Ponderance

(May 2003 - March 2007.) Tama's thoughts on the blogosphere, podcasting, popular culture, digital media and citizen journalism posted from a laptop computer somewhere in Perth's isolated, miniature, urban jungle ...

Countdown to Fahrenheit 9/11

Sunday, June 20, 2004

This Friday in the US, Michael Moore's scaldingly controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 opens and the US news media is warming up for one hell of a paper-selling debate over Moore, Bush, the political utility of the documentary style itself and, of course, the possible re-election of Dubyah.

Film critic extraordinaire Roger Ebert has a great article which argues documentaries always have strong political points of view, but Moore's biggest problem is that in sensationalising issues, he sometimes muddies his facts. This is based on Bowling for Columbine, not Fahrenheit 9/11, I should add.

The NY Times has an even better article which looks suggests that Fahrenheit 9/11 appears to be factually correct, but Moore is preparing for the kind of muck-raking campaign (on both sides) which makes a presidential election look polite. For example:
Mr. Moore is readying for a conservative counterattack, saying he has created a political-style "war room" to offer an instant response to any assault on the film's credibility. He has retained Chris Lehane, a Democratic Party strategist known as a master of the black art of "oppo," or opposition research, used to discredit detractors. He also hired outside fact-checkers, led by a former general counsel of The New Yorker and a veteran member of that magazine's legendary fact-checking team, to vet the film. And he is threatening to go one step further, saying he has consulted with lawyers who can bring defamation suits against anyone who maligns the film or damages his reputation.
While Philip Shenon thinks Moore is on safe ground:
After a year spent covering the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, I was recently allowed to attend a Hollywood screening. Based on that single viewing, and after separating out what is clearly presented as Mr. Moore's opinion from what is stated as fact, it seems safe to say that central assertions of fact in "Fahrenheit 9/11" are supported by the public record (indeed, many of them will be familiar to those who have closely followed Mr. Bush's political career).
On the Australian Dubyah-bashing front the Weekend Australian contains a Phillip Adams' fabulous ficticious interview with George W. in which all of his seemingly idiotic answers coming from actual Bush archives.

The Australian release date for Fahrenheit 9/11 is July 29th, but media previews are scheduled earlier. I think I'm seeing it on July 10th, so check back for an opinion informed by the actual documentary (and not just the hype) a day or two thereafter.

Update: Check out the Fahrenheit 9/11 Movie Community for a forum to discuss all things Michael Moore and F911ish.

Update 2: Check out The George W. Bush Public Domain Audio Archive for all the samples you could ever need to create your own Bush audio doco or remix! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)

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