August 20, 2004
Lies, Politics, and the Michael Moore backlash

Predictably, Fahrenheit 9/11 has taken a lot of fire because it is partisan propaganda. Michael Moore is being described as a money grabbing, left wing liar. I don't like propaganda in any way shape or form, so while I think George W. Bush is the worst president in my lifetime (possibly more corrupt than the other candidate Nixon, certainly more incompetent) I'm not particularly happy that the fight against Bush has to be fought like this. I'm happy we don't have completely frivolous political messages dominating elections in Denmark.
Still, when you look at a backlash like this and compare F9/11 to some of the political advertising that is allowed to air, Moore is a model for balanced, politically centered messages. Lisa Rein points to the story of how an attack ad, calling John Kerry's decorated Vietnam history bogus is basically complete fiction by a right wing group. The ad shows testimonials by people who say they served with Kerry and that his war record wasn't that great after all, but on closer inspection it turns out that none of the people really did serve with Kerry at all. The story was debunked on The Daily Show. Rein has the clip.
Obviously Bush has deniability wrt. to this group; he didn't instruct them to lie, but the lie serves his purpose so its not like he's complaining either. In another clip, linked to here, Bill Clinton relates the story of how the same group called white voters during the 2000 republican primaries to let people know that John McCain had a black child. The idea was to appeal to the inner racist of the voters of course, but it just turns your stomach that this kind of thing is allowed to go on. And btw. that black child was a girl adopted from Bangladesh, so not that it matters, but they even got their racial stereotypes wrong.
Michael Moores propaganda is pretty harsh, but I think it is pretty consistent that the outright lies and the pure hate ads are all right wing. Why would any reasonable person vote for a party that, if not exactly condones, then half silently accepts the benefits of this kind of shameful campaigning.

Posted by Claus at August 20, 2004 02:35 AM | TrackBack (0)
Comments (post your own)
Help the campaign to stomp out Warnock's Dilemma. Post a comment.

Email Address:


Type the characters you see in the picture above.

(note to spammers: Comments are audited as well. Your spam will never make it onto my weblog, no need to automate against this form)


Remember info?