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June 27, 2004

Michael Moore, Farenheit 9/11

From someone on a bulletin board:

"There sure is a lot of criticism of the movie here coming from people who haven't even seen it!!!"

So, must a person actually see the movie in order to validly make judgments about it?

I have not seen Farenheit 9/11, and I won't unless a far left liberal forks out the cash to purchase my ticket (I figure that it won't hurt for one crazy, Moore, to win a bit if another one loses for him to get it), but just as was the case for Bowling for Columbine I'm finding that there's a seemingly endless littany of people who are willing to disseminate the film into print for my review. Here's a great example:

The Review

For example, Moore states that since the end of the Gulf War Iraq never killed a single American. Well, that's the impression he wanted to give his viewers. Take a look at this exchange on MSNBC between Moore and Jake Tapper.

TAPPER: You declare in the film that Hussein's regime had never killed an American...

MOORE: That isn't what I said. Quote the movie directly.

TAPPER: What is the quote exactly?

MOORE: "Murdered." The government of Iraq did not commit a premeditated murder on an American citizen. I'd like you to point out one.

TAPPER: If the government of Iraq permitted a terrorist named Abu Nidal who is certainly responsible for killing Americans to have Iraq as a safe haven; if Saddam Hussein funded suicide bombers in Israel who did kill Americans; if the Iraqi police -- now this is not a murder but it's a plan to murder -- to assassinate President Bush which at the time merited airstrikes from President Clinton once that plot was discovered; does that not belie your claim that the Iraqi government never murdered an American or never had a hand in murdering an American?

MOORE: No, because nothing you just said is proof that the Iraqi government ever murdered an American citizen. And I am still waiting for you to present that proof.

Now, try as I might, I didn't see a single person in the theater holding an open legal dictionary, looking up the technical distinction between "killed" and "murdered." Moore doesn't go into any detail to point out this distinction to his audience, though it is obviously a big enough issue that he had decided on this semantic explanation beforehand.

See what I mean? Nowhere in the movie does he mention Abu Nidal, or the suicide bombers, or any of the other well-documented terrorist activities of Hussein's Iraq. The best argument he can make to downplay Saddam's threats is this pathetic killed/murdered semantic mumbo jumbo.

Personally, I find these printed discussions far more enlightening than the one-sided movie could ever be. If anyone mis-characterizes the movie, readers will take the author to task; you'll get both sides of the issue packed together into the crucible of reason where spin and nuance is burned off leaving only the facts and the truth behind. The "You can't say because you haven't even seen the film," argument is nothing but a cop-out used by those who recognize that their side of the argument crumbles under scrutiny. In such cases, it's easier for them to deny you the opportunity to argue than it is to debate your arguments. Remember that the next time the intellectually dishonest attempt to catch you in that trap.

PS: I found this paragraph from the link above to be hilarious:

After a while we were ushered into the theater. Seated to my left were two young men who couldn't have been more diametrically opposed to the two girls I stood behind in line. The boys smelled faintly of marijuana, most likely having indulged in the parking lot before coming into the theater. Both were Hispanic, and dressed in that sort of L.A. "gangsta chic" style that guarantees that they'll never find employment anywhere other than a car wash or the United States Postal Service.

"Yo man, that shit is so fucked up that I'm not getting to graduate and shit," said one to the other. "All these motherfuckers that like kissed the teachers' ass and shit are like graduating, but I'm totally fucked, you know?" Apparently the boys had just completed their senior year of high school, and while one was about to embark on a fun-filled career in the grocery-sacking industry, the other was being forced to repeat the 12th grade.

That's just about the most worthwhile example of people who complain about others "kissing ass" that I've ever encountered. Find a person who complains about others "kissing ass" and I'll show you clones of the two individuals mentioned above.

I'm going to be laughing about that for at least a week.

ps: Here's an excellent exposition on the half-truths found within Farenheit 9/11: Just the Facts on 'Farenheit 9/11'

Posted by Jeff at June 27, 2004 12:37 PM


Are you that stupid that you judge something before you see it. Moore is much more intelligent and enlightened on our world than retarded conservatives ever will be. Farenheit 9/11 is nothing more then a brilliant display of hidden lies, corporate corruption, murder, and greed all committed by the bush administrations. Pull your head out, I know the truth can hurt. www.moveon.org

Posted by: James wetser at October 7, 2004 01:38 AM

That's a typical, hysterical, frustrated response from someone who has nothing to support his position. Insults are the sum of your argument. You and Michael Moore go great together.

Posted by: FarenHype 9/11 at October 7, 2004 06:21 AM

The point of the movie is that Bush attacked Iraq for NO REASON. Tell me, if you can: what reason do YOU think we're there?

Posted by: DaiseeLove at November 3, 2004 08:33 PM

@DaiseeLove: You say, "Tell me, if you can: what reason do YOU think we're there?"

My response is: No. I won't. If you are old enough to type that sentence, then you are aware enough of what has happened over the last couple of years to answer that yourself. Whatever answer I could give, you've already seen before and have rejected.

Instead, if you really are interested in a discussion, then YOU TELL ME why you think that Iraq war supporters think that we went there and why they're glad that we did. And do it without insulting their intelligence (directly or with simplistic answers), nor insulting their moral characters. If you can do that, we might have grounds for a worthwhile discussion.

Posted by: Jeff at November 3, 2004 10:16 PM

That'd be a lot easier if the reasons generally held for invading Iraq weren't simplistic, the results of bad "intelligence," or simply bad moral character (re: Cheney).

Posted by: That'd be a lot easier at March 21, 2006 08:45 PM

Moore's movie is just as bad as Bush's administration. Saddam may be less democratic than Bush's 2nd election, but the man was put there by conservative Americans all the same, just as Laden was once supported by them. No big deal, since the American way of life, both republican and democratic, with its six pounds of garbage a day, per person, plus all the ugly big cars has already dumped the whole world.

Posted by: Dunne, Marcus at May 1, 2006 01:59 AM

Wait...so people watched the movie, people on both sides of the debate, and you read the comments from those people, and then you comment on the comments and form your opinion of the movie from there, and that's more legitimate than seeing it for yourself? So, I don't need to watch Fox news, I'll just go read what the liberal blogs are saying about a particular story, then I'll read the blog comments, and then I'll be qualified to make a judgement about the story itself? Brilliant! Sign me up! How the f**k did I end up on this blog? I just lost 10 minutes of my life that I'm not getting back. FYI, John Denver rocks!

Posted by: Greg at October 13, 2006 04:58 PM

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