(Via Jonah Goldberg at The Corner.) I guess it remains to be seen what effect F 9/11 has on the elections. It may become subject to the McCain-Feingold laws. But as Jonah says "Ferguson nails it." In his column, Andrew Ferguson, not only gives poor marks to the movie but thinks it will work against the Democrats.
A political activist rang me up and told me I had to see the new documentary about the president.
``It's chilling,'' he said. ``It shows what a slimeball this guy is.''
So I saw the movie, and it was -- how to put this? -- a crock. Watching it I thought: Whoever produced this slanderous mess deserves to be run out of polite society.
That was 10 years ago, and the documentary was a slapdash confection of lies and innuendo called ``The Clinton Chronicles.''
It accused Bill Clinton -- slyly and indirectly -- of drug- running and worse. There was no evidence but lots of insinuation, a series of meaningless coincidences presented in breathless tones so the weak-minded might connect dots that weren't there.
Now the U.S. is being treated to the same kind of exercise, on a much grander scale, with Michael Moore's scabrous ``Fahrenheit 9/11.'' And once again weak-minded ideologues are lapping it up like hungry pups.
There's a big difference, though. Polite society, especially the mainstream press, recognized the producers of ``The Clinton Chronicles,'' a California-based group called Citizens for Honest Government, as the fools they were. After hawking the film on his TV show, the televangelist Jerry Falwell never quite recovered what little reputation he had once enjoyed. Years later, he was still apologizing in TV appearances for associating himself with the movie.
Now, however, the paranoid strain has so thoroughly saturated U.S. politics that Moore's cinematic slander can be feted and extolled -- not only by mainstream movie reviewers but, more ominously, by the same Democratic Party establishment that Moore accuses of colluding with President George W. Bush.
At the Washington premiere of ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' last week, Moore was conspicuously greeted for the cameras by Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
``There might be half the Democratic Senate here,'' Senator Bob Graham of Florida told the New York Times.
Unlike the Democratic Party, Moore has always prided himself on his radicalism. So who's changed -- Moore or the Democratic Party?
That's what I think the election may come down to. Many Americans are either unsure about Iraq or uniformed about the actual progress being made, but I'm not entirely sure they'll buy into the fact that Bush is evil, blah, blah, blah. The only question for me is how to split the blame for the successes in Iraq not getting their due: how much is the fault of the administration and how much is the fault of the mainstream media's decision to oppose the war and Bush in ways ranging from subtle to overt?
But the Democrats lining up and raving about F 9/11 has to end up hurting them (Kerry) in the long run. It seems the party line will include fawning over a lunatic who thinks as DNC chair, Terry McAuffliffe does, that the war in Afghanistan was all about oil. I think most Americans will remember what happened the month before the invasion of Afghanistan.
Ferguson ends with this:
Will anyone care that the movie, viewed as either art or journalism, is a mess? ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' has a Palme d'Or from the Cannes film festival -- and now the implicit endorsement of the Democratic Party establishment.
This embrace of Moore's crackpottery is great news for Moore, very bad news for Democrats -- just as the GOP's kooky flirtations under Clinton did damage it has yet to recover from.
By the way, I eventually lost track of my political-activist friend, but I heard about him the other day. Apparently he's urging people to boycott ``Fahrenheit 9/11.'' It's the work of an extremist, he says. And who would know better?
And if there's any doubt that the Moore's position holds sway over the Democratic party, just consider that Chris Lehane is running his counter-spin squad. For a nice summary of Lehane's career read this. This Newsweek piece (via Ace) not only crushes some of Moore's "facts" but gives some insight into Lehane's role. It wouldn't really take a Moore-ian stretching of the truth to insinuate that Kerry shares Moore's narrative. It will be interesting to see how Kerry handles those questions. (Provided the crappy-ass media asks the damn questions.)