Democrats & Liberals Archives

Lost In Translation

One would think, given the pre-emptive onslaught of Moore-Mashing prior to the opening of Fahrenheit 9/11, the film and its director would certainly get the Richard Clarke/Paul O’Neill Beltway celebrity makeover. Amid the unearthing of supposedly treasonous, anti-American soldier and French coddling quotes, (accurately attributed to the hero of the Cannes Film Festival), Republicans and Bush supporters confidently predicted that the film’s scurrilous lies will be exposed and made obvious to the American electorate, once its been released.

Unfortunately, Moore’s detractors of the opposing team did not take into account the impact of their clean-up hitter, or main songwriter, deciding to sit this one out.

In two separate link-up interviews, I saw White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett use the same, prepared quip of opting rather to go see Shrek 2 when asked if he was going to see Fahrenheit 9/11. Neither cable news anchor bothered to press him on the report that the White House staff had been forbidden to see the film, thus continuing their gutless behavior of appeasing this administration. The White House’s plate was indeed full with the impending handover in Iraq, and a good bet is that the boys over at RoveVision saw no good angle to play, less risk getting caught with the leash in one hand, and the green hood in the other, both snuggly attached to Moore.

In my humble opinion, not only has the expected backlash against the film not materialized, the condemnation from the Right has been rather weak and scattershot. My gauge of the prevailing wind from the Right (or, my own personal neo Con-dar) is over at Conservative pundit central, or Townhall.com. Of the recent 60+ commentaries, Mona Charen gets the ball rolling against Moore (‘Liberals hate fellow Americans more than Islamists’), but then passes the buck off to Mark Steyn. Both commentaries are petty screeds, bordering on personal attacks, yet typical that neither offers up any pointed challenge to any of the movie’s central claims. But, even more surprisingly, no other Townhall.com columnist was willing to take on the documentary.

Fox’s Bill O’Reilly readily admits walking out mid-way thru the Fahrenheit 9/11 screening, however the best ‘gotcha’ he could muster is a convoluted, vague assertion that the 9/11 Commission has now disproved the incendiary accusation behind Moore’s film detailing the Saudi/Bin Laden family flights out of the country on Sept. 13, 2001. Family Values movie critic Michael Medved arduously chastised Moore on CNN, for omitting the fact that the supposed Bush family chums of Saudi Arabia actually opposed the Iraq War.

Monday’s news of the movie’s box office triumph, had the network and cable news' talking heads massaging and manufacturing it into a political controversy, teasing into a commercial break about ‘inaccuracies’ and alleged claims of ‘playing fast and loose with the facts’. However, the following segment was devoid of any direct deconstruction of the film (maybe due in part, that Christopher Hitchens cannot be everywhere, and probably owns just one suit).

You see the Right does not have a correlating version of the Progress Report, nor its newly launched Claim vs. Facts Database. True, they do have a strong and vital Conservative radio network, and a cyber base of well-connected ‘true believers’, but they don’t have a Media Matters for America, either. Now, think back and think carefully – during the Richard Clarke affair, who was supplying all those print, Internet and broadcast news outlets with easy to read ‘talking points’, and making available an army of soundbite savvy ‘heavy hitters’ eager to discredit the false charges by this ‘disgruntled ex-employee’?

So, what’s a Fox viewer to think now? Where’s the proof I shouldn’t see this movie? Now, wait a minute. They said all those great reviews were just the ‘Liberal media’ trying to trick us Americans.

We've got nothing to report, but you still need to decide, anyway.

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at July 1, 2004 8:01 PM