Mark posted an article about Rush, and mentioned Michael Moore. Just a few hours previously I had been reading an article on the self same person. I agree with a lot of what Michael Moore says but it’s interesting to read a critique of his methods.
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5 thoughts on “When Moore is less”
yes, michael moore’s book is doing well, yes. but then so is ann coulter’s book called “treason” about the liberal contribution to politics (aka treason). as well as bill o’reilly who lies constantly. is michael moore the guy to teach politics to deep thinkers? no. is he the guy to teach politics to the average joe who has other time commitments like feeding his kids or finding a job? yes. the right in america figured this out years ago. that’s why they spout outrageous lies constantly on talk radio. there are about four books covering the lies and injustice of the bush administration and yet there is little overlap. michael moore’s inaccuracies pale in comparison.
That Moore’s inaccuracies are or are not smaller than what the Bush Administration has publicly said doesn’t matter. What matters is what’s a mistake, what’s an inaccuracy and what’s outright distortion of reality to fit a script.
In Roger & Me his first documentary he did everything from stage scenes to reorder the timeline to suit the dramatic structure of his film, and facts be damned. Though GM closed the plant in Flint in 86, Moore shoehorned items into the chronology which happened more than 12 months before GM struck the plant down. All because it looked more dramatic and made GM look worse on screen. Though a rampant capitalist I’m no fan of multinationals busting up communities but GM wasn’t made to look like the bad guy who sent jobs abroad and fired a whole lot of people, they looked like baby eating murders because he cut them that way.
He distorted facts in Bowling for Columbine he altered an 1988 Bush/ Quayle ad and then after he was pulled on it, he altered it again for the DVD release. Leaving the ad alone didn’t suit his needs to he decided to slant it the way he wanted it. He’s fudged facts which when looked at in proper context don’t support conclusions he is presenting in every book he has written, the same way the usual suspects on the right do
In the same movie he also falsely accused Lockheed Martin in Columbine of making missiles when the facility in question hadn’t built missiles in decades and was devoted to building orbital payload launchers (For satellites) before during and after the Columbine tragedy.
There is no such thing as being “not as bad”. It’s no different to Limbaugh and Fund distorting Reaganomics, Sean Hannity distorting school vouchers, Ann Coulter calling the wrong guys father a socialist just because she wanted to smear him, or Bill O’Reilly blaming Jimmy Carter for whatever is bugging Bill O’Reilly on that particular day.
If people can check Moore, O’Reilly, Coulter, Limbaugh and Hannity’s facts using Nexis-Lexis and Google you have to ask yourself why all these people, all of them, many with paid researchers, can’t be bothered to do the same thing.
The answer is easy, because none of them have a problem with distortion when it’s used to support the bigger idea they are selling and that goes for Moore too. This isn’t Paul Krugman drawing the wrong conclusion from a set of numbers and printing it in the great unravelling. This is a man who holds up shadow puppets as facts when it suits his needs, and be he left, right, centre or whatever it’s wrong.
Volume doesn’t matter, he does it and it’s wrong, it’s a distortion, it’s a lie. If more people people pointed it out to them at when they distorted I’d imagine they wouldn’t do it as often as they do. When we pitch the idea that well “he’s not as bad as..”; we’re then only a step or two away from the people who believed that Clinton was a coke runner who had people murdered while he was governor of Arkansas, not because he actually did it but because they wanted to believe he was capable of doing it.
What’s the difference between Jerry Falwell selling the recount of that tall tale, Clinton’s Circle of Power, to true believers and Moore repeating the discredited fact that the US government paid the Taliban $43M to compensate them for the loss they’d suffer when they stopped growing heroin producing poppies?
That so called Taliban payoff was just another tall tale which never happened, but when everyone from the gutter press of NewsMax to the New York Times threw it out, Moore kept on selling it because it was a great story to tell. The money went to organisations such as the Red Cross to help them deal with the famine which had broken out of Afghanistan at the time. Moore on the other hand repeated that tall tale time and again until he finally decided to put the record straight in Dude, Where’s My Country, when he found he couldn’t sell that story any more. Even then he spun the facts to slant it negatively.
I don’t mind a guy with a flame thrower, the left in America needs people with flame throwers *and* napalm, but lying to fuel the fire makes them no better than their opponents.
ok, here’s the deal. michael moore is close enough to the truth for most americans. and in reality that’s not an indictment of americans, it’s just that most people have better things to do then nit pick every single detail.
like it or not a lot of people respond to quick soundbites and witty quips. invariably that style will bend the truth. and while it’s all well and good to be “better than that,” it won’t matter much if the right – which lies *constantly* – is always in power.
Anyone who ever pointed to the ends justifying the means when it comes to small stuff like the truth usually finds a slippery road. Before you know it your LBJ on TV exaggerating the severity of the Gulf of Tonkin exchange as your case for war in Vietnam. In the interest of serving what they believed to be the nations greater good, (Taking on Communism), they twisted the facts they had so far out of shape they they looked like balloon animals when they made the papers. It should reminds you of a more recent US president now shouldn’t it?
The fact is that Carl Sagan presented facts to a largely ignorant US audience in a clear and fun way during his show Cosmos. This opened up massive possibilities to people who prior to his show thought God was ripping out ribs and making women with them in a garden somewhere. But when Sagan did it he didn’t have to resort to fibbing about how many moons Mars had just because it would be easier to explain.
There’s enough truth to make fun and beat the right over the head with. As I said a mistake is a mistake, but peddling known falsity’s because they are convenient and distorting things is just out and out deception. It reminds me of Sean Hannity’s comeback when he’s caught out ‘I don’t have time to check every fact’; well it would be nice if you checked most of your facts Sean, otherwise your just a lying gasbag pushing your masters agenda on TV and Radio.
The same goes for Moore, it’s a bit rich for him to go after the Bushies for lying when he’s making up the lies he says they have told.
no, i didn’t say the “ends justify the means.” i’m saying don’t measure the distance from dublin to galway with a micrometer. michael moore fills a niche that the left has ignored. that niche is down and dirty political fights. there’s no room to go into the nitty-gritty details – make a superficial point and then move on.
look at how much you had to type to make your points. in any tv or radio program that the average joe listens to you’d be cut off in the third sentence.
right now on fox news they’re discussing dem prez candidates and their support of nafta. for most people the answer to that question is “yes” or “no.” for me the answer is, “yes i support nafta however i think it needs to be extended to allow for the free movement of labour and to add environmental protections.” and in all reality that’s not much more informed then “yes” or “no” but it’s far too complex to spout out on tv or radio show.
michael moore is not a lefty think-tank. i will not look to him to come up with new political theories or brilliant polict initiatives. i do look to him to put out some of the attitudes of the left. and he does that well.
it’s like peter jackson and the lotr. he’s a fan, it’s rather obvious. and while i don’t fully agree with his interpretations of the books, i do respect his movies as his interpretation. and i respect the hard work and risk he put into making it. liekwise i respect the hard work moore has done – and the abuse he’s gotten from all sides.