Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Number One with a Bullet

You'll never guess what the buzz of the newsroom was yesterday (this was reported to me; I was mercifully off work). My fellow editors and reporters can't wait to see the new Michael Moore movie.

This is the same Michael Moore who gloats over (alleged) American defeat in Iraq and calls for the death of more American troops:

... There is a lot of talk amongst Bush's opponents that we should turn this war over to the United Nations. Why should the other countries of this world, countries who tried to talk us out of this folly, now have to clean up our mess? I oppose the U.N. or anyone else risking the lives of their citizens to extract us from our debacle. I'm sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.

I told my friend to beware in speaking up about Moore. Not only will you find the rest of the newsroom edging away from you with suspicious stares, you might get sued. Yes, the almighty Moore, who makes his meat off the freedom to say any stupid thing he likes, has threatened that, "Any attempts to libel me will be met by force," and so reviewers of his movie had better have deep pockets if they want to say anything bad about him.

Of course, that doesn't stop people like Hitchens from eviscerating the guy (it's a big job) and the movie he made. Among the many holes Hitch punches in the movie-clown, I especially like this one:

In late 2002, almost a year after the al-Qaida assault on American society, I had an onstage debate with Michael Moore at the Telluride Film Festival. In the course of this exchange, he stated his view that Osama Bin Laden should be considered innocent until proven guilty. This was, he said, the American way. The intervention in Afghanistan, he maintained, had been at least to that extent unjustified. Something—I cannot guess what, since we knew as much then as we do now—has since apparently persuaded Moore that Osama Bin Laden is as guilty as hell. Indeed, Osama is suddenly so guilty and so all-powerful that any other discussion of any other topic is a dangerous "distraction" from the fight against him. I believe that I understand the convenience of this late conversion.

Meanwhile, the distributors of Moore's latest effort shamelessly "welcome" the assistance of a Hizbullah front-group in distributing the movie in the Mideast.

The movie industry publication Screen Daily reported, "In terms of marketing the film, [distributor] Front Row is getting a boost from organizations related to Hezbollah which have rung up from Lebanon to ask if there's anything they can do to support the film."

Well, that's enough for me. I'll just mail my $7.50 directly to Hizbullah, and skip the middle man.