July 29, 2004

The Democrats' Secret Weapon

Or perhaps it's the Republicans':

Moore's got another project coming up, as well. This fall, he'll be visiting battleground states where the race between Kerry and Bush is considered close. "I'll be all over the battleground states from now until the election," says Moore. "I've got a few more things I want to say about George Bush."

Democrats from the contested states say they will welcome Moore with open arms. "He's a troublemaker and this party needs more of those," says Michael Lowery, a Howard Dean delegate from Wisconsin. "Michael Moore challenges this party. We need that kind of gadfly. He keeps us honest."

Be that the case, there were no plans to get Moore together with the other man of the hour: John Kerry.

"If they would give me 15 minutes with him, I'd love to talk to him," Moore said. "I'd tell him how to win this election."

The more Moore is identified with the mainstream of the Democratic Party, the happier I am.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 09:34 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

July 26, 2004

The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party

The National Journal is sending out free email convention alerts. Here's a bit from today's:

"They like to wear flags on their lapels, but how many children of network news executives are in Iraq?... Nine hundred kids are dead because these f***ers haven't done their job."

-- Filmmaker Michael Moore, taking aim at the major television networks
this morning in a commotion-causing visit to the FleetCenter floor.

Will Americans elect a president from a party that is so closely tied with people like Michael Moore?

Posted by Old Benjamin at 09:21 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

July 25, 2004

Propaganda Watch

Michael Moore's contentious film Fahrenheit 9/11 has opened in Poland, with some film critics likening it to totalitarian propaganda.

Gazeta Wyborcza reviewer Jacek Szczerba called the film a "foul pamphlet".

He said it was too biased to be called a documentary and was similar to work by Nazi propaganda director Leni Riefenstahl.

But politicians opposed to Poland's involvement in the US-led occupation of Iraq have urged people to see the film.

"In criticising Moore, I have to admit that he has certain abilities - Leni Riefenstahl had them too," Mr Szczerba said in his review.

"Michael Moore will not convince Poles with his film," the Rzeczpospolita newspaper said in its review.

(Via Instapundit.)

Posted by Old Benjamin at 07:21 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

July 18, 2004

Tyler Cohen on Michael Moore

Tyler Cowen of Marginal Revolution (one of my favorite blogs) went to see Michael Moore's movie. He wasn't impressed:

It's late in the game to be blogging this, but I've just seen Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9-11. I was dragged to the movie, more or less against my will. I won't review the film's well-known problems with the facts. I was at least as disturbed by the implicit racism. For instance it portrayed the Saudis as vile connivers, in a manner reminiscent of 19th century racial propaganda. [N.B. I agree we should trust the Saudi government less, but this is not the point.] Even worse was the segment on the "Coalition of the Willing"; Costa Ricans for instance are shown as a primitive and laughable people who work with oxen.

Most of all the film shows an overall contempt for humanity. The American poor, supposedly the object of Moore's concern, come across as stupid, inarticulate, and easily duped. The only idyllic paradise we ever see is Saddam Hussein's Iraq, where all appears beautiful.

It is a sad day in Cannes and in the United States when a movie of this kind commands so much attention. There are many important and intelligent critiques of the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, but this is not one of them. On top of everything else, the film was outright boring, especially during the second half.

But isn't Tyler's critique also a critique of much of the Left these days?

Posted by Old Benjamin at 10:49 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

More Moore Embarassment

This time at the hands of Michael Isikoff.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 03:57 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

June 30, 2004

Euro Celebrity Chic

Fahrenheit 9/11, the film which has divided America, held its British celebrity screening tonight. . . .

Tonight politicians and celebrities turned out for the film’s screening in Leicester Square.

Those who came to see the film, which presents the American president as foolish and out of his depth in the White House, included Jude Law and his girlfriend Sienna Miller, Elton John’s partner David Furnish, singer Anastasia and actor Peter O’Toole.

Politicians Claire Short and George Galloway were also at the screening, hosted by Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.

Speaking before the film Furnish said: “Elton is a supporter of Michael Moore as a documentary maker. He enjoyed Bowling for Columbine and he’ll definitely be watching this new film.” . . .

Tonight Bianca Jagger said before the film began that she hoped the film would make people realise that they “shouldn’t vote for Bush again.

“Not only is he dangerous for America he is dangerous for the rest of the world.

“Michael Moore is a candid film-maker who uses a language that people understand, “ she said. . . .

O’Toole confessed that he didn’t know much about the documentary maker but added: “I don’t like war at all. I’ve been in one. I had bombs dropped on my head when I was seven.”

Asked what he knew about the film O’Toole replied “not a sausage.”

Duran Duran star Nick Rhodes said the war was an “unmitigated catastrophe”. While Claire Short said: “It would be better for the world if Bush went.

I often wonder whether these people deserve the freedom they take for granted. O'Toole -- who doesn't like war at all -- must be referring to the Nazi bombing of London in WWII in recollecting his experience at the age of seven. One wonders if he wouldn't be been happier if Britain would have just surrendered to the Nazis. That indeed would have ended the war.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 09:24 AM | Permalink | TrackBack

June 28, 2004

Michael Moore Hates America

Yes, he really does, as David Brooks points out:

Like Hemingway, Moore does his boldest thinking while abroad. For example, it was during an interview with the British paper The Mirror that Moore unfurled what is perhaps the central insight of his oeuvre, that Americans are kind of crappy.

"They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet . . . in thrall to conniving, thieving smug [pieces of the human anatomy]," Moore intoned. "We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don't know about anything that's happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing."

It transpires that Europeans are quite excited to hear this supple description of the American mind. And Moore has been kind enough to crisscross the continent, speaking to packed lecture halls, explicating the general vapidity and crassness of his countrymen. "That's why we're smiling all the time," he told a rapturous throng in Munich. "You can see us coming down the street. You know, `Hey! Hi! How's it going?' We've got that big [expletive] grin on our face all the time because our brains aren't loaded down."

Naturally, the people from the continent that brought us Descartes, Kant and Goethe are fascinated by these insights. Moore's books have sold faster there than at home. No American intellectual is taken so seriously in Europe, save perhaps the great Chomsky.

Before a delighted Cambridge crowd, Moore reflected on the tragedy of human existence: "You're stuck with being connected to this country of mine, which is known for bringing sadness and misery to places around the globe." In Liverpool, he paused to contemplate the epicenters of evil in the modern world: "It's all part of the same ball of wax, right? The oil companies, Israel, Halliburton."

In the days after Sept. 11, while others were disoriented, Moore was able to see clearly: "We, the United States of America, are culpable in committing so many acts of terror and bloodshed that we had better get a clue about the culture of violence in which we have been active participants."

This leads to Michael Moore's global plan of action. "Don't be like us," he told a crowd in Berlin. "You've got to stand up, right? You've got to be brave."

In an open letter to the German people in Die Zeit, Moore asked, "Should such an ignorant people lead the world?" Then he began to reflect on things economic. His central insight here is that the American economy, like its people, is pretty crappy, too: "Don't go the American way when it comes to economics, jobs and services for the poor and immigrants. It is the wrong way."

In an interview with a Japanese newspaper, Moore helped citizens of that country understand why the United States went to war in Iraq: "The motivation for war is simple. The U.S. government started the war with Iraq in order to make it easy for U.S. corporations to do business in other countries. They intend to use cheap labor in those countries, which will make Americans rich."

But venality doesn't come up when he writes about those who are killing Americans in Iraq: "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not `insurgents' or `terrorists' or `The Enemy.' They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win." Until then, few social observers had made the connection between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Paul Revere.

Propagandist trash.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 06:34 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

June 27, 2004

Fellow Travelers Part Ways

Ralph Nader has written an open letter to Michael Moore. Apparently Moore has abandoned his old friends:

Hey, Michael, Where Were Your Friends? Once upon a time, there was Michael Moore the First. He never forgot his friends. Come time for the Washington, DC premiere of Bowling for Columbine a while back, he invited his old buddies in Washington—gave them good seats and spent the rest of the evening with them. During his other movie's premiere, he affectionately recognized how much those old friends helped him and supported him after he was mistreated and let go by Mother Jones. He was generous with his words and time.

Now there is Michael Moore the Second. Last night he hosted the Washington, DC premiere of Fahrenheit 9/11, and who was there? The Democratic political establishment, the same people whom he took to such mocking task on the road with us in campaign rally after campaign rally in 2000. Who was not there? His old buddies! Not personally invited, not personally hung out with.

A few weeks ago, Michael, I sent you a message: "Hey, Dude, where's my Buddy?" It is attached. It has gone without reply. It simply asked you to come back to your progressive constituency and take on the two-party monopoly of our rigged election system—to challenge the pro-warlike, corporate party with two heads, wearing different makeup when it comes to playing toady for Big Business. These are the giant multinationals who have no allegiance to our country or to communities like Flint except to control, deplete or abandon them. It is not that your views have changed, with an exception or two. It is that your circles have changed. Too much Clinton, not enough Camejo.

Your old friends remain committed to blazing paths for a just society and world. As they helped you years ago, they can help you now. They are also trim and take care of themselves. Girth they avoid. The more you let them see you, the less they will see of you. That could be their greatest gift to Moore the Second—the gift of health. What say you?

Best wishes,

Ralph Nader

I guess this makes Moore a disloyal liar. Go Ralph! (Via Instapundit.)

Posted by Old Benjamin at 02:47 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

June 23, 2004

Leading Democrats Sanction Propagandist

WASHINGTON - Michael Moore introduced his Bush-bashing documentary, "Fahrenheit 9/11," to the nation's capital on Wednesday in a private screening for a nearly all-Democratic audience.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and California Sen. Barbara Boxer were among the 800 invited guests.

Have they no shame?

Posted by Old Benjamin at 07:43 PM | Permalink | TrackBack

June 22, 2004

Hitchens on Michael Moore's New Flick

Every once in a while Christopher Hitchens hits the nail squarely on the head. This is one of those times. There's really so much good stuff in this essay that it would be an injustice to excerpt only a few paragraphs. Read the whole thing, even if you dislike Hitchens.

Posted by Old Benjamin at 11:31 AM | Permalink | TrackBack