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BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11

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GUEST 25 Jun 04 - 11:19 AM
Amos 25 Jun 04 - 12:54 PM
Charley Noble 25 Jun 04 - 05:04 PM
DougR 25 Jun 04 - 05:25 PM
DougR 25 Jun 04 - 05:45 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 25 Jun 04 - 06:24 PM
M.Ted 25 Jun 04 - 07:29 PM
Little Hawk 25 Jun 04 - 08:06 PM
GUEST,peedeecee 25 Jun 04 - 08:20 PM
GUEST 25 Jun 04 - 08:24 PM
Mudlark 25 Jun 04 - 08:36 PM
Amos 25 Jun 04 - 08:52 PM
GUEST 25 Jun 04 - 09:06 PM
Amos 26 Jun 04 - 12:32 AM
Peter T. 26 Jun 04 - 11:29 AM
GUEST,Frankham 26 Jun 04 - 12:00 PM
Amos 26 Jun 04 - 12:05 PM
Amos 26 Jun 04 - 12:30 PM
Don Firth 26 Jun 04 - 02:05 PM
GUEST,Frankham 26 Jun 04 - 05:49 PM
Peter T. 26 Jun 04 - 06:21 PM
GUEST,peedeecee 26 Jun 04 - 08:29 PM
Amos 26 Jun 04 - 09:12 PM
Bobert 26 Jun 04 - 09:35 PM
freda underhill 26 Jun 04 - 10:41 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 04 - 09:43 AM
Amos 27 Jun 04 - 10:31 AM
Peter T. 27 Jun 04 - 10:52 AM
GUEST 27 Jun 04 - 03:02 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 27 Jun 04 - 03:06 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 27 Jun 04 - 11:01 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 27 Jun 04 - 11:14 PM
GUEST 27 Jun 04 - 11:36 PM
Peter T. 28 Jun 04 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,Kaleb 28 Jun 04 - 10:10 AM
GUEST,Guest--Bill H 28 Jun 04 - 10:38 AM
Nerd 28 Jun 04 - 12:39 PM
GUEST,Frankham 28 Jun 04 - 04:33 PM
GUEST,Peter Woodruff 28 Jun 04 - 04:54 PM
Peter T. 28 Jun 04 - 05:32 PM
GUEST,peedeecee 28 Jun 04 - 05:46 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 28 Jun 04 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,peedeecee 28 Jun 04 - 05:53 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 28 Jun 04 - 06:31 PM
emilyrain 28 Jun 04 - 11:35 PM
GUEST,TIA 29 Jun 04 - 04:13 AM
GUEST,TIA 29 Jun 04 - 04:19 AM
Peter T. 29 Jun 04 - 09:45 AM
Don Firth 29 Jun 04 - 11:56 AM
GUEST 29 Jun 04 - 01:53 PM
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Subject: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 11:19 AM

Like "Bowling for Columbine", this film deals with subject matter that is controversial, but is rarely in our national public debate. And therein lies the power of both films. I wholeheartedly agree with others reviews who claim the best thing to come out of seeing this film will be the way it gets everyone talking about it This film is all that the hype has said it is--really.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a blistering critique of Bush. There is less on-screen Moore than his other films in which he is the main actor, and the film has a more subdued pacing and tone than most of his other work. But I wouldn't say the film is better for it. Moore's video and film style--which he was widely criticized for in "Bowling for Columbine"--I consider to be a hallmark of his filmmaking style. That style made the pacing of his best work like "Bowling for Columbine", "TV Nation" and especially "Roger and Me" so refreshing and exciting. "Sleep Now In The Fire" (the Rage Against the Machine video about Wall Street corporatism, for which Moore was arrested during filming) this is not. It isn't even terribly liberal in in't content or it's tone. In that sense, this film more closely resembles Moore's "Roger and Me" follow-up, "Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint" than it does "TV Nation" or "Bowling for Columbine".

Other political figures besides Bush only get mentioned fleetingly in the film. The promise from Moore that the US media would receive scrutiny is essentially a false promise. Moore is clearly obsessed with Bush, but the film doesn't really give the viewer any genuine insights into why Moore bludgeons Bush but never mentions former presidential contender Joe Lieberman, the Bush administration's biggest Democratic cheerleader for the war on Iraq. In that sense, the film is blatantly partisan, and it loses much of it's integrity by failing to view the US war mongering through a broader lens that includes both political parties and the mainstream media. "Fahrenheit 9/11" is more about Bush than it is about any of the subjects Moore chooses to focus upon, and they are many. The film suffers for that lack.

Another problem with the film is that Moore actually has two films here, not one. It is clear that Moore sacrificed a lot in terms of the film's effectiveness by choosing to put so much focus on issues raised in Craig Unger's book (the film draws heavily from it), rather than focus on the war mongering itself. That is what makes the narrative clumsy in parts. The end result is the first half of the film, which deals with the 2000 election and the Bush family connections to the bin Laden and other Saudi royal families, is nearly forgotten by the time the second half of the film, about the wars on terrorism, Afghanistan, and Iraq, ends.

The R rating this film received is a joke. I hope that teenagers and theatre owners alike ignore the rating. This isn't just a film that teenagers need to see: they are going to want to see it. The soundtrack will appeal to them, and they will be particularly interested in the parts of the movie that directly relate to them, like the scenes of the Marine recruiters in the shopping mall. Moore has been bashed for raising this issue in the film, mostly because cynical mass media reviewers claim it, like much of what is covered in the film, is 'old news'. But this is one of the most powerful segments of the film. If we can take anything away from Fahrenheit 9/11 with us that isn't blatantly anti-Bush and politically partisan, it is the deeply disturbing scenes of the Marine recruiters going after poor kids of color, who without work or money to pay for their post-secondary education, too often join the military for job training and education and a ticket out of the hood. We need to also remember that what is old news to baby boomers in this film, will be seen for the first time by the kids who are the victims of those recruiting efforts who end up fighting our imperial wars for a couple thousand dollars a month, while the private contractors they are working side by side with, doing many of the same jobs, who are mostly white, get paid three to four times as much.

For some people, there will not be enough "connecting the dots" in the film, just as some complained about that in "Bowling for Columbine". I find that complaint to be sadly indicative of how badly we have been conditioned by mass media to have them explain everything to us, rather than allow us to draw our own conclusions, and decide for ourselves whether the dots should or shouldn't be connected. One of things that lends credibility and integrity to Moore's films, is his refusal to succumb to that sort of dumbing down of his work. He doesn't presume audiences are so stupid they won't grasp the connections. Moore's style of mixing the message by bringing together seemingly disparate subjects, and tying them together in post-production editing is a style I believe we will now be seeing more often in non-fiction film and video. It is a very effective blending of film and video, and it's effects much too powerful to ignore. The greatest strength of this film is that Michael Moore has broken through a tremendously powerful wall of mass media propaganda, and made us all realize how much we are suffocating at the hands of corporate and media mogul controlled mass media. Even though there was little new to me in the film, it was empowering to see it, if for no other reason than that. He broke through that wall that seemed impermeable and impossible to penetrate in the wake of 9/11. And for that, he certainly deserves the Palme d'Or and much more, for doing us all that great public service.

For those viewers who prefer a linear narrative to follow, this is Moore's most linear narrative. Mainstream journalists and politicians use that most simple form of storytelling, and they will have a difficult time criticizing this film on those grounds. The consensus of the political journalists who aren't professional film critics, but are writing reviews of the film because of it's political content, is that there isn't much to quibble with here. The best thing about Fahrenheit 9/11, in this sense, is the damning footage that hasn't previously been seen by American audiences, like the criticisms of the war by soldiers serving in Iraq, or the grisly war footage of American casualties that has been censored by the US media. Those media and political hacks who are focused on the political content rather than the film itself, are predictably saying this is Moore's best film. I would disagree. It is, in many ways, the most tame Moore has ever been. Those conventional pundits who were so easily disturbed and disoriented by "Bowling for Columbine" are clearly not Michael Moore fans, who go to see his films for their irreverent, raucous, scatter shot, in your face style. There is some of that classic Moore style in "Fahrenheit 9/11", but not enough for Moore's longtime fans. It seems to me that Moore has gone too far in his attempts to appease those conventional pundits here.

Which brings me back to my main criticism of "Fahrenheit 9/11". I expected it to be much more about the Bush administration's post-9/11 war mongering, and much less about Bush himself. Moore left much too much out of this film, and it suffers for it. As I said, the Democrats who have colluded with the Bush administration every step of the way, barely get mentioned in the film, which is a glaringly obvious omission, especially in light of the questionable legitimacy of this president as a result of the 2000 election debacle. There is only fleeting mention of collusion in the march to war by the mass media, and virtually no mention of the controversies surrounding coverage by America's most respected and revered journalism institutions, the New York Times and the Washington Post. There is no examination of the television coverage—just fleeting scenes of embedded coverage, and the banal and predictable clips of Fox news cheerleaders. No mention of the BBC reporting on WMD that resulted in the suicide of one of Britain's main weapons inspectors, the resignation of the top brass at the Beeb.

There is, simply put, too much emphasis on Bush, and not enough attention paid to the most important issues surrounding his administration's war mongering. It is almost as if Moore is trying to portray Bush as single-handedly getting us into this mess, when nothing could be further from the truth. I felt cheated by that. Moore is so obviously coddling the Democrats this time around, that the Democratic Party becomes the invisible 500 pound gorilla in the film. I am presuming Moore, who supported Nader in 2000, is doing this in hopes of convincing independents, Greens, and Naderites to come to their senses and reach the same conclusion he has, which is to vote Democratic this time around.

Moore's promotion of this film proves he sacrificed artistic integrity, for the sake of short term political gain. He is blatantly and arrogantly telling voters they must vote Bush out, and thereby does cross the line between art and partisan propaganda. That is much too great a sacrifice for a work of art to make, and it debases what could otherwise have been a very powerful film. The sins of omission (leaving out any examination of the roles played by the Democratic Party and the mainstream media) shows up as a glaring hole in the film.

There is plenty of blame to go around for the US war mongering in the past four years, but you'd never know it from watching "Fahrenheit 9/11". I give it 6 1/2 stars out of 10. I believe people should see the film, regardless of their political views, because it is a very informative piece of work. But there have been much better Michael Moore films, most notably, "Bowling for Columbine".


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 12:54 PM

I guess it goes to show that less is MOore...
A


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Charley Noble
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 05:04 PM

Well, it's nice to see a comprehensive review. Thanks!

We're off to see the film sometime this week, at the local art film ghetto.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: DougR
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 05:25 PM

A pretty fair review, I believe, based on other reviews I have read. Our local critic for the one major newspaper in town loved it.

I'll probably wait until the film is available on Netflix to see it.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: DougR
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 05:45 PM

By the way, I heard today on Fox News Network, that Michael Moore had scheduled an interview this morning with Fox's Entertainment Editor, and was a no show. All efforts to reach him were unsuccessful. Don't think he could have been afraid, huh?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 06:24 PM

I am hoping to see the film tomorrow.   Not having seen it as yet but only having read about it and listened to interviews regarding the film I think Moore makes it quite plain that his intent was one thing and one thing only----get rid of GWB. And I don't mean the Geo Washington Bridge. He admits to its blatant bias in that area.

The Republicans are falling for the bait by trying to stop his advertising of the film. Ban something and they will come is a better slogan than Build It and They Will Come.   

I admit to not being a great Moore fan when it comes to film making (I preferred the film maker of Fog of War for documentary) but I surely do admire his intensity and since I am part of the choir I am probably biased as well.

As to his award at Cannes. Not having seen the film as yet nor any others at that venue I am guessing that it had something to do with making a political anti-Bush statement by the panel.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: M.Ted
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 07:29 PM

Oddly enough, Doug, the people at Fox are great advocates for the film--Roger Ailes has been extremely critical of the efforts to block it's distribution, and Fox has been giving a lot of coverage to it--You probably have to wait a while to see it--Saturday night showings at all the local theaters were sold out yesterday--they say, based on advance sales, it will be bigger than "The Passion..."---


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 08:06 PM

Good.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,peedeecee
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 08:20 PM

I wonder if the initial poster on this thread might have been disappointed by the film because it has received so much hype that people will be expecting something miraculous.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 08:24 PM

Doug, as the Guest who wrote the review, I'd just like to say think you for the compliment. I do hope you will finally see the film when it is released on DVD. Getting it when it comes out from Netflix is an excellent choice.

But Doug--Michael Moore is so busy promoting the film right now, I think it is ludicrous to suggest that he missed an interview on Fox because he is a chickenshit, as you are. Don't be so...partisanly Fox brainwashed! Moore isn't afraid of appearing on Fox, of going toe to toe with any of it's shrill hosts, or of withstanding any grilling tactics it's viewers use to discredit him, which I believe is the main reason why Fox and it's viewers want to appear anyway. Fox, it's hosts, and it's viewers want a piece of Michael Moore, and they want it really bad.

Another point I would make is don't bother listening to mainstream news reports about the film, as none of the reporters doing the reporting appear to have actually seen the film. Also, I haven't seen a single positive tv news report, local or national, about this film on any networks, and I've been watching for over a week, morning, afternoon, and night. Not one.

Only the print media is giving this film a fair shake, and not surprisingly, the most accurate reviews of the film are coming from local papers today, from film critics who have actually seen the film. The Washington Post and New York Times reviews, even though the latter gave it a slightly more positive than negative review, are worthless. The mainstream media sycophantic echo chamber is out full force this week.

Finally, the unfair and inaccurate portrayal of the film by the mainstream US press is really breathtaking. They keep accusing Moore of lying (he isn't) being manipulative (he is being no more or less manipulative than Disney's 'The Lion King' is), unfair for not portraying 'both sides' (groan--does anyone still believe those fairy tales about an objective and balanced media?), which the mainstream press NEVER does, and last but not least, of not making a 'real' documentary.

That last criticism really makes me laugh. I've been a devotee of documentary film for decades. The journalists who make this criticism have probably seen a whopping total of 3 documentaries in a movie house their entire lives, if even that much. Other than that, their exposure to documentary film is probably 'Harvest of Shame' and 'Hearts of Mind' during college. That is great hoax coming from the media of all. They wouldn't know a legitimate documentary film if the director of it bit them in their bare asses on a live tv morning show. The mainstream media reports about Moore and the film are completely, utterly, full of shit.

This film won't begin to approach the numbers of 'The Passion of the Christ' and that is just as ludicrous a suggestion as Doug saying Moore didn't show up for his Fox interview because he is too afraid to appear there.

Mel Gibson had millions and millions of dollars to promote this film, and he spent them all to get the return he did on his multi-million dollar investment. Gibson's production costs exceeded $30 million, and he spent nearly as much promoting it: $25 million. Compare that to the $6 million production budget for 'Fahrenheit' and the budget for promotion is $10 million. My guess is they haven't had to spend much of the $10 million because of all the free publicity for it. We'll see more of that spent in the coming 6 weeks, but probably now the majority of the advertising budget is being saved for the DVD release in the fall.

I am a huge fan of Moore's, and I've seen pretty much everything he has ever done. I am disappointed by this film, but it is the disappointment of the film not being what I hoped it would be, which is a bigger and better 'Bowling for Columbine'. This film disappointed me only in that regard. I liked this film a lot. But I wasn't crazy about it like I was 'Roger and Me' and 'Bowling for Columbine' and 'The Big One' and 'TV Nation' and 'The Awful Truth'.

It is still an excellent film by any standards though, and ESPECIALLY by comparison to the other major studio releases for summer!!!

I think Republicans should see, because I think they would be surprised to see how much they haven't been allowed to see, hear, and know. It would really be eye opening. I know a lot of Republicans locally who are going to see it, including family members. But then, most Republicans I know aren't blatantly blinkered and ideologically partisan. Neither is Moore, really. I know most people wouldn't agree with my assessment. But Moore is really a very atypical liberal Irish American Catholic Democrat from Flint. Honest to god. It is only because of the rightward tilt and right wing revolution of the 1980s that makes people think he is a raving loonie of the left. He is really no such thing.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Mudlark
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 08:36 PM

I rarely listen to mainstream media, but a newshound friend just called to tell me that White House staff have been banned from viewing F9/11. Can the Beltway be this insular??? You'd think, with Franken/Fox experience so fresh, the powers that be would be more careful about how they go about damage control.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Amos
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 08:52 PM

He has nothing to fear. I have just come from the movie and it is as powerful and persuasive a piece of documentation as it has been reported to be. It's true it makes Bush look bad, but that is not something Moore should take credit for. Anyway, it is an excellent movie and I urge everyone, 12 and above, to go see it.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Jun 04 - 09:06 PM

guest peedeecee, no it isn't the hype that caused disappointment. It was that there was too much Bush in it, and not enough big picture, and the fact that Moore so studiously avoided his usual filmmaking style, which is what I like best about his stuff. I would never let hype color my judgment. I didn't listen to the hype.

My expectiations for the film were mostly based upon what I had read from legitimate film critics who had actually seen the film (which was an incredibly small minority before today). I listened to but pretty much dismissed all the mainstream political media pundits and talking head hacks who did the news pieces about the film who obviously hadn't seen the film, but were writing their stories based upon press releases from Citizens United and the White House.

Anyone notice that the media wasn't asking Dems and independents what they thought of the film, hmmmmm? Just Republicans, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 12:32 AM

I suggest it is urgent to get this film viewed widely by Republicans.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 11:29 AM

Having seen the film last night, I mostly agree with Guest, it is too scattershot: it is nowhere near the best documentaries (the Cannes jury was, dare we say it, somewhat biased). It could have been much more vicious and devastating. The best thing about the film -- which Guest is absolutely right about, and which makes it worth seeing -- is the focus in the second part of the film on the battening on the poor white and black people by recruiters, and the terrible scenes with Lila Liscomb. It all just breaks your heart. That the military is the only working social program in the country. All Moore has to do is contrast this with the disgusting scenes of the rich (he could have done much more with this) corporate parasites, and the film does its work. I also think people who don't read much will be shocked by the absolutely true Saudi-Bush pere connection which has been going on for years, the huge amounts of money being made off the various wars, and being paid for by the American poor with their bodies.

It is worth saying that it is very funny as well.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 12:00 PM

i think Farenheit is the best one of Moore's. It's partisan. No more than the whole of the Bush Administration and it's tenure. Moore comments on the lack of response by many Democratic leaders. He brings new information to the film such as the connection with Bush, bin Ladens and the House of Saud, the Carlysle Group and Halliburton. Ashcroft's blocking of the background gun checks of the 911 terrorists on the basis of the Second Amendment is truly twisted and makes a mockery of our Constitution.

What's propaganda for some is truth for others.

This is a partisan country, now. The great Uniter has split this country in half and Moore points that out succinctly.

Doug, I don't think Moore wants to waste his time on Fox News. He's too busy looking forward to his next Academy Award.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 12:05 PM

A thoughtful and balanced review of this film can be found here in the New Yorker.

I urge you to go see it if you have not. especially DougR and Ilk.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 12:30 PM

A more exuberant review from the choir can be found on this page. Enjoy!


A


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 02:05 PM

Seattle Times Review.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 05:49 PM

Thought the review in the Seattle Times Review was a fair one.
The term "propaganda" is easilly thrown around when you don't agree with the ideas being presented. I am not aware of any organization that doesn't use propaganda to some degree if no other reason than propagandizing their claim of objectivity. I would apply this to Annenberg or any other claimant. Propaganda is therefore in the "eye of the beholder". But Moore's film is powerful because it has a basis of truth. The pictures in Iraq don't lie. There are some who claim that life under Saddam was all misery. No, like any other dictatorial society, there are those who can still party, sing, dance and love.
But not when the bombs are falling on them.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 06:21 PM

It is irritating, though. Even slightly more balance would have helped: the pictures of children flying kites and happy laughing families is shee propaganda in the old sense -- Saddam was a hideous bastard, and the suffering of the people was intense (doesn't justify the invasion, but the images suggest that everything was hunky dory before the bombs dropped). Totally unnecessary. The night raid on the family is the same -- we never find out if the son was innocent or not, it is just thrown in to show how scary having your house assaulted by troops is. Moore does this a lot, and it is complete carelessness. At other times he is quite clear about the nature of evidence, and then he just throws stuff up. He wastes his own best material sometimes.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,peedeecee
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 08:29 PM

I don't have time to find all the links, so you may have to Google -- but 1) Michael Moore is travelling with security as he has received death threats; 2) there are police on duty in many theatres showing the film, and 3) outside a theatre in Tennessee, the people waiting in line to get into the film were searched for weapons.

Ah, America.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 09:12 PM

LOL!! The freedom of dissent -- as long as you don't bear arms while doing it!!

Wotta country.

Peter, I find your remarks insightful as always. I wish Moore had been just a little better. But, damn, he is head and shoulders better than silence.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Bobert
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 09:35 PM

Great review, GUEST! I haven't seen it yet and may not get to for a while but I did hear an interview on Michael Moore on CSPAN radio tonight and would agree that he is Hellbent on getting Bush out. He sounded very partisan in that respect though he never mentioned the Democrats during the interview. He didn't need to. I was understood how he wanted folks to vote.

I ain't too wild about Bush either but then again I'm not too wild about Kerry. Both are part of the war machine and I suspect that if Kerry wins Michael Moore will be on him next. It is too bad that Moore didn't at least pull Lieberman into the film but like you pointed out, this film is all about Bush.

It should be very interesting to watch Michsel Moore over thre next 4 years, irregarless of the outcome of the '04 Election Debackle to be...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: freda underhill
Date: 26 Jun 04 - 10:41 PM

Is Michael Moore telling the truth?; June 26, 2004; New York Times

…So how will Moore's movie stand up under close examination? Is the film's depiction of Bush as a lazy and duplicitous leader, blinded by his family's financial ties to Arab moneymen and the Saudi Arabian royal family, true to fact? After a year spent covering the federal commission investigating the September 11 attacks, I was recently allowed to attend a Hollywood screening before the film opened nationally in the US yesterday.

Based on that single viewing and after separating out what is clearly presented as 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 Bush's political career). Moore is on firm ground in arguing that the Bushes, like many prominent Texas families with oil interests, have profited handsomely from their relationships with prominent Saudis, including members of the royal family and of the large and fabulously wealthy bin Laden clan, which has insisted it long ago disowned Osama. Moore spends several minutes in the film documenting ties between the President and James Bath, a financial adviser to a prominent member of the bin Laden family who was an original investor in Bush's Arbusto energy company and who served with the future president in the Air National Guard in the early 1970s.

The Bath friendship, which indirectly links Bush to the family of the world's most notorious terrorist, has received less attention from national news organisations than it has from reporters in Texas, but it has been well documented. Moore charges that Bush and his aides paid too little attention to warnings in the summer of 2001 that al-Qaeda was about to attack, including a detailed August 6, 2001, CIA briefing that warned of terrorism within the country's borders. In its final report next month, the September 11 commission can be expected to offer support to this assertion. Moore says that instead of focusing on al-Qaeda, the President spent 42 per cent of his first eight months in office on vacation; the figure came not from a conspiracy-hungry website but from a calculation by The Washington Post.

…But with Fahrenheit 9/11 he has taken on his biggest and best-defended target yet and his production staff say that on his orders they have taken no chances in checking and double-checking the film, knowing Bush supporters would pounce on factual mistakes. 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. ….And Moore is threatening to go one step further, saying he has consulted lawyers who can bring defamation suits against anyone who maligns the film or damages his reputation. "We want the word out," says Moore, who says he should have responded more quickly to allegations of inaccuracy in his Oscar-winning 2002 anti-gun documentary, Bowling for Columbine.

….For the White House, the most devastating segment of Fahrenheit 9/11 may be the video of a befuddled-looking Bush staying put for nearly seven minutes at a Florida elementary school on the morning of September 11, continuing to read a copy of My Pet Goat to schoolchildren even after an aide has told him a second plane has struck the twin towers. Bush's slow, hesitant reaction to the disastrous news has never been a secret. But seeing the actual footage, with the minutes ticking by, may prove more damaging to the White House than all the statistics in the world.
www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/06/25/1088144982454.html


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 09:43 AM

Cupla responses. I don't feel Moore is partisan because he wants Bush out--far from it. Many people who want to see Bush voted out of his appointed office can have those very legitimate feelings without being a party partisan. My objection is he never addresses the collusion of the Democratic party and the mainstream media in buildup and execution of the war.

I mean, come on people--the US Senate just voted unanimously to approve the defense appropriations bill to quickly get another $25 billion pumped into the Iraq quagmire and hold Donnie and the boys over until election day, when they will approve another estimated $50 billion to hold them over until the first of the year. Mighty bi-partisan of them, I'd say.

That happened last week, people. Last week. After Abu Ghraib, after it was made clear that nothing was forthcoming from the UN, after no WMD, after the scathing testimonies of former Bush administration officials of the bungling of the war on terrorism and Afghanistan and Iraq...

So yeah, to put out the film Moore put out, and barely mention the Democratic party's collusion in all this is partisan in it's silence and ommissio. He did that quite manipulatively, to get people to vote for the Democratic candidate. That is also why he made the choice not to focus at all on the Democrats, and when he fleetingly (and I do mean fleetingly) flashes an image of Democrats, he focuses on Tom Daschle, who does deserve mention.

But if Moore was able to get the footage in of Richard Clarke's testimony to Congress, he also had the ability to put in the Democratic presidential candidates and footage of their debates from the primaries, where all but a couple of them supported the war effort--and the Democratic Leadership Council and the mainstream media destroyed the leading anti-war candidate, and totally marginalized the other anti-war candidate. That is a huge hole in the movie, IMO, as is his failure to examine the collusion with the Bush administration by the New York Times and the Washington Post.

As to Peter's remarks, I did find the Marine recruiting segment to be one of the film's best. But I disagree with his view that the night raid was any less powerful. That is one of the scenes from the film that is still haunting me, along with the scene in the US senate, of all the black House of Representative members protesting the election results for the disenfranchisement of African American voters in Florida. Those scenes, to me, are the antithesis of what a democracy should stand for.

There will be people all around the world who will view that scene of the night raid, and be haunted by the terror of it, be they Palestinian, Russian, Irish, Filipino, or Salvadoran. I'd love to know how Moore got THAT footage. I also didn't feel that the peaceful scenes of Iraqis that he juxtaposed with the bombing scenes (which are much more intense than what we saw on TV, it seemed to me--power of the big screen, or just better footage?) was propagandist. I thought gave some much needed balance to what we are normally shown about Iraq. I didn't need to see anything that said Saddam was a bad guy, and he terrorized Iraq. American audiences have received so much of that from the mainstream media, it needed to be countered by some realistic images of life in Iraq. Because he shows some kids flying kites under Saddam doesn't make me forget about life under Saddam in the least. How dumb would we be to think that? No. It gave Iraqi people a human dimension they rarely receive in the American press, some I glad he had that in there.

My only real objection, again, is the inordinate amount of time he spends attacking Bush. Not that attacks are over the top--they aren't. There is some very funny satire, but nothing you wouldn't see on Letterman or The Daily Show. No, my opinion about the partisan aspect of the film was his decision to make a film about post 9/11, and not include the Democrats part in the war mongering and the trashing of American citizens' civil rights, and our nation's immigrants civil and human rights. He focuses on the Republican members of Congress who don't have kids in Iraq. So the film comes off, to me at least, that he is totally letting the Democrats off the hook. And considering that he was one of the staunchest independent voices condemning both Republicans and Democrats in the last election, I find this ommission absolutely inexplicable.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Amos
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 10:31 AM

The whole purpose of the film is to remove Bush from office; therefore any time spent attacking Bush is "well spent" as a means to that end. The film isn't about post-9/11. It's about the criminality and acid undermining the Bush administration brings to those who put them in office.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 10:52 AM

Nice to have an intelligent debate for a change on this topic. I think one of the flaws of the film is its assumption that everyone knows everything about the subject already (we never actually see any later reference to the lack of weapons of mass destruction after all the hoohaa about them), which may be true in certain circles in New York, but for a mass film, I think this is a mistake. It shows how inbred the film is in certain aspects.

The night raid is, to repeat, a classic example of Moore's carelessness. There is a young man apprehended, there is an AK-47 rifle, and you have a lot of scared army people in a dark house trying to find out if something is about to jump up and kill them. Whether there are outraged women complaining about the army in their house only matters if the forced entry is outrageous, if the person arrested is not dangerous. We are given no evidence upon which to make a decision -- if I were in the army and saw that, I would say, this shows you how tough it is to do our work.

The film works best on the big things. You don't need a detailed conspiracy theory to show that the Bush family is a bunch of country club corporate creatures whose interest in poor Americans is zero. As a matter of fact, it would be hard to prove that any member of the American government has no ties to oil money or defence corporations. As long as you have a system awash in military spending and campaign contributions, it is inevitable. All the rest is a lot of useless huffing and puffing.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 03:02 PM

A minute fourty seven left on the clock, and Moore gives us a successful on-side kick... Kerry is up by a fraction, and it loks like he's not gonna just run out the clock... He's going for the landslide, folks... and it's first and ten on the Bush Fourty Three yardline.

...and the sellout crowd is finally on their feet and cheering! Bush Out, Bush Out, Bush Out, Bush Out...


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 03:06 PM

Oops! A panther ate my cookie... T'was indeed me. ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 11:01 PM

My compliments to "Guest" (though I do hate these anonymous postings) for his review. It is, to me, right on the mark.

Having just returned from viewing the film in a packed house I agree that there were really 2 films in one--and I do think Moore should have brought back the Saudi connection again near the end. He tended, instead, to focus on the grieving mother at length (which did choke me up considerably). His shots of soldiers criticizing the war, his interesting and "you wonder how he got that shot" footage throughout the film is really quite good and amazing. The musical soundtrack is just perfect.

Additionally, having seen and done some very amateur audio editing for my radio program and seeing some TV editing at the station by others I was really impressed by that aspect of the film.   Also--all the releases he must have gotten seem like a monumental task.

In conclusion--I think the film is just wonderful but a bit over long and should have focused more on Bush at the end as it did at the beginning. I hope that Moore is not just "preaching to the choir" which I, sadly, think he is.    One will have to see how the film does in the country between the two coasts and Chicago.

One line in the film jumped out at me--and I cannot believe that the W speechwriters were that stupid--unless W did this himself. At a function for fat cat fundraisers he says in the film "...you are the well off and better off (I paraphrase that) some call you the elite--I call you my base".   That is enough to send the bile in your system flowing since it is then followed by the recruiting of the poor and unemployed in Flint and they are promised a great career in the Marines.

Bottom Line===love it or hate it, this is really a film to be seen on many levels---technical, social, political, and so on.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 11:14 PM

Looks like I hit the send button a bit too rapidly.   
Two other quick points--one a positive and one a negative.

The positive is that Moore did a brilliant thing in leaving the screen dark at the Sept 11 part of the film and did not show again the planes hitting the WTC. Would have detracted from his criticism of Bush that follows.

That said I do fault his ommissions in his critique of Bush. Namely, the misleading title of the Coalition ---he names all the small nations (COsta Rica, etc;) but omits UK and Tony Blair. Strange. He also omits the other things to fault Bush with---Iraq is one thing but there are so many domestic things not touched on---employment, economy, abortion rights, religion,---the list goes on.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Jun 04 - 11:36 PM

I thought the 9/11 footage was just beautiful, so moving. I was stunned at how deeply the 9/11 stuff still hits me when I see it. Same thing happened when I watched the 9/11 commission hearings sometimes.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 09:18 AM

Yes, that was a brilliant moment -- no need for pictures, the one thing that didn't need showing, the audience could do it all against the blackness. I hardly think showing it would have detracted from his criticism of Bush. Actually, it could have been much more vicious (and effective, I think). He could have had the scene of George W. sitting doing nothing for the whole 11 minutes, intercut with a similar 11 minutes of people rushing to do something, anything to help. I think you would have had people starting to throw things at the screen by about minute 5.

I believe the line was, "you are the rich and the very rich....."

yours,


Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,Kaleb
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 10:10 AM

Actually the line was:

"This is an impressive crowd, the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base."





-Kaleb


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,Guest--Bill H
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 10:38 AM

Right --that was the line. I stand corrected.

I still think the black screen was effective---though the idea of intercutting the towers and tragedy with W sitting in the classroom might have also been quite effective.

Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Nerd
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 12:39 PM

Re: "balance" in media:

What the right-wing business lobby has learned is that all it needs to do to manipulate the traditional media's concern for balance is to make a lot of noise and spread some money around. If they pay some marginal scientists to say that there is no good evidence for global warming, even if there are only a couple of them saying it the traditional media feels it's necessary to represent their position as strongly as the other position. So if 90% of reputable say one thing, and 10% say the other, both are given equal treatment; this to them is "balance."

In the meantime, the right has also acquired wholly-owned media subsidiaries like Fox News. That way, the right-wing echo chamber can make noise, and force the traditional media to report on the existence of that noise as part of a "balanced" picture of any issue.

The result: 3/4 of the opinions expressed in the media serve a business-conservative agenda. Many of those are in places where they are not challenged at all, as on Fox. The others effectively rebut any liberal opinion expressed. It's quite a racket!

If you really want balance, read the Wall Street Journal AND Salon. Watch Michael Moore AND the conservative responses which are on their way (including a film called, I shit you not, Michael Moore Hates America), and do the homework to figure out who is telling the truth. Otherwise, you won't get balance.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 04:33 PM

Peter, I believe that the Iraqi people being under the yoke of the hideous dictator, Saddam, is not inconsistent with the daily lives of the people in the country being somewhat happy. Women had more freedom then. They did have weddings and parties just as they do under any dicatatorship. I'm sure that the Germans and Italians under fascism found some respite from their war.

The idea that is was all misery for the Iraqi citizens is not necessarilly true and is a propaganda of its own. I think Micheal had it right. Now, it's a living hell over there. Young women are forced into their homes. It's not safe at all to go out in the street.

Micheal Moore has made a fair film in my view because it mostly asks questions. There are moments where he pokes fun but the powerful parts are the ones that make you think and not be satisfied with an easy answer (that you get from the White House).

Those who accuse Moore of propaganda would do well to look at the kind that informs their view of the film.

Frank


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,Peter Woodruff
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 04:54 PM

Dear Guest,
   If you are able, DO the movie the way you would do the movie. You have many valid points. You might send a copy of your critique to Moore and a resume to be a co-conspirator on Moore's next documentary film.

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Peter T.
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 05:32 PM

I am only complaining about the editing, juxtaposing happy laughing peasants with the bombing. It is so juvenile. The truth is so much more complex: the Americans went out of their way not to bomb civilian targets, with much more care and success than in the first war (I am not saying they succeeded completely, obviously). Moore says nothing about this.

I think one needs to be very careful assessing the pros and cons of before and after Saddam. It is obvious there is much less overt physical security right now, but one of the problems of living under a manic dictator like Saddam is that no one is safe from his whims, even in a nice home. A police state is only superficially secure. You only have to read the horror stories of what his regime did whenever they felt like it to find the issue of "security" more complex than simply being able to walk the streets today. (Of course, it is also important to stress that Americans have no idea that Iraq was one of the most progressive states in the region in terms of social advancement until it ground to a halt in the late 80s and after).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,peedeecee
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 05:46 PM

Peter T said, "The truth is so much more complex: the Americans went out of their way not to bomb civilian targets, with much more care and success than in the first war."

Sorry, Peter, and no sarcasm intended, but I don't believe you can prove that statement -- I think you've been listening to rhetoric. It may be true. It may not be true. The fact that something is said -- particularly by this administration -- does not make it true.

I remember in the first Gulf War the US announced that it's so-called "smart bombs" were hitting only military targets. It didn't take long for the truth to come out.

You cannot trust political announcements -- it's all rhetoric.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 05:51 PM

Oh, but they did know what the nation was. Don't forget that we backed Sadam---he was our man in Iraq.

Phil Ochs talked of "Policemen of the World" in one of his songs---but we are, it turns out, quite selective "policemen". I question, too, who and what designated us as "policemen". In any case, we are "policing " Iraq--saving all those people. Why---Oil. We sure were not in Rwanda and such places. Why---no financial interest.


Moore made some very valid points in his film--among the many.
       Direct quotes and shots of the Bush family w/ their Saudi counterparts. Shots of Geo. W w/ his buddy who --as he calls him (and I knew this not only from the Moore film) Bandr Bush (Prince Bandr)
       Juxtoposing the maimed and dead with Rumsfeld's comments about selecting only military targets.
      
Moore also does something that you do not see anywhere else---or so it seems---pictures and interviews with the horribly maimed U S soldiers and then showing the cut backs in Veteran's benefits.

He also shows the discontent of many of our troops and also the total idiocy of having soldiers doing their jobs for a fraction of the vast ammount of money paid to the private hires by the contractors like Halliburton. Private catering ---what happened to the Quartermaster, private trucking in addition to our troops who also drive. The list goes on ad nauseum.

Sad anecdote from the film---one soldier was killed and his last paycheck went to his family with a deduction of 5 days pay because he was killed 5 days prior to the pay period end. I guess they have private bookeepers---perhaps from Enron or Halliburton. I wonder if Cheney, Ken Lay, or such are docked for their screw=ups


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,peedeecee
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 05:53 PM

Apparently you can't trust what Disney says very much, either. This is a wonderful bit of information:

Eisner's Fantasyland Excuse for Censorship


May 7, 2004

On the television network that his company owns, Disney CEO Michael Eisner dismissed the idea that forbidding Disney subsidiary Miramax to distribute a controversial new documentary by Michael Moore was a form of censorship. "We informed both the agency that represented the film and all of our companies that we just didn't want to be in the middle of a politically-oriented film during an election year," he told ABC World News Tonight (5/5/04), referring to Moore's Fahrenheit 911, which examines the connections between the Bush family and the House of Saud that rules Saudi Arabia.

-snip-

But Eisner's statement cannot be taken at face value, because Disney, through its various subsidiaries, is one of the largest distributors of political, often highly partisan media content in the country-- virtually all of it right-wing. Consider:


Almost all of Disney's major talk radio stations-- WABC in New York, WMAL in D.C., WLS in Chicago, WBAP in Dallas/Ft. Worth and KSFO in San Francisco-- broadcast Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Indeed, WABC is considered the home station for both of these shows, which promote an unremitting Republican political agenda. (Disney's KABC in L.A. carries Hannity, but has Bill O'Reilly instead of Limbaugh.) Disney's news/talk stations are dominated by a variety of other partisan Republican hosts, both local and national, including Laura Ingraham, Larry Elder and Matt Drudge.

Disney's Family Channel carries Pat Robertson's 700 Club, which routinely equates Christianity with Republican causes. After the September 11 attacks, Robertson's guest Jerry Falwell (9/13/01) blamed the attacks on those who "make God mad": "the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America." Robertson's response was, "I totally concur." It's hard to imagine that anything in Moore's film will be more controversial than that.

Disney's ABC News prominently features John Stossel, who, though not explicitly partisan, advocates for a conservative philosophy in almost all his work: "It is my job to explain the beauties of the free market," he has explained (Oregonian, 10/26/94). No journalist is allowed to advocate for a balancing point of view on ABC's news programs.

Given the considerable amount of right-wing material distributed by Disney, much of it openly promoting Republican candidates and issues, it's impossible to believe that Disney is preventing Miramax from distributing Fahrenheit 911 because, as a Disney executive told the New York Times (5/5/04), "It's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle." Disney, in fact, makes a great deal of money off of highly charged partisan political battles, although it generally provides access to only one side of the war.

So what is the real reason it won't distribute Moore's movie? The explanation that Moore's agent said he was offered by Eisner-- that Disney was afraid of losing tax breaks from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush-- is more persuasive than Eisner's obviously false public rationale. But more relevant may be Disney's financial involvement with a member of the same Saudi family whose connections to the Bush dynasty are investigated by Moore. Prince Al-Walid bin Talal, a billionaire investor who is a grandson of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd, became a major investor in Disney's Eurodisney theme park when it was in financial trouble, and may be asked to bail out the troubled project again.

It's not unprecedented for Disney to respond favorably to a political request from its Saudi business partner; when Disney's EPCOT Center planned to describe Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in an exhibit on Israeli culture, Al-Walid says that he had personally asked Eisner to intervene in the decision. That same week, Disney announced that the pavilion would not refer to Jerusalem as Israel's capital (BBC, 9/14/99).

Whatever the true motive of Disney's decision to reject Moore's film, it's not the one that Eisner and other company spokespersons are advancing in public. Journalists covering the issue should go beyond Disney's transparent PR stance and explore the real motivations involved.

----end---

The two paragraphs above the last one are extremely telling. Damn, I love it when someone digs up information like this -- good work.


http://www.fair.org/activism/disney-moore-update.html


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 06:31 PM

Wonderful piece---much appreciated that it has seen the light of a Mudcat day.

I wonder what Walt (Disney) would have thought. Frankly, I think he would, sadly, agree with Eisner---he was fairly right wing and surely loved the almight Mickey Mouse Dollar.

Gee, if only Deputy Dawg could go after those Disney characters.


Bill Hahn


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: emilyrain
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 11:35 PM

i was most moved by the long sequences of gore, violence, and screaming. this is the kind of footage that turned the tide of american opinion during the vietnam war, and it's the kind of footage that we desperately need to see more of. people who support pre-emptive war for the purpose of "regime change" are people who don't know what war is about, what it looks and sounds and feels like, what it really costs. with mechanized warfare, even some of the soldiers (some of the luckier ones, i guess) can be shielded from full comprehension of the destruction they're leaving behind them. that sort of thing makes it hard for me to sleep at night.

i was also glad to see the interviews with active-duty soldiers, both the ones who were spouting the lines they'd been fed in training (g.i.joe, bad guys/good guys, burn baby burn, etc.), and the ones who were thinking a little harder about it ("i think every time you kill a person, you kill a piece of your own soul"). one of the worst cruelties of war is what it does to those who are made to do the killing. i wish we could be exposed to more of this, too.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 04:13 AM

This was a brilliant movie. I watched it, then sat stunned while the ushers cleaned up, and sat through it again. I defy any supporter of the invasion/liberation to watch this movie. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have listened to and watched, Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Scarborough, Savage, Reagan, Bortz, etc. for hundreds of hours over the last dozen years, so you war supporters can surely spare 2 hours to listen to the other side. If you watch this and still support the war - no beef here. At least you were willing to listen/watch. But, I'll bet you'll come out with at least nagging little seeds of doubt or disquiet.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 04:19 AM

Sorry to jump right back in, but the most powerful segment for me was watching members of Congress smugly (or coldly) duck when the question of THEIR loved ones going to Iraq was posed (albeit in ambush). And yes, I have a cousin in Iraq -- and the brother of a best friend, and the father of my middle daughters' best friend, and several members of the church I attend. I fear for them now more than ever. And you would have to kill me before you could take my daughters there.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Peter T.
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 09:45 AM

I have been reviewing reports from UNEP and other agencies for an environmental assessment of the War, and I think, as I said, that the Americans did have a severely circumscribed campaign, much more targeted than last time. The complex parts are, of course, (1) that the bombing of anything in an urban area is likely to cause civilian casualities; (2) the bombing of facilities like electrical plants will cause civilian deaths if the water supply, etc., is affected; (3) the security situation descended into a mess following the initial victory. There was also the problem of Saddam's army using civilian facilities as protection (they weren't stupid). I am not letting the Americans off the hook -- they had no business going to war -- but they did not bomb indiscriminately.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 11:56 AM

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I watched the interview with Michael Moore on 60 Minutes Sunday evening during which they showed a few clips. The scene in the classroom was particularly telling. After being told of the attack, Bush sat there bewildered and shifty-eyed, like a kid who had messed his pants and didn't know what to do next.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: REVIEW Fahrenheit 9/11
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Jun 04 - 01:53 PM

I love Moore's films, but like I said, this movie misses the mark it needed to hit, because it promotes the simplistic, head in the sand "Anybody But Bush" mentality: "Remove the current batch of corrupt scumbags in charge and everything will take care of itself."

Nothing could be more dangerous for the US and for the world, than Bush being replaced by Kerry, and Moore knows it. So I think his film is disingenuous to boot. The movie doesn't invite people to think for themselves, as you would think it might if it were a true instrument of democracy and human freedom. Moore's claims that his versions of the "facts" are "irrefutable" and hiring a squad of lawyers to blunt criticism about their credibility makes him look suspiciously a lot like the Bush Regime. Each side vociferously pronounces the validity of its claims, and rather than seeking truth seeks victory. That is what Moore is after: victory. In that sense, I think his "Bowling for Columbine" fame may well have gone to his head.

Documentaries that openly promote themselves under the labels of liberal or conservative, left wing or right wing, fall into the existing modes of polemic that preceded them. Like George Bush, Moore fails to look in the mirror and reflect upon his actions in the film. Propaganda is always free of self-doubt, seeking to maintain the militaristic fortress mentality of the masses, which can be manipulated to achieve the aims of those in power, whichever party that may be.

If "Fahrenheit 9/11" is truly a populist documentary seeking to awaken and liberate the average Jane American, as he was in his first film, "Roger & Me," he might discard the use of sacred national symbols altogether, or mock them as he did in "Bowling for Columbine". The scenes, as staged, suggest an America lost, an America that soldiers like Mrs. Lipscomb's son had proudly volunteered to defend, only to discover they'd been screwed by leaders who had lied to them. The viewer is led to believe, like Mrs. Lipscomb, that what's being experienced is real, but is never asked to question the foundations of that reality. America's "greatness" is not questioned, its fundamental goodness is accentuated, and the audience must accept these facts or be repelled by the spectacle of their presentation.

This suggests that Moore longs for the good old days of Bill Clinton, despite the fact that was the America of Columbine, Oklahoma City, Waco, Rwandan genocide, and the enlightened (so the Democrats would have us believe) of bombing of Kosovo, for the Kosovar's own good.

Yes, the Kerry/Democratic Leadership Council lesser evil is preferred to the present situation, but the filmmaker's preference need not be idealized. If you really want people to doubt something, get them to start doubting what they've believed in--like the greatness of the US, without any examination of the detestability of it's empire and oppression of the poor, the disenfranchised, and the dispossessed at home and abroad.

Moore, at least in this film, seems to playing right into and reinforcing much of white middle class America's mythical vision of manifest destiny, and itself as the saviours of the planet (and please don't notice that they are the ones actually devouring the planet, please).


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Mudcat time: 28 February 3:07 PM EST

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