Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, June 28, 2004

A Note On Fahrenheit 911

There has been a lot of fuss about this movie. Conservative groups have tried to prevent its release and are now trying to prevent its being advertised on TV. The White House and Republican spokespeople are doing the news talk show circuit bashing the movie for being wildly inaccurate and biased. Michael Moore defends his film saying that all the facts have been checked etc. So what’s going on with this film?

I saw the film with Law Talking Guy and his fiancé over the weekend. I have a number of comments.

First, go see the movie for yourself. It’s worth seeing just on its merits as a film and will be so controversial that if you don’t see it you’ll be letting the loudest person in the room drive your point of view.

Second, most of the film is footage of people talking and speaking their minds without much prodding from Moore. In fact, much it gives the impression of a story on 60 Minutes. I noticed only one glaring inaccuracy in the facts presented in the film. In one scene in front of the Saudi Embassy, Moore makes a big deal about being rousted by uniformed Secret Service officers despite being “no where near the White House.” Having lived in Washington, D.C., I can say that it is very normal to see uniformed secret service throughout the District especially near embassies. I lived across the street from back gate of the then new Russian embassy for a year and there was often a uniformed Secret Service car parked there. What’s more, the District is so short of resources that federal agents take over many of the local police duties there. When I lived there, D.C.P.D., the Secret Service, the Capitol Hill P.D., and the Park Service patrolled the district. It should be noted however that he was definitely being harrased but it could just have easily been any cop in DC harassing him. There is no reason to see a White House conspiracy in the fact that it was Secret Service harassing him.

Third, while most of the facts are backed up and documented, the conclusions drawn are certainly open to debate. For example, Moore argues there is a close business relationship between the Bin Ladens and the Bush family. While Moore presents a fair amount of evidence to support his view, it's mostly circumstantial and wouldn't prove much in court. But politics has different rules than a court of law. How convincing you find it is up to you.

Fourth, the film starts with an account of the Florida 2000 mess but doesn't mention Broward County or hanging chads. For this reason alone I'm a HUGE fan of the movie. The real story in Florida was the thousands of African Americans who were prevented from voting in Jacksonville. But that story did not get covered by the TV media so no one realized just how Old South the Republican "Southern Strategy" really is.

If you have seen the movie, feel free to post your own impressions as comments.


US West said...

I have tried to see the film, but it is sold out. I avoided it this weekend because I knew it would be sold out. I went tonight and both showings were sold out. Both screens are fairly small theaters. But it tells you something when at film that opened only about 900 screens out grossed films with big name stars that opened on 3000 sceens!
I can't wait to see it.

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