6.22.2004

why can't al franken make documentaries?

i've always suspected that michael moore was as full of crap as his conservative counterparts such as rush limbaugh. today in slate, there's an extremely interesting piece by christopher hitchens on moore's new movie, fahrenheit 9/11. it's really long, so if you don't want to read it, the basic gist is that moore is full of crap and essentially, all he is really about is asking, "what about me?"

basically, he accuses moore and the movie of manipulating facts and presentation to present a wholly onesided argument that actually contradict previous statements and stances taken by moore.

let's play with that last sentence, shall we...accusing bush and the conservative press of manipulating facts and presentation to present a wholly onesided argument that actually contradict previous statements and stances taken by bush and the conservative press.

works both ways. granted i haven't seen the movie, but the truth of the matter, i won't know if moore is manipulating facts or not. i can't. i'm so skeptical about almost any news or "fact" source, that i suspect that there's almost always spin involved. for this class i was a teaching assistant for last quarter, we had a unit on independent media and how they provide an alternative to biased corporate media. appropriately enough one of the things that the students wrote about in the paper was how an alternative news show interviewed michael moore, about this very movie no less, and how the other networks were ignoring him. well if michael moore relies in the same kinds of tactics that a bill o reilly or sean hannity rely on, what's the goddammed difference?

don't get me wrong, i'm a pretty liberal guy. but this is exactly why i hate politics. everyone's an asshole. if michael moore really cared about the things he said he did, then a liberal political magazine like slate wouldn't call him out on these kinds of things. in other words, he doesn't really care about these kinds of ideals, he just hates bush, because he could make a movie about bush. i think his actions regarding other matters are reflective about this "what about me?" attitude. come on, why would anyone endorse wesley clark? and for people who really care about this stuff and want to change things (not me, by the way, emphatically, not me), this hurts the cause more than it helps. i suppose michael moore is good at what he does, and it will make for lively debate, but when it comes down to it, he's just another dude who's profiteering from this stuff, in a way that i don't think is very constructive for change.

i don't know, maybe there is something to this whole, we have to be better than conservatives by not relying on bluster and propoganda to advance our ideas thing. or maybe conservatives have liberals totally outclassed on both the propoganda front.

like i said, i haven't seen the movie yet, but the point is, if we are relying on michael moore to be one of liberal america's most prominent spokesman, then liberal america has got some problems.

or maybe i just hate him because he's fat. just like rush limbaugh.

on a related note, regular readers have probably figured out that i read slate alot. it's a good read and a good way to waste time. i highly recommend it to all.

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