Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, June 29, 2004  

The White House's response to Fahrenheit 9/11 has been muted. Everyone got the memo to downplay the silly little movie, emphasize that there's not time to see movies, and then quip that if you did, you'd see Shrek. A wise approach avoided by most of the Bush apologists--who apparently didn't get the memo.

A fine example is an article in the National Review by James Robbins. In a coup of irony, his criticisms of Moore are straight from the playbook of George W. Bush. Switch the names and examples, and you have a perfect indictment. Have a look.

"Exploit the ignorant: Talk to people who are inexperienced with media, and encourage them to say things that they probably should not."

Bush regularly trundles out the poor and indigent at the moment he's about to take their taxes and give it to the ultrarich.

Bush, at a Target store in Kansas City, during his first round of tax-cutting: Good morning, everybody. I'm excited to be here at Target. A lot of these folks have -- some of the folks have got their rebate check, some of them are getting them. But I suggest you talk to the Target people about what the rebate check has meant for their business. One of the main reasons why we insisted that people get money back was to provide a second wind for our economy. And the other reason why is because we recognize that these good folks spend their money just as wisely, if not more wisely, than the government can.

Moore's other crimes, according to Robbins:

Juxtapose (Osama is a terrorist, Saddam gassed his own people--let's invade!)
Mess with the soundtrack ("Mission Accomplished")
Milk the pathos ("Compassionate Conservatism")
Capitalize on the nonsequitur (See: every argument the administration has ever made)

Of course, there's one big difference between Bush and Moore: Bush is the President of the United States, and Michael Moore is a muckracking filmmaker. More to the point, Bush uses these techniques to conceal the truth (and pass horrendous law, imprison and torture extrajudicial "enemy combatants, invade sovereign countries), while Moore is using it to reveal.

posted by Jeff | 9:22 AM |
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