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Wednesday, May 05, 2004

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Brock

This whole conversation about distribution is a red herring anyway. The fact is that the Bush family has a long and interesting relationship with the Saudi Royal Family and the bin Laden's and Michael Moore made a movie about it. Talking about lefties do this to get a bee in so and so's bonnet, and righties are government controlled automatons is really skirting the real issue here of a governmental conflict of interest that is supposedly documented in this film (that no media outlet has decided to report on -- probably for much the same reasons that Disney has chosen not to).

Whether or not Disney decides to distribute it is really neither here nor there (although it ends up being a bigger issue when the reason they do it is because of fear of the wrath of the government).

Steve M.

"they had made it clear a year ago that they wanted no involvement with Fahrenheit 911" is, as I read it, an expression of wariness -- it isn't the same as "they made a final decision a year ago to block Fahrenheit 911's release."

So much for Smoking Gun #1. As for Smoking Gun #2, it's also ambiguous and from an anonymous source.

Nice try. Your hit count's going to go through the roof thanks to Drudge, but you've got nothing concrete here.

(And what about the fact that Disney benefits from this story? ABC just pissed off the Bushies big time with that Nightline program -- and now, a couple of days later, this leaks: Disney suppresses Moore. I think Disney wanted this story out, not Moore -- or maybe it's mutually beneficial.)

Catherine

Hey Brock. Please explain the "facts" you possess proving this "long and interesting" relationship...and any sinister outcome from said relationship, if it truly exists. No really, I'm not being sarcastic, I really want to know! I continue to read, here and there, about these mysterious "facts", but no one can provide accurate and verifiable proof. Believe me, I've asked! Usually I'm directed to assumptions and theories. Anyway. Michael Moore may have been (past tense) talented, but he has subjugated that with his unrelenting one-note bloated and bleating wonder show of whining and hate. After he stated that people (who had children serving in the military) who supported the war and/or Bush, deserved to see their sons and daughters die...well, that was enough of Mr. Moore for me, so I won't miss his next controversy since you couldn't pay me to sit through it.

Joe

People are going to be shocked when they see Moore connect the Bush/Bin Laden dots. Shocked.

FtheFCC

Who cannot see the pattern of corporate censorship in this country? CLear Channel takes Stern off the air when he opposes corporate bobo Bush. Disney tries to stop Miramiax from distributing Moore's film because it, too, is a critical view of our unelected president.

Jerry

The thing I have always wondered is why the media insists on calling him Bin LadEn when even the title of the Aug 6th memo is "Bin LadIn determined to attack..." (One site posted a scan of the document. Funny how every news outlet got the transctipted title wrong) It doesn't take much time to find the company The Saudi BinLadin Group that was a major investor in The Carlyle Group... one of america's larget defense contractors that had a Senior advisor named... George Herbert Walker Bush. He finally stepped down in October 2003 and The BinLadin Group finally cashed out their investment because they were making money from Osama's attacks! There is a tidbit to start your search catherine. I hope it gets you looking in the right place. After doing my own research, I wish I had just stayed ignorant of what was going on. Now I am outraged. You might recall the Bush administration attemting to push through funding for the "crusader missile" that the military didn't want. The crusader missile was created by UDI (united Defense Industries?) which is owned by The Carlyle Group... which means the president tried to push through many many millions of dollars to benefit his father's company! If I did that at my job I would be fired for CONFLICT OF INTEREST. This admin has very loose business ethics. Believe me it would be great to give my dad millions of dollars so I could inherit it when he dies. Unfortunately thats not the way ethical businessmen operate. I found a few sites to get you started...
http://www.hereinreality.com/carlyle.html
http://www.bushflash.com/buddy.html
http://www.bushflash.com/gta.html
http://www.google.com (a great place to start your search. Never take what anyone says as fact... do your own due dilligence!)

Edgie

The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Everyone get yore tinfoil hats out, the gubment's comin' ta getcha.

Jerry

btw... I am no relation to Michael Moore.

yfb

Typical ad hominem hit piece by Cooper. Moore the Ann Coulter of the left? Marc seems intent on divorcing himself from any remaining semblance as a serious commentator.

Here's a straightforward piece that hits all the points, including Moore's hyperbole, without being a complete jackass about it:

http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/tallahassee/entertainment/8594589.htm

justifiedblackeye

why is it significant if moore using this story to hype his film. it doesn't change the story. disney won't distro it. why not use this your advantage. if the shoe were on the other foot and this were a probush film, i'm sure you'd be telling us what an insanely brilliant p.r. move this was.

whoopdiddydoo!

Gadfly

Anybody remember Wag the Dog (Newline) or Primary Colors (Universal)? Both issued in the middle of Clinton's scandals.

How do you buy stock in Michael Moore? I want some.

Jantje Smiths

"lefty fringe politics". Ann Coulter would have been proud, but maybe you should have topped if of with "treason"?

Michael Moore is the Ann Coulter of the left? How many Oscars does she have? Who has ever voted ANYTHING to her?

Marc Cooper, and the rest of the Neo-Nazi.. er neocons think they are just swirling the bowl in Iraq. The fact is, the political corkscrew ride that started at six flags over al-fallujah is going to take them down into the seventh circle of political hell faster than you can say Ahmed Chalabi.

And Michael Moore predicted it.

nickname

What a fascinating website. We can only hope David Corn gets one of his own. Then he, Cooper and Eric Alterman can duke it out for the the most envious, dull mediocrity on the left. Where would Bush be if he didn't have you twats running interference for him. Wouldn't be so bad if there seemed to be an ounce of talent between ya -- but it all seems churned out by the same dull lib-bot.

For all his faults, Moore has done more for the popularization of left-wing ideas than the Nation has managed in the last 30 years. Ah, but there's the rub.

Michael Pugliese

Anybody read the Craig Unger book, House of Saud, House of Bush yet?
Cf. The Two Souls of Islam by Schwartz and the Dore Gold book.

Michael Pugliese

This is G o o g l e's cache of http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html.
G o o g l e's cache

BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE

Documentary or Fiction?

-David T. Hardy-

Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" won the Oscar for best documentary. Unfortunately, it is not a documentary, by the Academy's own definition.

The injustice here is not so much to the viewer, as to the independent producers of real documentaries. These struggle in a field which receives but a fraction of the recognition and financing of the "entertainment industry." They are protected by Academy rules limiting the documentary competition to nonfiction.

Bowling is fiction. It makes its points by deceiving and by misleading the viewer. Statements are made which are false. Moore leads the reader to draw inferences which he must have known were wrong. Indeed, even speeches shown on screen are heavily edited, so that sentences are assembled in the speaker's voice, but which were not sentences he uttered. Bowling uses deception as its primary tool of persuasion and effect.

A film which does this may be a commercial success. It may be entertaining. But it is not a documentary. One need only consult Rule 12 of the rules for the Academy Award: a documentary is a non-fictional movie.

The point is not that Bowling is biased. No, the point is that Bowling is deliberately, seriously, and consistently deceptive.

1. Willie Horton. The first edition of the webpage had a section on falsification of the election ad regarding Willie Horton (the convict, not the baseball star). This was one of the earliest criticisms of Bowling--Ben Fritz caught it back in November, 2002.

To illustrate politicians' (and especially Republican politicians') willingness to play the "race card," Bowling shows what purports to be a television ad run by George Bush, Sr., in his race against Governor Dukakis. For those who weren't around back then -- Massachusetts had a "prison furlough" program where prisoners could be given short releases from the clink. Unfortunately, some of them never came back. Dukakis vetoed legislation which would have forbidden furlough to persons with "life without parole" sentences for murder, and authorities thereafter furloughed a number of murderers. Horton, in prison for a brutal stabbing murder, got a furlough, never returned, and then attacked a couple, assaulting both and raping the woman. His opponents in the presidential race took advantage of the veto.

The ad as shown by Moore begins with a "revolving door" of justice, progresses to a picture of Willie Horton (who is black), and ends with dramatic subtitle: "Willie Horton released. Then kills again."

Fact: Bowling splices together two different election ads, one run by the Bush campaign (featuring a revolving door, and not even mentioning Horton) and another run by an independent expenditure campaign (naming Horton, and showing footage from which it can be seen that he is black). At the end, the ad ala' Moore has the customary note that it was paid for by the Bush-Quayle campaign. Moore intones "whether you're a psychotic killer or running for president of the United States, the one thing you can always count on is white America's fear of the black man." There is nothing to reveal that most of the ad just seen (and all of it that was relevant to Moore's claim) was not the Bush-Quayle ad, which didn't even name Horton.

Fact: Apparently unsatisfied with splicing the ads, Bowling's editors added a subtitle "Willie Horton released. Then kills again."

Fact: Ben Fitz also noted that Bowling's editors didn't bother to research the events before doctoring the ads. Horton's second arrest was not for murder. (The second set of charges were aggravated assault and rape).


I originally deleted this from the main webpage, because in the VHS version of Bowling Moore had the decency to remove the misleading footage. But as Brendan Nyhan recently wrote in Spinsanity, he put it back in in the DVD version! He did make one minor change, switching his edited-in caption to "Willie Horton released. Then rapes a woman." Obviously Moore had been informed of the Spinsanity criticism. He responded by correcting his own typo, not by removing the edited in caption, nor by revealing that the ad being shown was not in fact a Bush-Quayle ad.
SNIP>
Google the title then click the cache copy.

steve

gee michael p, that's a pretty weak criticism really. are you saying that the bush/quayle campaign didn't use the willie horton business to its advantage or that that strategy wasn't racist? the criticisms this guy is making seem pretty picayune.
The criticisms of Coulter are far more devastating, she gets fact after fact after fact completely wrong in her books. Makes claims about people that actually attribute meanings and intents to statements that are completely out of context and/or outright wrong. The Daily Howler did a major job on her books, as have countless right wing commentators for that matter.

I've seen nothing like that level of criticism of Moore's work. Is he a celeb now and filled with his own self-serving motivations, sure, name one that isn't. But that he compares with Coulter? No, not if you've read their books, there are very real differences in quality. All you have to do is read the book reviews. Outside of Sean Hannity, no one thinks seriously of Ann Coulter. You just can't say that about Moore.

And the lady above who claims Moore is happy to see soldiers die, yeah right, I'd love to see documentation of that. His friends at Veterans for Peace would be surprised to hear that.

Jon R. Koppenhoefer

I could care less about Moore's ambitions and pretense. I don't usually listen to this patented bigmouth for all the reasons given and others I haven't even thought of.

But an earlier post had it right: it doesn't matter. What matters is the facts, as Craig Unger lays out in his book "House of Bush, House of Saud".

I'm sure Unger does it better than Moore, but then you have to read to understand what Unger is saying. I'm not sure many of Moore's diehard fans are all that fond of reading. They sure aren't all that fond of thinking carefully about what he says.

I watched Moore's early efforts on cable a few years ago, and found his rhetoric, in the main, fatuous and full of what seems to be false outrage. He has done well for himself, however, and I can't blame him for that.

Perhaps many people will learn something from Moore's simplistic and faulty video presentations, and if they do, then more power to him. I'm not sure they would have learned this stuff any other way, given the apparent aversion of the general public to reading with any regularity or listening to the news with any discernment.

This sounds like elitism? Well, you tell me why most Americans still think that Saddam not only had a cache of WMDs but personally planned and/or financed the Al-Qaeda attacks on the WTC and Pentagon. Some people may even believe that Saddam was at the controls of one of the planes, and somehow miraculously, devilishly, escaped harm in the explosions.

And these gullible, unthinking, ignorant, fearful, wretched people will no doubt vote for George W. Bush in the fall because he's a 'strong leader' who 'opposes terorrism'. Go figure.

This sounds like elitism? Well, you tell me why most Americans still think that Saddam not only had a cache of WMDs but personally planned and/or financed the Al-Qaeda attacks on the WTC and Pentagon. Some people may even believe that Saddam was at the controls of one of the planes, and somehow miraculously, devilishly, escaped harm in the explosions.

--uhm, I'm not sure how much you read Moore's writing on topics like WMDs in Iraq, but he was far closer to the reality of the situation at the time than either Coulter or Marc Cooper a year ago this time...I would imagine his readers, compared with Coulter's readers, were far far better informed about so-called WMD myths...

Marc Cooper

Interviewed on CNN tonight, Michael Moore said he knew in May 2003 (a year ago!) that Disney had no intention of distributing his film. He said he had been working "quietly" to resolve the issue. He chose to get loud on the eve of the Cannes festival. In other words, Andrew Gumbel's story was spot on. Moore could have spent the last year putting together a distribution deal. But then again he would have missed out on this freebie wave of publicity.

hen

Uh Michael --- Willie Horton was brought up by....Al Gore against Dukakis, not Bush/Qualye. Facts are stubborn things.

And to the person who asked how many Oscars Ann Coulter has, well, she's not in the film business. I guess you need to be in that biz to get an Oscar, altho i cd be wrong, because neither Alfred Hitchcock nor Orson Welles has one won either. Hello?

hen

one won = won one

steve

Uh Michael --- Willie Horton was brought up by....Al Gore against Dukakis, not Bush/Qualye. Facts are stubborn things.

--so? Are you saying Moore was a supporter of Gore? Check again. On the Willie Horton ad, an excellent account at

http://www.insidepolitics.org/ps111/independentads.html

nfk

I have the same problem I have here as I do with other political sites filled with people who quote facts: I don't know what you know, show me your facts. Otherwise there is no credibility.

The formula is the same, someone makes a comment against someone (Moore, for example). Someone makes a comment against the comment. All refer to facts, supposedly, and maybe link to a website that doesn't appear to be a legitimate news source. If that's considered good enough then you're talking for your own satisfication and not to help others.

Look at the last example about the ads for Willie Horton. I don't believe either side. It looks all just like one opinion versus another. I am coming at this as an outsider and no one is providing anything other then opinion. Just because you post it doesn't make it true.

What I walk away from this discussion is some people hate Moore, some people love him.

If you want to truth to speak for itself, get those ads. Post them. Let the rest of us decide. Post the ads to http://www.quoticus.org for others to see. You don't have to worry about sucking up your bandwidth. Quoticus will even convert them for you.

I like the truth. I'm just hearing very little that I can consider reliable. Where's the facts.

Mouse

I think both arguments made are correct: Disney doesn't want the political fallout of an anti-Bush film and Michael Moore is capitalizing on their reluctance.

Bottom line, it's still censorship.

FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) has another interesting reason why Disney is afraid to release the film:

"Disney may have another reason, not mentioned by the Times, to reject a film that might offend the Saudi royal family: A powerful member of the family, Al-Walid bin Talal, owns a major stake in Eurodisney and has been instrumental in the past in bailing out the financially troubled amusement park (AFP, 6/1/94). The project is facing a new cash crunch, and Al-Walid has been mentioned as a potential rescuer again (L.A. Times, 1/26/04)."

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