I’ve had my fill of fairy tales, thanks
Welcome to Americans Anonymous. Repeat after me: My name is [state your name], and I’m not ashamed to be an American.
If you’re tired of being made to feel guilty to be an American and recognize that we’re the good guys in this war on terrorism, and those animals with the baggy pants, scarves and butcher knives are the bad guys, you may want to skip Michael Moore’s election-year hit piece on Bush in favor of some good summer reading.
By now you know about Michael Moore, his distaste for Bush and Americans (he’s been crisscrossing the globe referring to us as “possibly the dumbest people on the planet”), and his movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11”. You can’t help but know because Hollywood and my fellow media types have been touting his film as if it was the Second Coming.
The “documentary” – and I use the term loosely, because I think documentaries should be unrehearsed and honest – is slated to debut here on … get this … July 4. I received an invitation, but decided to pass. I’ve already seen “Shrek” and have had my fill of fairy tales for the year. Besides … I already know how it ends.
And before you yelp at my suggestion that Hollywood and my fellow media types run in the same pack … don’t even try. According to a recent story in the Christian Science Monitor, “If you’d like to check out an endangered species, don’t bother with a trip to the zoo. Just drop by the newsroom of your favorite newspaper or TV station and ask to see the conservatives.”
If you don’t believe that, just watch the evening news:
“A band of oppressed religious men regretfully cut the head off of another American intruder yesterday.”
“In other news … armed American invaders made Iraqi prisoners put bags over their heads and ordered them to hop on one foot. For more on this horrible, ungodly abuse by American soldiers, ’60 Minutes’ will air a special two-hour segment tonight where we’ll hear from some Iraqi prisoners who say they were forced to eat pork three times a day and sleep on waterbeds.”
According to a new survey, only 12 percent of local reporters, editors, and media executives are self-described conservatives, while twice as many call themselves liberal. At national news organizations, the gap is even wider – 7 percent conservative and 34 percent liberal. And that’s just among those who actually admit it.
“The gap,” read the Christian Science Monitor piece, “which has grown wider in the past decade, does not necessarily prove that America’s mainstream media is biased, as conservatives have long complained. But the survey does confirm that U.S. newsrooms do not mirror the political leanings of the nation at large.”
There have been lots and lots of glowing reviews of Moore’s film. Roger Ebert gave it 31/2 stars, after letting us know that he “agrees with Moore’s politics” and that “the presidency of George W. Bush has been a disaster for America.” So much for Ebert’s objectivity. Perhaps we should publish his movie reviews on the Opinion Page from now on.
But I actually found a not-so-glowing review from a fellow named Christopher Hitchens, who addresses the film from a factual perspective, something most film reviewers accustomed to reviewing Spiderman movies failed to do. And, no, Spiderman isn’t real.
“At no point does Michael Moore make the smallest effort to be objective,” wrote Hitchens, who debated Moore onstage at the Telluride Film Festival in late 2002. “At no moment does he pass up the chance of a cheap sneer or jeer. He pitilessly focuses his camera, for minutes after he should have turned it off, on a distraught and bereaved mother whose grief we have already shared. Such courage.”
In a Sunday piece for the New York Times, columnist David Brooks quotes from an interview Moore gave to a Japanese newspaper, wherein he described those who are killing Americans in Iraq today not as insurgents or cowards, or even the enemy. “They are the revolution, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow,” said Moore, “and they will win.” Until then, writes Brooks, “few social observers had made the connection between Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Paul Revere.”
Newsweek pointed out a couple of outright lies in Moore’s movie. “The movie claims that in the days after 9/11, when airspace was shut down, the White House approved special charter flights so that prominent Saudis – including members of the bin Laden family – could leave the country.”
Uh-oh. Not true. The flights didn’t begin until Sept. 14 – after airspace reopened. Moreover, according to Newsweek, the report states the Saudi flights were screened by the FBI, and that 22 of the 26 people on the bin Laden flight were interviewed by the FBI and none of them had any links to terrorism.
Details, details, details.
But that’s enough of Moore. If you hate Bush and enjoy seeing America bashed, you’ll simply love the movie. If you don’t, stay home and perhaps read a book by political satirist P. J. O’Rourke titled “Peace Kills.”
In his book, O’Rourke reminds us that Clinton conducted undeclared air wars against Serbia and Iraq and launched missiles at Sudan and Afghanistan. “Clinton used the military more often than any previous peacetime American president,” wrote O’Rourke. “He sent armed forces into areas of conflict on an average of once every nine weeks.”
Where were Moore and his camera when we really needed them?
O’Rourke then reminds us why we’re in Iraq.
“Was there a bad man? And his kids bad? Were they running a bad country? That did bad things? Did they have a lot of oil money to do bad things with? Were they going to do more bad things? If those were the questions, was the answer, ‘U.N.-supervised national reconciliation’ or ‘Rapid return to self-rule’? No. The answer was blow the place to bits.”
Jeff Ackerman is the publisher of The Union. His column appears each Tuesday.
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