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Long and thorough list of lies in Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine"


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http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.htmlBOWLING FOR COLUMBINE

Documentary or Fiction?

-David T. Hardy-

The first misconception to correct about Michael Moore's The Big One is that it is a documentary. It's not. Moore doesn't make those. As was proven after the release of Moore's debut, Roger & Me, the director uses real people, places, and circumstances, then stages events (see Harlan Jacobson's piece in the November/ December 1989 Film Comment for more details). Reality ­ a fragile commodity in any "fact-based" motion picture ­ takes a back seat to what will play well on a movie screen. As a result, it's best to consider Moore's films as entries into the ever-growing category of pseudo (or "meta") documentaries. Or, perhaps even more accurately, view it as an exercise in self-publicity.

James Berardinelli

The Michael Moore production "Bowling for Columbine" just won the Oscar for best documentary. Unfortunately, it is not a documentary, by the Academy's own definition.

The injustice here is not so much to the viewer, as to the independent producers of real documentaries. These struggle in a field which (despite its real value) receives but a tiny fraction of the recognition and financing of the "entertainment industry." The award of the documentary Oscar to a $4 million entertainment piece is unjust to the legitimate competitors, disheartening to makers of real documentaries, and sets a precedent which may encourage inspire others to take similar liberties with their future projects.

Bowling fails the first requirement of a documentary: some foundation in the truth. In his earlier works, Moore shifted dates and sequences for the sake of drama, but at least the events depicted did occur. Most of the time, anyway. Bowling breaks that last link with factual reality. It makes its points by deceiving and by misleading the viewer. Statements are made which are false. Moore invites the reader to draw inferences which he must have known were wrong. Dates are transposed and video carefully edited to create whatever effect is desired. Indeed, even speeches shown on screen are heavily edited, so that sentences are assembled in the speaker's voice, but which he never uttered.

These occur with such frequency and seriousness as to rule out unintentional error. Any polite description would be inadequate, so let me be blunt. Bowling uses deliberate deception as its primary tool of persuasion and effect.

A film which does this may be a commercial success. It may be amusing, or it may be moving. But it is not a documentary. One need only consult Rule 11 of the rules for the Academy Award: a documentary must be non-fictional, and even re-enactments (much less doctoring of a speech) must stress fact and not fiction. To the Academy voters, some silly rules were not a bar to giving the award. The documentary category, the one refuge for works which educated and informed, is now no more than another sub-category of entertainment.

Serious charges require serious evidence. The point is not that Bowling is unfair, or that its conclusions are incorrect. No, the point is that Bowling is deliberately, seriously, and consistently deceptive. A viewer cannot count upon any aspect of it, even when the viewer believes he is seeing video of an event occurring or a person speaking. Words are cheap. Let's look at the evidence.

1. Lockheed-Martin and Nuclear Missiles. Bowling for Columbine contains a sequence filmed at the Lockheed-Martin manufacturing facility, near Columbine. Moore interviews a PR fellow, shows missiles being built, and then asks whether knowledge that weapons of mass destruction were being built nearby might have motivated the Columbine shooters in committing their own mass slaying. After all, if their father worked on the missiles, "What's the difference between that mass destruction and the mass destruction over at Columbine High School?" Moore intones that the missiles with their "Pentagon payloads" are trucked through the town "in the middle of the night while the children are asleep."

Soon after Bowling was released someone checked out the claim, and found that the Lockheed-Martin plant does not build weapons-type missiles; it makes rockets for launching satellites.

Moore's website has his response:

"Well, first of all, the Lockheed PR people would disagree with your use of the term, "missile." They now call their Titan and Atlas missiles on which nuclear warheads were once (and still are but in less numbers) attached, "rockets." That's because the Lockheed rockets now take satellites into outer space. Some of them are weather satellites, some are telecommunications satellites, and some are top secret Pentagon projects (like the ones that are launched as spy satellites and others which are used to direct the launching of the nuclear missiles should the USA ever decide to use them). "

Nice try, Mike.

(1) Yes, some Titans and Atlases (54 of them) were used as ICBM launchers -- they were deactivated 25 years ago, long before the Columbine killers were born;

(2) the fact that some are spy satellites which might be "used to direct the launching" (i.e., because they spot nukes being launched at the United States) is hardly what Moore was suggesting in the movie... it's hard to envision a killer making a moral equation between mass murder and a recon satellite, right?

(3) In fact, one of that plant's major projects was the ultimate in beating swords into plowshares: the Denver plant was in charge of taking the Titan missiles which originally had carried nuclear warheads, and converting them to launch communications satellites and space exploration units instead.

C'mon Mike, You got caught. As we will see below, the event is all too illustrative of Moore's approach. In producing a supposed "documentary," Moore simply changes facts when they don't suit his theme. The viewer cannot count on what he sees, or is told, having any relation to facts. Whenever Moore desires, facts will be manufactured in the editing booth.

2. NRA and the Reaction To Tragedy. The dominant theme in Bowling (and certainly the theme that has attracted most reviewers) is that NRA is callous toward slayings. The theme begins early in the film, and forms its ending, as Moore confronts Heston, asserting that he keeps going to the scene of tragedies to hold defiant rallies.

In order to make this theme fit the facts, however, Bowling repeatedly distorts the evidence.

Bowling portrays this with the following sequence:

Weeping children outside Columbine, explaining how near they had come to death and how their friends had just been murdered before their eyes;

Cut to Charlton Heston holding a musket over his head and happily proclaiming "I have only five words for you: 'from my cold, dead, hands'" to a cheering NRA crowd.

Cut to billboard advertising the meeting, while Moore in voiceover intones "Just ten days after the Columbine killings, despite the pleas of a community in mourning, Charlton Heston came to Denver and held a large pro-gun rally for the National Rifle Association;"

Cut to Heston (supposedly) continuing speech... "I have a message from the Mayor, Mr. Wellington West, the Mayor of Denver. He sent me this; it says 'don't come here. We don't want you here.' I say to the Mayor this is our country, as Americans we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land. Don't come here? We're already here."

The portrayal is one of Heston and NRA arrogantly holding a protest rally in response to the deaths -- or, as one reviewer put it, "it seemed that Charlton Heston and others rushed to Littleton to hold rallies and demonstrations directly after the tragedy." [italics added]. Moore successfully causes viewers to reach this conclusion. It is in fact false.

Fact: The Denver event was not a demonstration relating to Columbine, but an annual meeting, whose place and date had been fixed years in advance.

Fact: At Denver, the NRA canceled all events (normally several days of committee meetings, sporting events, dinners, and rallies) save the annual members' meeting; that could not be cancelled because corporate law required that it be held.

Fact: Heston's "cold dead hands" speech, which leads off Moore's depiction of the Denver meeting, was not given at Denver after Columbine. It was given a year later in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was a response to his being given the musket, a collector's piece, at that annual meeting. Bowling leads off with this speech, and then splices in footage which was taken in Denver and refers to Denver, to create the impression that the entire clip was taken at the Denver event.

Fact: When Bowling continues on to the speech which Heston did give in Denver, it carefully edits it to change its theme.

Moore's fabrication here cannot be described by any polite term. It is a lie, a fraud, and quite a few other things. Carrying it out required a LOT of editing to mislead the viewer, as I will show below. I transcribed Heston's speech as Moore has it, and compared it to a news agency's transcript, color coding the passages. CLICK HERE for the comparison.

Moore has actually taken audio of seven sentences, from five different parts of the speech, and a section given in a different speech entirely, and spliced them together, to create a speech that was never given. Each edit is cleverly covered by inserting a still or video footage for a few seconds.

First, right after the weeping victims, Moore puts on Heston's "I have only five words for you . . . cold dead hands" statement, making it seem directed at them. As noted above, it's actually a thank-you speech given a year later to a meeting in North Carolina.

Moore then has an interlude -- a visual of a billboard and his narration. The interlude is vital. He can't cut directly to Heston's real Denver speech. If he did that, you might ask why Heston in mid-speech changed from a purple tie and lavender shirt to a white shirt and red tie. Or why the background draperies went from maroon to blue. Moore has to separate the two segments of this supposed speech to keep the viewer from noticing.

Moore then goes to show Heston speaking in Denver. His second edit (covered by splicing in a pan shot of the crowd at the meeting, while Heston's voice continues) deletes Heston's announcement that NRA has in fact cancelled most of its meeting:

"As you know, we've cancelled the festivities, the fellowship we normally enjoy at our annual gatherings. This decision has perplexed a few and inconvenienced thousands. As your president, I apologize for that."

Moore has to take that out -- it would blow his entire theme. Moore then cuts to Heston noting that Denver's mayor asked NRA not to come, and shows Heston replying "I said to the Mayor: Don't come here? We're already here!" as if in defiance.

Actually, Moore put an edit right in the middle of the first sentence! Heston was actually saying (with reference Heston's own WWII vet status) "I said to the mayor, well, my reply to the mayor is, I volunteered for the war they wanted me to attend when I was 18 years old. Since then, I've run small errands for my country, from Nigeria to Vietnam. I know many of you here in this room could say the same thing."

Moore cuts it after "I said to the Mayor" and attaches a sentence from the end of the next paragraph: "As Americans, we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land." It thus becomes an arrogant "I said to the Mayor: as American's we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land." He hides the deletion by cutting to footage of protestors and a still photo of the Mayor as Heston says "I said to the mayor," cutting back to Heston's face at "As Americans."

Moore has Heston then triumphantly announce "Don't come here? We're already here!" Actually, that sentence is clipped from a segment five paragraphs farther on in the speech. Again, Moore uses an editing trick to cover the doctoring. As Heston speaks, the video switches momentarily to a pan of the crowd, then back to Heston; the pan shot covers the doctoring.

What Heston actually is saying in "We're already here" was not the implied defiance, but rather this:

"NRA members are in city hall, Fort Carson, NORAD, the Air Force Academy and the Olympic Training Center. And yes, NRA members are surely among the police and fire and SWAT team heroes who risked their lives to rescue the students at Columbine.

Don't come here? We're already here. This community is our home. Every community in America is our home. We are a 128-year-old fixture of mainstream America. The Second Amendment ethic of lawful, responsible firearm ownership spans the broadest cross section of American life imaginable.

So, we have the same right as all other citizens to be here. To help shoulder the grief and share our sorrow and to offer our respectful, reassured voice to the national discourse that has erupted around this tragedy."

Don't take my word for it. Click here for CNS's full transcript of the speech, and here for the comparison.

Bowling continues its theme by juxtaposing another Heston speech with a school shooting at Mt. Morris, MI, just north of Flint, making the claim that right after the shooting, NRA came to the locale to stage a defiant rally. In Moore's words, "Just as he did after the Columbine shooting, Charlton Heston showed up in Flint, to have a big pro-gun rally."

Fact: Heston's speech was given at a "get out the vote" rally in Flint, which rally was held when elections rolled around some eight months after the shooting.

Fact: Moore should remember. On the same day, Moore himself was hosting a similar rally in Flint, for the Green Party.

Bowling's thrust here is to convince the viewer that Heston intentionally holds defiant protests in response to a firearms tragedy. Judging from reviews, Bowling creates exactly that impression. Here are some samples of reviewer's writings: "Then, he [Heston] and his ilk held ANOTHER gun-rally shortly after another child/gun tragedy in Flint, MI where a 6-year old child shot and killed a 6-year old classmate (Heston claims in the final interview of the film that he didn't know this had just happened when he appeared." Click here for original; italics supplied] Another reviewer even came off with the impression that Heston"held another NRA rally in Flint, Michigan, just 48 hours after a 6 year old shot and killed a classmate in that same town."

Bowling persuaded these reviewers by deceiving them. There was no rally shortly after the tragedy, nor 48 hours after it. When Heston said he did not know of the shooting (which had happened eight months before his appearance, over a thousand miles from his home) he was undoubtedly telling the truth. The lie here is not that of Heston, but of Moore.

The sad part is that the lie has proven so successful. Moore's creative skills, which could be put to a good purpose, are instead used to convince the viewer that a truthful man is a liar and that things which did not occur, did.

That may win an award at Cannes. It may make some serious money. But it is a disgrace to the documentary creator's art.

3. Animated sequence equating NRA with KKK. In an animated history send-up, Bowling equates the NRA with the Klan, suggesting NRA was founded in 1871, "the same year that the Klan became an illegal terrorist organization." Bowling goes on to depict an NRA character helping to light a burning cross.

Fact: The Klan wasn't founded in 1871, but in 1866, and quickly became a terrorist organization. One might claim that it technically became an "illegal" terrorist organization with passage of the federal Ku Klux Klan Act and Enforcement Act in 1871. These criminalized interference with civil rights, and empowered the President to suspend habeas corpus and to use troops to suppress the Klan.

Fact: The Klan Act and Enforcement Act were signed into law by President Ulysess S. Grant. Grant used their provisions vigorously, suspending habeas corpus in South Carolina, sending troops into that and other states; under his leadership over 5,000 arrests were made and the Klan was dealt a serious (if all too short-lived) blow.

Fact: Grant's vigor in disrupting the Klan earned him unpopularity among many whites, but Frederick Douglass praised him, and an associate of Douglass wrote that African-Americans "will ever cherish a grateful remembrance of his name, fame and great services."

Fact: After Grant left the White House, the NRA elected him as its eighth president.

Fact: After Grant's term, the NRA elected General Philip Sheridan, who had removed the governors of Texas and Lousiana for failure to oppose Klan terror.

Fact: The affinity of NRA for enemies of the Klan is hardly surprising. The NRA was founded in New York by two former Union officers, its first president was an Army of the Potomac commander, and eight of its first ten presidents were Union veterans.

Fact: During the 1950s and 1960s, groups of blacks organized as NRA chapters in order to obtain surplus military rifles to fight off Klansmen.

Fact: The NRA tradition continues. Moore does his best to suggest Heston is a racist. Heston picketed discriminatory restaurants and from 1963 (i.e., when the civil rights movement was still struggling for support) worked with, and admired, Martin Luther King, and helped King break Hollywood's color barrier (the fact that there was a barrier illustrates how far Heston was in advance of the rest of the celebrity-types.) Here's Heston's comments at the 2001 Congress on Racial Equality Martin Luther King dinner (also attended by NRA's Executive Vice President, and presided over by NRA director, and CORE President, Roy Innes). You can find photos of Heston's civil rights activism here, just search for Heston if the precise page doesn't link.

4. Shooting at Buell Elementary School in Michigan. Bowling depicts the juvenile shooter as a sympathetic youngster who just found a gun in his uncle's house and took it to school. "No one knew why the little boy wanted to shoot the little girl."

Fact: The little boy was the class bully, already suspended from school for stabbing another kid with a pencil. Since the incident, he has stabbed another child with a knife. (Sources for all data are given at the end of this section).

Fact: The uncle's house was the neighborhood crack-house. The uncle (together with the shooter's father, then serving a prison term for theft and cocaine possession, and his aunt and maternal grandmother) earned their living off drug dealing. The gun was stolen by one of the uncle's customers and purchased by him in exchange for drugs.

Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

5. The Taliban and American Aid. After discussing military assistance to various countries, Bowling asserts that the U.S. gave $245 million in aid to the Taliban government of Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001, and then shows aircraft hitting the twin towers to illustrate the result.

Fact: The aid in question was humanitarian assistance, given through UN and nongovernmental organizations, to relieve famine in Afghanistan.

6. Canadian Comparisons. Bowling compares the US to Canada, depicting the latter as an Eden of nonviolence and low homicide rates (despite having a plentiful supply of firearms). In fact, you can't take simple comparisons and base conclusions upon them.

Fact: Canada is hardly comparable to the far more urbanized United States. Violence rates correlate strongly to population density. Canada has about 3.3 persons per square kilometer; the U.S. about 29.1. Now, to be fair, a lot of that is unpopulated -- although the US has largely unpopulated areas as well (I live in an urban area of 600,000, but can name some major highways near here where you can drive a hundred miles and see five or ten houses.).

Fact: Let's look at US States closest to Canada. In 2001 (the most recent year for which FBI data are available State by State) the nine American states with land borders contiguous to Canada had an average homicide rate of 2.5 per 100,000 persons, half the rate of the rest of the US and close to Canada's 1.8 rate. North Dakota, with a population density almost identical to that of Canada (3.5/sq. km.), had a homicide rate of 1.1, lower than that of Canada. Canadian data.

Fact: The Canada-contiguous States would have an even lower rate, except that they include New York. New York is a special case; most of its homicides occur in the densely urbanized southeast part of the State. Six New York counties border on Canada (Clinton, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Niagra, Jefferson and Erie), and FBI reports data for five (Where Erie went I have no idea). In 2001 four of the five New York counties contiguous to Canada had no homicides at all, and the last, Jefferson County, had exactly one. Two of the NY counties also reported no, zero, thefts for the year.

Just looking at cities, in Canada and US States near to Canada: Canadian city homicide rates: Toronto 1; Montreal 3; Winnipeg 3; Windsor 4 (source). US city homicide rates: Madison WI 1.4; Minneapolis 2.6; Bismarck ND 0 (not a typo, zero); Boise 2; Duluth 2 Portland ME 1.2, Bangor ME 1.4, Madison WI 1.4, LaCrosse WI 1.6; St. Cloud MN 1.2. (source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2001). Yes, Detroit had 10.8, twice the US average -- but it's the exception rather than the rule.

Fact: If Bowling wanted to find areas where doors can be left unlocked, it did not need to go to Canada. 85% of U.S. counties reported no (as in zero) youth homicides in 1997; in any given year, about a third of them will report no homicides at all. In large expanses of the US, homicide is almost unknown. Showing doors open proves little. I spent nine years in a suburb of Washington DC, when it was the murder capital of the country, and never locked doors when I was awake. Why? Because I lived in a part of that urban area where the total crime in nine years consisted of one burglary. The entire area may have been violence-ridden, but portions of it were quite placid.

I wouldn't suggest that these comparisons prove something. But they certainly disprove Bowling's attempt to draw conclusions from a casual comparison of Canadian and US homicide rates, and walking around trying some doorknobs. A documentary's thesis should be able to draw at least a "D -- please see me" in a freshman criminology class.

7. Miscellaneous. Even the Canadian government is getting into the act. In one scene, Bowling shows Moore casually buying ammunition at an Ontario Walmart. He asks us to "look at what I, a foreign citizen, was able to do at a local Canadian Wal-Mart." He enters the store and buys several boxes of ammunition without a question being raised. "That's right. I could buy as much ammunition as I wanted, in Canada."

Canadian officials have pointed out that the buy is either staged or illegal: Canadian law requires all ammunition buyers to present proper identification. (The law, in effect since 1998, requires non-Canadians to present picture ID and a gun importation permit. Moore probably told the store clerk there was no need to bother with details since he wasn't really going to buy the ammunition.). Even when Bowling is praising an area, the viewer still can't count on it to be truthful.

While we're at it: Bowling shows footage of a B-52 on display at the Air Force Academy, while Moore solemnly pronounces that the plaque under it "proudly proclaims that the plane killed Vietnamese people on Christmas Eve of 1972." Strangely, the camera only lets you the plaque from a distance where you cannot read it.

The plaque actually reads that "Flying out of Utapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield in southeast Thailand, the crew of 'Diamond Lil' shot down a MIG northeast of Hanoi during 'Linebacker II' action on Christmas eve 1972." This is pretty mild compared to the rest of Bowling, granted. But it illustrates that the viewer can't even trust Moore to honestly read a document.

8. Fear. Bowling probably has a good point when it suggests that we are prone to irrational fears, and the media feeds off this in a search for circulation and the fast buck. (As I suggest below, if Moore had done a little serious research into communications theory, he would have had an even better point to make.). Bowling cites some glaring examples: the razor blades in Halloween apples scare, the flesh-eating bacteria scare, etc. The examples are taken straight from Barry Glassner's excellent book on the subject, "The Culture of Fear," and Moore interviews Glassner on-camera for the point.

Then Moore does exactly what he condemns in the media.

Given the prominence of schoolyard killings as a theme in Bowling for Columbine, Moore must have asked Glassner about that subject. Whatever Glassner footage was taken in this regard is, however, left on the cutting-room floor. That's because Glassner lists schoolyard shootings as one of the mythical fears. He points out that "More than three times as many people are killed by lightning as by violence at schools."

You don't boost circulation and profits with that sort of approach, and Bowling for Columbine follows the very adage it condemns: "If it bleeds, it leads." Fear sells -- and can win you an Oscar.

9. Guns (supposedly the point of the film). A point worth making (although not strictly on theme here): Bowling's theme is, rather curiously, not opposed to firearms ownership.

After making out Canada to be a haven of peace and safety, Moore asks why. He proclaims that Canada has "a tremendous amount of gun ownership," somewhat under one gun per household. He visits Canadian shooting ranges, gun stores, and in the end proclaims "Canada is a gun loving, gun toting, gun crazy country!"

Bowling concludes that Canada isn't peaceful because it lacks guns and gun nuts -- it has lots of those -- but because the Canadian mass media isn't into constant hyping of fear and loathing, and the American media is.

Which leaves us to wonder why the Brady Campaign/Million Moms issued a press release. congratulating Moore on his Oscar nomination.

Or does Bowling have a hidden punch line, and in the end the joke is on them?


Moore's own assessment of Bowling is to the point: "It's funny, poignant and interesting, your perfect Saturday night out." That might of course be said of good comedic fiction.

For a documentary, though, one expects more. For example, truth.

The point is not that Bowling is unfair, or lacking in objectivity. One might hope that a documentary would be fair and objective, but nothing rules out a rousing polemic now and then.

The point is far more fundamental: Bowling for Columbine is dishonest. It is fraudulent. It fixes upon a theme, and advances it, whenever necessary, by deception. It even uses the audio/video editor to assemble a Heston speech that Heston did not give, and to turn sympathetic phrases into arrogant ones. You can't even trust the narrator to read you a plaque or show you a speech, for Pete's sake.

The bottom line: can a film be called a documentary when the viewer cannot trust an iota of it, not only the narration, but the video? I suppose film critics could debate that one for a long time, and some might prefer entertainment and effect to fact and truth. But the Academy Award rules here are specific. Rule 11 lays out "Special Rules for the Documentary Award." And it begins with the definition: "A documentary film is defined as a non-fiction motion picture . . . ." It goes on to say that a documentary doesn't always have to show the "actual occurrence": it can employ re-enactment, etc., "as long as the emphasis is on factual content and not on fiction."

Unfortunately, the Academy seems to have considered Rule 11 as dispensible so long as the film in question is one attacking one Charlton Heston, and the NRA.

David T. Hardy [who has for the last year been working on his own, honest, second amendment documentary]


[PS--if I don't reply quickly--I'm getting about 200 emails a day on this, so often I can reply immediately only to the more amusing threats and have to leave the rest for a quiet moment.]

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Good analysis. I disagreed and even somewhat disliked Moore as a leftist gadfly before this movie and reading this article; I now despise him. I can always take the truth even if it hurts; to lie in order to make your point, however, gets zero sympathy from me.

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I like MMoore anyways... not sure about the validity of all these statements, have seen other articles and websites try to pass him off as some lying-blubbering fool, but they stretch the truth and present lies themselves in thier defense. In seeing the movie I wasn't led to believe in any way that Moore was saying that as soon as Columbine happened the NRA held a meeting promoting gun-ownership in America. The meeting was sheduled and the NRA held it, plain and simple. Many other things this guy references that are shady (Afghanistan-- we were funding because they didn't allow opium-->heroin production; and we gave them ****loads of money to keep it that way)...

Anyone with an agenda can spin something to make it look good or evil. If you haven't seen the movie, watch it and form your own opinion. Unless you have taken to boycotting Hollywood like some of our conservative brothers.

I don't know if this David T. Hardy is some sort of investigative reporter or something, but it appears as if he is not any sort of journalist... he is a lawyer (talk about the kings of spin). Just browsed around his web-site... a bunch of links and this-and-that. I wouldn't trust much of his info though... considering people on this site believe that my references (NYTimes, WashTimes/Post, CNN, etc...) are complete bull-**** fabrications I don't know why anyone would consider this guy worth listening to.

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Thanks for demonstrating the ability of people to shut out anything they do not want to hear. Try following the trail and looking up the facts yourself. Hardy isn't asking you to take his word on anything. He is giving the facts and providing links to allow you to see for yourself. Moore is a bozo with an agenda who will lie to get the results he wants. If you think otherwise you are a fool.

And NO I am not a right winger or even republican. Just somone with enough brains to dig for the truth and draw my own conclusions.

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Originally posted by AJWatson3

I like MMoore anyways... not sure about the validity of all these statements, have seen other articles and websites try to pass him off as some lying-blubbering fool, but they stretch the truth and present lies themselves in thier defense. In seeing the movie I wasn't led to believe in any way that Moore was saying that as soon as Columbine happened the NRA held a meeting promoting gun-ownership in America. The meeting was sheduled and the NRA held it, plain and simple. Many other things this guy references that are shady (Afghanistan-- we were funding because they didn't allow opium-->heroin production; and we gave them ****loads of money to keep it that way)...

Anyone with an agenda can spin something to make it look good or evil. If you haven't seen the movie, watch it and form your own opinion. Unless you have taken to boycotting Hollywood like some of our conservative brothers.

I don't know if this David T. Hardy is some sort of investigative reporter or something, but it appears as if he is not any sort of journalist... he is a lawyer (talk about the kings of spin). Just browsed around his web-site... a bunch of links and this-and-that. I wouldn't trust much of his info though... considering people on this site believe that my references (NYTimes, WashTimes/Post, CNN, etc...) are complete bull-**** fabrications I don't know why anyone would consider this guy worth listening to.


It's telling that you began your post by saying that you like Moore anyway before then having it occur to you to attack the Hardy piece categorically. There can be no plainer admission by you that you are willing to lionize a liar.

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Is it true or false that the movie shows Heston's speech as portrayed in this article? If it's true, you need to open your eyes and realize that every single word you've gleaned from that movie is tainted with a stink that is not able to be defended in even a mild fashion.

Aid to Afghanistan, indeed, was given in such a way as to bypass the Taliban. It was given to aid organizations who worked to feed the population of the nation. It is possible to argue this aid, which went on during Clinton's presidency as well, was assisting the Taliban to stay in power, but, it is not completely accurate to paint the aid as being given to the Taliban. Given the tenor of what Moore appears to have done in this award-winning documentary, it seems more likely than not that he didn't know, or didn't care, to report accurately.

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Has anyone actually seen this documentary yet?

I did and and thought it wasnt much of a documentary, rather an entertainment style movie.

Feel sorry for those, including Moore himself, who take these types of movies as the god spoken truth. Reminds me of people who listen to the TV news and say, if its on TV, it must be true! :geek:

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I think the point is that a documentary should be, at it's core, truthful. It should depict reality and should be absent of any real literary license. If it was more of an entertainment style movie, then Hollywood has an odd way of honoring those who made documentary movies.

But, to answer your question, no, no one has seen this documentary yet, including you, since, according to you, and the author of this piece, it's not really a documentary at all :). I haven't seen the movie either :).

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Originally posted by The Evil Genius

. . . it wasnt much of a documentary, rather an entertainment style movie.

Then we're in agreement, which makes the Best Documentary Oscar all the more baffling. If it's nothing but propaganda and spin, then the anti-gun people should at least admit that rather than talk about it with the reverence of the Gospel. The lying makes me sick!
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Originally posted by Art


But, to answer your question, no, no one has seen this documentary yet, including you, since, according to you, and the author of this piece, it's not really a documentary at all :).

Funy. Sad. But true. :thumbsup:

As for the anti gun people making this out to be the gospel, I find that hard to believe. I have yet to meet anyone who takes the movie as more than just an opinion.

As for me, I am somewhat "anti-gun" (which I can explain in greater detail if you want)and I find Moore's movies less than "gospel".

As a side note - have you ever noticed when people talk about something and refer to it as "gospel" - its usually far from the truth. Why is that?

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No real need to go into your gun thoughts. I am actual pro-gun, but anti-Second Amendment as to how it is used by three rednecks in a Durango (still a good line) to prop up rights they don't actually possess. No need to really explain that position either.

In fact, we're largely agreeing here, though, I'll say this about the manner in which the Heston speech was described here in this thread. Certainly if the picture the movie presented was precisely true, it would have been a powerfully persuasive documentary. That Moore had to fictionalize it to make a point is troublesome. But, again, we aren't disagreeing, so that's good.

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To be honest, I have never met anyone who has seen the movie that I know of. I'm not even sure if it ever played in my area.

The only reason I am even aware of Michael Moore is because my wife happed to have Oprah on and he was on it... What a bunch of garbage. Watching that show made me sick.

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I for one did see the movie and I was much more entertained than enlightened... it does play as a cut-and-paste movie... much like you would see on a nightly news broadcast or something of that nature.

The fact that I am going to like what he does regardless of what David T. Hardy tells me to do is based more upon his bringing up issues that people like to ignore than the way he makes his movies to show what happens. I do not accept his (M.M.) word as fact or gospel. I am pro-gun ownership and will continue to be so, regardless of of one NRA member's movie about America and gun-violence. And by the way, the movie is not anti-gun (for the many who haven't seen it, and probably refuse to). It explores the relationships between Americans and gun violence. Please don't say the relationship doesn't exist; we all know that we have the most violent civilized society in the world.

He doesn't put words in people's mouths. He never made a bank give out rifles when one opened a new savings account. He never made Charleton Heston say the America is a violent place and many people are murdered because, "we have many ethnicities." Does he accuse CH of being a bigot or anything? No. He never wanted Flint, Michigan to turn into a gigantic ****-hole because the suits would get richer by having foreigners make American cars. He sees things differently (known as wrong to the "always RIGHT") and presents them as he sees them. It is up to the viewer to distiguish between what he belives to be true and what he knows to be true-- and what he wants to be true.

For all those that haven't even seen the movie I find it hard to believe that you can blindly believe what this guy wrote. There are many intelligent posters on this site, many whom are disgusted of MM (even before the Oscars), and want to see him tainted in any way possible. I know that you have informed opinions on many issues, but I would suggest watching the flick before coming to any conclusions. Watch it with an un-biased opinion.

...and think of it as entertainment.

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As I said in another thread...

Michael Moore = Michael Bellesiles

The supreme mendacity of these two windbags knows no bounds. What's most scary, though, is not the fact that Moore and Bellesiles lied, lied repeatedly, and are more than willing to lie again. No, what's most scary is that so many out there believe Moore and Bellesiles's lies either because (a) they naively take what Moore and Bellesiles say at face value or (B) they know that Moore and Bellesiles's claims are false yet they desperately want such lies to be true.

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Again, A.J., defending the indefensible is a trait that brings into question YOUR character. So, answer the question that was asked. Did Moore show Heston's speech in his film the way it was transcripted by Hardy? Yes or no? Was Heston's actual speech what was transcribed in comparision? Yes or no? Since both answers are yes, this isn't about Moore seeing things differently and telling them like he sees them, which means to the right he's wrong.

It means he's wrong. To the left he's wrong. To the right he's wrong. Wrong IS wrong. I seriously can't believe, given the presumption that even that ONE portion of what was outlined is true that you have ONE defensive posture for Moore. Saying the fact that you are going to like what he does regardless of what he does just seems sad man.

Nothing anyone does should be liked regardless of facts. It's scary you don't agree because you are an enabler in society. You may well be a person who would "like" Darrell Russell if he was a Redskin because regardless of the despicable nature of his actions you've decided being a Redskin is more important than all else. That's great, but that's blind and it allows damage to be done. Here you've decided you'll back Moore regardless of the horrible nature of the presentation here in what was branded a documentary.

You shouldn't allow Moore to get away with lies and then defend him by saying it's just his point of view. Wrong. He had to mislead to create a point of view, and that, is not something that should ever be acceptable.

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Didnt see it and have no need to.

What can it tell that no person with sense dont already know?

Two suburban kids went on a killing spree and people for some reason can pin the blame on them.

As for heroin even if its produced it takes a weak stupid person to use the stuff.

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