Moore on Michael the Liar?

OK, let me start this with an admission that I’m completely ignorant as to the left/right/center of Aussie newspapers, and not only do I not know who owns them but if I did I’d hardly know what it means if I knew their name.

So, that said, I came across this article that pointed out a lot of the lies and deceptions that Michael Moore used in making his multi-million $$ grossing Bush bash.
By the way, if you’re a fan of Michael Moore, I recommend you don’t go there, lest you get your illusions crushed…
But, for those of us who can be objective: this is Great Debates… so…

Is the reporter on target or off target? Cites?

Is the newspaper reliable? Cites?

Did Michael Moore snow the American people for a dual motive? (personal politics and profits)

Before Moore released Farenheit 9-11, he had it vetted for factual errors by a team of lawyers and a former head fact-checker for The New Yorker. The interpretation he put on everything is debatable, to say the least, but he has a cite to back up each particular fact asserted in the film, and you can find each and every one of those cites here:

The Sunday Mail is part of News Ltd, owned by Rupert Murdoch. I think we all know Rupert Murdoch’s political stance.

On the other hand, it is a legitimate newspaper, unlike the Washington Times.

I haven’t got time to discuss all the claims in the article, though perhaps someone else can be. Why don’t you read thru Moore’s fact-checking info, and come back with what you believe are the more egregious lies?

As was noted, Brain Glutton noted, Moore’s movie was fact-checked pretty carefully. Yes, you don’t have to believe that the motivations that Moore suggests may have guided Bush’s decision-making were the actual ones that did. Moore never claims to know what guided those decisions but just presents some of the connections. It may be a bit misleading but it certainly doesn’t rise to the level of successfully connecting Saddam and Bin Laden / Sept 11 in the majority of the public’s mind or claiming that “we know where they [the WMDs] are … They are north of Baghdad and near Tikrit.” (That’s a paraphrase of what Cheney said…I’ll let you look up the exact quote.

As for the article, here is one of the incorrect “facts” in that article:

This is a huge distortion of the truth. The fact is that those who checked the list of voters to be scrubbed found that only a small…in fact tiny… percentage of them were actually convicted felons who did not have the right to vote. So, while they had similar demographics to convicted felons (e.g., a large percentage of them being black), they were overwhelmingly not convicted felons. Go here and click on chapter 1 to learn more about this than you ever wanted to know. Palast obviously has strong opinions but none of the basic facts that he presents have to my knowledge been successfully challenged and a suit brought by the NAACP regarding this was settled out-of-court.

Snakespirit, I’ve been down this road before. Someone finds a link with a bunch of allegations, regards it as gospel, and throws it up here, saying “Aha!” Or in this case, “By the way, if you’re a fan of Michael Moore, I recommend you don’t go there, lest you get your illusions crushed…”

In the pit thread on this very topic (although the source of the list of lies was different), I started ripping each allegation apart, and was largely met with a chorus of crickets for the effort that it took. I suspect that we will not hear much from you as efforts are undertaken here to do the same to this piece. Perhaps if you would pick exemplars that you feel are most compelling to present for debate and debunking, that would be more satisfactory and worth my time. That is, put yourself behind the assertion so that it will be harder to disappear when the smoke and mirrors are dispelled.

Trust me, after only a brief scanning, the linked article is rank with error and distortion. Care to learn how?

Here is the press release from the NAACP regarding that settlement and here is a CBS news report about it.

F9/11 has come to define the term - “Moore-ism”.

You don’t actually lie about anything but you present the facts in such a way as to implicitly imply something. Something that, when presented in more than a 10-second sound bite or a quick, flashy film montage, often does not stand up to logic or scrutiny.

His biggest ‘Moore-ism’, something he’s done consistently in all his films, is to simply say ‘this happened, then this happened’ and trying (and often succeeding) to force the viewer into believing that one caused the other. Sometimes when the events inconveniently happened in the wrong order Moore has simply left out this little detail and just shows the second event first and first event second. No, he didn’t lie. He never actually said which happened first.

His consistant use of this ‘technique’ in Roger & Me is what made Pauline Kael criticise its documentary status to the point that The Motion Picture Academy simply could not recognize it as such. Although a diehard liberal, Ms. Kael was also a respected journalist of extreme integrity.

Say…does Michael Moore do the commericals for the WB shows?

If I may just quickly point something out that manages to get on my nerves.

Oh yeah, this is objective:

I find it in bad taste to imply that some people are being unobjective, then make an arguement based around an obviously unobjective article.

And then there’s this little tidbit of objectivism:


Come on man, if you want to make a point, at least link to an article that is a bit less lop-sided. Even if the linked article has good points to make, it will still make any lefty who reads it angry and unwilling to be persuaded.

I think I understand this now. Let me try one:

Saddam paid money to families of some terrorists + Terrorists flew into the World Trade Center = Saddam is behind 9/11.

Is that a Moore-ism?

From Andrew Bolt’s Sunday Mail article:

Bolding mine.

Well that there has got to be a pretty clear indication of how far right this fellah is.

Bolt is the shock-jock of Australian tabloids. Facts are not his strong point. He has been busted before for lying about academic Alison Broinowski in an article where he attacks her for…well, doing research. The Media Watch program exposes his lies.

So, Snakespirit to leave you a little more informed, Bolt is about as right wing as you get in the Australian press.

As the link says, “… Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun whose stock in trade is anger, furious anger.”

Bolt is so simplistic that his view boils down to this:

If you believe the movie, you hate America.

Since I know better from my own beliefs and feelings about my country, I know that this man has a great lack of understanding of about half of the American people.

Judging from the whole of what Bolt wrote, Michael Moore is a “liar” if he failed to mention a point that Bolt thought was relevant. He doesn’t actually come up with anything that was not factual that he himself can verify.

Bolt does mention that Richard Clark arranged the flight out of the States for the Saudis and the bin Laden family and that Moore failed to mention this in the movie. I believe that he is correct about that. But Bolt himself failed to mention that that information was made available only after the movie was in the can. Further, we still don’t know if the arrangements were made at the President’s request.

Using that logic, Bolt should be telling us the specifics of what the protestors will do outside of the Republican Convention in a few weeks.

Snakespirit, open your mind. Even Fox News gave the movie a good review.

Somehow I guessed as much without even reading the cite.

We can expect Faux News to pick it up as originating in an “independant, fair and balanced, and unimpeachable source.”

A quick skim of the article suggests that it’s just copying “lies” from Dave Kopel’s “59 Deceits about Fahrenheit 9/11,” which has already been debunked on the SDMB (most notably in the BBQ Pit) as a collection of straw men, hair-splitting, and unstated inferences.

A few quick examples:

That’s nice, dear. Since Moore never said nor implied when the party footage was taken, so what?

Again, irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that the Saudis were allowed to leave at all, at a time where they might have been key contacts for finding Bin Laden. Debating whether the authorization for them to leave came from Bush or Clarke or Dick or Jane is ignoring the bigger issue.

“This question of resources will also come up in the commission’s questioning of Attorney General John Ashcroft, who was brand-new on the job in the fall of 2001 and on September 10th cut the FBI’s request for new counterterrorism money by 12 percent.”
–John Dimsdale, “Former FBI Director Louis Freeh and Attorney General John Ashcroft to appear before 9/11 commission tomorrow,” NPR Radio: Marketplace, April 12, 2004

“Who doesn’t know that Saddam was a bad guy? The media did a wonderful job hammering that home every day in order to convince the public that they should support the war. For 20 seconds in this film, I become essentially the only person to say, I want you to take a look at the human beings that were living in Iraq in 2003. The ones that we were going to bomb indiscriminately. In those 20 seconds I show a child in a barbershop, a young boy flying a kite, a couple getting married. People having lunch at a cafe. Anyone who takes that and says that I’m trying to say that Saddam’s Iraq was some utopia is just a crackpot.”
Michael Moore, Entertainment Weekly, 7/9/2004
Outta curiousity, Snakespirit, have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11? Or are you content to let Rupert Murdoch do your thinking for you?

I previously posted in another Moore thread that I ***have * ** seen F 9/11, and posted my opinions of it.

I’ve also seen a segment of this message board go frothing at the mouth if anyone dares to suggest that Michael Moore is not the Virgin mary (in terms of integrity).

I saw this article, and wanted to know what credibility it had. Since the Barbarians are storming the gates, I must say, “I think the lady protesteth too much…”

I’ll take the article with a grain of salt. And I’ll take Michael Moore’s disciples with a grain of salt as well.

Thanks for the feedback!


Translation: You tried to rattle some cages with a smug OP and a half-assed article, “point[ing] out a lot of the lies and deceptions that Michael Moore used” and warning folks “don’t go there, lest you get your illusions crushed.”

You then got your OP shredded in milliseconds by the SDMB Cuisinart, and are now quickly backpedaling towards the “unbiased center” in hopes we won’t notice.

That sum it up for ya? :wink:


I’m not in the unbiased center. I think Michael Moore is a loonie, and a dangerous one at that.

I saw the article, and wanted opinions of it, and I got them. I also found out who ran the paper (which I couldn’t seem to find on the website).

I’m satisfied.

Hear, hear! There’s scarcely a fact in the entire article. Once he gets done with his vague generalities about how much he hates Moore, and how much he hates “leftists” (real objective, huh?), and finally gets to the “facts”, his big opener is some hair-splitting nonsense about when the footage of Gore partying was shot. I mean, honestly - who gives a flying fuck? THAT’S his “A” material? Next, we get the hilarious claim that CNN is “left wing”. On what planet? And then we get this gem:

I suppose, in an ultra-literal, hair-splitting way, Harris wasn’t actually in charge of counting the votes, but she was in charge of certifying the vote. I’m sure she didn’t actually sit down and pull chads off of punch-cards, but c’mon - the nitpickyness and analness of this guy is beyond words.

I actually opened this thread expecting to find some objective, well thought-out criticisms of Moore’s film, not this partisan garbage. :rolleyes:

You most certainly should take everything with a grain of salt, that is the essence of critical thinking. It serves you well to assume that everyone has an agenda, to be aware of what that is and as far as possible filter for the truth. When I came out of the theatre after seeing F9/11 I remained very skeptical of Moore’s assertions and implications not because they contradicted my views but because they supported my growing distrust of the current US administration. The film is so one-sided it verges on propaganda, and when you start to concur with propaganda it’s time for caution and reflection. On the other hand there is certain evidence on display that is incontrovertible – stuff that is ‘straight from the horse’s mouth.’

I am not an American but I do have a great affection for the country and its people. I feel a certain reassurance that the most powerful nation on the planet is a democracy and is the most benign superpower the world has seen to date. Unfortunately the actions of the current administration have started to undermine that sense of security for the first time since the end of the cold war. The shift in policy towards the use of pre-emptive military force is worrisome in its own right. But further, the scant regard for the opinions of allies, the derisive attitude to those who differ, the bullying or bribing of smaller nations all amount to an objectionable period of diplomatic thuggery. Sometimes war is necessary. But war is ugly, horrible and tragic and if it ever comes to the time that I have to see my sons fight for their country it better be bloody necessary.

What Moore’s film brings into stark relief is the fact that the war in Iraq that the US dragged us into was based on a pack of lies. We were sold the necessity for war on the basis that Saddam Hussein had WMDs, that he posed an immediate threat to his neighbours and worst of all that there was a credible threat that his WMDs could end up in the hands of terrorists and subsequently be used against Western nations. We weren’t told that he MIGHT have WMDs, we were told that he DID have them. I watched Rumsfeld say that not only did we know that he had them but also that we knew where they were deployed. That wasn’t a mistake it was bullshit. How does this guy still have his job? I watched Rice and Powell and Bush spew bullshit. I’m sad to say I watched Blair get caught up in it and spew the same crap. The shameless sophistry in tying Saddam’s Iraq to terrorists without any evidence for such was deplorable as is the shifting emphasis away from WMDs to the ‘liberation’ of the Iraqi people. In the end it is crystal clear that the whole WMD thing was just rationalisation and justification for a predetermined decision to go into Iraq. Whatever the true agenda was - oil, reconstruction contracts, regional strategy & projection of power, political gain or even disproporionate macho posturing - really doesn’t matter. What matters is we were duped and sold on something completely different, namely our own security and I expect a bit more from the leaders of the free world. What I find staggering is that the American people are not utterly incensed about this and calling their administration to account. Is it really enough to just say “well, heck, at least we got rid of that bad dictator guy.” ?

So take Moore and his political agenda with a pinch of salt, just don’t ignore the reality behind it. The fact that Moore’s presentation is so one-sided actually detracts from the enormity of what has happened. If anything good can come from this then I think it is safe to say that it will be a long time, if ever, that the British people are led to war on dubious premises. I hope the same goes for America.