Saturday, September 08, 2007

Cuban Human Rights Activist: Sicko "Lacking in Truth"

Healthy in Cuba, Sick in America? - John Stossel Takes on Michael Moore, Examines Government-Run Health Care. ABC News. Sept. 7, 2007:

Moore says in the film, "I asked [the Havana hospital] to give us the same exact care they give their fellow Cuban citizens. No more, no less. And that's what they did."

Moore sat down with "20/20's" John Stossel and talked about that claim. When asked whether it really was an average hospital, Moore said, "Yes."

"This isn't just me saying this, you know. All the world health organizations or whatever have confirmed that if there's one thing they do right in Cuba, it's health care," Moore said. "And there's very little debate about that."

In fact, there is plenty of debate. Miami-based Cuban Human Rights activist Jose Carro says Moore's movie paints an inaccurate picture.

"These films that try to portray the health-care system as superior to that of the U.S. are lacking in truth," Carro said. He asserts that most hospitals for Cuban citizens are dilapidated, that conditions are filthy and that patients are so neglected that some are starving.

George Utset, who runs the anti-Castro Web site called, says Moore's group didn't "go to the hospital for regular Cubans. They go to the hospital for the elite and it's [a] very different condition."

Thursday, August 02, 2007

What Michael Moore left out of 'Sicko'

The Orange Grove: What Michael Moore left out of 'Sicko', by Richard Ralston. Orange County Register July 26, 2007:

. . . Longer life spans in Canada were cited as proof that Canada has a superior health care system. Moore forgot to mention how many Canadians die in traffic accidents, are shot by criminals, are killed in combat, are addicted to illegal drugs, have diseases primarily afflicting racial minorities, or are obese, compared with Americans. He also forgot to establish whether Canadians started living longer only after they nationalized their health care system, or whether they always lived longer than Americans. He did not mention that if they do live two years longer, they need to – because that is how long they often have to wait for surgery.

When Moore filmed two of his relatives buying health insurance in fear before they traveled to America, he forgot to mention that many Canadians travel to America for the express purpose of spending their own money for more than $1 billion in American health care each year.

Moore interviewed a physician in the British National Health Service about how wonderful free health care is in Britain, and how satisfied the physicians are in the NHS. He forgot to mention that more than one third of physicians working for the NHS buy private insurance so they don't have to rely on the "free" care, and that more than 6 million British citizens also buy private insurance for the same reason. He did not mention that this year the health minister admitted that one in eight British patients still wait for more than a year for treatment. He neglected to say that Britain has had to import more than 20,000 physicians in the past three years – chiefly from Middle Eastern and Asian countries – because so few of the British, after sixty years of experience with the NHS, want to enter or stay in the profession.

While praising the superiority of French medical care and the fact that French doctors make house calls – almost as an aside while praising the superiority of every element of French society compared with America's – Moore forgot to mention that 13,000 Frenchmen died of heat prostration and dehydration during a heat wave in the summer of 2003, when most French physicians were on summer vacation and did not show up in emergency rooms, let alone make house calls. . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Kevin Leffler's "Shooting Michael Moore"

Shooting Michael More. From the website:

Kevin Leffler is a friendly, CPA, tenured assistant professor, and founder of an educational non-profit, who is a life-long resident of Davison, Michigan. Leffler lives outside of Flint, Michigan, Michael Moore’s purported ‘home town.’ That Leffler elected to finance and create a documentary about his old high school and work buddy Michael embraces a rare sort of poetic justice.

Leffler’s Shooting Michael Moore reveals another side of Moore. We learn that while writing books and shooting films that expose America’s inequities and presenting himself as a moral compass, he abused the non-profit status, engaged in questionable tax practices, violated environmental laws, and invested in Halliburton, oil stocks, leading drug companies, and HMO-chains. Additionally, contrary to his public persona, he used and deceived both the “little people” as well as U.S servicemen, and Flint’s populace is still waiting for him to bring promised jobs.

Though we soon discover that honesty and generosity may not be descriptive of Moore, Shooting Michael Moore is neither mean-spirited nor deceptive, like so much of the namesake’s work. Leffler is an amusing narrator, never angry or righteous, and his film is an expose, peopled with colorful characters as well as noted authorities.

We “visit” both Moore’s lakeside mansion on Torch Lake, Michigan and his penthouse in Manhattan and wonder if Moore is really anti-rich. Once we learn Iran and Osama Bin Laden praised Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, we also question his patriotism.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Michael Moore vs. CNN

Michael Moore vs. CNN, by Brent Bozell. July 18, 2007:

Let's be blunt: Michael Moore is one ungrateful leftist hack. CNN had showered him with three hours and 10 minutes of face time (repeats included) on "Larry King Live" and "The Situation Room," helping him sell his latest socialist film, "Sicko." That kind of attention would make a conservative drool. But when CNN aired a "fact check" piece on his documentary, adding a fraction of balance, he declared jihad, promising in a letter to be CNN's "worst nightmare."

CNN medical reporter Dr. Sanjay Gupta put together a fairly mild report taking issue with some of Moore's cinematic claims. For example, Moore gauzily promoted the health-care promise of communist Cuba. In the film's most publicized stunt, he traveled with Americans suffering from 9/11-related symptoms and had them treated in Cuban hospitals. Gupta pointed out that while Moore highlights that the United Nations World Health Organization cites the United States as 37th in the world for health care, the same study ranks Cuba as 39th.

This is the kind of fact checking that drives Moore into a frenzy. He cannot tolerate someone insisting that the infallible Michael Moore would ever mangle a fact. In a response on his Website, . . .

Friday, July 06, 2007

New York Times: "What's Lacking in 'Sicko'"

What's Lacking in 'Sicko', by Dan Mitchell. New York Times July 7, 2007:

WHEN it comes to economic decisions, there are always trade-offs. Gain one thing and you lose something else. This is particularly true in health care, a market in which a scarce good is ridiculously expensive, but needed by everybody.

The central argument of Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko” — that the cure to the nation’s health care problems is a single-payer system — is hardly novel and is certainly worth consideration, whether or not you agree with it. But in comparing the American system with single-payer plans of other countries —Britain, France, Canada and Cuba — Mr. Moore left out the trade-offs, characterizing those countries as health care paradises.

The elisions have been noticed — and criticism is coming not just from Mr. Moore’s most bellicose and dogmatic detractors. . . . READ MORE

"Socialized Medicine is SICKO"

"Socialized Medicine is SICKO", by Stuart Browning.:

I'm an independent filmmaker with no ties to the health insurance or health care industry - only a personal concern about American liberty and medical freedom. I've made a number of short films about health care policy - specifically for the internet - and featured on a new website:

Michael Moore's new movie Sicko is set to inject a large dose of misinformation and propaganda into our national dialog about health care policy. A case in point is Howard Fineman's column in the June 18 edition of Newsweek. Having just attended a Washington press screening of Sicko, he writes about the increasingly urgent calls for government-run health care:

It would be nice to think that the urgency is the result of outrage at our mediocre infant-mortality and life-expectancy numbers, which are among the worst in the developed world.

The truth, however, is that even if we were to adopt a single-payer system, our infant mortality and life expectancy numbers would still compare unfavorably with Canada and other OECD countries for the simple reason that they have little or nothing to do with the quality of our health care system. . . .

Sally Pipes: "Moore adores the Canadian system. I do not."

More Lies from More, by Sally Pipes. New York Post July 6, 2007:

In "Sicko," Michael Moore uses a clip of my appearance earlier this year on "The O'Reilly Factor" to introduce a segment on the glories of Canadian health care.

Moore adores the Canadian system. I do not.

I am a new American, but I grew up and worked for many years in Canada. And I know the health care system of my native country much more intimately than does Moore. There's a good reason why my former countrymen with the money to do so either use the services of a booming industry of illegal private clinics, or come to America to take advantage of the health care that Moore denounces.

Government-run health care in Canada inevitably resolves into a dehumanizing system of triage, where the weak and the elderly are hastened to their fates by actuarial calculation. Having fought the Canadian health care bureaucracy on behalf of my ailing mother just two years ago - she was too old, and too sick, to merit the highest quality care in the government's eyes - I can honestly say that Moore's preferred health care system is something I wouldn't wish on him.

In 1999, my uncle was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. If he'd lived in America, the miracle drug Rituxan might have saved him. But Rituxan wasn't approved for use in Canada, and he lost his battle with cancer.

But don't take my word for it: Even the Toronto Star agrees that Moore's endorsement of Canadian health care is overwrought and factually challenged. And the Star is considered a left-wing newspaper, even by Canadian standards. . . . READ MORE

Who's the real sicko?, by David Gratzer. July 6, 2007:

'Ihaven't seen Sicko," says Avril Allen about the new Michael Moore documentary, which advocates socialized medicine for the United States. The film, which has been widely viewed on the Internet, and which officially opened in the United States and Canada on Friday, has been getting rave reviews. But Ms. Allen, a lawyer, has no plans to watch it. She's just too busy preparing to file suit against Ontario's provincial government about its health care system next month.

Her client, Lindsay McCreith, would have had to wait for four months just to get an MRI, and then months more to see a neurologist for his malignant brain tumor. Instead, frustrated and ill, the retired auto-body shop owner traveled to Buffalo, N.Y., for a lifesaving surgery. Now he's suing for the right to opt out of Canada's government-run health care, which he considers dangerous.

Ms. Allen figures the lawsuit has a fighting chance: In 2005, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that "access to wait lists is not access to health care," striking down key Quebec laws that prohibited private medicine and private health insurance. . . . READ MORE

Kurt Loder: Moore's Sicko 'Heavily Doctored'

'Sicko': Heavily Doctored, by Kurt Loder. June 29, 2007:

Unfortunately, Moore is also a con man of a very brazen sort, and never more so than in this film. His cherry-picked facts, manipulative interviews (with lingering close-ups of distraught people breaking down in tears) and blithe assertions (how does he know 18,000* people will die this year because they have no health insurance?) are so stacked that you can feel his whole argument sliding sideways as the picture unspools. The American health-care system is in urgent need of reform, no question. Some 47 million people are uninsured (although many are only temporarily so, being either in-between jobs or young enough not to feel a pressing need to buy health insurance). There are a number of proposals as to what might be done to correct this situation. Moore has no use for any of them, save one.

As a proud socialist, the director appears to feel that there are few problems in life that can't be solved by government regulation (that would be the same government that's already given us the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Motor Vehicles). . . .

The problem with American health care, Moore argues, is that people are charged money to avail themselves of it. In other countries, like Canada, France and Britain, health systems are far superior — and they're free. He takes us to these countries to see a few clean, efficient hospitals, where treatment is quick and caring; and to meet a few doctors, who are delighted with their government-regulated salaries; and to listen to patients express their beaming happiness with a socialized health system. It sounds great. As one patient in a British hospital run by the country's National Health Service says, "No one pays. It's all on the NHS. It's not America."

That last statement is even truer than you'd know from watching "Sicko." In the case of Canada — which Moore, like many other political activists, holds up as a utopian ideal of benevolent health-care regulation — a very different picture is conveyed by a short 2005 documentary called "Dead Meat," by Stuart Browning and Blaine Greenberg. These two filmmakers talked to a number of Canadians of a kind that Moore's movie would have you believe don't exist. . . .

What's the problem with government health systems? Moore's movie doesn't ask that question, although it does unintentionally provide an answer. When governments attempt to regulate the balance between a limited supply of health care and an unlimited demand for it they're inevitably forced to ration treatment. This is certainly the situation in Britain. Writing in the Chicago Tribune this week, Helen Evans, a 20-year veteran of the country's National Health Service and now the director of a London-based group called Nurses for Reform, said that nearly 1 million Britons are currently on waiting lists for medical care — and another 200,000 are waiting to get on waiting lists. Evans also says the NHS cancels about 100,000 operations each year because of shortages of various sorts. Last March, the BBC reported on the results of a Healthcare Commission poll of 128,000 NHS workers: two thirds of them said they "would not be happy" to be patients in their own hospitals. James Christopher, the film critic of the Times of London, thinks he knows why. After marveling at Moore's rosy view of the British health care system in "Sicko," Christopher wrote, "What he hasn't done is lie in a corridor all night at the Royal Free [Hospital] watching his severed toe disintegrate in a plastic cup of melted ice. I have." Last month, the Associated Press reported that Gordon Brown — just installed this week as Britain's new prime minister — had promised to inaugurate "sweeping domestic reforms" to, among other things, "improve health care."

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

See, here’s the thing. It’s not like . . . the US healthcare system is perfect. You’d have to be a moron to look at a system this flawed and hold it up as an example to emulate. There are a lot of really good things about our system and also a lot of really bad things. The same goes for socialized medicine. Moore, rather than create a film which will initiate debate on the state of healthcare in this country, merely made a 90-minute informercial for socialism. There are so many things wrong with the Canadian, British, and French healthcare systems that books can (and have) been written about it. Moore treats these countries as if they’re some fantastical mystery lands, with rivers of chocolate, where children laugh and dance and play with gumdrop smiles, knowing that all the healthcare they could ever want is right there at their fingertips for the taking.

Moore will claim that he’s interested in initiating debate. Far from it. The debate is already going on, he just wants to skew it towards his side. (Which is fascinating in an of itself. Michael Moore is a guy who thinks that the same government which can’t be trusted with your library records should be trusted with your health records.)

-- Lee @

I've seen the movie and "90 minute infomercial for socialism" sounds about right. Nary a counter-argument in sight.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

AP: "Michael Moore gives the accused little say in 'Sicko'"

Michael Moore gives the accused little say in 'Sicko' International Herald Tribune July 1, 2007. [The Associated Press]:

. . . At one point, Moore notes where the U.S. ranks in terms of health care around the world.

"The United States slipped to No. 37 in health care around the world, just slightly ahead of Slovenia," he said.

That ranking is based on a 2000 report from the World Health Organization that some health analysts viewed as misleading.

Moore does not say that one of the countries he highlighted, Cuba, is ranked 39th, below the U.S. Among the others, France is ranked No. 1, the United Kingdom ranked 18th and Canada ranked 30th. He does not give those rankings, either.

The report, based on 1997 data, measured not just the quality of care provided, but how well the countries prevented illness and how fairly the poor, minorities and other special populations are treated. . . .

Saturday, June 30, 2007

'Sicko': Michael Moore's Anemic Checkup, by Stephen Hunter. Washington Post June 30, 2007:

Ladies and gentlemen, I think we can agree on two things: The American health-care system is busted and Michael Moore is not the guy to fix it.

His “Sicko,” an investigation and indictment of that system, which is choking on paperwork, greed, bad policy and countervailing goals, turns out to be a fuzzy, toothless collection of anecdotes, a few stunts and a bromide-rich conclusion. He’s not even above looking hound-eyed into the camera as he stands on a Venetian bridge as a gondola scoots by underneath him and intoning, “We’re all in the same boat.”

We may be, but here’s the problem: He never tells us which boat. . . .

Friday, June 29, 2007

Deroy Murdock: "'SKiPO': Michael Moore's 'SiCKO' Skips Over Facts on Road to Government Medicine

'SKiPO': Michael Moore's 'SiCKO' Skips Over Facts on Road to Government Medicine, by Deroy Murdock. :

While promoting this prescription, Moore overlooks many facts that would balance his otherwise well-crafted film. For now, its leftward tilt makes the Leaning Tower of Pisa look like the Washington Monument.

  • Milton Friedman observed, “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” Sadly, there’s no such thing as free healthcare, either.

    Britons, Canadians, and Frenchmen purchase their “free” coverage through their taxes. In America, 44.7 percent of health expenditures came from tax-funded government spending in 2004, the OECD reports. In Canada, that figure was 69.8 percent; while in France it was 78.4. Fully 86.3 percent of British health spending was taxpayer-funded.

  • Moore claims 50 million Americans lack health insurance. In the Moving Picture Institute’s nine-minute film, “Uninsured in America,” Stuart Browning deconstructs the more common “45 million uninsured” soundbite and finds that 9 million of these people earn over $75,000 annually and can buy coverage but don’t. ( Some 18 million are healthy, 18-34-year-old “young invincibles” whose priorities exclude insurance. Another 14 million fail to enroll in Medicaid and other low-income health programs for which they are eligible. Even if these numbers somewhat overlap, Browning estimates that just 8 million Americans chronically lack coverage.
  • Moore shows Michiganders driving into Canada for “free” medical attention. What he leaves unseen are the Canadians who come to America for treatment. Canada, along with only Cuba and North Korea, forbids its citizens from privately paying doctors for treatment. In a kind of therapeutic Underground Railroad, Vancouver’s Timely Medical Alternatives, Inc. arranges for Canadians to be treated in American hospitals. Thus its clients can be operated on within seven days rather than six to 10 months under Canadian government medicine.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Moore Planned To Go to Cuba

Time Bought Into Michael Moore's 'Sicko' Schtick, by Lynne Davis. June 25, 2007:

. . . Other sources have revealed that Moore planned to go to Cuba from the beginning. The Smoking Gun website obtained a letter to Moore from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which stated that before filming even began, Goldflat Productions, which included Moore, applied to OFAC on October 12, 2006 for permission to travel to Cuba—not “to American soil” at Gitmo, but Castro's Cuba.

Also, statements by several 9/11 responders that were made to the New York Post confirmed that this promotional stunt to treat the responders with Cuban healthcare was planned by Moore and his film company before they left the US . . .

Sunday, June 24, 2007

USA TODAY: "Sicko uses omission, exaggeration and cinematic sleight of hand to make its points."

, by Richard Wolf. USA Today June 24, 2007:

Sicko is sure to prompt a healthy debate about the U.S. health care system. But it tells only one side of the story. . . .

Sicko uses omission, exaggeration and cinematic sleight of hand to make its points. In criticizing politicians, insurers and drug makers, it says little about the high quality of U.S. care. In lauding Canada, Great Britain, France and Cuba, it largely avoids mention of the long lines and high taxes that accompany most government-run systems. . . .

"Obviously, it's not free," says Michael Cannon of the libertarian Cato Institute. Those countries "have unleashed demand, and they're capping supply. When you do that, you get lines."

In Canada, even the anti-privatization Canadian Health Coalition laments long lines. In France and Britain, the tax burden is 42% and 27% respectively, as opposed to 12% in the USA, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In Cuba, equipment and drugs are scarce. . . .

Some facts and figures in Sicko are misleading. The film says nearly 50 million Americans have no health insurance; 44.8 million people were uninsured in the USA in 2005, including non-citizens, the Census Bureau says. The film says health care costs $7,000 a person each year; the World Health Organization says it costs $6,100.

Moore reaches back more than a decade for gripping stories of care denied by insurers and HMOs — stories that were more common in the 1990s. He cites the case of a man in 1987 who was denied coverage for a heart transplant, and the subsequent congressional testimony in 1996 by Linda Peeno, who says her job at the insurer Humana was to deny as many claims as possible.

Then there are cinematic techniques, such as "posing" former congressman Billy Tauzin with a $2 million check from his new employer, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. A lengthy list of medical conditions that Moore says are not covered rolls by; the list comes from one employer.

"This piece is an editorial," says Karen Ignagni of America's Health Insurance Plans. "There was no effort by Michael Moore to get the view of our industry."

Friday, June 22, 2007

REASON Magazine: "a clumsy piece of agitprop that will likely have little lasting effect on the health care debate."

, by Michael C. Moynihan Reason Magazine:

. . . But, the viewer is left wondering, who will pay for all this generosity? Don't governments too suffer from cash shortfalls and ballooning budget deficits; situations that require corners to be cut, beds to be freed up, the cheapest route taken? What of Moore's implication that, once turned over to the government, things become "free?"
Take, for instance, Moore's shining example of the Hammersmith Hospital in London and the NHS health care system:
Viewers are taken to London's Hammersmith Hospital, held up as a shining example of socialized care, where doctors are well-paid and patients well looked after. Moore ambles through the corridors interviewing patients that acclaim the NHS's ‘free care,' and express horror at the barbarism of the American system. Indeed, the facility's "cashier" exists to give money to patients—for travel reimbursements—rather than taking it from them. But as is often the case with Moore's films, the reality is more complex.

In 2005, London's Evening Standard reported that Hammersmith Hospital would slash hundreds of jobs; the hospital, the most debt-ridden in Britain, was hemorrhaging money and desperately needed to cut costs. And while the hospital was "downsizing", Hammersmith's CEO—yes, even the NHS has an executive class—collected a year-end bonus of close to $20,000. Small beer by American standards, but enough to provoke tabloid headlines in Britain.

Much like the American hospitals Moore excoriates, Hammersmith Hospital, the Evening Standard reported, faced pressure from administrators to limit the number of patients treated in order to cut spending. In a country where the government promises to winnow down queues to 18 weeks, this isn't an anomalous problem. A recent BBC documentary accused the NHS of using dangerously high doses of radiation on patients "to save time and money."

After the critical reaction to his previous films, Moore opts for elision over outright falsehood. So when he marvels that a doctor working in the NHS owns an Audi and "million dollar home," it is hardly in his interest to point out, as The Independent did in January, that "soaring salary levels of doctors are worsening the NHS cash crisis." And while bitterly lamenting the U.S. system of "wage slavery"—American students, Moore says, are saddled with debt and, thus, "won't cause [employers] any trouble"—he ignores a recent report from the British Medical Association suggesting that, by their fifth year of medical school, British students "have accumulated an average debt of" $39,000. . . .READ MORE

"Prepare to be sickened by SICKO", by Prepare to be Sickened by SiCKO. American Thinker June 22, 2007:

From start to end, SiCKO, the latest “documentary” from notorious writer and filmmaker Michael Moore, is a stunning example of the Big Lie. Almost shockingly devoid of fact and context, it's instead based on highly selective, emotionally-driven, and deeply flawed anecdotes, strung together by writer-director-producer Moore's trademark folksy, soft-spoken, whimsical personal narrative. SiCKO (the unusual capitalization is Moore's conceit) is not a documentary at all, but a naked propaganda exercise on behalf of full-bore socialism. A better title for it would be Pinko. . . .

Monday, June 18, 2007

Michael Moore Goes Sicko on Health Care Reform, by Michael D. Tanner. June 18, 2007:

. . . Moore ignores the positive side altogether. For all its problems, the United States still provides the highest-quality health care in the world. 18 of the last 25 winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine either are U.S. citizens or work here. With no price controls, free-market U.S. medicine provides the incentives that lead to innovation breakthroughs in new drugs and other medical technologies.

U.S. companies have developed half of all the major new medicines introduced worldwide over the past 20 years, and according to a survey by the president's Council of Economic Advisors, Americans have played a key role in 80 percent of the most important medical advances of the past 30 years.

Instead, Moore focuses on life expectancy, suggesting that people in Canada, Britain, France and even Cuba live longer than Americans because of their health care systems. But most experts agree that life expectancies are a poor measure of health care, because they are affected by too many exogenous factors like violent crime, poverty, obesity, tobacco and drug use, and other issues unrelated to a country's health system. When you compare the outcome for specific diseases such as cancer or heart disease, the United States clearly outperforms the rest of the world. . . .

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Iraq veteran Sgt. Peter Damon sues Michael Moore over "Fahrenheit 9/11"

BOSTON - A veteran who lost both arms in the war in Iraq is suing filmmaker Michael Moore for $85 million, alleging that Moore used snippets of a television interview without his permission to falsely portray him as anti-war in "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Sgt. Peter Damon, a National Guardsman from Middleborough, is asking for damages because of "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation," according to the lawsuit filed in Suffolk Superior Court last week.

Damon, 33, claims that Moore never asked for his consent to use a clip from an interview Damon did with NBC's "Nightly News."

He lost his arms when a tire on a Black Hawk helicopter exploded while he and another reservist were servicing the aircraft on the ground. Another reservist was killed in the explosion.

In his interview with NBC, Damon was asked about a new painkiller the military was using on wounded veterans. He claims in his lawsuit that the way Moore used the film clip in "Fahrenheit 9/11" - Moore's scathing 2004 documentary criticizing the Bush administration and the war in Iraq - makes him appear to "voice a complaint about the war effort" when he was actually complaining about "the excruciating type of pain" that comes with the injury he suffered. . . . [READ MORE]

Source: Iraq veteran sues Moore over 9/11 film, by Denise Lavoie. Associated Press. May 31, 2006.

Related Posts

Friday, January 14, 2005

Michael Moore: "The New Ralph Nader"

[Michael Moore] may be a big hero to Hollywood, but the legacy of his films has been to discredit the causes he champions. Just ask John Kerry.

Fahrenheit 9/11 was timed to coincide with the 2004 presidential election for the sake of maximum interest and box office -- but its publicity and controversy was a distraction to the Democrats at the moment they were trying to get their message out. Taking a stance against the Iraq war became more difficult, not less, after the movie was released, forcing Democrats to distinguish their criticisms from those of the silver screen conspiracy theorists.

Who can forget how Gen. Wesley Clark's Democratic primary campaign had to spend several days extricating their candidate from the bear hug of the radical filmmaker? In the general election, John Kerry was likewise forced to walk the Fahrenheit tightrope -- distancing himself from Moore without alienating the party's liberal anti-war base that was turning out in droves and filling movie theatres with applause.

"The New Ralph Nader", by Collin Levey. January 13, 2005.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Michael Graham to Michael Moore: Show some Christmas spirit!

Michael Graham's letter to Michael Moore.

December 7, 2004

Dear Mr. Moore,

No doubt about it: The American soldier has done a lot for Michael Moore.

Hundreds of thousands of them are serving right now in Afghanistan and Iraq--two wars you opposed--defending you from a terrorist threat you claim does not exist. As you frequently point out, more than 1,000 of these soldiers and Marines have died, and thousands more of them have been injured.

These soldiers have also made you quite a bit of money. The most powerful scenes in your film Fahrenheit 9/11 feature soldiers and their families, specifically those servicemen who were wounded or killed in battle. Your new book, Will They Ever Trust Us Again -- a collection of letters you've received from members of the military who served in Iraq -- will likely gross hundreds of thousands of dollars for you and your publisher.

As I said, America's soldiers have been very good to you. Most of them don't like you, but they're prepared to die attempting to protect you from terrorism so that you can continue to crank out your profitable propaganda.

They’ve done all this for you. I’m writing to give you the opportunity to do something for them.

My radio station, 630 WMAL, is leading a fundraising effort on behalf of the Fisher Houses here in the Washington, DC area and the Fisher House Foundation. Given your obsession with the costs of the War on Terror, you are no doubt familiar with the magnificent work done by the Fisher House on behalf of wounded soldiers and their families.

These families are struggling with the emotional consequences of a battlefield injury and its treatment. Fisher House helps solve some of the short-term financial and logistical challenges for the wives, children and parents who have wounded loved ones receiving treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Bethesda Naval Hospital or Malcolm Grow Medical at Andrews Air Force base.

The message of your books and films is that the American soldier is a victim. The soldiers I’ve spoken with at Fisher House vehemently disagree with you, as do the majority of my active-duty military listeners. However, we all agree that the soldiers who have been the victims of Iraqi terrorist violence (I think you call them "the true patriots, the Minute Men") deserve our support.

Therefore, I am writing to challenge you to give back just a small portion of the money you have earned as a critic of their mission. Your film Fahrenheit 9/11 has grossed around $150 million. Our entire goal for the Fisher House this holiday season is a tiny percentage of that amount.

Though I am a confirmed right-winger, I believe there should be no partisan divide when it comes to standing by our troops. My fellow WMAL employees and I are dedicating our time, efforts and money to that proposition. The question, Mr. Moore, is whether or not you will do the same.

Many Americans feel that you have exploited the injuries of our soldiers for partisan purposes but have no real concern for them or their families. On behalf of the Fisher House, I would be thrilled to receive your generous donation as evidence that we are wrong.

If you feel, however, that the money can be better spent on yet another trip to France, nobody will be surprised.

You can send your check made out to the Fisher House Foundation, care of 630 WMAL, 4400 Jenifer Street NW, Washington, DC 20015.

Thank you for your time.

Michael Graham

630 WMAL

Washington, DC

Mr. Graham promises his readers he'll let us know when Mr. Moore responds to his request.

Monday, November 08, 2004

UK's Telegraph: "Moore boosted President Bush by outraging Middle America"

Not since Moby Dick has a great white whale been so bloodily harpooned. It took a shocked Michael Moore, director of Fahrenheit 9/11, until yesterday to comment on the US election result. When he did, he made a lame joke, offering "reasons not to slit your own throat". But if John Kerry's strategists feel like slitting anyone's throat right now, it is Mr Moore's.

This was supposed to be the victory that the podgy sage of Flint, Michigan, delivered for the Democrats by winding up students into paroxysms of anti-Bush rage and propelling them into the polling booths. In the event, he achieved the first but not the second objective. The proportion of young voters did not increase on Tuesday. In the gleeful words of one anti-Moore website, "pot-smoking slackers are still pot-smoking slackers": they meant to vote Kerry but, like, couldn't get out of bed in time.

In 2000, Mr Moore's support for Ralph Nader helped lose Florida for Al Gore. This time, he boosted President Bush by outraging Middle America. Take a bow, Mike: you've done it again.

Telegraph: Opinion []. Nov. 6, 2004.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Jeff Jarvis: "Michael Moore Lost The Election for Kerry"

Jeff Jarvis ("Buzzmachine") makes the case that Michael Moore lost the election for Kerry:

Michael Moore lost it for Kerry. He lost it by starting the mudslinging over military service when he accused Bush of being a deserter; this opened the door for the Swiftie mudmen and cut short the ability to condemn them for it.

He lost it by making unfair attacks on Bush (when he could have made fair attacks), helping Bush to rally his fans around him.

But mainly, Moore lost the race for Kerry and the Democrats by turning them, by association, into a bunch of rabid seething fringie liberal loonies, all angry and extreme and too quick to forget what the real war is and who the real enemy is. . . . READ MORE

Friday, October 29, 2004

Will Michael Moore "Document and Deter" Anti-Republican Intimidation?

Michael Moore's "videoarmy" is enlisting members around the nation, according to the following email sent to Ohio's Online Filmmaking Community:

Message from Carl at Michael Moore's office . . . "I am writing to you from the office of filmmaker Michael Moore. We are reaching out to the Ohio Filmmaking community to ask you to volunteer your time and talents to help deter election fraud, voter intimidation and vote suppression, and to document on tape any instances that may occur on November 2nd. If you interested in joining this effort, or are already planning to be present with your camera, please let us know as soon as possible. Please email a telephone number where you can be reached, and indicate what equipment and skills you could bring to bear on this effort. In the subject line of the email, please write your city name. Feel free to circulate this email to others that may be interested. They don't need to be professional filmmakers to help out. Thanks!" -- Carl

All very well and good, but I have one question for Mister Moore -- will his videoarmy "document and deter" incidents of anti-Republican voter intimidation as well?

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Soldier Peter Damon: "You know you've lied in making this movie."

Army Specialist Peter Damon sits under a shade tree and relates his war story from Iraq. As he and his best friend, Paul Bush, worked on a tire on their vehicle, an explosion went off. Bush was killed.

The camera pulls back, and you see for the first time that Damon didn't escape the incident unharmed. The explosion that killed his friend also took his arms from the elbows down. He is a young man with a young family, all with most of their lives ahead of them. His left sleeve is empty; his right arm has been replaced by a prosthesis with a sharp metal hook on the end. Damon is angry, and his voice takes on the tones of a man who knows he has been exploited.

He is not angry at President Bush for sending him to Iraq. Specialist Damon volunteered for the Army like all of our soldiers, and he is proud of his service in Iraq. He is not even particularly angry about the explosion that killed his friend and cost him his arms. He is angry with filmmaker Michael Moore.

While lying in a hospital bed at Walter Reed Army Hospital recovering weeks after the attack, NBC's Brian Williams interviewed the wounded soldier. Though Damon's arms are gone, he experiences "phantom pain" as if they were still attached. Though Moore never visited the military hospital and never even met Damon, he somehow obtained that NBC footage and used it in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, taking Damon's words out of context to make it appear that he is angry about the war and that his "phantom pain" is the pain of a soldier abandoned by his country and betrayed by his president. Nothing could be further from the truth.

At this point, Damon looks into the camera as though he is speaking directly to Michael Moore, and says, "You know you've lied in making this movie. You know you lied in my case, you know you lied in a whole lot of other cases."

Turning Up the Heat on Moore, by Bryan Preston. National Review Online, Oct. 20, 2004.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Military wife: "Michael Moore profiting off my husbands blood"

My husband's bloody image was used on Fahrenheit 911 on scene 22 on the DVD. Michael Moore took this very personal tragedy and used it without a care about our family having to see this awful image captured on film. I bet he doesn't even know that this Marine survived and still proudly serves his country.This movie is against everything my husband believes in. He has pride in his country and despite his disability, he has no regrets in his service to our Nation. He is truly an inspiration to all who meet him. He will continue to serve just as long as he is allowed to. The footage of my husband is pretty graphic, It's amazing he survived. Ironically it was the body armour that saved his life, the body armor that Kerry voted against. He lost his right eye, hearing in his right ear, loss of sense of smell and is legally blind in his left eye. He says "Our country is still at war and I will not leave the military without a fight." I don't think this is what Michael Moore was expecting to hear from this bloody injured Marine he used for quite the opposite effect. Kerry like Moore also used this same footage of my husband. He used it and implied that he knew the father of this injured serviceman and that the father told him he did not want his son to go to war. I can't believe that the two people that we despise the most, happen to be the two people who used the blood of my husband for their own benifit.

April wife of Cee-gar Marine

Message posted on the Free Republic by April Popaditch, wife of the Cee-gar Marine - Staff Sergeant Nick Popaditch, about Michael Moore. (Credit to BLACKFIVE).

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Michael Moore has never been to Iraq.

According to Steve of TheTruthAboutIraq.Org :

To me this is obvious, as it is to any civilian who was in Iraq. I only recently came to realize that this is unknown to the rest of the world. 1) Baghdad is a small town for expats. When Sean Penn showed up again, everybody knew. We tried to get him to drink with us. 2) Moore got his footage by soliciting freelance camera operators by email. I know, because he solicited a friend of mine. Note that Michael is never seen in any footage from Iraq in F 9/11. Here is the email exchange with my friend the freelancer. I've taken all identifying features out of the email, save for my name and Michael's people's names, because my friend the camera guy asked for confidentiality. As he points out, read the dialogue from bottom to top. . . .READ MORE.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Iraqi citizens: Fahrenheit 9/11 "exceedingly racist"

Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi writes:

A few weeks ago, Mamoun Fandy, a media analyst, syndicated columnist and former professor of Arab Studies at Georgetown University, was interviewed on the subject of Michael Moore. Fandy stated that Iraqis who were familiar with the film found Moore’s portrayal of them to be exceedingly racist; he went on to say that Moore’s callousness to the plight of the Iraqi people and to the unbelievable human rights devastation in Iraq was outrageous.

And that was only the verdict of the Iraqis.

I have also been asked to express the judgment of a number of Iranians who saw the film in Iran. They sent e-mails, faxes and even phoned me to ask me to report their reviews. . . .

Discover why Iranian citizens trash Fahrenheit 451 at

Friday, September 24, 2004

Fahrenhype vs. Fahrenheit

Dick Morris, host of the documentary Fahrenhype 911, has challenged Michael Moore to a debate:

"I challenge Michael Moore to a debate," Morris told NewsMax. "Joe Louis once said of a fighter who enters the ring with him that he can run but he can't hide. It is time for Michael Moore to come out of hiding and answer for the misrepresentations, misconceptions and mischaracterizations in his movie."

Morris noted that Moore has actually said that he believes there is no real terrorist threat and that the war on terror is just an excuse for George W. Bush and his supporters to advance some bizarre conspiracy to obtain more power and line their pockets. . . .

Whether Moore will respond to Morris' challenge remains to be seen. Newsmax has more news about the film itself:

According to Morris, "Fahrenhype 9/11" is available for sale and rental beginning Oct. 5, with taking pre-orders for the film.

In addition to Morris, the film features Hollywood's Ron Silver, Sen. Zell Miller, Congressman Peter King, Ed Koch, best-selling author Ann Coulter and, according to the movie poster, "many more."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

JunkYardBlog responds to Michael Moore's new book

JunkYardBlog reports on Michael Moore's latest propaganda project:

Not content with making a film loved by terrorists worldwide, Michael Moore is back with another project. If it's possible, this one--a book--is his most offensive and repugnant project yet: He is using letters from disgruntled and disillusioned soldiers from the front lines to build a case against the war.

Which is awfully convenient, since he has been trying to manipulate a buildup of antiwar feeling among our troops for the better part of a year. First he made F*** 9-11, then egged people on to download it illegally, burn it to cd or dvd, then send it to troops in Iraq and Kuwait. The scheme worked, as I've written about before--our troops on the front lines have run smack into enemy propaganda endorsed by the Democrat Party.

Now that his poisonous egg has hatched, he has received (so he says) letters from the front lines from soldiers who now agree with his warped view of the war. Those letters form his new book, Will They Ever Trust Us Again?

. . . and has a plan:

Due for release on DVD on October 5th is a film called FahrenHYPE 9-11. It's a documentary that refutes F*** 9-11. I've watched the online trailer and it looks solid. The DVD is just $14.99. If we could flex the might of the blogosphere, we could buy enough of these DVDs to get one in the hands of every platoon leader in Iraq. We don't need enough for each troop--just enough so that passing them around is easy and a majority of the troops can see it. If we do this we'll be helping the troops sort out truth from Moore's lies, and help buck up their morale. I think it's important that we give our troops some basis for refuting Moore and keeping his lies as far from infecting their warfighting ability as possible. Maybe FahrenHYPE 9-11 will help.

So what do you say, blogosphere? Can we help the troops here? Can we put a big dent in Michael Moore's effort to help destroy our military and cause us to lose the war?

Friday, September 17, 2004

Celsius 41.11

Celsius 41.11 -- "the temperature at which the brain begins to die" . . . coming to theaters September 2004.

We hope.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Belgravia Dispatch: "charlatan, publicity-hound and talent-challenged fraud"

The New York Review of Books finally got around to publishing a review of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 ("Is It All Just a Dream?" Volume 51, Number 13 · August 12, 2004).

Belgravia Dispatch has an excellent review of the review:

Put differently, I suspect, for those that hate Bush, they will leave the theater still hating him--but not really anymore than before. For those that like Bush, they will leave unpersuaded and further convinced that Moore is a cheap charlatan. And for any Bush undecideds, they will leave in a blur of pop culture references, a REM song here, a 'Keep on Rocking in the Free World' riff there, a Marine recruiter plying his trade in an iconic mall parking lot there.

So they will leave bemused and entertained--but not truly interested, persuaded on the merits, advanced in knowledge, fulfilled spiritually, improved in any real way (as true art is meant to do). That such efforts are even considered art and worthy of significant prizes speaks to the cultural desert we inhabit today. It's a sad state of affairs--but at least the dangers of a Leni Riefenstahl are not presented by this faux-artist who is really an imbecilic Howard Stern type shock-jock with a camera and a bone to pick from the old Flint days.

So yes, I'm clearly deeply underwhelmed, and doubtless others will increasingly be so going forward. The emperor has no clothes (much like the Cannes jury's selection process).

And yet, like it or not, Fahrehheit 9/11 passes for compelling fare among many. Surely though, better times must beckon? Or has cultural production truly become so desparately bleak? It hasn't, I know (many talents toil in near anonymity), but critics need to yell more loudly so the boorish lout that is Michael Moore is unmasked for the charlatan, publicity-hound and talent-challenged fraud that he is.

Monday, August 09, 2004

911 Commission Criticizes Moore: "No Credible Evidence"

Fueling the Fahrenheit 9/11 controversy, members of the 9/11 Commission dispute filmmaker Michael Moore's claims that 26 members of Osama bin Laden's family were secretly shuttled out of the country while planes were grounded after the terror attacks.

"That's not what we found," commission member Jamie Gorelick said of Moore's assertion that the Saudis were snuck out on a charter flight on Sept. 13 in violation of airspace restrictions.

Gorelick told the Herald that restrictions had been lifted by the time the Saudi planes took off that day and that the FBI interviewed 22 of the 26 members. The others were cleared by the agency of any connection to the attacks, the commission found. . . . READ MORE

Source: "Moore is less than honest, panelist says"
By Dave Wedge

Sunday, August 8, 2004.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Joey Tartakovsky: "As a polemic, masterful; as a basis for informed decision-making, irresponsible."

Enthusiasts of the film have taken Moore's decision to hire a team of fact-checkers as confirmation of the film's truthfulness. The team certainly has its work cut out. But objections to various details should not cause us to miss the larger point: the real deceit lies not in his "facts," but in how he cobbles them together. There may be some evidence that four thousand Saudi princes manage U.S. foreign policy, a theory of Fahrenheit 9/11 advances, but there is substantially more evidence that they do not. Will the fact-checkers prove that the Saudis are, contrary to popular belief, thrilled with the war on terror? The bottom line is that there exists a boundless sea of "facts," and an ideologue willing to play fast and loose with them can easily manipulate them into extreme or unwarranted conclusions. You can "prove" just about anything and its opposite, and you can traduce any public figure, a President easiest of all.

No one has challenged Michael Moore's right to "reveal" the consequences of President Bush's decisions as brutally as he wants. But this is not what he does. He seeks to embarrass Bush by culling choice footage from hundreds of hours of recording, cutting-and-pasting them in unflattering ways, and then spicing it with wild innuendo and cinematic manipulation. If any one of us were on camera on a daily basis, speaking on record about a half-dozen issues, we'd have quite a blooper reel as well. Fahrenheit 9/11's unforgiving character assassination is corrosive to civil democratic culture. If everyone behaved this way towards their political opponents, and if every important issue were simplified to the point of absurdity, normal political processes would break down. Fahrenheit 9/11 thus resorts to the oldest, nastiest trick in the book: attack Bush's character, not his policies; impugn his motives, not his arguments. It's hard to ignore how relentlessly personal this movie is. All this, even as there remain few matters more in demand of partisan discretion and common decency than terrorism and war. . . .

As a polemic, Fahrenheit 9/11 is masterful; as a basis for informed decision-making, it is irresponsible. The thought that Fahrenheit 9/11's dishonorable message might actually become a basis for individuals to make decisions is the most disconcerting part of all.

Source: Joey Tartakovsky. July 28, 2004.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Saudi Prince: "we granted him a visa, but he never came"

In an exclusive interview with the Telegraph, Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal takes issue with Moore's depiction of the Saudis:

. . . 'It would have been far better if Michael Moore had been able to read the 9/11 report before he made his film. It shows that all the protocols were strictly observed.' Because Moore had not thoroughly researched the allegations levelled against Saudi Arabia, Prince Turki said that Fahrenheit 9/11 is 'grossly unfair' to the Saudis.'

In his film, Moore claims that the Bush administration helped a number of Saudi princes and members of the bin Laden family to flee the United States immediately after the attacks at a time when American air space had been closed to all commercial air traffic. Moore implies that the Saudis were smuggled out of the country to cover up their involvement in the terror attacks.

Prince Turki said these claims have now been completely refuted in the report compiled by the US commission of inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, which was published at the end of last month.

In a section headed 'Flights of Saudi Nationals Leaving the United States', the report found 'no evidence that any flights of Saudi nationals, domestic or international, took place before the reopening of national airspace on the morning of September 13, 2001'. The report also concludes that it found no evidence of political interference by the White House, and states that those Saudis who did leave the US on charter flights in the days following the attacks had been thoroughly vetted by FBI agents.

Prince Turki said Moore could have found this out for himself before he made the film, but he 'chose to speculate' rather than establish what really happened.

'Michael Moore made a request to visit Saudi Arabia and we granted him a visa, but he never came,' said Prince Turki in an interview with The Telegraph. 'He missed an important opportunity to find out key facts. In my opinion he should have made every effort to go to a country he has taken to task so heavily in his film.'

SOURCE: Saudi royal family lambasts Michael Moore for twisting the truth in his 9/11 film. Telegraph August 8, 2004.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Bloomington Newspaper: Michael Moore Faked Front Page

The (Bloomington) Pantagraph newspaper in central Illinois has sent a letter to Moore and his production company, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., asking Moore to apologize for using what the newspaper says was a doctored front page in the film, the paper reported Friday. It also is seeking compensatory damages of $1.

A scene early in the movie that shows newspaper headlines related to the legally contested presidential election of 2000 included a shot of The Pantagraph's Dec. 19, 2001, front page, with the prominent headline: "Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election."

The paper says that headline never appeared on that day. It appeared in a Dec. 5, 2001, edition, but the headline was not used on the front page. Instead, it was found in much smaller type above a letter to the editor, which the paper says reflects "only the opinions of the letter writer."

"If (Moore) wants to 'edit' The Pantagraph, he should apply for a copy-editing job," the paper said.

SOURCE: Associated Press July 30, 2004.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

U.S. Army veterans object to Moore's use of footage in 911

Army Staff Sergeant Ray Mitchell is none too pleased about Moore's using footage of him in as a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington:

"I'm in it," he said. "And I didn't know until it opened."

In a brief film clip taken from an interview he did with the British television network Channel 4 in February, Mitchell appears in the physical-training room of Walter Reed, where he shared the following words about wounded soldiers:

"The ones that are covered are the KIAs - the 'Killed in Action.' I'm not taking anything away from those soldiers. They deserve that coverage. But there is also us. To say we're forgotten, that would be going just a little bit too far to say we're forgotten, but I'd say we are the missed soldiers of the Army."

Mitchell does not deny making the remarks. But he vehemently objects to filmmaker Moore's using them - without his knowledge - in a film he thinks undermines the military's mission in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he risked his life.

"The president is the commander in chief of our military," Mitchell said. "I don't want to have my face in a film that's anti-Bush, or anti-military."

Mitchell has not seen Fahrenheit 9/11 in its entirety, but he said that he's seen enough to disagree with its message and with Moore's use of his comments.

"The way they lead into my spot in the movie insinuates that I'm talking bad about the military," Mitchell said.

In the film, images of dead Iraqis precede his clip. Following it are the remarks of another Marine who vows never to return to Iraq.

Sergeant Mitchell's not the only one whose upset about Moore's manipulation of his footage:

The July 15 issue of The Enterprise, a Massachusetts newspaper, reported that Army reservist Peter Damon - also recuperating at Walter Reed after losing parts of both arms in an explosion in Iraq - was "surprised" to learn that an interview he gave to NBC this year is shown in the film.

John Gonsalves, the founder of Homes for Our Troops - a Massachusetts organization that builds homes for disabled soldiers - is constructing a new house for Damon and his wife, with whom he has talked extensively about the film.

"To do a movie that's clearly anti-war and totally against the Bush administration, and to put these guys in it without their knowledge, is morally wrong, and maybe even legally," said Gonsalves.

Source: "Soldiers decry use of footage in '9/11'" Baltimore Sun July 24, 2004.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Daniel Henninger on Moore's Smug Condescension

In today's Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger takes issue with Moore's condescending portrayal of lower-middle class ("Carpet-Bomb Filmmaking" July 23, 2004):

Moore's on-camera characters are invariably lower middle class and inarticulate. In fact, no one is physically attractive or stylish, which allows Moore's big-city target audience to stay inside its normal film-going comfort zone of smirking condescension.

The U.S. soldiers who speak onscreen in Iraq come across as bloodless killers with Southern accents. They sound stupidly unfeeling about the war's destruction. It wasn't clear to me that even this audience was in sync with the filmmaker's willingness to make a mockery of American soldiers. Moore's misanthropy is equal opportunity; he shows a greasy white guy in Flint, Mich., with a tattoo on his arm, whose thoughts on domestic security are that you can't trust anyone anymore, even people you know. That got a big laugh. All the people in Moore's beloved Flint--which appears in "Fahrenheit" as a few bombed-out housing blocks--are either dopey white trash or oppressed blacks. Two Marine recruiters walking around a U.S. shopping center are manipulative and opportunistic. They're made to look bad.

To make some point about domestic security, he shows a passenger's encounter at check-in with an improbable airport security guard--a befuddled, older woman in glasses, curly white hair and a Midwestern accent. Moore doesn't give this woman the courtesy of identifying where she works. She's nowhere.

Even the Iraqi victims in Baghdad are props. A baby's corpse is lifted from a dumpster, bloodied limbs are shown, people wail--but in a succession of quick frames. Moore never spends any time with these people. They just, so to speak, blow by.

In a sequence on the U.S.'s allies, Romania is depicted with a movie-stock Dracula figure (these are the people who freed themselves from Ceausescu), and Morocco is represented by monkeys scampering along the ground. That got a laugh, but not a big one. . . .

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Linda Ronstadt booed offstage for praising Michael Moore

YahooNews reports that singer Linda Rondstadt was kicked out of casino for praising Michael Moore

US singer Linda Ronstadt was booed off the stage and kicked out of a Las Vegas casino after praising polemical filmmaker Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11," the casino said.

The management of Las Vegas Aladdin Casino and Resort evicted the famed crooner from the premises after members of the audience reacted furiously to her praise of Moore, whose film bashes US President George W. Bush, during a concert on Saturday night. . . .

"She was removed from the hotel towards the end of the concert," a hotel official who declined to be identified told AFP of Ronstadt's unceremonious departure from the Aladdin.

"The company decided to remove her from the property after she dedicated a song to Michael Moore. This angered our guests who spilled their drinks and demanded their money back," the official said.

The liberal Ronstadt, 58, a 10-time Grammy Award-winner and an icon of the politically-agitated 1970s, praised Moore as a "great American patriot" who "is spreading the truth."

Michael Moore complained that his First Amendment rights were being violated, but as blogger Bill Cork ("Lincoln and Liberty") observes:

This wasn't a public place. This wasn't a political event. She was hired for a job. And in this case, it is the audience and the management who have the rights to freedom of speech, not her.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Furious soldier's mother: "[Moore] "maggot that eats off the dead"

The family of U.S. Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone was shocked to learn that video footage of the major's Arlington National Cemetery burial was included by Michael Moore in his movie "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Stone was killed in March 2003 by a grenade that officials said was thrown into his tent by Sgt. Hasan K. Akbar, who is on trial for murder.

It's been a big shock, and we are not very happy about it, to say the least," Kandi Gallagher, Stone's aunt and family spokeswoman, tells Washington Times reporter Audrey Hudson.

We are furious that Greg was in that casket and cannot defend himself, and my sister, Greg's mother, is just beside herself," Gallagher said. "She is furious. She called him a 'maggot that eats off the dead.'"

The movie, described by critics as political propaganda during an election year, shows video footage of the funeral and Stone's fiancee, Tammie Eslinger, kissing her hand and touching it to his coffin.

The family does not know how Moore obtained the video, and Gallagher said they did not give permission and are considering legal recourse.

She described her nephew as a "totally conservative Republican" and said he would have found the film to be "putrid."

"I'm sure he would have some choice words for Michael Moore," she said. "Michael Moore would have a hard time asking our family for a glass of water if he were thirsty."

Source: "Moore's Prop", by John McCaslin. July 14, 2004.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Iraqi blogger: "I wonder if you've lived under dictators, extremists, terrorist rule"

Sarmad Zanga, an Iraqi blogger, has heard of Michael Moore's movie, and he's none too pleased:

his movie - I won't even call it a movie - it's like a "cut and paste" movie - I wonder what he is thinking when he shows his "cut and paste" movie: "cut and paste" for explosions and fighting, and terrorists covering their faces; statements by GWB playing golf (I didn't know playing golf in America was a crime. I know it was in Iraq before 9/4. It was only for presidents.) I wonder if it took MICHAEL MOORE hard work to produce this "cut and paste".

I wonder if you've lived under dictators, extremists, terrorist rule, or if you are just living under the gift of being free - free to say anything, free to do anything, free to make a film from "cut and paste" to win trophies and awards and $26 million. I just wanna remind you where you are, because there are brave men fighting for where you are. I wonder if you live safer and safer for all your life - safer for hope, safer for justice - and if there's fear in your life. I wonder why we always try to think of ourselves, why we evaluate hard work and achievements, and show them like dark spots. . . . READ MORE

In the interest of providing a "fair and balanced" perspective, Sarmad posts links to photographs of post-war Iraq that Moore is not likely to display in Fahrenheit 911 or any other film. Check them out.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Greg Piper: "Borenheit 911"

Greg Piper ("The Smoking Room") blogs his impressions of the film:

So I finally watched "Fahrenheit 9/11" last night with a couple friends, not in a theater and at no cost to us (!), and my primary reaction was: Boring. Full of speculation and convenient omission? Sure. But I can't believe this movie is doing so well when it's such a snoozefest. . . .

I can't add anything new from all the reviews I've previously linked, but I'm glad I read them before seeing the movie. Watching each clumsy Moore claim about the Bush-Saudi-media-business collusion with the knowledge of exactly how it was misleading was especially gratifying. But I feel sorry for all those people who don't follow foreign affairs or know the history of US involvement in the Middle East, because unless they already disliked Moore, they will probably swallow his lawyer-vetted narrative hook, line and sinker. A few technical errors, but a dump truck full of distortions, omissions and faulty insinuations. He's safe from slander claims, but just barely.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Daschle: "I never hugged Michael Moore"

Rapid City Journal reports that Tom Daschle has explicitly denied hugging Michael Moore:

"I know we senators all tend to look alike. But I arrived late, and I had to leave early for Senate votes. I didn't meet Mr. Moore," Daschle said.

In a lengthy Time magazine piece about the movie and its political effects, Richard Corliss reported Moore's criticism of Daschle's leadership and the filmmaker's account of a hug with Daschle.

"At the Washington premiere, Moore sat a few rows behind Daschle. Afterward, says Moore, ‘He gave me a hug and said he felt bad and that we were all gonna fight from now on. I thanked him for being a good sport,'" Corliss wrote.

Daschle, who was at the premiere at the invitation of producer/distributor Harvey Weinstein, said he and Moore have never met.

Moore Steps on Hollywood's Toes

Michael Moore has angered Hollywood by his expression of casual indifference to internet downloading of Fahrenheit 911.

Moore's views have not been well received by Hollywood's establishment, which is fighting a war against the online pirates it claims cost the industry 1.6 billion pounds a year in lost sales.

Jack Valenti, the outgoing president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), said: "We are proud that American films continue to enjoy immense popularity around the world but the need for copyright protection in the digital age is crucial to the preservation of our most prized trade asset.

"Piracy is having a dramatic impact on the creators and copyright owners of this nation, and its defeat depends largely on the commit ment and resolve of the entire industry.

"File sharing causes tremendous financial loss to the movie business, untold hardship to support workers, and costs thousands of jobs."