Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Moore is less

With the obvious exception of The Simpsons, most of Sky One’s output is an interminable shower of cack. Dream Team. Ross Kemp on Gangs. The Secret World of Airports. The Dog Whisperer (which, although it sounds like something Charlie Brooker might have come up with for the legendary TV Go Home, really does exist). Oh, the choices we are given in this brave new digital world!

But I did enjoy watching Michael Moore And Me last night. This programme saw Janet Street-Porter trying to hunt down the world’s richest ‘documentary’ maker, who has been conspicuous by his absence since. . . the re-election of George W. Bush, funnily enough. She never did get to meet the big man – it seems he’s none too forgiving when other people try to put him in front of a camera unprepared. Anyone who tries to snare him using his own techniques, in other words. Nonetheless, it did provide a few insights into this celebrated ‘man of the people’ and revealed, if anything, that he has more in common with his enemies than he might care to admit.

He’s certainly cavalier with the truth – something that has been well documented elsewhere on many occasions (my favourite of which is this decimating review of Fahrenheit 9/11 by Christopher Hitchens). Some of these blatant distortions of reality were highlighted on last night’s programme. The famous scene from Bowling For Columbine for example, where Charlton Heston addresses the NRA, proclaiming that gun control activists would only take away his weapon “from my cold, dead hands”. In the film, we are told that this was a speech made at a rally near to Columbine just days after the massacre. In fact, what we see in the film is two speeches, from two different rallies, about a year apart. The ‘cold dead hands’ segment was deliberately sliced in and used in a different context. Heston’s even wearing a different shirt and tie if you follow it closely. Even more skewed are the opening scenes of Fahrenheit 9/11 where he shows ‘real life’ in Baghdad before the invasion in 2003: children flying kites, happy market shoppers, a life of blissful tranquillity and normality. No mention of the brutal police state, or people being forced into the army, Kurds being gassed and enemies of the state beaten to death and left in the street. How strange.

Anyway, this is all old news.

Many on the left see Michael Moore as something of a hero, the flag carrier for their cause. In reality, they should be embarrassed to be associated with him. He only seems capable of viewing a subject from one perspective and is quite happy to pervert his sources to create a distorted picture, as long as it reinforces his viewpoint.

Not unlike the administration that he so despises, in fact.

5 comments:

ph said...

Maybe we will get this documentary on the BBC, mmmm somehow doubt it

paduan learner said...

I watched 'Farenheit' from my hospital bed, with full knowledge of his reputation for twisting things to suit his point of view. Despite this I still found it a compelling program.

In this age where the media doesn't understand the word 'impartial' perhaps we need to see two extremes of the same story to get an idea of what truth lies in the middle.

Citizen Sane said...

Oh, I don't doubt that it is compelling. Columbine was very interesting to watch too. I just think the guy's a fraud and people should take whatever he says with several pinches of salt.

Also interesting to read that his trust owns (or owned) shares in Halliburton (plus many other big corps), because according to his film, wasn't the whole war waged as a justification for landing them with fat contracts?

Nothing wrong with owning shares of course, but lambasting corporate behaviour while secretly profiting from their machinations and all the while insisting that you don't own any shares? Smells a bit fishy to me.

mAc Chaos said...

The joke is on his supporters. He just fleeces them for money.

Citizen Sane said...

I agree. But the same is also true of the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly. They are all lying, fact distorting shitbags. I despise them all, and their bovine acolytes.