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Question 2: what I found out about Politics and the Media

I chose to study Michael Moore and his most recent film because of the media uproar attached to it, due to its content of the Iraq war and when George.W.Bush ‘stole’ the presidency from Al Gore. And the timing of its release just before the American people hit the polls. Many of the Fahrenheit 9/11 critics have called the film anti-Bush propaganda, but is this what the film is?To begin my investigation I read many different articles written on Moore and the Film. I found that the responses of the writers have tended to be anti-Moore. The majority saying that the film itself was not technically of any credit, and many were undecided to whether it should actually be classed as a documentary or more of a feature film. I looked at ‘The Hawks have only themselves to blame for his success’ by Matthew d’Ancona. He talks about Moore’s popularity, as his book ‘Stupid White Men’ has sold over 3million copies world-wide, and Fahrenheit 9/11 made $24 million in its first weekend in the US, which he says it pretty good for a documentary. The film also topped the American film charts as soon as it was released (202)The film which he described as “a ferocious attack on Bush’s record since September 11” is full on insights into Bush’s gain of the presidency and the war on Iraq and Terrorism. The writer believes that every American should see the film, as it was “compelling cinema”. d’Ancona also points out some of the ‘lies’ which are in the film. That a couple of days after 9/11, members of the bin Laden family were allowed to fly out of America, and Moore says that these flights were improperly authorised by the White House. But, in fact, they were authorised by the former Counter-Terrorism chief, Richard.A.Clarke. (310)Another article I read was ‘Only stupid white men would believe Michael Moore’ by Damien Thompson. This was a very interesting article, as it revealed some of the inconsistancies in Michael Moores work. In his latest book, ‘Dude, Where’s my country’ he asks – about bin Laden and the collapse of the World Trade Centre – “How could a guy sitting in a cave in Afghanistan, have … plotted so perfectly the hijacking of four planes and then guaranteed that three of them would end up precisly on their targets?”. But in ‘Bowling for Columbine’ he says “Osama bin Laden used his expert CIA training to murder 3000 people”. This obviously shows that he is unconsistant and also asks how much more of his film is inaquate? He also mentions other ‘lies’ in ‘Bowling for Columbine’. For example, when Moore visits a local bank and opens up an account and gets given a free shotgun, and asks “isn’t this dangerous?”, but the workers at the bank say that the customer normally has to wait 6 weeks for background checks. They say that the scene was staged by Moore. In ‘Bowling for Columbine’ he is also filmed talking to the Lockheed Manufactures infront of “weapons of mass destruction”, which are actually used for launching weather satillites into space. This showed me that he does make things up to make Bush and co look bad, whilst making himself look good. These ‘lies’ were in Bowling for Columbine’, but there is no reasons to suggest that they couldn’t be any ‘lies’ in F9/11. (563)From looking at some websites, I also found that there were more anti-Moore websites than pro-Moore websites. In most of the anti-Moore websites he is shown as a fat man wearing a baseball cap who tells lies. These websites were of a similar view to the newspaper articles I had read. This also listed many lies he had made similar to the ones i’ve already mentioned. I also viewed www.michaelmoore.com which was his own website. I found out that Moore can back up everything he says in F9/11. There is a whole section on the website called ‘Facts in Fahrenheit’. There are six sections in total, all with nearly the exact date and time for every source he used. This was extremely useful as it presented all the facts in the film. This is telling the viewer that there are no lies in F9/11. Another kind of secondary research I carried out was reading his previous books, ‘Dude, where’s my country’, ‘Stupid White Men’, ‘Downsize This’ and ‘Adventures in a TV Nation’. These books were very interesting and I found out a considerable amount about Bush and his Admisitration. But in his other book ‘Downsize This’, he also compains about the current goverment and President Bill Clinton. So I realised that he’s just not a anti-Bush, but also anti-Clinton and anti-everything that he believes is wrong and not helping the American people.From my investigation, I have found out that depending on what your political view is, you view probably changes towards F 9/11 and Michael Moore, some people totally agree with him whilst others really don’t agree with him. I found out that the film is a piece of anti-Bush propaganda. If people believe him, and they have changed previous their views, then it becomes propaganda. I found out that he thad intention to change peoples views to anti-Bush. (855) The timing of the release of F9/11 would suggest that he intended it to be used to get votes for John Kerry not George.W.Bush. It was released just before the American people voted, and they hype attached to it caused it to be bigger than it propably would have been. Moore himself said that the film was not meant to be fair. The film appealed to the Liberals and the Left of America, whereas caused an outrage in the Right. People already faithful to Bush didn’t believe the film and are openly anti-Moore like many of the articles and comments I have found.Bush and the Admisistration have condemed the film as a lie, have seem to have facts to prove it. I found out that that Moore probably has lied in the making of his films, and he has many inconsistencies in his books and his films. But even though he may not have been totally honest, he still his extremly popular. His critics say that people will believe him because hes a funny average guy. The critics say that Moore has helped Bush, unknowingly on Moores part, to gain publicity and votes. It seems that the more Moore attacks Bush, the higher Bush’s ratings go up. So there has been links made between Moore and Bush, as Moore has been living lavishly of late, leaving people to think that there might be more of a connection than people think.

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