Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11”: Part Documentary, Part Counterpropaganda?

by Brendan Lalor

Christopher Hitchens has given Michael Moore a beating for his new film, Fahrenheit 9/11, often disingenuously — as when he points out that Moore complains that, on the one hand, Bush failed to send enough troops to Iraq, and, on the other hand, Bush should not have sent any troops. Isn’t Moore entitled to oppose sending troops at all, but then complain that if troops are being sent, Bush had better send enough? As David Edelstein properly argues, Fahrenheit 9/11

must be viewed in the context of the Iraq occupation and the torrent of misleading claims that got us there. It must be viewed in the context of Rush Limbaugh repeating the charge that Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster murdered in Fort Marcy Park, or laughing off the exposure of Valerie Plame when, had this been a Democratic administration, he’d be calling every day for the traitor’s head. It must be viewed in the context of Ann Coulter calling for the execution of people who disagree with her. It must be viewed in the context of another new documentary, the superb The Hunting of the President, that documents — irrefutably — the lengths to which the right went to destroy Bill Clinton…. Fahrenheit 9/11 is not a documentary for the ages, it is an act of counterpropaganda that has a boorish, bullying force. It is, all in all, a legitimate abuse of power.

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