More on the Fat Bastard
My commenters are taking me to task for a) calling Mikey a Fat Bastard, b) taking his claim to getting the facts right seriously, c) being annoyed at the sheer pretension of the man.
I am perfectly content to call him a Fat Bastard. He is, beyond all fear of contradiction, fat. No less a lefty authority than Ralph Nader wrote an open letter to Moore in which he says,
"I've been at him for years, saying 'you've got to lose weight,' " Nader said in the phone interview. "Now, he's doubled. Private exhortations aren't working. It's extremely serious. He's over 300 pounds. He's like a giant beach ball."
Moore ongoing addiction to distortion and to the use of tragedy for his partisan purposes make him, in my books, a bastard. That he would steal Ray Bradbury's title and then dishonour the victims of 9/11 in his marketing effort disgusts me.
Moore's creation of a "war room" and his threat to sue journalists
who suggest he might have one or two things wrong in F9/11 suggests he is, indeed, practicing a distorted version of journalism. This is not a funny guy making a political point, this is a man who believes his scorn for America,
On his international book tour, the author of “Dude, Where’s My Country?” was asked what he thought of Americans. “They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet ... in thrall to conniving, thieving, smug pricks,” he replied. “We Americans suffer from an enforced ignorance. We don’t know about anything that’s happening outside our country. Our stupidity is embarrassing.”
and hatred of George Bush has given him license to create a cheap cut and paste job which simply exacerbates the already poisonous political atmosphere in the United States. While Moore is largely preaching to the converted, he is taking gross advantage of their ignorance to re-enforce their prejudices.
“Countering terrorism has become, beyond any doubt, the top national security priority for the United States.” Thus speaks the 9/11 Commission Report, released last week. “There is no terrorist threat in this country. This is a lie. This is the biggest lie we've been told.” Thus speaks Michael Moore in an October 2002 speech. President Bush has a plan to stop terrorism. Michael Moore does not. Michael Moore doesn’t see the need for a plan, because, well, there’s no threat. And if you believed there’s no threat, then these Patriot Acts and enhanced airport screenings probably would seem like a big scam to dupe our “nation of idiots,” as Moore often refers to his fellow citizens. And a proposed Unocal pipeline through Afghanistan – even if the plan was ditched in 1998, even if the Clinton White House supported it, and even if then-Governor Bush had nothing to do with it – would seem a perfectly plausible explanation of our otherwise mysterious presence in Afghanistan. As a matter of fact, Moore locates the origins of terrorism elsewhere. This is the title of Chapter Five in his book, Dude, Where’s My Country: “How to Stop Terrorism? Stop Being Terrorists!” Pause for a moment to consider if you agree with that statement: we are the terrorists. Joey Tartakovsky
Moore ardently believes that the United States is the terrorist, I do not. That does not mean I agree with every action the Bush Administration has taken; rather it means that I prefer action to inaction, pre-emption to further attacks.
Moore's pretensions, his sense of mission and his willingness to use any means to reach his ends, suggest to me a man who is actively dangerous to a civil culture. At a trivial but revealing level, Moore is a guy who is willing to fake a headline
to make a point even though he knows he is going to be caught. He simply does not care.
Ian Welsh, none of this means I hate Moore. But I dispise the sort of rabble rousing, pandering propaganda he uses in place of reason or argument. Moore and his ilk are the ultimate expression of Neil Postman's worry that politics has become nothing but a form of entertainment. Another reality show in which most of the scenes are faked and the idea of truth subordinated to a cunning narrative and clever editing. I think politics is more important than that.