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Michael Moore and Me

From the May 31, 2004 issue: An encounter with the Cannes man.

by Fred Barnes

05/31/2004, Volume 009, Issue 36

 

 

 

 

 

A FEW YEARS AGO Michael Moore, who's now promoting an anti-President Bush movie entitled Fahrenheit 9/11, announced he'd gotten the goods on me, indeed hung me out to dry on my own words. It was in his first bestselling book, Stupid White Men. Moore wrote he'd once been "forced" to listen to my comments on a TV chat show, The McLaughlin Group. I had whined "on and on about the sorry state of American education," Moore said, and wound up by bellowing: "These kids don't even know what The Iliad and The Odyssey are!"

 

Moore's interest was piqued, so the next day he said he called me. "Fred," he quoted himself as saying, "tell me what The Iliad and The Odyssey are." I started "hemming and hawing," Moore wrote. And then I said, according to Moore: "Well, they're . . . uh . . . you know . . . uh . . . okay, fine, you got me--I don't know what they're about. Happy now?" He'd smoked me out as a fraud, or maybe worse.

 

The only problem is none of this is true. It never happened. Moore is a liar. He made it up. It's a fabrication on two levels. One, I've never met Moore or even talked to him on the phone. And, two, I read both The Iliad and The Odyssey in my first year at the University of Virginia. Just for the record, I'd learned what they were about even before college. Like everyone else my age, I got my classical education from the big screen. I saw the Iliad movie called Helen of Troy and while I forget the name of the Odyssey film, I think it starred Kirk Douglas as Odysseus.

 

So why didn't I scream bloody murder when the book came out in 2001? I didn't learn about the phony anecdote until it was brought to my attention by Alan Wolfe, who was reviewing Moore's book for the New Republic. He asked, by email, if the story were true. I said no, not a word of it, and Wolfe quoted me as saying that. That was enough, I thought. After all, who would take a shrill, lying lefty like Moore seriously?

 

More people than I thought. Moore's new movie attacking Bush was given a 20-minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival. Moore has described the movie as breaking new ground and revealing new facts, but the accounts by reviewers suggest it merely provides the standard left-wing, conspiratorial critique of the president. Reviewer Lou Lumenick of the New York Post, who gave Moore's previous movie Bowling for Columbine four stars, said the anti-Bush film would be news only "if you spent the last three years hiding in a cave in Afghanistan." Still, I suppose it's not surprising they loved it in France.

 

In publicizing the movie, Moore has been up to his old dishonest tricks. Just before the screening at Cannes, he charged that Disney had told him "officially" the day before that it would not distribute Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore said this was an attempt to kill the film. He indicated a newspaper article had the correct explanation of Disney's decision: "According to today's New York Times, it might 'endanger' millions of dollars of tax breaks Disney receives from the state of Florida because the film will 'anger' the governor of Florida, Jeb Bush."

 

Later, in a CNN interview, Moore admitted he'd learned nearly a year ago that Disney would not distribute the movie. By pretending he'd just gotten word of this, Moore was involved in a cheap publicity stunt. And it wasn't the New York Times that said, on its own, that Disney feared losing tax breaks. It was Moore's agent who was quoted as saying that in the Times. Disney denied its president Michael Eisner had told the agent of any such fear. "We informed both the agency that represented the film and all of our companies that we just didn't want to be in the middle of a politically oriented film during an election year," Eisner told ABC News.

 

Where does this leave us? I think it's time for Moore to be held accountable. In Stupid White Men, he has 18 pages of "Notes and Sources," but he offers no evidence for the sham interview with me--no date, no transcript. How could he, since the interview never happened?

 

I have just the person to look into Moore's lies and distortions. Al Franken has taken special interest in public liars, writing a bestseller called Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them. Al, the Moore case is now in your court.

 

 

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

 

 

Think this is bad???

Why is the 5th estate not carrying The Presidents speech on Iraq reconstruction live.

It's sweeps week and regular programming is going to overide the presidents speech. :veryangry:

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Wasn't Michael Moore the second James Bond?

 

:rotfl:

 

Thanks, Danny

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The truth is usually buried somewhere between two extremes.

More like,

 

The truth gets buried by the two extremes.

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You are ready to believe Barnes but not Moore. How pathetic that you cannot think for yourself that you have to have others do it for you.

Ever hear of a lemming?

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Yeah well Bond james Bond or not I'd be mighty tempted to string 'im up and drag his fat sloppy ass thru this here trailer park tied to the south end of the Chief if he ever darkend this here doorway by cracky  :bvictory: . This guy is pure entertainment plain& simple...Loco con Dios...
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I can't stomach extremists from either side of the spectrum. There's passion, and then there's bullshit.

-ANT

EXACTLY! This is a classic case of he said-she said and frankly, I will not accept either account as 100% reliable. Barnes is denying it just now? I have never seen his denial before. its unlikely that a book on the NY Times Bestseller List for months would go unnoticed by his collegues. It is a rather embarassing revelation....if its true.

 

I have read both books, and it has been awhile since I have done so so I don't think I could give a full recount of the stories. Perhaps Barnes was caught off guard and this would not have been an issue had he not been so smug prior to Moore's call.

 

Why would Moore fabricate this when so much else of his work has checked out? He sources his claims for anyone to check out on their own, so why this single solitary event is no supposed to be all contrived as a personal attack against Barnes? Conspiracy theories anyone? Maybe Moore should have taped the conversation, but would righties say about that after it would have come out?

 

Maybe Moore did make it up but what motive would he have? Since we go back to the he said-she said nature of this situation, we can never really know for certain.

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WTF? Most anyone familiar with Mikey moore's technique knows this is the master of elitist propaganda you get from this guy  ------------------> cut&paste,slice&edit'fabricate&manipulate'voiceover&filmbuild as you go. He's the guy who starts with an idea and uses every film splice-voiceover rearrangment known to man. He is entertaining and quite laughable at times but to take him seriously would be a momentary lapse of reason to say the least. Roll that beautiful bean footage...Roar of the Chief...dust in the air...cries of CUT ME LOOSE!!! Trailer park queens thumbs up lean'n out the winders...Roll baby Roll...LET IT ROLL...all NITE LONG...Loco con DIOS AMIGOS!! :bwaver:  :bwave:  :bwaver:  :bvictory:
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In truth I find this political crap boring. Why do we even post this crap? Yeah it does peese us off to see these types preening their egos in public for all to see while all the time noticing the trail of rectal ribbon attached to shite they strolled thru getting into the public eye-Who cares??? peace be on you-Loco :cppl1
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In truth I find this political crap boring. Why do we even post this crap? Yeah it does peese us off to see these types preening their egos in public for all to see while all the time noticing the trail of rectal ribbon attached to shite they strolled thru getting into the public eye-Who cares??? peace be on you-Loco.

I find myself in complete agreement with you on this issue. This site is supposed to be about Indian motorcycles, not a Jerry Springer version of a Sunday Morning political talk show! I too am ready for the political threads to start falling to the bottom and dying.

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FOr the record it was-Sean Connery first,George Lazenby second, Roger Moore third, Tim Dalton fourth, Pierce Brosnan fifth so far . I think I got 'em all for what it's worth without a reference book.
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Subconcious block on the Niven dude- wasn't debriefed on that mission I guess. Got all the Fleming boox at 14yrs studied the spy tech in 'em as I read 'em. Memory fails with age don't quiz me on it.
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My take on any of these Uber liberals OR conservatives is that they're pure entertainment. Just like statistics, they can and do manipulate information to their agenda. Take it all with a grain of salt....read read read news reports from multiple sources and only then make up your OWN mind.

 

Don't be one of the "sheeple"

-ANT

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No way man! I get all my info from the Weekly World News. I figure if I just read from one source, and then quote that source until I am blue in the face-never do any "actual" research-I will be an expert in everything!

Oh yeah, then I will get fat, grow a scruffy beard and make movies the Frenchies love!

Lee

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Wasn't Michael Moore the second James Bond?

 

:rotfl:

 

Thanks, Danny

I think that was Dinty Moore.

No - Dinty Moore was in the movie "10" with Bo Dereck...

 

Thanks, Danny

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Wasn't Michael Moore the second James Bond?

 

:rotfl:

 

Thanks, Danny

I think that was Dinty Moore.

No - Dinty Moore was in the movie "10" with Bo Dereck...

 

Thanks, Danny

Nope. That wuz Bo Diddly and Oil Derrick in 91/2 weeks.

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