Silly Republicans, the choice is not yours.
Conservatives across America are rallying against the Friday
release of Michael Moore’s newest documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,”
claiming it is a dangerous piece of anti-Bush propaganda.
After Disney Corp.’s unsuccessful attempt to block the movie’s
release by refusing to distribute the picture, grassroots
conservative groups have begun organizing public boycotts of
“Fahrenheit 9/11” in addition to letter-writing campaigns to local
theaters urging them not to show the movie.
As a result, movie theaters are beginning to hire security
guards for next weekend and Moore’s movie has received a truly
priceless amount of publicity in the fortnight leading up to the
June 25 release date.
I would like to personally thank every single American feeling
compelled to shield me from the conglomerate of horrors and
heretics some refer to as liberal ideology. Surely I am not
intellectually or morally capable of deciphering fact from
Criticism of Moore’s journalistic style abounds in the press,
and liberals as well as conservatives have accused the filmmaker of
giving his work extra political slant by editing people out of
context and not presenting an objective view of the topics he
examines. This is, admittedly, a deserved criticism. In the 2001
film, “Bowling for Columbine,” for example, Moore virtually
interrogated a frail Charlton Heston, even though he was suffering
from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.
Conservative leaders and activists fear Moore will put this same
slant on the Bush administration. Out of an apparent moment of
doubt as to the ability of everybody else to separate fact from
fiction or out of personal surety, have decided it would be best if
nobody saw the film.
The “right” describes Moore’s anti-war/anti-Bush stance as
un-American because Moore is openly contesting both the war and the
government. He is seen as a rabble-rouser, and conservatives are
relentless in their accusation that the timing of this film’s
release is politically motivated.
Duh. Even Moore concedes this is true, and even goes as far as
to say he made this movie with the intention of influencing the
election. He says the film is aimed at the disillusioned masses and
is intended to stir them to action.
“It ignites a fire in people who had given up,” Moore said of
his film in the New York Times.
The June 20 Times review of “Fahrenheit 9/11” made note of
Moore’s checkered past, but the reviewer concluded nonetheless that
” the central assertions of fact in ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ are supported
by public record.”
The first documentary to win top price at the Cannes film
festival since Jacques Cousteau’s “The Silent World” in 1956,
“Fahrenheit 9/11” chronicles the blunders of the Bush
administration from the 2000 election to the invasion of Iraq in
The film accuses the Bush administration of ignoring warnings of
an impending terrorist attack during the summer of 2001 and using
the attacks as a shallow justification for invading Iraq. He also
accuses Bush of being an incompetent head of state and calls into
question the President’s personal and financial commitments to many
prominent Saudi Arabians, including the bin Laden Family.
Republicans dismiss the connections and accusations made by
Moore as petty partisan propaganda, and use this label as rationale
explaining why the picture shouldn’t be released.
Since when has propaganda been illegal? Did President Bush not
land on an aircraft carrier on the taxpayer’s dime and declare an
end to “major” combat last May, only to have almost 1,000 Americans
die since? How about anti-drug commercials on TV, or even the
multi-colored “Terror Alert Level”?
In a free society, especially a capitalist one, propaganda
saturates everything. People are allowed to say and do what they
please. However, they can decide for themselves what they believe
and how they feel about a given situation.
It is when the flow of ideas becomes controlled and communicated
by a single, self-righteous group that the power of propaganda
begins to pose a serious threat to individual thought.
The question I would like to pose to the “right” is this: What
is more un-American – standing up for what you believe is right or
not giving your neighbors the opportunity to decide what is right
Until the “moral majority” stops telling me what movies I should
not see, I will refer to them by what I feel is a more fitting