- dave 6-27-2004 4:57 am

We saw it tonight. Went at 4:30 for the 5:00 show. At that point every show was sold out until the 11:00 pm. As we were leaving, dejected, a woman ran up to us saying her friends had already bought her tickets, and asking if we wanted to buy hers. $20 later we were in.

The movie is very good. No one here will learn anything they don't know, but that's not really the point. Mainly I wanted to go to add my ticket sales to the total. Still, I was pretty impressed. It is his most mature work to date. There is very little Michael Moore in the movie, and a lot of footage of Bush et al that just speaks for itself. What a smirking chimp.

Go see it. Or buy a ticket at least. I so hope it is the number one movie on Monday.
- jim 6-27-2004 6:32 am [add a comment]

D and I saw it at the Del Mar in Santa Cruz. It wasn't just a movie, it was an event. My favorite sign on the street: "Pre-emtive Impeachment Now."

They were running the show on two screens (the main theater, and one of the two small ones), and there were significant lines for the ticket holders. Non-ticket holders were out of luck. (D bought advance tickets on Thursday.)

I've followed his movies and books, and this is the best effort yet. He allowed the Smirk to be his own ridiculousness.

My only complaint: not enough Wolfowitz. But maybe that's just me. The extended shot of Wolfie slicking back his hair with spit was truly disgusting. I would have liked to see some "before and after" quotes from the Wolf-boy.

I was amazed how much of "my" material Moore cribbed. The "I'm a war president." quotation from meet the Tim. Rummy cozying up with Saddam. Powell's power points of death, etc., etc.

He covered a lot of ground familiar to those who have been paying attention, but it was a nicely assembled montage. I felt fresh outrage over and over again, and had to restrain myself from gesturing and yelling at the images of the stupid, vicious people running this country.

- mark 6-27-2004 8:26 pm [add a comment]

""The biggest news to me this morning is this is a red-state movie," he said, referring to the state whose residents voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election. "Republican states are embracing the movie, and it's sold out in Republican strongholds all over the country."

- bill 6-28-2004 5:48 pm [add a comment]

Kos pointed out the 2-days-early "handover" in Iraq pushed a lot of bad news (for the Bushies) further down the page, one item in particular being how well Moore's movie did.

- tom moody 6-28-2004 6:20 pm [add a comment]

You got your wish jim. now you can host a house party...

"Dear MoveOn Member,
Thank you for making Fahrenheit 9/11 a smash hit! The movie was sold out virtually everywhere on Friday (as many of you experienced). Nearly 3.5 million people saw the film this weekend, pushing it to #1, a documentary record. And press coverage of many of your flyering efforts was also exciting and helped build the buzz, meaning millions more people will see this important film. This is the beginning of the end for President Bush.

We first want to remind you it's your last chance to sign up to hear Michael Moore speak at tonight's house parties. More than 2,100 parties are planned with well over 30,000 participants! Sign up now:


If all the parties near you are full, you can create one, either a public one with other MoveOn members or a private one with just you and some friends. When you do, you'll get access to the info to connect to the online conference call. You need either a computer with a high-speed Internet connection and speakers, or a speakerphone. Make sure to start on time, or you'll miss Michael Moore...."

- selma 6-28-2004 11:56 pm [add a comment]

seen any negative web analysis on f911? gwen feels it employs (i dont have an actual quote) tactics no better than those being criticised in the film. a two wrongs type thing.

- bill 6-29-2004 4:22 pm [add a comment]

fuck gwen ifill. i saw her on meet the tim, too, and had i not erased the post, she would have received my vote for media whore of the week for her "objective analysis" of F9/11.

most of the overall analysis is mixed. very little is glowing. theres all sorts of nuance and caveats to their appraisals. its like the media has morphed into john kerry. i wonder if they can handle all that dissonance.

read digby for his take on the heathers v. michael moore.

i rarely like moores persona but when on the unwatchable cbs morning show uber-vapid hannah storm tried to pretend to be hardnosed and critical, moores veneer of amiability slipped off. i prefer him that way. but then, he would instantly be considered shrill and partisan. oh wait, they call him that anyway.
- dave 6-29-2004 4:51 pm [add a comment]

MR. RUSSERT: There's a new movie, as we all well know, "Fahrenheit 9/11" by Michael Moore, which is playing to packed houses. Gwen, you've seen the movie. What's your sense?

MS. IFILL: You know, I look at this movie as a journalist, and as a journalist I have this affection for facts and accuracy. And even though there are facts in this movie, on whole it's not accurate. Michael Moore is guilty of the same thing that he and a lot of Democrats say that the Republicans are guilty of, especially on the Iraq-9/11 connection, and that's--I call it guilt by juxtaposition. You put several facts out there then and say to the viewer, "How could this not be true?"

The president, according to Democrats, did that with 9/11. He said, "Well, there was terrorism on 9/11. There's terrorism in Afghanistan. And we know that Saddam Hussein consorted with terrorists, and you make the conclusion." Michael Moore is doing the same thing. He's saying, "Well, look at the president and the Saudis. They were all friendly." You see a lot of pictures of him shaking hands with people wearing turbans. You raise mysterious questions about that, never completely answer them, and then

leave with a lot of, I think, fairly cheap shots at this administration, which makes it a movie, but it doesn't make it fact.

MR. BROWNSTEIN: I have a more complicated view of it, I think. I don't think you go to Michael Moore for fair and balanced any more than you go to the other people who use that slogan for fair and balanced. As--it's over the top in many respects. The allegations about the Saudi flights, Dick Clark and the 9-11 Commission, for example, who have not been apologists for President Bush, reached very different conclusions. But I think the movie is much more successful in telling human stories than political stories. And the second half of the movie, when he focuses on the impact, the cost of the war in Iraq, both in Iraq and in the U.S., although there are quibbles--you can have quarrels with him on that front as well--the theater that I was in, you could really hear a pin drop for the second half of the movie. I could barely hear people breathing. And I think it really is no crime to remind people every so often that war is hell. And that's what this movie does very effectively when it focuses on the human story rather than the political story, which I agree is a bit overwrought at times.

MR. RUSSERT: A conservative group has filed an action with the Federal Election Commission saying the ads for the movie are, in effect, political ads against George Bush and should not be allowed. A well-known producer said to me yesterday, "Maybe this is the wave of the future."


MR. RUSSERT: Michael Moore will make a movie, conservatives will make a movie, and they'll be able to put forward a--push a political viewpoint in the theater houses.

MS. IFILL: And guess what? Moviegoers are smart enough to decide what it is they believe. The thing about the fair and balanced thing--I mean, the truth--people really can decide if you give them the facts. And the interesting thing about this book--and you're right, pin drop, very effective story about a woman who lost her son is part of this movie. But you know what? The truth is, people who made up their minds and don't like President Bush are going to come away still not liking President Bush. People who

made up their minds and like President Bush think this movie is terrible--I mean, lawsuits aside. And people in the middle, I don't know if this is going to change any minds.

MR. BROWNSTEIN: Yeah. Yeah. It feels like the debate between the parties is getting so intense that it's spilling over the banks that we've cut out for it.

MS. IFILL: Yeah.

MR. BROWNSTEIN: I mean, traditionally they've been arguing, first in print and daily and weekly newspapers, cable TV and talk radio, Sunday shows like this--now look at the best-seller list. Both sides, really, starting under Clinton--Republican and conservatives systematically reaching an audience with anti-Clinton books. We've seen in the late '90s people thought it was only conservatives' books, but there's obviously an audience for liberal books...

MS. IFILL: Right.

MR. BROWNSTEIN: ...as well; now the movies. There will be a documentary about John Kerry, as well, in addition to this. So there is clearly sort of a broadening of this argument out into pop culture. And the striking thing, I think--Gwen is right--is that, you know, if you look at how divided this electorate is--and that's one reason why John Kerry and George Bush are so close together--the last 5 or 6 or 7 percent, the ones who will probably decide this, are the ones who are probably least likely to be affected by any of this. But nonetheless, I think it's reflective, like the enormous amounts of money the candidates have raised, there's a lot of passion out there, Tim, and there's a big audience for political argument at this point in our history.

MR. RUSSERT: My sense is we'll stop using the term documentary because Michael Moore, in his own words, is a provocateur, a propagandist, a pamphleteer, whatever. They exist on the left and they exist on the right.

MS. IFILL: Well, as David Brooks pointed out in The New York Times yesterday, in Europe, Michael Moore goes about very widely bashing America and bashing Americans as being stupid and not knowing how to put one foot in front of the other and he's received like a conquering hero. They love this. They want to hear this. Now, that's fine. They think he's a documentarian. They think he is bringing them facts. Now, they don't vote in American elections, but there is a wider question to be raised about the impact of Americans who take that abroad in a time of war.

MR. BROWNSTEIN: And the Bush campaign wants to make the Kerry campaign answer for some of these charges. I mean, they've begun to talk about a coalition of the wild-eyed, trying to identify and link John Kerry to some of the more extreme critiques from elements of the Democratic Party and it can be a problem as it was for Wes Clark during the primaries when we were in New Hampshire talking about this when Michael Moore accused President Bush of desertion. So, you know, this is a powerful statement. It's going to reach a portion of the public, but it may also cause problems with others.

- dave 6-29-2004 5:32 pm [add a comment]

howler on ifills tripe.
- dave 6-30-2004 4:07 am [add a comment]

I meant to chime in earlier. Fuck Gwen Iffil. I saw that interview. I don't see how anyone could take her seriously.
- jim 6-30-2004 4:18 am [add a comment]

Wow. A frank exchange of ideas really does make you feel better.
- jim 6-30-2004 4:23 am [add a comment]

critical voices

juan cole
kevin drum

- dave 6-30-2004 3:36 pm [add a comment]

I've seen a lot of complaints from the beards about the "Saudi connection" part of the film. That was my favorite part! The point isn't that the Saudi government attacked the US but that the Saudis have been cynically buying off their own radicals, who got out of control and attacked the US, and then the Saudis covered it up, with our own government's help. Moore could have clearer about this, but his point is we're in bed with the Saudis (indisputable), their money buys a lot of influence, and the Administration has dual loyalties as Americans, on the one hand, who presumably don't want to be attacked, and business men, on the other, who want to get as rich as they possibly can selling oil and/or armaments. One area Moore didn't touch is the degree to which the attacks were blowback from our blank check support of Sharon and the Likud party. Maybe the contradiction that the Administration would cater to Israel and also their arch-enemies the Arabs is too much to chew on at the same time. To me, it's not a contradiction: if you're Carlyle you get rich arming both sides, and then get richer when that cold-blooded policy leads to little outbreaks of unpleasantness like attacks on the WTC and Pentagon. Either way you get rich.

- tom moody 6-30-2004 6:48 pm [add a comment]

Matt Taibbi blasts Hitchens. Funny read.

All journalists are cowards. Hitchens knows it, I know it, everybody in this business knows it. If there were any justice at all, every last goddamn one of us would be lowered, head-first, into a wood-chipper. Over Arizona. Shoot a nice red mist over the whole state, make it arable for a year or two. A year's worth of fava beans and endive for the children of Bangladesh: I dare anyone in our business to say that that wouldn't represent a better use of our rotting bodies than the actual fruits of our labor.

- jim 6-30-2004 11:36 pm [add a comment]

About half of the Merc's editorial page was devoted to F 9/11. It ranged from faint praise to attacks. The thing that irritates me is the recurring assertion that Moore's making shit up.

I need to re-read Rall's take on the Unical pipeline, 'cause I'm not that familiar with that part of the story, but in general Moore's not making up these things. He's just laying out facts. Facts that have been woefully under-reported. It's the facts that the critics don't like. The facts make their brains hurt. Well they can just go Cheney themselves (I'm liking that word now). Growth often involves a pain.

The other thing they don't like is "conspiracy theories". Well, they need to recognize that they forming and refuting these "theories" within their own tiny little minds. Moore lays out the dots, but he's not real big on conclusions. The viewers, oh my god, have to use their own minds to figure out what it all means.

- mark 7-01-2004 12:46 am [add a comment]

"Read these views on Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 911" for our discussion in today's show.
- bill 7-02-2004 7:22 pm [add a comment]

Boy, the "responsible media" are really bothered by the film, and its success. The empowered pundits can't admit they're part of the problem. Even the ones who like it have to caveat their praise. I like the way Moore speaks for people with no voice and no power.
- tom moody 7-02-2004 7:39 pm [add a comment]

Letterman's Top Ten List: Top Ten George W. Bush Complaints About "Fahrenheit 9/11":

10. That actor who played the President was totally unconvincing
9. It oversimplified the way I stole the election
8. Too many of them fancy college-boy words
7. If Michael Moore had waited a few months, he could have included the part where I get him deported
6. Didn't have one of them hilarious monkeys who smoke cigarettes and gives people the finger
5. Of all Michael Moore's accusations, only 97% are true
4. Not sure - - I passed out after a piece of popcorn lodged in my windpipe
3. Where the hell was Spider-man?
2. Couldn't hear most of the movie over Cheney's foul mouth
1. I thought this was supposed to be about dodgeball

- selma 7-08-2004 7:21 pm [add a comment]

Oh, it's about dodge ball all right.
- alex 7-08-2004 7:36 pm [add a comment]

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