Thursday, January 27, 2005

Michael Moore, The Oscars, and Leftist Revisionism (In Which Pooh Discovers an Alternate Universe Where Moderates Rule the Democratic Party)

Well, it was bound to happen. As goes Michael Moore, so go the Democrats. Moore, as usual, led the way, claiming that his movie wasn't about the election after Bush won so decisively...but take a look at this, from the New York Times:
MICHAEL MOORE is not coy about his hopes for "Fahrenheit 9/11," his blistering documentary attack on President Bush and the war in Iraq. He wants it to be remembered as the first big-audience, election-year film that helped unseat a president.

"And it's not just a hope," the Oscar-winning filmmaker said in a phone interview last week, describing focus groups in Michigan in April at which, after seeing the movie, previously undecided voters expressed eagerness to defeat Mr. Bush. "We found that if you entered the theater on the fence, you fell off it somewhere during those two hours," he said. "It ignites a fire in people who had given up'.

Not about the election, eh, Michael? Now, while trying to distance themselves from the stench of failure permeating from their disastrous influence on the 2004 election, the Radical Left has taken on the guise of moderation and aped their hero in trying to convince us it was all a bit of fun, that whole Fahrenheit thing, we knew it wasn't true, you see, we just blundered into the theater, and they locked the doors on us...

A certain "Chip" (if that is your real name) at TKS asserts:
"I am a liberal and I can tell you that none of my liberal friends are up in arms about the so-called Moore snub. The fact of the matter is that F911 [stunk]. It was terrible � over the top, conspiratorial, shallow, you name it. Sure, sure, it had its moments of humor, Bush being Bush, but almost everyone I know acknowledged that the movie was sheer propaganda, an especially well made polemic that was designed to rouse the faithful and make a bunch of money. Now, one thing you must admit is that liberals, in the main, have far better taste than their conservative counterparts (look no further than the recent inauguration and the execrable "Let the Eagle Soar"), thus this movie was obviously not nominated. The contrast that you've set up is actually interesting. Liberals do not clamor for a bad movie like F911 to win the nation's highest cinematic award, yet conservatives are grumbling that a one trick pony of a movie like "The Passion" was excluded. Interesting.�
Perhaps Chip is telling the truth (after all, he has far better taste than you and me - he said so, didn't he? Isn't that proof enough?), and his tasteful, discerning friends really felt that way. Did the Left as a whole? Let's take a look back with that magic time machine I call Google.

Tom Tomorrow, he of the oh-so-left and often quite funny This Modern World, attended the premiere and gave us this insight:'s the right film for this moment, a film inextricably intertwined with the political season. It covers a lot of ground that the media have been too cowardly to cover for the past three years. In his closing remarks after the showing, Michael said he didn't know if it was going to change anyone's mind--but frankly, even if all it does is rally the base, that's a fine thing too.
From a recommendation at the frequently hilarious, but unintentionally so, BuzzFlash:

The one and only groundbreaking truth-telling, pro-democracy documentary by the one and only Michael Moore.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" comes out just in time for the November election, with the fate of democracy hanging in the balance.

Paul Krugman's review:
"Fahrenheit 9/11" is a tendentious, flawed movie, but it tells essential truths about leaders who exploited a national tragedy for political gain, and the ordinary Americans who paid the price.
The 'essential truths' argument, by the way, is the new 'progressive' code for 'lying is o.k., if you hate Bush' (see Rather, Dan).

Matthew Yglesias:
  • It is very strange that the media is more concerned with Michael Moore's invalid argumentative techniques than with the extremely similar techniques employed by the president of the United States.
  • It is very strange that the media is more concerned with the fact that Michael Moore is a polemicist rather than a journalist presenting a balanced view of events than with the fact that the Fox News network and a small army of conservative radio hosts are doing the same thing.
  • It is a very strange thing indeed that the media does not provide outlets for stridently liberal commentary in lieu of the fact that Fahrenheit 9-11 clearly demonstrates that there is a large audience for such things.
  • What liberal media?
J. Hoberman in the Village Voice:
There are sequences in Fahrenheit 9/11 so devastatingly on target as to inspire the thought that Moore evict the son [of Bush 41].
Frank Rich:
No one would ever accuse Michael Moore of having a beautiful mind. Subtleties and fine distinctions are not his thing. That matters very little, it turns out, when you have a story this ugly and this powerful to tell.
The Nation:
Not the judgment of film critics but the passage of time will decide whether Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 can change the world. Change, of course, is the whole purpose. Whatever satisfaction Moore derives from his ever-mounting income and awards, he clearly will consider this picture a success only if it helps drive George W. Bush from office...Fahrenheit 9/11 is Michael Moore's most urgent diatribe and also his best, most moving film.
You and I both knew this already, though - we were there, we heard the passionate swoons of the 'Progressives' as their prophet prepared to lead them into the Promised Land - but it didn't come to pass, and now they avoid your glance, look down at the floor and mutter, "Oh, we never liked him in the first place."

Fahrenheit 9/11 grossed over $100 million in domestic box office alone - quite astonishing for a documentary that no one will now claim to like.

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