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Topic: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

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  1. #1

    Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

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    Michael Moore and Me
    From the May 31, 2004 issue: An encounter with the Cannes man.
    by Fred Barnes


    A FEW YEARS AGO Michael Moore, who\'s now promoting an anti-President Bush movie entitled Fahrenheit 9/11, announced he\'d gotten the goods on me, indeed hung me out to dry on my own words. It was in his first bestselling book, Stupid White Men. Moore wrote he\'d once been \"forced\" to listen to my comments on a TV chat show, The McLaughlin Group. I had whined \"on and on about the sorry state of American education,\" Moore said, and wound up by bellowing: \"These kids don\'t even know what The Iliad and The Odyssey are!\"

    Moore\'s interest was piqued, so the next day he said he called me. \"Fred,\" he quoted himself as saying, \"tell me what The Iliad and The Odyssey are.\" I started \"hemming and hawing,\" Moore wrote. And then I said, according to Moore: \"Well, they\'re . . . uh . . . you know . . . uh . . . okay, fine, you got me--I don\'t know what they\'re about. Happy now?\" He\'d smoked me out as a fraud, or maybe worse.

    The only problem is none of this is true. It never happened. Moore is a liar. He made it up. It\'s a fabrication on two levels. One, I\'ve never met Moore or even talked to him on the phone. And, two, I read both The Iliad and The Odyssey in my first year at the University of Virginia. Just for the record, I\'d learned what they were about even before college. Like everyone else my age, I
    got my classical education from the big screen. I saw the Iliad movie called Helen of Troy and while I forget the name of the Odyssey film, I think it starred Kirk Douglas as Odysseus.

    So why didn\'t I scream bloody murder when the book came out in 2001? I didn\'t learn about the phony anecdote until it was brought to my attention by Alan Wolfe, who was reviewing Moore\'s book for the New Republic. He asked, by email, if the story were true. I said no, not a word of it, and Wolfe quoted me as saying that. That was enough, I thought. After all, who would take a shrill, lying lefty like Moore seriously?

    More people than I thought. Moore\'s new movie attacking Bush was given a 20-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. Moore has described the movie as breaking new ground and revealing new facts, but the accounts by reviewers suggest it merely provides the standard left-wing, conspiratorial critique of the president. Reviewer Lou Lumenick of the New York Post, who gave Moore\'s previous movie Bowling for Columbine four stars, said the anti-Bush film would be news only \"if you spent the last three years hiding in a cave in Afghanistan.\" Still, I suppose it\'s not surprising they loved it in France.

    In publicizing the movie, Moore has been up to his old dishonest tricks. Just before the screening at Cannes, he charged that Disney had told him \"officially\" the day before that it would not distribute Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore said this was an attempt to kill the film. He indicated a newspaper article had the correct explanation of Disney\'s decision: \"According to today\'s New York Times, it might \'endanger\' millions of dollars of tax breaks Disney receives from the state of Florida because the film will \'anger\' the governor of Florida, Jeb Bush.\"

    Later, in a CNN interview, Moore admitted he\'d learned nearly a year ago that Disney would not distribute the movie. By pretending he\'d just gotten word of this, Moore was involved in a cheap publicity stunt. And it wasn\'t the New York Times that said, on its own, that Disney feared losing tax breaks. It was Moore\'s agent who was quoted as saying that in the Times. Disney denied its president Michael Eisner had told the agent of any such fear. \"We informed both the agency that represented the film and all of our companies that we just didn\'t want to be in the middle of a politically oriented film during an election year,\" Eisner told ABC News.

    Where does this leave us? I think it\'s time for Moore to be held accountable. In Stupid White Men, he has 18 pages of \"Notes and Sources,\" but he offers no evidence for the sham interview with me--no date, no transcript. How could he, since the interview never happened?

    I have just the person to look into Moore\'s lies and distortions. Al Franken has taken special interest in public liars, writing a bestseller called Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. Al, the Moore case is now in your court.

  2. #2

    Re: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

    I love watching all the right wing scumbags squirm. It\'s really quite wonderful! \"He lied about which books I\'ve read. Boo hoo. Why\'s he picking on me? Boo hoo. Kill those Arabs. I\'m a good guy. Boo hoo.\"

  3. #3

    Re: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

    [ QUOTE ]
    I love watching all the right wing scumbags squirm. It\'s really quite wonderful! \"He lied about which books I\'ve read. Boo hoo. Why\'s he picking on me? Boo hoo. Kill those Arabs. I\'m a good guy. Boo hoo.\"

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Jeez Nick!

    So are you saying that All right-wingers are scumbags or that just the ones that are squirming about Moore are scumbags?

    Cause, funny enough, I consider myself a bit right-wing, yet I shower. I also shave and put on deodorant almost everyday. In fact, I can say pretty confidently that no one has ever characterized me as a scumbag. I thought I\'d mention that just in case.


    Anyway, I just read an article about Miramax hiring Howard Wolfson, ex-campaign press secretary for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Michael Feldman, a top adviser on Al Gore\'s 2000 presidential race to help \"position\" the film at Cannes, whatever that means. The Article (Unrelated- scroll down and check out the next article with excerpts of Bill Cosby tellin\' it like it is).

  4. #4

    Re: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

    Sorry. I took my meds. I was refering to the fact that the right wing relies on lies to sustain itself. How else do you convince poor, white, Christians that billionaires need a tax break?

  5. #5

    Re: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

    [ QUOTE ]
    I love watching all the right wing scumbags squirm. It\'s really quite wonderful! \"He lied about which books I\'ve read. Boo hoo. Why\'s he picking on me? Boo hoo. Kill those Arabs. I\'m a good guy. Boo hoo.\"

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Hmm. It\'s okay to lie as long as you lie about Republicans?

  6. #6

    Re: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

    [ QUOTE ]
    Hmm. It\'s okay to lie as long as you lie about Republicans?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Apparently so.

  7. #7

    Re: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

    You guys are beating a dead horse. Lying about things like starting wars, terrorist attacks and pretty much everything of importance and completely destroying our democracy, economy, environment, relations in the world are important. If Michael Moore stretched a couple things in his generally vague documentary about violence in America, that\'s not ideal, but it\'s insignificant in comparison. Why don\'t you get behind a real issue instead of following the word of Bush funded websites? Cue: Endless procession of Robots wearing Hitler mustaches.

  8. #8

    Re: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

    [ QUOTE ]
    If Michael Moore stretched a couple things in his generally vague documentary about violence in America, that\'s not ideal, but it\'s insignificant in comparison. Why don\'t you get behind a real issue instead of following the word of Bush funded websites?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    It\'s my understanding that this film (Farenheit 9/11) is hitting a little closer to the \"real issues\" isn\'t it? I\'m surprised it doesn\'t cause you concern that his pattern of \"stretching a couple of things\" in the past will reflect on his believability in this or future projects, where he may just take on larger wolves!

    Rob

  9. #9

    Re: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

    That\'s funny, Nick, because I have spent a considerable amount of time and energy exposing Bush and you know it. But just like you said earlier (and apparently didn\'t mean it), lies are lies.

  10. #10

    Re: Fred Barnes takes issue with Michael Moore

    [ QUOTE ]
    You guys are beating a dead horse. Lying about things like starting wars, terrorist attacks and pretty much everything of importance and completely destroying our democracy, economy, environment, relations in the world are important. If Michael Moore stretched a couple things in his generally vague documentary about violence in America, that\'s not ideal, but it\'s insignificant in comparison. Why don\'t you get behind a real issue instead of following the word of Bush funded websites? Cue: Endless procession of Robots wearing Hitler mustaches.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I understand that you feel Moore\'s heart is in the right place, and it\'s always a debatable issue as to the ends justifying the means, but I think that what we need for society to head in the right direction is honesty, integrity and accountability. I know it\'s practically comical to associate those words with politicians, but that\'s exactly what the problem is. I argue that Moore is no better than the politicians if, and I mean IF, he intentionally deceives people.

    I mean, we sit on these forums day after day and we promote our ideas and argue what we believe to be the facts about things. It\'s hard enough to come to mutual understanding on ideals, and false information corrupts the entire process of exchanging ideas and everyone quickly loses faith in everyone else\'s ability to be open-minded The whole problem is that nobody really knows what the truth is because everyones getting fed a line of BS.

    If we do not have an honest exchange of information that we can all accept as truth, there is no point to even arguing.

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