Friday, June 25, 2004

Jeff Jarvis: Moore "downright rabid"

Jeff Jarvis explains why he no longer enjoys watching Michael Moore:

Now he's still poking fun but in the immortal words of Billy Crystal, it's not fun, it's not funny. He's deadly serious. He's downright rabid. And that makes him harder to take; don't you always want to back away from somebody who's seething at you? It also makes his role as a filmmaker and political activist different: He's no longer just ridiculing the powerful; he's no longer turning them into punchlines; he's now trying to convince us that these particular powerful people -- Bush et al -- are evil, venal, corrupt, incompetent co-conspirators out to ruin our world. If you're going to try to convince us of that, then you have a different obligation of fact and argument than if you're just trying to make fun of somebody. You should give us legitimate facts and arm us with arguments by showing both sides of an issue and beating down the other side. If you don't do that, you're only shrieking. You're weakening your own argument by ignoring the other side. You're insulting the intelligence of your audience by not giving them both sides. You're just seething. That's what Moore is like now. He wants to convince us he's telling the truth but he's afraid to tell the whole truth.