08/05/04 — Documentary? ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ fails miserably

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Documentary? ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ fails miserably

The national media —ABC, CBS, NBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Associated Press, etc. — invariably refer to Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” as a “documentary.”

It is no such thing, and to refer to it as such is a sham. Or, more precisely, a calculated effort to make viewers believe they are watching an honest presentation depicting the president of the United States.

We need to look at Webster’s definition of “documentary”: Designation of a film, TV program, etc., that dramatically shows or analyzes news events, social conditions, etc., with little or no fictionalization.”

“Fahrenheit 9/11” does not even begin to meet that standard.

Typical of the numerous misrepresentations is an early scene in which the front page of a Bloomington, Ill., newspaper’s Dec. 19, 2001 edition with a big headline proclaiming: “Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election.”

The fact is that no such headline appeared anywhere in the newspaper that day. Those words did appear on an inside page 14 days earlier — and in smaller type over a letter to the editor. Editors of the newspaper said the title simply reflected the opinion of the letter writer.

The newspaper has sued the movie producers, demanding an apology.

“Fahrenheit 9/11,” far from being a “documentary,” is an unconscionable and unethical misrepresentation of facts and occurrences.

It is a deliberate, perverted and unwarranted attack on President George W. Bush timed to influence the national election.

And the media’s referring to it as a “documentary” tends to give credence to suspicions of a “left-wing conspiracy.”

There is no conspiracy, of course. Rather it is a bunching up of liberal reporters, editors and talking heads who march lock-step under a misleading banner proclaiming them as unbiased purveyors of “the truth.”

Many of them are about as unbiased as Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” — which they present to the public as a “documentary”...showing little or no fictionalization.

For them to embrace this farce as a “documentary” is to accelerate the media’s slide down the slippery slope of its own credibility.

Published in Editorials on August 5, 2004 12:37 PM