One bit of Moore's mendacity: the full story - Jay Maynard

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Sunday, 11 July 2004


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0854 - One bit of Moore's mendacity: the full story

I've commented before, both on this journal and on TV, about Michael Moore's creative editing for Fahrenheit 9/11 and its trailer when it comes to Representative Mark Kennedy's appearance. An article in today's Minneapolis Star-Tribune - itself no friend of Kennedy - lays out the whole story.

Here's how the interview went, according to an official transcript released by the producers:

Kennedy: How are you doing?"

Moore: I'm trying to get members of Congress to get their kids to enlist in the Army and go over to Iraq. Is there any way you could help me with that?

Kennedy: How would I help you?

Moore (handing Kennedy a pamphlet): Pass it out to other members of Congress.

Kennedy: I'd be happy to, especially those who voted for the war. I have a nephew on his way to Afghanistan.

Moore: Because there is only one member who has a kid over there in Iraq. This is Corporal Henderson; he is helping me out here.

Kennedy: How are you? Good to see you.

Moore: There it is; it's just a basic recruitment thing. Encourage especially those who were in favor of the war to send their kids. I appreciate it.

Kennedy: OK, bye

Moore's reply to the Star-Tribune was, when they asked him if he could be fairly accused of censorship, that Kennedy didn't answer the question. From their own transcript, it sure looked to me like he did. No, it's just that Kennedy's answer didn't fit Moore's agenda, so he cut it out - and left the question, making it look like Kennedy didn't answer. When Kennedy called him on it, Moore simply removed the whole scene. Normally, when the trailer shows something that's not in the movie, people complain about getting misled, but not so in this case.

To make matters worse, Moore is now creating more dialogue that neither his official transcript not Kennedy say ever happened when he's questioned about the whole thing.

Come on, Moore. Admit it. You lied.

Oh, wait. He can't. To do so would be to admit that he's no better than those he excoriates. He can't have that. He's the great crusading filmmaker, out to show the world the error of its ways in supporting conservative politicians and causes.

Pfaugh. I guess he holds no truck with ideas like "intellectual honesty".

current mood: [mood icon] mellow

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:ibyhms
Date: - 0000
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Have you ever heard anything by Jello Biafra? He's pretty much said everything Moore has only Biafra did it without the liberal bias AND he did it years before.
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From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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No, I haven't...I've heard of him, but that's about it. Whatever else you can say about Michael Moore, you have to admit he's been very successful at getting his message heard.
From:ibyhms
Date: - 0000
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Yes, Moore is very successful at getting his message across, because he does it in an entertaining way. The movie probably wouldn't have made as much money if it were two and a half hours of commentary by William Newman. When I saw it, Moore's use of dead & injured iraqis reminded me HIGHLY of the media's use of the planes crashing in the world trade center towers over and over and over.
Now I actually hope the movie "Michael Moore Hates America" comes to a theater near me!

Do you think this movie actually swayed anyone's vote?
From:andryeevna
Date: - 0000
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Who said what, this person said that... the fact is:

only one member of congress has a son or daughter in the war. And the look he gives him is hilarious when he is asked the question.

Would you care to discuss that or would you rather go on about who said what like we are in kindergarden?
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From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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Actually, two members have children serving in the war: The son of Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), and the son of Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA), who quit his job after 9/11 and joined the Marines. A third, the son of Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), is on active duty, but has not been assigned to the Middle East. (Moore doesn't count him, although neither he nor the senator have any say in where he's assigned.) Moore, further, doesn't take into account those members of Congress who, like Representative Michael Castle (R-DE), have no children (even though he implies Castle would not sacrifice his).

Let's ignore Senator Biden's son and childless Congressmen. Two out of 535 is 1 of every 268. Dave Kopel, in his 59 Deceits discussion, shows that that's more than the American population as a while, which has children serving at a rate of 1 of every 349 households. So, Congress is actually risking more of its children than the population as a whole - exactly opposite to the point that Moore makes.

Not only is Moore guilty of lying by creative editing, he's guilty of lying by implication. What else is he lying about?
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From:qaianna
Date: - 0000

Moore, Moore, why do you do this to yourself?

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I did see the movie, and..to be honest, this was a Moore-stunt that would be doomed to failure. I don't know if he received this reply, tho I admit that it would likely be cut.

MM: Sen. Illespont, would you be willing to help send your child to Iraq?

QI: Well, I would, Mr Moore, but I honestly believe that my child's free will is important. I may try to persuade, but I cannot decide for him or her to serve; it is their choice in the matter, and I have no say in it.

This..well, while it does seem to point to callousness, also is a bit unfair on Moore's part. While conventional wisdom says that a mother or father would be reluctant to send his or her child to war (gee, I wonder why?), the only choice is that of sending troops to war. (I have my own opinions, but those do not apply--'Sen Illespont' is only a fantasy at this point.) They do not have the choice of making sure their children are in the armed forces, and while it does make for some good "heel heat", it doesn't really make much of a point.

While the movie itself didn't strike me as that objectionable (of *course* he's gonna put in things he likes to promote his view--did Cruella De Vil ever cuddle and scritch and feed puppies in 101 Dalmations?), I think Moore should try to work away from his 'Moore Stunts', as I like to think of them. (I won't spoil any others that may or may not be in the film..see it yourself ;)
From:andryeevna
Date: - 0000
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At the time of the filming there was only one in Iraq. That isn't a deceit.

And like the movie points out, the poor are targeted by recruiters. So going by the population as a whole is wrong and deceitful. Because the rich aren't sending their children to Iraq.

next?
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From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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At the time of filming, there were (and still are) three in the armed forces. That's a deceit, because it shows there are significantly more children of members of Congress in the military than the population at large. That two weren't (and one still isn't) in Iraq is nothing they had any control over. The military doesn't send individuals to Iraq, it sends entire units.

Of course the poor are targeted by recruiters, because that's where the potential recruits are. When I was in my early 20s, I wouldn't have given up my $30-40K/year job in computing to enlist as a private soldier. The military is popular among those of lower socioeconomic status precisely because it offers them a way out of poverty: a guaranteed job (once they're in), training, housing, clothing, and overall a better life than they'd have had otherwise.

Yes, there are people like Pat Tillman who give up lucrative jobs in other fields to serve their country, but they're, unfortunately, few and far between.

Even so, I'd be willing to bet that 1 in 178 families (3/535) in Congress is comparable to, or better than, the rate in those at the low end of the socioeconomic scale.

Finally, I'll note that, in the final analysis, it's not the family's decision on whether the person enlists. It's the person's. Once the person turns 18, nobody can stop him from signing up. If rich kids don't enlist at the same rate as others, it's not because their parents wouldn't let them. Therefore, complaining about "the rich aren't sending their children to Iraq" is specious. The rich don't control this country, no matter how loudly the Left complains otherwise. If they did, we wouldn't have a graduated, confiscatory income tax system designed to soak the rich.
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From:foolscap001
Date: - 0000

back of the envelope

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US Census claims that in 2002, 7.2e6 families in the US lived in poverty. 7.2e6/1.78e2 is somewhat over 40,000. Anyone know how many people from families under the poverty line are in the Armed Forces?
From:andryeevna
Date: - 0000
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Well since its something that the soldiers don't have any control over, congress does have the most control over. So why shouldn't they send their sons or daughters over there if they believe so strongly? Would they do it if they had people directly involved? Moore was just simply making the point its much easier to send the nations poor to war, then it is your own son or daughter. The families haver zero say in where their sons and daughters go.



-----

The rich don't control America?

How do campains get their finances?

How many poor people are running for offices?

How much do poor people contribute to campains?
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From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
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So why shouldn't they send their sons or daughters over there if they believe so strongly?
Perhaps because our armed forces are all volunteer? If their sons and daughters don't want to go, we don't force them, be they rich or poor. No, a draft is not an answer to this, because it's been amply demonstrated that an all-volunteer force is much more effective.

Moore was just simply making the point its much easier to send the nations poor to war, then it is your own son or daughter.
This point is unaltered if you remove the class warfare from it: "It's much easier to send someone else to war than it is your own son or daughter." This is true for nearly all decisions that a legislature makes. There's no way to remove that unless we do something as absurd as mandate that every member of Congress have a child serving in the military...even those who are unmarried or have no children.

The families haver zero say in where their sons and daughters go.
Exactly, for rich families as well as poor ones.

And no, the rich don't control America. As I said before, if they did, things would be a lot better for them. Were it not for their participation in the political process, it'd be even worse, as the likes of Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton would gleefully strip their wealth and use it to pay for even more bread and circuses.
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From:foolscap001
Date: - 0000

A cartoon you might enjoy...

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The July 13th cartoon at http://www.coxandforkum.com/ is apropros in this context.

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