A new film, FahrenHYPE 9/11, challenges the assertions of Michael Moore by rebutting key points of the recent highly publicized Fahrenheit 9/11.
Michael Moore commented in 2003: “There is no terrorist threat. There is no terrorist threat. Yes, there have been horrific acts of terrorism, and yes there will be acts of terrorism again. But that does not mean that there is some massive terrorist threat.”
In the opening montage of Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore shows an apparent newspaper headline that reads, “Latest Florida recount shows Gore won Election.” Moore made the article look like a news story by enlarging the font two to three times. In fact, the article was a letter to the editor, not a news story, as the makers of FahrenHYPE 9-/11 show. The reality of the Florida election is that the first and second recounts went for Bush and were upheld by the Supreme Court. Additionally, a six-month study conducted by the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN, verified the election results.
Moore blames the September 11th attacks on Bush by charging that in the wake of solid intelligence about terrorist plots the President “just went fishing.” Moore would have us believe that Bush vacationed more than he worked as the film claims that 42% of Bush’s first 8 months as President were spent on vacation. What Moore fails to indicate is that the 42% figure, taken from a Washington Post story, includes: weekends, travel time, time at Camp David (a fully equipped Presidential headquarters), and time spent at his ranch where he planned a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and also met with Mexican President Vicente Fox. The 42% figure used in Moore’s film was taken out of context; it was not “vacation time” but time spent out of the White House.
Michael Moore alleges that the Saudis influenced President Bush through the work of “evil corporations.” Fahrenheit 9/11 reports that the President’s father is affiliated with a corporation called the Carlyle Group, which owns a company with clear ties to Saudi interests. The makers of FahrenHYPE 9/11 show that the Carlyle Group sold said company in 1998, predating former President Bush’s affiliation with the Washington, D. C.-based parent firm. Moreover, the Carlyle Group largest investor is billionaire George Soros, who has spent millions to defeat George W. Bush.
Moore makes other claims about the Saudis. A major accusation of Moore’s film is that President Bush allowed many members of the Bin Laden family to leave the country during the no-fly-zone time period following 9/11, and with no FBI investigations into their possible connections to the attack. The 9/11 Commission Report clearly refutes these claims. Also, Moore references $860 billion worth of Saudi investment in the U.S. This figure is the basis for Moore’s claim that Saudi Arabia owns 7-8 percent of America. Moore’s facts are simply wrong. The two sources he uses for the figure do not support the data. Also, even if the numbers were correct, $860 billion is not even close to the total foreign investment in the U.S. stock market, let alone to America as a whole.
A particularly shocking scene in Fahrenheit 9/11 shows President Bush in a speech to a group of “have mores” and “elites.” Bush is quoted as calling these people his “base,” a powerful image that cons the audience into thinking that this is the “real Bush.” However, Moore’s “documentary” doesn’t tell the real story. Bush was actually at an honorary Al Smith dinner in 2000 put on by Catholic charities in New York. Tradition at this dinner dictates that, in an election year, candidates for President come and speak and make fun of themselves. In fact, Bush sat just a few feet away from Al Gore at the dinner which raised millions of dollars for hospitals.
Fahrenheit 9/11 is a quintessential example of editorial engineering. Ron Silver, actor and narrator of FahrenHYPE 9/11, says, “Give me enough raw footage of Michael Moore, and I guarantee I can make him look like an anorexic right-winger.”
Dick Morris, in FahrenHYPE 9/11’s conclusion, pleads with victims of Michael Moore indoctrination: “Please, don’t lose faith in the United States of America, we are a much better country than he portrays, we are much better motivated, we don’t do this stuff for oil, we don’t do this stuff for money, we don’t like to inflict pain on other people, we are not an imperialist country, we are not the Roman Empire, don’t lose faith in yourself, because if you lose faith in yourself, and your own country and the United States then you will undermine the only really consistent force for good in the world.”
Abraham Taylor is an intern with Accuracy in Media.