by Ari Armstrong
the span of a minute, Michael Moore destroyed his remaining
credibility and turned himself into a joke for nighttime talk
a brief moment, I thought Moore was doing something noble
in bringing his fellow Oscar nominees to the stage as he accepted
his award. But then he used them as props in launching a vitriolic
political speech. It wasn't so much what Moore said that got
him into trouble and turned a standing ovation into a chorus
of boos. Rather, it was Moore's shameless self-promotion at
the expense of others. I doubt any of the other nominees appreciated
Moore's antics, and certainly the much-criticized Hollywood
crowd cringed at his over-the-top and badly-timed remarks.
I expected Moore to win for his quasi-documentary Bowling
for Columbine, his win suggests those who voted for him wanted
to make a political statement rather than select a quality
documentary. It's a stretch even to call Moore's film a "documentary."
His distorted and one-sided account doesn't document so much
as it propagandizes (and promotes its director).
I argued in a review,
Moore selectively reports the facts and commits many of the
same errors he accuses others of making. Moore also flat-out
distorts the truth in a number of instances, as has been pointed
out by numerous reviewers. A March 25 column by Debbie
Schlussel points out a few of the problems:
suggests the murderers at Columbine may have gone bowling
at school the morning of the murders, even though clear
evidence proves otherwise.
"film implies Harris and Klebold had violent tendencies
because of 'weapons of mass destruction' produced by a Lockheed
Martin assembly plant in their hometown of Littleton. 'Bowling'
actually features footage of giant rocket assembly to make
the point. But, according to Daniel Lyons in Forbes magazine,
Lockheed Martin's Littleton plant makes space launch vehicles
for TV satellites, not weapons."
Moore "stages an event at North Country Bank and Trust
in Michigan's Traverse City, claiming that opening an account
would entitle one to walk out of the bank with a gun in
hand. The film shows him doing just that... In reality,
the bank does not provide guns for opening accounts, and
you can't walk in or out of the bank with one -- unless
you're a security guard employed by the bank... In order
to qualify for the gun, customers must open a 3-year CD
with at least $5,000 and then must pass a background check
for the gun, which can only be picked up at a licensed gun
neglects to report crucial details about the mother of a
boy who shot and killed a girl in Flint, Michigan, such
that she abandoned her son and left him in an apartment
strewn with drugs and stolen guns.
adds, "As Brian Rohrbough, whose son Daniel died at Columbine,
said, 'This is just a guy trying to capitalize on the
tragedy of others.'"
The April edition
of America's 1st Freedom, an NRA publication, points out some
supposedly "documenting" an NRA business meeting
in Denver shortly after the Columbine murders, Moore uses
film of Charlton Heston from two other events.
Moore notes the NRA held an event in Flint after the lethal
shooting there, the rally was held eight months later, and
for unrelated reasons.
Moore claims, "It is believed that all of the guns
that [the Columbine murderers] used were all legally purchased
at gun stores and gun shows...", he doesn't mention
that the murderers themselves obtained the guns from two
other buyers, in one case illegally, not from a store or
show. See also David
claims the U.S. gave $245 million in aid to Afghanistan,
but he doesn't mention this was food aid distributed by
used fabricated footage of a beagle with a rifle strapped
editorial in the March 25 Rocky Mountain News referred to
"the relentlessly self-promoting Michael Moore"
whose movie "reviewers have found manipulative and factually
flimsy... Hollywood seemed to justify its reputation for embracing
from its safe and gilded confines a loopy sort of leftism
when the audience gave Moore a standing ovation as he took
The best word
to describe Moore's alleged documentary is "fictitious."
As he accepted his award, Moore attached the word
to four other things: the election of Bush, the President
himself, the reasons for going to war, and the "homeland
security" policies of encouraging people to buy duct
tape and issuing color-coded alerts:
live in the time where we have fictitious election results
that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where
we have a man who's sending us to war for fictitious reasons,
whether it's the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange
alerts. We are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr.
Bush. Shame on you.
will take it for granted that Bush is not himself "fictitious."
As for the election results, both parties were involved in
their share of shenanigans. Democrats who continue to gripe
about the election just seem to be pissed off the U.S. Constitution
allows for the election of somebody who doesn't carry the
may be right that the advice of "Homeland Security"
is mostly nonsense. What about the war? We now know some documents
purporting to link Iraq to the attempted purchase of nuclear
faked. Also, I find it strange that Bush's
rhetoric has changed in focus. He used to talk mostly about
"weapons of mass destruction" -- now he talks mostly
about freeing the Iraqi people. Regardless, the reasons generally
given for the war -- to deter terrorists and promote security
in the Middle East -- should be taken seriously, even by those
who eventually conclude those arguments aren't substantiated
or they don't justify war.
sense is that Bush is well-intentioned but misled by the siren
song of military interventionism. But whether or not Bush's
actions warrant shame, Michael Moore's certainly do.
Owen S. Good
wrote a February 27 story for the Rocky titled, "Moore's
left-wing wake-up call: Liberals are in the mainstream, says
activist filmmaker." Moore had given a speech in Denver
the previous evening.Moore
said, "If we don't get busy, folks, and get
out of bed, what's going to happen in your state legislature
tomorrow with the gun show loophole bill [sic]?"
who said he was fed up with two years of authoritarian responses
and limp-wristed liberals who accept them, rang out numerous
demands for the Bush administration to account for its behavior.
"Why are we on high alert? Why are thousands of Arabs,
Arab-Americans, Arab-looking men, rounded up, arrested?"
Moore said. "Where are they tonight? What jails are they
in? What crimes did they commit? "What happened to the
While the Bush administration has violated the civil rights
of some who were arrested, surely Moore exaggerates. A much
more severe problem is that Ashcroft continues to fill the
prisons with people who violate prohibitionist laws.
happened to the U.S.A. is that so-called "liberals"
such as Moore call for rounding up and imprisoning peaceable
gun owners for technical violations of fascist gun laws. Moore
is no less "authoritarian" than his co-dependents
on the right -- he just wants to fill the prisons with different
sorts of innocent people. Moore is a sham and a hypocrite.
the Academy of Arts and Sciences