For whatever reason, Michael Moore’s blockbuster documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 was first exposed outside the US to French-speaking audiences, opening on 7 July in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. And, as you’d probably expect, it had a Smashing Début, as stated in the title of an article in the Nouvel Observateur. It was seen by 100,000 in France on its first day of showing alone (of which 30,000 in Paris), the best opening of all time for a documentary. Still, the (unnamed) writer does give Moore’s previous work, Bowling for Columbine, greater credit for being fully researched and documented. (more…)
The big news for many over the past weekend was Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 911” being awarded the Golden Palm as best film at the Cannes Film Festival – the same movie, you’ll recall, that Disney does not want to distribute, despite the White House press statement issued in response to the award maintaining that it demonstrated that the US was a country of freedom of expression. (For others, with perhaps a more myopic view of the world, the big news was that President Bush fell off of his mountain bike. But we’ll be getting to that incident, too.) With his victory, Moore became the first documentary-maker since Jacques Cousteau in 1956 to win the Festival’s top prize, and at the same time he scored some big political points against the his arch-nemesis, the Bush administration.
As you would expect, the French press just lapped this all up. Surprisingly, though, the vehemence of the French fourth estate’s reaction seemed to vary inversely with the degree of the paper-in-question’s known partisan slant. (more…)
EuroSavant today briefly departs from its usual brief (i.e. the foreign on-line press; don’t worry, I’ve got a juicy additional entry of the more customary sort planned that I should be able to get in today, or else tomorrow), to eagerly join in the chorus that is starting to resound in the blogosphere about President George W. Bush’s National Guard (non-)performance in 1972 and 1973.
Yes, Michael Moore termed our sitting president a “deserter,” but that’s the sort of heavily-laden word that really should have its full impact saved for application to people or events that truly justify it (it’s like “genocide,” for instance, only a bit less serious). So, even at worst, President Bush was no “deserter”: he did not abandon his military duties anywhere near the then-field of battle in Vietnam. Mr. Moore was merely indulging here in his usual hyperbole. On the other hand, it’s clear that there is a serious gap where there should be some sort of record of LT Bush, National Guard aviator, performing some sort of military duties in 1972 and 1973 to justify the expense taxpayers at the time undertook to train him to fly – not to mention the officer’s oath he took. Military service is a well-documented experience indeed, as I can tell you from personal (officer’s) experience – for what that’s worth; those documents just have to be there, if indeed there was anything happening during that period to actually document. (more…)
Just a brief mention here of something I ran across while trawling the Germany Sunday press: Under the headling Bush muß weg! (or “Bush must go!”), the authoritative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung is publishing today in its “Feuilleton” section (roughly equivalent to, say, a “Style” section) Michael Moore’s open letter to (ret.) General Wesley Clark of Friday, 12 Sept. In it, he thanks Clark for the support he expressed for Moore at the time of his controversial remarks at the Oscar ceremonies last spring, and urges him to run for president against Bush, whom Moore lambasts with some pretty bitter invective.
Obviously, the letter was originally written in English, not in German, so that link above is only for those more comfortable reading in German, or who want to practice it. The original English version is available at a number of places on-line, but probably the best source is Michael Moore’s own website, here. And, in case you’re in the mood for a rebuttal to that (but not from any Bush partisan, but rather from the leftist lunatic fringe), you could go here, to “An Open Letter to Michael Moore,” of 17 Sept., which warns Moore that he is endorsing a war-criminal, from General Clark’s role in the 1999 Kosovo War. I certainly don’t agree with this; if you’re interested in why, simply click on “More…” (more…)