Monday, July 14, 2008

Get Off My Side

So - I just finished watching Manufacturing Dissent, a Canadian film in which the documentarians attempt to secure an interview with Michael Moore, surrounded by snippets of Moore's films, controversies, and (essentially) misrepresentations. Now since it is a Canadian company, I have to assume that there isn't much of a political agenda here. Maybe some, but I definitely get the feeling that the writer, Debbie Melnyk, is more upset with him for manipulating his facts than she is for his left-wing looniness. (In fact, she's done a couple other films in Moore's style, with narration, etc., so I think she's an honest fan).

The problem is, as this movie shows, that Moore (in addition to being a crackpot) just blatantly manipulates his footage. Apparently (maybe others follow this more than I do), he completely changed the timeline in Roger & Me, deleted footage of anti-GM rallies to portray Flint as apathetic, and actually interviewed Roger Smith. Twice. But he cuts that out.

Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 are also address in the film, including an interesting interview with the managers of the bank who gave him a shotgun when he opened a bank account. Whole thing was staged beforehand, and again, edited to show it as weirder than it actually was. It didn't really address 9/11, either because the film itself came out only about six months after it, and also because, frankly, that movie had so many holes and blatant manipulations they didn't really need to.

Finally, it shows that Michael Moore is a man with some serious emotional and psychological problems - which leads to his desperate need for attention and his flawed view of reality. As one person in the film put it: "Michael Moore could only exist in a political vacuum. If the left had had any spokesmen, people would be laughing at the man, not with him."

I guess, in one way this is a good thing - to me the strength of liberalism has been its ability to engage in debate with itself. I have never met a conservative who will say that Ann Coulter is a crackpot, or Rush Limbaugh doesn't know what he's talking about. But it seems that more people are telling Michael Moore:

Got Off My Side!

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