ellipsis like this (…), I swear on my children that I am not leaving out anything that, if quoted in full, would alter the original meaning or its significance. Those who violate this pact with readers or viewers are to be despised. At no point does Michael Moore make the smallest effort to be objective. At no moment does he pass up the chance of a cheap sneer or a jeer. He pitilessly focuses his camera, for minutes after he should have turned it off, on a distraught and bereaved mother whose grief we have already shared. (But then, this is the guy who thought it so clever and amusing to catch Charlton Heston, in Bowling for Columbine, at the onset of his senile dementia.) Such courage.

Perhaps vaguely aware that his movie so completely lacks gravitas, Moore concludes with a sonorous reading of some words from George Orwell. The words are taken from 1984 and consist of a third-person analysis of a hypothetical, endless, and contrived war between three superpowers. The clear intention, as clumsily excerpted like this (...) is to suggest that there is no moral distinction between the United States, the Taliban, and the Baath Party and that the war against jihad is about nothing. If Moore had studied a bit more, or at all, he could have read Orwell really saying, and in his own voice, the following:

The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States …

And that's just from Orwell's Notes on Nationalism in May 1945. A short word of advice: In general, it's highly unwise to quote Orwell if you are already way out of your depth on the question of moral equivalence. It's also incautious to remind people of Orwell if you are engaged in a sophomoric celluloid rewriting of recent history.

If Michael Moore had had his way, Slobodan Milosevic would still be the big man in a starved and tyrannical Serbia. Bosnia and Kosovo would have been cleansed and annexed. If Michael Moore had been listened to, Afghanistan would still be under Taliban rule, and Kuwait would have remained part of Iraq. And Iraq itself would still be the personal property of a psychopathic crime family, bargaining covertly with the slave state of North Korea for WMD. You might hope that a retrospective awareness of this kind would induce a little modesty. To the contrary, it is employed to pump air into one of the great sagging blimps of our sorry, mediocre, celeb-rotten culture. Rock the vote, indeed.

Correction, June 22, 2004: This piece originally referred to terrorist attacks by Abu Nidal's group on the Munich and Rome airports. The 1985 attacks occurred at the Rome and Vienna airports. (Return to the corrected sentence.)


Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His latest book, Blood, Class and Empire: The Enduring Anglo-American Relationship, is out in paperback.

Photograph of Michael Moore by Pascal Guyot/Agence France-Presse. Stills from Fahrenheit 9/11 ? 2004 Lions Gate Films. All Rights Reserved.Photograph of Michael Moore on the Slate home page by Eric Gaillard/Reuters.
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BlackGrass
Guest
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2004, 11:07:25 AM »

Danny Boy,

Thx for posting this.

As a Canadian currently living in Toronto and raised in Windsor,ON (two places featured in  Bowling for Colmbine), I had some incite and perspective into Bowling for Colmbine that would escape most watchers. For this reason I had alot of critsism of BfC.
 
For Example:
The "Ghetto" featured in BfC is hardley a ghetto. There are much worse areas in Toronto ( however, nowhere near as bad what have seen in the USA, namely Detroit). I actually lived 1 block away from the area shown. The area its actually mixed use: goverment housing, expensive condos, and busniesses. The rent for my 2 bedroom condo, $1500/month ( which is considered a great deal!). You think I would pay that to live in the "Ghetto".  Moore had one thing right though,  I actually didn't lock my front door.

All that being said. I will still watch  Fairenhiet 911.   In spite of some of exagerations of BfC and I liked it, so i will go see F911.

I think that both films are important because of the discourse that it brings about. I like this article because it gives me the ability to view the movie more critically as opposed to the uncontructive critisism that come out of alot of conservative luminaries, namely the retarded trinity of Rush, Ann and Sean.

Black Grass
Vince
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Lazyhound
Newbie
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Posts: 11


« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2004, 09:26:59 PM »

I can't stand Moore, but I must admit he amused me with his ham-handed attempt to influence the Canadian elections.

Also, for reference purposes, The Truth About Bowling for Columbine.
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tim nelson
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2004, 06:40:43 PM »

This is a great site full of clear facts and presentation. Not just relating to Moore, I appreciate seeing well researched material debunking crap or just informing people truthfully, and in depth. so thanks,     Tim
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kelly
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« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2004, 02:33:50 AM »

I haven't seen the movie, so I'll reserve judgement of it for now.  But, all these attempts to attack the film-maker, have definitely piqued my interests.  

Since the only other movie coming out this weekend is "White Chicks", I guess I'll have to watch FAHRENHEIT 9/11.  This movie is forecasted to break box office records this weekend.
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BlackGrass
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2004, 09:07:38 AM »

Saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last nigt goin to have to disagree with the article.

Vince
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guest
Guest
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2004, 01:05:20 AM »

LOL...Not just the film--but the audience that populated the promotional screening I attended--looked like it came out of far-stage-left of Democratic Party central casting.

Those surrounding me were literally the "Great Unwashed." They smelled as if they hadn?t taken a shower in weeks, not because they couldn?t afford running water, but because it?s cool to be dirty and nasty in the far-left. Not for any good reason, but just because they can. With their awful stench wafting universal, they want to make the rest of us as miserable and skanky as the Hate-America crowd.
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GEORGE
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2004, 12:36:26 PM »

By DAVID GERMAIN, AP Movie Writer

LOS ANGELES - "Fahrenheit 9/11," Michael Moore's assault on President Bush, took in $8.2 million to $8.4 million in its first day, positioning it as the weekend's No. 1 film, its distributors said Saturday.

Friday grosses for "Fahrenheit 9/11" ran about $1.5 million ahead of its closest competitor, the Wayans brothers comedy "White Chicks." The performance of "Fahrenheit 9/11" was even more remarkable considering it played in just 868 theaters, fewer than a third the number for "White Chicks."

http://www.f911tix.com/
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SUNHELMET
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2004, 10:41:12 AM »

<<OL...Not just the film--but the audience that populated the promotional screening I attended--looked like it came out of far-stage-left of Democratic Party central casting.

Those surrounding me were literally the "Great Unwashed." They smelled as if they hadn?t taken a shower in weeks, not because they couldn?t afford running water, but because it?s cool to be dirty and nasty in the far-left. Not for any good reason, but just because they can. With their awful stench wafting universal, they want to make the rest of us as miserable and skanky as the Hate-America crowd.>>

Isn't this from a column written by Debbie Schlussel?

--Rafael--
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Danny Boy
Guest
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2004, 05:19:35 PM »

Nope, but this one is...




Read Debbie’s popular previous column on Michael Moore here.

FAKEN-heit 9-11: Michael Moore’s Latest Fiction
June 25, 2004

Mark Twain, once said, "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics."

But Twain lived in the 19th Century. In the 21st Century, there are lies, damn lies, and Michael Moore "documentaries."

Like Twain, Moore wants to be the great social commentator of our era. But, "Fahrenheit 9-11" (F911), his latest propaganda film, shows why he will forever remain in "wanna-be" status.

It’s typical Moore: lies, half-truths, far-left wackos and kooks as experts, snarky cheap shots, and just plain nonsense.

F911 starts out by recounting the tired liberal-left canard about George W. Bush "stealing" the 2000 Presidential Election. Gee, we haven’t heard that one before. And for those who actually read the paper and peruse bookstores, there’s little else new in this waste of celluloid.

Moore shows endless shots of Bush and administration officials being made up for TV appearances, montages of Bush golfing and on vacation, a shot of Bush with his dog – all accompanied by the sarcastic vocal commentary of Michael Moore. (You didn’t expect the self-important, schlubby Moore to spare us and stay off-screen, did you?)

In Moore’s world, liberal politicians never get made up or hair coiffed for TV appearances. In Moore’s world, Bill Clinton never golfed, never vacationed for months on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, never had a dog named "Buddy" – all while Slick Willie had the opportunity (several times) to have Osama Bin Laden handed over to him, but declined.

But that’s Moore’s world. He has learned the Costas Gavras (the famous Socialist-Communist director who produced Anti-American films) technique well. Bush and other administration "villains"--so cast by Moore--are shot from down below, to make them look even more evil.

Moore spends much time on Bin Laden family members flying out of the US when the rest of America was grounded, right after 9-11. Showing a clip of Khalil Bin Laden at the airport, a chyron on the screen cleverly reads "days after 9-11." But, how many days? In fact, while some Bin Ladens did get to fly out early, most of the Bin Laden family flew out of America, after the rest of America could already fly. Moore says the FBI was not allowed to interview them, but in fact, the FBI was allowed to interview them and chose not to. That is disturbing, but it’s not what Moore "reported".

The close relationship between the Bush family, including the current President, and the Saudi Royal Family is troubling. But it’s nothing new, and Moore offers no alternative. The Saudi Royals are, no doubt, despicable. They foster and fund madrasas, mosques, and clerics who preach the death of the West, Christians, and Jews. They hold telethons to fund the "martyrs" and allowed Al-Qaeda to grow. Women can’t drive, and non-Muslims are the equivalent of slaves. Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar is slimy and dishonest.

But the precarious Saudi Royal Family is better than the alternative--the Saudi masses who hate us even more and who love Osama Bin Laden.

If Crown Prince Abdullah is deposed by its extremist population, Bin Laden is the most popular replacement. Given the large Saudi investment in our economy (upon which Moore touches) and large holdings in our banking system, a change in Saudi leadership could result in the collapse of our economy. $2 a gallon oil? That would be a pleasant memory from the past, and only rich phonies like Michael Moore would be able to afford to drive. The Saudis are the largest producers of oil, and the radical Saudi population would see to it that we go back to the horse and buggy.

That is why it’s important for Bush to remain on good terms with the sleazy country that is the home to public beheadings and 15 of the 19 hijackers. Leftists from Moore’s "Amen" crowd won’t let us drill for oil in Alaska, so we can get away from dependence upon the Saudis. Not a peep about that in F911.

And while there’s plenty of factual material to use against the Saudis, Moore fabricates on that, too. He claims that the US Secret Service’s Uniformed Division protects only the Saudi Embassy, no others. That’s just plain false. Any tourist to Washington, DC, will see plenty of Secret Service Police guarding all of the other foreign embassies which request such protection. Other than guarding the White House and some federal buildings, it’s the largest use of personnel by the Secret Service’s Uniformed Division.

Since Moore lies about little things like that, what else has he lied about in this master docu-fakery?

Then there are Moore’s Congressional "experts." F911 features extensive interviews with two of the biggest wackos ever elected to Congress, Reps. Jim McDermott and John Conyers, both far-left Democrats. They spout off against everything from the USA Patriot Act to the War on Iraq.

But he fails to tell us that Jim McDermott was on the take from Saddam Hussein. McDermott was one of three Congressmen who went on Saddam’s propaganda tour of Iraq in Fall 2002. The trip was funded by Life for Relief and Development (LRD), a "charity" which laundered money to terrorist group Hamas’ Jordanian operation. LRD is funded in part by Shakir Al-Khafaji, a man who did about $70 million in business with Saddam through his Falcon Trading Group company (based in South Africa). LRD’s Iraqi offices were raided by US troops last week, and the Detroit-area "charity" is suspected of funding uprisings, such as the one in Fallujah. Its officials bragged of doing so at a recent private US fundraiser.

Mr. Alkhafaji, one of two Americans named in Iraqi newspapers as a participant in Saddam’s "Oil for Food" scam, gave Congressman McDermott $5,000 in October 2002 for McDermott’s legal defense fund in a lawsuit against him. He’s not biased about Iraq, right?!

Then there’s Conyers. He’s the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee. Heaven help us if the Democrats retake the House majority, and he becomes Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. The far-left Conyers never met a terrorist he didn’t like.

Take the June 13 Muslim American Society fundraising dinner for Islamic Relief, a charity with links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Conyers and his wife were the guests of honor. They watched and clapped as the Sanabel Al-Quds "dancing" troop from Milwaukee—featuring boys as young as seven—sang in Arabic of martyrdom and jihad for Allah and Palestine. They didn’t need to understand Arabic, as the young boys used a rifle to simulate killing and pistol-whipping, simulated throat-slittings and beheadings, and dishonored the American flag.

The War in Iraq is a major focal point of the film. Moore shamelessly dishonors our brave soldiers. He makes fun of soldier’s musical choices in Iraq ("The Roof is on Fire") and depicts multiple wounded and dead Iraqis and soldiers raiding a home in Iraq searching for a militant. That’s what happens in war. People get wounded and killed. Moore shows the militant’s female relatives crying. "He’s a college student," they cry out in Arabic. College students would never be terrorists, would they? Tell that to the Israelis, where the "colleges," such as Bir Zeit University, are the breeding grounds for terrorists.

Very telling is the presence of the Al-Jazeera microphone in one segment of a women crying, "Allah Hu Akbar" (Allah is Great). Moore apparently thinks the sympathetic Terrorist News Network (Al-Jazeera) is the epitome of accurate news reporting.

Other BS in the Moore film:

He shows Britney Spears saying she supports the President on Iraq. As if there weren’t a host of brain-dead bimbo celebs, (Madonna, Sean Penn, Russell Simmons, Lenny Kravitz, Susan Sarandon, The Dixie Chicks, etc.), spouting off on the other side.


Moore repeatedly features Sam Kubba, of the American-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce, denouncing the War in Iraq as money-driven. But Kubba is a fringe character. Most Iraqi-Americans and their prominent leaders, such as Nabil Roumayah of the Detroit-based Iraqi Democratic Union, supported the war, whether they were Chaldeans (Christian Iraqis) or Shias.


In very selectively edited clips, Moore poses the absurd notion that the main news anchors—Peter Jennings, Dan Rather, and Ted Koppel—wholeheartedly support Bush and the War in Iraq. Jennings, Rather, and Koppel supporting the War and Bush? Puh-leeze! Has Moore forgotten the hour-long Saddam softball interview Rather did just prior to the war, Jennings’ condescending coverage and Koppel’s critical "Nightline" episodes every step of the way?


Moore exploits the grief of Lila Lipscomb, the mother of a soldier who died in Iraq. She denounces Bush and the War. But there are many mothers and relatives of US soldiers, alive and dead, who served there who don’t agree with her. Don’t look for them in this agit-prop "film."


Moore, as many misinformed "journalists do, makes light of the claimed Bush connection between Saddam and Al-Qaeda. But what about the meeting between hijacker Mohammed Atta and Iraqi Intelligence agents in the Czech Republic before 9-11? What about the Iraqi training camp in Salman Pak where Al-Qaeda used abandoned planes to train to hijack them? What about Ramzi Youssef, the Iraqi Secret Service agent and mastermind of the 1993 WTC bombing, who is the nephew of 9-11 Al-Qaeda mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? What about Iraqi Intelligence and Secret Police (Mukhabarat) at a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Al-Qaeda terror planning convention? These are just some connections, and there are others in "The Connection," by Stephen Hayes, that you won’t see in Moore’s silver screen screed.

Not just the film--but the audience that populated the promotional screening I attended--looked like it came out of far-stage-left of Democratic Party central casting.

Those surrounding me were literally the "Great Unwashed." They smelled as if they hadn’t taken a shower in weeks, not because they couldn’t afford running water, but because it’s cool to be dirty and nasty in the far-left. Not for any good reason, but just because they can. With their awful stench wafting universal, they want to make the rest of us as miserable and skanky as the Hate-America crowd.

It’s emblematic of the filmmaker and his fake-umentary. Michael Moore and "Fahrenheit 9-11" stink.
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milt
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2004, 05:59:29 PM »

Hmm, does Ms. Schlussel also apply such rigorous standards to the hours of lies and distortions that Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, etc. spew each and every day on radio and TV?

Or is that level of scrutiny only for "the liberals?"

-milt
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2004, 07:36:33 AM »

I haven't read through this site, but for those researching the accuracy and honesty of Moore's many assertions it may be a good resource.

http://moorewatch.com/index.php/weblog/taliban_pipe_dream
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Sun Helmet
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« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2004, 08:09:01 AM »

ME:
Isn't this from a column written by Debbie Schlussel?


Danny Boy:
Nope, but this one is...


Me:
Since the paragraph I referred to was a WORD for WORD copy of Schlussel's paragraph, I suppose you and I have a different definition for the word, "Nope".


--Rafael--
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Anonymous
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2004, 02:42:50 AM »

Sorry Rafael.  Sometimes I start speed reading a little too much toward the end of articles, I missed what you saw.  I thought the text was from seperate sources...
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Sun Helmet
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« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2004, 10:06:59 AM »

Thanks for checking and posting the correction.
--Rafael--
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Trifletraxor
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« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2004, 06:17:33 PM »

While it is obvious to everyone (or should be) that Michael Moors movies are not objective documentaries, but highly subjective political propaganda, I can't really see what people get all worked up about. I had a lot of fun watching "his Bowling for Columbine", and I'm looking foreward to see "Fahrenheit 9/11". Here in Norway I vote for the most conservative and right-winged party we have, but they're only barely as conservative as your Democrats. You need people like Moore. Guns as a constitutional right, all this "patriotism" & war in Iraq aren't necessarily good things you know... Anyway, Moore show a very angled & colored version of the truth, but it's still a valid viewpoint, and should be allowed access to the cinemas. That's what I think at least.  wink

Howl from Norway!
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Voff!
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crimresearch
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« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2004, 06:49:20 PM »

Given the huge profits being generated by this movie plus the free internet downloads, and I think Moore' claims that people are being denied access to his movie ring very hollow.
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marc
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« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2004, 09:06:12 PM »

I think that's what people call, effective advertising, crim...  Aside politics, it was a damn good movie.

---------------------------------
The Moore Method


Time Magazine
July 12, 2004

Documentaries are traditionally the sober stepchildren of movies, their makers are usually diligent folks behind the camera and in the editing room. With his 1989 Roger & Me, Michael Moore juiced up the genre by putting his bulky charisma front and center, pestering the powerful and using every trick in the propagandist's (and stand-up comedian's) arsenal to push home his political point. Fahrenheit 9/11 offers a crash course in an artful documentarian's sleight of hand. Five strategies in Moore Method:

COMEDY

His polemics often come with punch lines. On hearing that many members of Congress did not read the Patriot Act before voting for it, he rents an ice cream truck and drives around the Capitol reading the act over a loudspeaker

TRAGEDY

In the later parts of his film, Moore returns to his hometown, Flint, Mich., where Lila Lipscomb, whose soldier son has died in Iraq, begins to question, with great poignancy, what his sacrifice was for

INFILTRATION

Moore gets himself and his camera crews into situations you wouldn't expect. At one point, his lens tags along with two Marine recruiters as they go to a less-than-affluent shopping mall to troll for prospects

CONFRONTATION

In his familiar role as the little guy cornering big guys with tough questions, Moore asks flustered members of Congress (here John Tanner of Tennessee) to please send their kids to Iraq to fight in the war they voted for

SPECULATION

Pointed commentary drives his argument home. Onscreen, Bush lingers in a Florida classroom after learning of the 9/11 attacks. On the voice-over, Moore wonders if Bush was thinking about his Middle East connections
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crimresearch
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« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2004, 10:46:20 PM »

Yeah, the movie is very effective, and overall a slick package.

And ultimately it should be up to each individual to do their own research on the matter..

For example, I knew when Moore started the 'sign *your* kids up for the war' segment that it was completely bogus.

A little more digging shows Tanner to be a Democrat, and an outspoken critic of the war, who besides being a Navy veteran himself, has only grown kids (not that you can sign your unwilling minor kids up for combat anyway).

So Moore uses the tools of the filmmaker, which are basically those used to create illusions, (including cries of censorship) and gets his point across.
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Soren Kierkegaard
quest
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« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2004, 10:22:34 AM »

within those "illusions" are facts that the average citizen can pick thru. and it is those facts that connect which makes this film relevant.

this is the reason the film is breaking records everywhere--because it's entertaining, it's relevant, and because many people are fed up.

last week when this film showed in moscow, idaho (1 week after its initial release) it received a standing ovation.  stupid liberals are not the only ones watching this film and appreciating it--small town america is also fed up.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2005, 11:56:52 AM »

Michael Moore is a hukster in my book, part P.T. Barnum, part 3 card Monty dealer, part conspiracy nut. Though some attention was paid when his film failed to garner anything at the Academy Awards, until this piece came along I haven't seen much that put it in an empirical and comprehensive context.



April 11, 2005, 8:13 a.m.
Michael Moore and the Myth of Fahrenheit 9/11
He claimed his movie was popular all across America. It wasn?t true.
Byron York



EDITOR'S NOTE: NR White House Correspondent Byron York's new book, The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, details how MoveOn.org, George Soros, Michael Moore, 527 groups, Al Franken, and other Democratic activists built a powerful new network to attack President Bush and his initiatives. One of the key strategies of those activists in 2004 was the effort to create an impression in the public mind that there was a wave of anti-Bush anger sweeping over the country, which would inevitably lead to the president's defeat in last November's election. The following excerpt shows how radical filmmaker Michael Moore tried to make that happen.

In early August 2004, Karl Rove, President Bush?s top political advisor, was having lunch with a small group of journalists at the Oval Room, a restaurant across Lafayette Square from the White House. The talk ? off the record, unless Rove agreed to be quoted ? was about strategy in the presidential race. Was Kerry?s emphasis on his Vietnam record a mistake? Was Bush going to offer a full-scale defense of the war in Iraq? Would he push issues like Social Security reform? After the discussion touched on a number of heavy topics, I asked Rove what he thought of Michael Moore?s blastingly anti-Bush movie, Fahrenheit 9/11. Had it had an effect on the presidential race?

?It?s an artful piece of propaganda,? Rove said.

Was that all? Had he seen the picture?

?I plead guilty to violating the copyright laws of the United States by watching a bootleg DVD,? Rove answered with a grin. ?I refuse to enrich [Moore],? he added, giving the clear impression that he had a rather low opinion of the filmmaker.

With a little more prodding, Rove said he wasn?t worried about the picture and did not see it playing a substantial role in the election. But he had watched it ? at a time when some others on the White House staff were saying they would not see it. Rove was too careful a man, and his mind too wide-ranging, not to want to judge for himself.

Moore would undoubtedly have been delighted by the image of Karl Rove peering at a fuzzy bootleg of Fahrenheit 9/11.What publicity material that would have made! At the time, Moore was traveling around the country, promoting the movie as George W. Bush?s worst nightmare, generating an enormous amount of free coverage in the process. The point ? other than to make money for Michael Moore ? was to create the impression that Fahrenheit 9/11 had touched off an explosion of anti-Bush activism across the nation.

At least for a while, the plan appeared to be working. Fahrenheit 9/11 did an impressive business, earning far more than any other documentary in history. And many reporters and analysts, spurred on by Moore and his publicity team, interpreted the movie?s success as evidence of a deeply felt and growing anti-Bush sentiment among the public, not just in the blue states, where the movie might have been expected to do well, but also in the red states won by George W. Bush in 2000.

But a little more than four months later, after Election Day, things looked much different. Not only had Moore?s movie not propelled the Democratic candidate to victory, but some Democrats wondered privately whether Fahrenheit 9/11 and all the attendant fuss might have done more harm than good. What went wrong?

The answer, although no one beyond a few Hollywood executives, and probably Moore himself, knew it at the time, was that Fahrenheit 9/11 never had the sort of national appeal that its maker and its publicists claimed. The truth was just the opposite; deep inside the dense compilations of audience research figures that are used by movie studios to chart a film?s performance was evidence that Fahrenheit 9/11?s appeal was narrowly limited to those areas that were already solidly anti-Bush.Moore?s daily pronouncements about the movie?s success in pro-Bush areas, and the growing anti-Bush movement it was supposedly engendering, were little more than wishful thinking.

In the end, Karl Rove was right. There was no need to worry.

SOLD OUT IN FAYETTEVILLE
On June 28, a couple of days after Fahrenheit 9/11?s premiere, Moore spoke to thousands of people via an Internet hookup at ?Turn Up the Heat: A National Town Meeting on Fahrenheit 9/11,? organized by MoveOn. ?It was the number-one movie in every single red state in America,? Moore said, as cheers went up in the room in which I was watching with about two hundred MoveOn supporters. ?Every single state that Bush won in 2000, it was the number-one film in it.? The news seemed ominous for the president; a real sense of excitement and hope filled the room. ?I?m sure when the White House read that this morning, that was one of their worst nightmares come true," Moore said.

Press accounts added to the idea that Fahrenheit 9/11 was winning over Bush supporters. The day before Moore spoke to MoveOn, the Los Angeles Times ran a story headlined ??Fahrenheit? Is Casting a Wide Net at Theaters: Anti-Bush Sentiment Runs High at Showings of the Documentary, Which Has Opened with a Strong Box-Office from 868 Screens.? The story began with a woman, a supporter of the president, who had gotten into stinging political arguments with her anti-Bush college student son. The son urged her to see Fahrenheit 9/11, and she emerged from the movie with tears in her eyes. ?My emotions are just...,? she said, unable to continue. ?I feel like we haven?t seen the whole truth before.? The Times wrote of another man, a well-to-do retired insurance agent, who described himself as a lifelong Republican but who, after seeing the movie, vowed to leave the GOP. ?I won?t be voting for a Republican presidential candidate this time,? he told the Times.

Summing up the emerging conventional wisdom, Time magazine wrote, ?You would have expected Moore?s movie to play well in the liberal big cities, and it is doing so. But the film is also touching the heart of the heartland. In Bartlett, Tenn., a Memphis suburb, the rooms at Stage Road Cinema showing Fahrenheit 9/11 have been packed with viewers who clap, boo, laugh and cry nearly on cue. Even the dissenters are impressed. When the lights came up after a showing last week, one gent rose from his seat and said grudgingly, ?It?s bulls**t, but I gotta admit it was done well.?? Calling Fahrenheit 9/11 ?a shaping force in the presidential campaign,? Time wrote that the film was attracting ?the curious, the hostile, the indifferent. . . . [Moore is] doing what he does best ? pestering ? to get them into theaters. And then to the polls.?

As publicity for Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore himself could not have written better stories. And he did seem to write some of them. ?It sold out in Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of Fort Bragg,? he told the group at the MoveOn town meeting. ?It sold out in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It got a standing ovation in Greensboro, North Carolina.? In a matter of hours, those quotes found their way into news reports, feeding the impression that Fahrenheit 9/11 was exciting audiences everywhere, made up of all kinds of viewers. And that impression was amplified by a separate campaign, coordinated by MoveOn, encouraging the group?s members to pack early screenings and write pro-Moore letters to newspapers, all of which was designed to create the sense that the movie was a phenomenon sweeping the country.

But was that really true? Certainly the picture had a spectacular opening weekend for a documentary. But Moore always claimed a special status for the movie, that it was much more than a documentary. (He withdrew it from Academy Award consideration in the documentary category, opting instead to position it unsuccessfully, as it turned out ? for a Best Picture nomination.) And as a film phenomenon, Fahrenheit 9/11?s opening was not nearly as spectacular as Moore claimed.

To make a comparison: Which film had a better opening weekend, Fahrenheit 9/11 or Barbershop 2: Back in Business? The correct answer is Barbershop. In terms of opening receipts, Mean Girls also beat Fahrenheit 9/11, as did Starsky & Hutch, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, Alien vs. Predator, 50 First Dates, and several others. The year?s big hits, like Shrek 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Spiderman 2 all had openings between four and five times the size of Fahrenheit 9/11?s. In the end, Fahrenheit 9/11 had the 32nd-best opening weekend of 2004, taking in $23,920,637 in its first days.

Still, that did not answer the question of whether Fahrenheit 9/11's appeal was nationwide, as Moore had claimed. The reporters and commentators talking about the film could not have known the answer to that question at the time they were confidently asserting that the picture was indeed doing well in red states as well as blue. Sold out in Tulsa? A standing ovation in Greensboro? That sort of thing was anecdotal evidence at best. To learn how well the film really did would take weeks and would require a detailed look at its performance everywhere it played. The newspapers and magazines didn?t have time for that.

But the movie studios did. Motion picture companies keep track of ticket sales data in excruciating detail. For any given movie, they know who bought tickets, where, and why. They do research not just on a national basis, or a market-by-market basis, or a city-by-city basis, but on a screen-by-screen basis. Did Shrek 2 underperform at AMC?s Crestwood Plaza 10 theaters outside St. Louis? They know the answer. Did Mean Girls overperform at Loews Foothills Cinemas 15 in Tucson? They know that, too.

But the public doesn?t hear much about it. Studios routinely release box-office figures ? the numbers are part of the horserace reporting that goes on every opening weekend ? but executives prefer to keep audience information confidential. That information is quite valuable to them for planning a movie?s advertising campaign, as well as mapping out the releases of future pictures and comparing one picture?s performance against another?s. And releasing it would inevitably lead to more questions from exhibitors and the press. Why is this movie doing so badly in Orlando? Why is that picture a hit in Denver?

Looking for answers to similar questions about Fahrenheit 9/11, I came across a source in the movie business who had access to the details of the film?s box-office business, and of other releases? performances, as well. He provided me with an Excel spreadsheet of numbers ? compiled by Nielsen EDI, a division of the famed Nielsen media measurement firm ? which revealed a picture of Fahrenheit 9/11?s performance that bore almost no resemblance to Michael Moore?s hype.

First, a few words about how such figures are gathered. Movie studios divide the nation into about 250 different zones called designated market areas, or DMAs. Some, like New York and Boston, are dominated by one city. Others, like Albuquerque/Santa Fe and Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo, are geographical areas that include more than one town. The markets were originally designed by ACNielsen, which uses them to measure national and local television audiences.

Movie analysts use the same geographic areas, but they do not mark those areas exactly as TV analysts do. West Palm Beach/Fort Pierce, Florida, for example, is the forty-ninth largest television market but the thirty-first-largest movie market, meaning that people there tend to watch a lot of films. New York is the biggest television market but the second largest film market, behind Los Angeles. San Francisco is the fifth-largest TV market but the third-largest movie market.

Also, most motion-picture grosses are measured on a North American basis, meaning they include ticket sales in both the United States and Canada. Toronto, for example, is not included in American television ratings but is the fifth-largest DMA for moviegoing.

One key measure studios apply to a picture?s performance is whether it does better or worse than might be expected in any given DMA. They do that by calculating each DMA?s share of the total North American box office. Los Angeles, for example, accounts for 8.32 percent of the box office for all films, New York for 7.78 percent, and San Francisco for 3.40 percent. If the San Francisco box office for a film accounts for more than 3.40 percent of a film?s total gross, the film is said to have overperformed in San Francisco. If the city accounted for, say, 5.10 percent of a picture?s North American gross, then the film would be said to have overperformed by 50 percent. Studios use those measurements to compare films with one another, and entire film genres with one another. Do action pictures do better in Philadelphia? Romantic comedies in St. Louis? That sort of thing.

Overall, Fahrenheit 9/11 did extremely well in North America?s top eight markets, according to the numbers compiled by Nielsen EDI. The film actually underperformed slightly in the largest market, Los Angeles, down just under 4 percent from the market?s normal DMA share. (That was probably due to the presence of conservative Orange County, which makes up a significant part of the Los Angeles DMA.) But it overperformed in the next seven largest markets. In New York it overperformed by nearly 43 percent; Fahrenheit 9/11 took in 11.12 percent of its total box office in that city alone. It did even better in San Francisco, overperforming by 73 percent, and did above-normal business in Chicago, Toronto (by 79 percent), Philadelphia, Boston (by 49 percent), and Washington DC (by 62 percent).

Fahrenheit 9/11 also did well in Seattle, Montreal, Ottawa, Portland, Oregon, Monterey, California, and Burlington, Vermont. In all, two things stand out from those numbers. One is that the picture overperformed only in blue states, and even then only in the most urban parts of those blue states. And the second is that it did very well in Canada. Fahrenheit 9/11 consistently overperformed in Canadian cities; without that boffo business, the film?s gross would have been significantly smaller than it was.

That?s the upside of the story. The downside revealed by the Nielsen EDI numbers is that Fahrenheit 9/11, far from being the runaway nationwide hit that Moore claimed, underperformed in dozens of markets throughout red states and, most important ? as far as the presidential election was concerned ? swing states. Dallas/Fort Worth, the ninth-largest movie market, accounts for 2.07 percent of North American box office but made up just 1.21 percent of Fahrenheit 9/11 box office, for an underperformance of nearly 42 percent. In Phoenix, the tenth-largest market, Fahrenheit 9/11 underperformed by 29 percent. In Houston, ranked twelfth for movies, it underperformed by 38 percent. In Orlando, it underperformed by 38 percent; Tampa-St. Petersburg, by 41 percent; Salt Lake City, by 61 percent.

The list goes on for quite a while: Las Vegas, Raleigh-Durham, San Antonio, Norfolk, Charlotte, Nashville, Memphis, Jacksonville, Flint, Michigan (Michael Moore's home turf), and many others. And in Fayetteville and Tulsa, where Moore boasted that his movie had sold out, Fahrenheit 9/11 underperformed by 41 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Despite Moore?s PR campaign, the data, which the public did not see at the time, showed that Fahrenheit 9/11 had a very limited appeal. Moore?s claim that his documentary was a ?red-state movie? was simply untrue, and all the articles based on its alleged national appeal were, in the end, just hype.

http://www.nationalreview.com/york/york200504110813.asp
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milt
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« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2005, 02:21:50 PM »

Quote from: buzwardo
Michael Moore is a hukster in my book, part P.T. Barnum, part 3 card Monty dealer, part conspiracy nut.


Did you see the movie?

-milt
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buzwardo
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« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2005, 12:24:37 AM »

Nope. I'm done lining that boneheads pockets. Seen most of his other flicks and that was enough for me.

Though I have no respect for Moore, I do for Chris Hitchens (see the Hitchen's piece posted earlier in this thread). I note Moore has failed to accept Hitchen's invitation to chat about the film, for reasons that should be clear. Think Moore is he?? on wheels when it comes time to club baby seals in the editing suite, but can't work a room unless packed with cheering synchophants.

As that may be, I 'spose the next question will be "how can you dismiss something you haven't seen?" Tell you what, if you don't ask the question I won't waste bandwidth by listing stuff like Mein Kampf, Ishtar, The Turner Diaries and other supremicist swill, romance novels, supermarket tabloids et al ad infinitum. Lotta crap out there to dismiss out of hand; don't expect me to lose any sleep when doing so.
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milt
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« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2005, 01:10:04 PM »

Quote from: buzwardo
Nope. I'm done lining that boneheads pockets. Seen most of his other flicks and that was enough for me.

Though I have no respect for Moore, I do for Chris Hitchens (see the Hitchen's piece posted earlier in this thread). I note Moore has failed to accept Hitchen's invitation to chat about the film, for reasons that should be clear. Think Moore is he?? on wheels when it comes time to club baby seals in the editing suite, but can't work a room unless packed with cheering synchophants.

As that may be, I 'spose the next question will be "how can you dismiss something you haven't seen?" Tell you what, if you don't ask the question I won't waste bandwidth by listing stuff like Mein Kampf, Ishtar, The Turner Diaries and other supremicist swill, romance novels, supermarket tabloids et al ad infinitum. Lotta crap out there to dismiss out of hand; don't expect me to lose any sleep when doing so.


Sheesh!  No need to get so defensive.  It's just that it's impossible to have an intelligent discussion about certain parts of the movie, Moore's commentary, etc. if you haven't actually viewed the material.

FYI, as a fan of post-apocalyptic-ish fiction, I found The Turner Diaries fairly entertaining, though kind of juvenile and poorly written.  The racist caricatures are so over-the-top it's hilarious.

-milt
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buzwardo
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2005, 04:00:23 PM »

Dude, I'm on offense, not defense here. Not sure the terms "intelligent discussion" and "Michael Moore" should appear in the same sentence. Can't help but also note that whenever Moore was asked to explain one of the many gross incongruities in his film by less than fawning questioners, his response was always "did you see the movie?" If I went over the top responding to his sophistry in this forum I certainly apologize.
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