Fahrenheit 9/11

No bloggers that I've seen are commenting on the fact that Disney subsidiary Miramax dropped Michael Moore's latest film, a point-by-point critique of Bush's presidency, particularly involvement in Iraq. Moore says it's because Disney is worried about losing tax incentives. Disney says they don't want to be perceived as endorsing any particular candidate, and indeed kairos has a lot to do with it, and good for Moore for taking advantage of the timing. A representative for Disney says that Moore can find another distributor. Let's hope he does, but not before a lot of people get appropriately outraged over this act of censorship.


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Is that censorship?


I agree wholeheartedly that we should be outraged and with almost all of your points. However, this is not censorship. Refusing to distribute, yes. Morally bankrupt, indeed yes. Just another sign of corporate corruptness and the shittiness of capitalism-OH YEAH! But not censorship. If they were not willing to release the movie to be distributed by someone else, then maybe. They are not silencing him, they are just refusing to help him spread his message or do business with him. And, that is their perogative.

Besides, there're other, MUCH larger reasons to hate Disney, especially how they have contributed to the total degradation and disposal-ness of our culture and how they brainwash our children (and us when we were children) to buy buy buy buy buy.


Yes, silencing--you're right. I agree that there are much more important reasons to hate Disney, too, but mine have more to do with their stifling of the public domain at the same time they take advantage of it for stories for their idiotic movies: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, all folk tales in the public domain, but they won't release the Mickey Mouse logo into the public domain, no no.

Not Censorship

Scott's right. Disney is completely within their rights. Too often, when people say "censorship", they mean, "Disney won't say what I want them to say!" Basically, Clancy, you're changing the subject, and saying, "But look what else they're bad for!"

Call it marketing. Don't call it censorship, because that dilutes the chilling effect of the current administration's anti-free-speech actions.

Besides which, Michael Moore's rhetoric is hardly the model of objectivity or kairos. Hell, I'd say he's alienated more conservatives than he's gained liberals with his antagonistic stance, and as a far-left radical liberal, I wish he'd shut up. His movies are crass and stupidly manipulative and completely one-sided, to the point where one must imagine the alternative case and counterexample, unless one wants to be the liberal "my party, right or wrong" equivalent of the freepers and dittoheads.

But please, Clancy, don't equate Disney's stance on such issues with their stake on a trademark. Because then you're simply suggesting that all politics is branding, which, while facild and fun, is a foolish and radical oversimplification. Especially in an election year.

How Embarassing!

We're afraid it's not censorship, Clancy. How embarassing when our politics obscure our worldview! Why, we might as well be Republicans.


More discussion is here:


Model of objectivity?

I didn't know we were still going for objectivity. Seriously, I know you're talking about even-handedness. And I'm happy to add pleonexia to kairos in this case. But I've already admitted my error in calling this censorship, okay? so no need to be patronizing with your first-naming of me, especially when you won't sign your own name to your comment.



And I don't think SHE was changing the subject. It was I who said in my original comment that there are other, larger reasons to hate Disney. She was just agreeing.



There is another side of this case to look at. Disney has every right to choose what they will and will not publish. If I goto Disney with an off-the-wall movie idea and they won't produce or distribute it, that's not censorship. But Moore is accusing the Bush family of influencing Disney's decision to cut distribution of his new film. If this is true, and given how the Bush family is the government, it fits the definition of censorship.

Either Disney or Jeb Bush will admit this situation exists, but they wouldn't if it does. And I imagine Disney is well aware of the millions in profit they are throwing out the window by refusing to distribute "Fahrenheit 9/11". The only plausible explaination for why Disney would throw away millions in profits is the one Moore proposes.

Moore's response

I've selected some quotes from Moore's response, and you can read the whole thing here. His response makes a lot of sense, and it would seem that those who have labeled him as a liar are the ones who are actually lying.

"In April of 2003, I signed a deal with Miramax... Eisner told my agent that he did not want to anger Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida. The movie, he believed, would complicate an already complicated situation with current and future Disney projects in Florida, and that many millions of dollars of tax breaks and incentives were at stake.

"But Michael Eisner did not call Miramax and tell them to stop my film. Not only that, for the next year, SIX MILLION dollars of DISNEY money continued to flow into the production of making my movie. Miramax assured me that there were no distribution problems with my film."

"According to yesterday's New York Times, the issue of whether to release Fahrenheit 9/11 was discussed at Disney's board meeting last week. It was decided that Disney should not distribute our movie."

"'Mr. Moore is doing this as a publicity stunt.' Michael Eisner reportedly said this the other day... Let me tell you something: NO filmmaker wants to go through this kind of controversy. It does NOT sell tickets (I can cite many examples of movies who have had to change distributors at the last minute and all have failed)."

no surprise

i've never been a fan of moore's, not just because i'm a moderate, but because of the whole idea of calling his work a documentary. i always like to think of a documentary as a tool of journalism, and moore's methods are so far from reasonable journalistic practices that he just doesn't fit that genre in my mind. in fact, calling his work a documentary is like calling bill o'reilly fair and balanced (lol). he's too much of a political grandstander who creates films that are so heavily editorialized that they border more on fictional works than attempts at representing a picture from a particular perspective with any sort of accuracy. and the link to metafilter above is a great case in point about how he will twist the truth for his own political agenda.

Moore spreads his anti-US hate-mongering

He encourages anti-american hatred in an age of mass terror. Essentially, he is the Nazi Jew-baitor in 1938 Germany.

Moore fosters hatred, bigotry and stereotypes. He's a hatemonger demigogue.


Moore ridicules 9/11 victims:


"Moore went into a rant about how the passengers on the Sept. 11 planes were scaredy cats because they were mostly white," Alibhai-Brown writes. "If the passengers had included black men, he claimed, those killers, with their puny bodies and unimpressive small knives, would have been crushed by the dudes, who as we all know take no disrespect from anybody."


More bizarre still are Moore’s theories about the attacks of September 11, an event that has plunged the filmmaker into an agony of cognitive dissonance, an ideal breeding ground for the paranoid conspiracy theories that come so naturally to him. In hundreds of letters, interviews, and articles, Moore shows no sign of having read the first thing about al-Qaida, militant Islam, or the Middle East. That hasn’t stopped him from concluding that bin Ladin is no danger. “Ooh . . . he’s everywhere,” he joked at Stanford University, waving his arms bogeyman-like. “Usama bin Ladin—he could be here tonight!” “What if there is no terrorist threat,” he has asked, and the Bush administration simply wanted an excuse to curtail civil liberties while it pursued its corporate interests?

Moore seems to forget his own stoking of fears of terrorism. “There is a rage building in this country, and if you’re like me, you’re scared shitless,” he wrote in Downsize This!. “I believe thousands of Americans are only a few figurative steps away from getting into that Ryder truck,” like the one packed with explosives by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. Terrorism by downsized white Americans is one thing: that’s scary. But external threats by foreign terrorists? It just cannot be. “Many families have been devastated tonight. This is just not right,” Moore wrote on September 12, 2001, as the World Trade Center and the bodies of 3,000 lay in smoking ruins. “They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him. Boston, New York, D.C., and the planes’ destination of California—these were the places that voted AGAINST Bush.” In Moore’s Manichaean world, if Republicans alone had died on September 11, they would have had it coming.

Moore’s moral stupidity, so ratcheted up by September 11, is likely to drive his next film, a documentary about the “twin errant sons of different oilmen”—George W. Bush and Usama bin Ladin. The filmmaker is hoping to release the movie, called Fahrenheit 9/11, a few months before the presidential election, to “make sure that Bush isn’t returned.” All signs point to his usual techniques—facts stripped of context and detail, dark insinuations, and outright lies, all leavened by pop music and Strangelovian irony.

Tracing some of Moore’s recent comments, one can piece together the argument—or rather the hazy impressions, for Moore never constructs an argument—that will make up this so-called documentary. Moore will insinuate that the United States created Usama—“or USA-ma, which is more appropriate considering we trained him to be a terrorist.” He will tell us that in the late nineties the oil firm Unocal held a meeting with Taliban representatives in Houston, “when Bush was governor,” to talk about building a pipeline through Afghanistan. He will imply that this project was the reason the U.S. gave humanitarian aid to the Taliban, until “the deal went south,” and “suddenly the Taliban were evil.” And thus, Michael Moore will finally reveal the awful truth that only he is courageous enough to admit about why the United States really went to war with the Taliban.

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