Sunday, June 27, 2004

Moore responds to a Newsweek attack on film's credibility. The controversy surrounding Moore's Farenheit 9/11 continues. I'm planning to see it this weekend, and I hope you do, too, to help boost the PR impact of a big box office for this anti-Bush screed. The lefty moveon.org group has launched its own campaign to promote a big turnout. Whether every charge is true remains to be seen, but it will surely be entertaining. Isikoff's original Newsweek article skewering Moore's accuracy is finally on-line, but Moore's rebuttal takes dead aim at those charges, enlisting House of Bush, House of Saud author Craig Unger as well. Is Moore the left's Rush Limbaugh, playing fast and loose with the facts to serve his ideology? The now pro-war Christopher Hitchens has also unleashed a broadside against Moore.

But the film has mostly gotten positive reviews, including in the New Yorker, which praises it as "viciously funny." Overall, according to the Rotten Tomatoes website, it's got nearly 80 percent glowing reviews. Make up your own mind -- and see what Moore says on his own behalf, alleging that reporter Michael Iskikoff distorted his film's claims. You decide who is right -- after seeing the movie yourself.

Update: Farenheit 9/11 turned in to the most successful documentary in history, with $21 million in its weekend box-office gross. My capsule review: It's an artful, effective and very entertaining work of Bush-bashing, but promotes over-the-top conspiracy theories at various points -- especially in blaming the invasion of Afghanistan on Bush family greed for oil revenues from a planned Afghan pipeline. (What about the Bin Laden/Taliban terrorist havens? Not important to Moore.) Otherwise, the film pulls together a variety of investigative research and embarassing footage of Bush in an accessible, riveting way, enriched by a touching look at a Flint, Mich. mother who turns against the White House after her son dies in Iraq and rarely seen footage of maimed and killed American soldiers and Iraqi citizens.

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