September 29, 2004
— Ace From TimesWatch, and we're just scratching the surface:
Sunday's Arts section brings an interview of leftist documentary filmmaker Michael Moore and a sort of fact-check/review of "Fahrenheit 9-11" from intelligence reporter Philip Shenon, titled "Michael Moore Is Ready for His Close-Up."
A subhead asks: "Will the Facts Check Out?" The Times' answer: Basically, yes. Though Shenon questions some of Moore's points, he also goes out of his way to defend Moore (in an oddly defensive manner) on others.
Shenon finds Moore's fact-checking basically credible: "So how will Mr. Moore's movie stand up under close examination? Is the film's depiction of Mr. Bush as a lazy and duplicitous leader, blinded by his family's financial ties to Arab moneymen and the Saudi Arabian royal family, true to fact?....After a year spent covering the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, I was recently allowed to attend a Hollywood screening. Based on that single viewing, and after separating out what is clearly presented as Mr. Moore's opinion from what is stated as fact, it seems safe to say that central assertions of fact in 'Fahrenheit 9/11' are supported by the public record (indeed, many of them will be familiar to those who have closely followed Mr. Bush's political career) .
Update! The fair-and-balanced, objective-and-neutral Global Relief Fund fan allows "Bush knew" conspiracy theories to go by unchallenged: Again from TimesWatch:
During the call-in portion of [the C-SPAN program Washington Journal], Shenon didn't refute allegations from a New Jersey caller claiming Bush knew about 9-11 "before it happened," addressing only the factual parts of the caller's rant.
Yet he interrupted a Pennsylvania caller who claimed Bill Clinton wasn't held accountable for besmirching the office of the presidency:
Shenon: "May I interrupt? May I ask you, did, weren't there lots of investigations of President Clinton, including an impeachment investigation while he was in office? I think he was well investigated during his presidency."
Caller: "But what came out of it? Nothing."
Shenon (laughing): "I believe he was impeached by the House of Representatives."
Later a Florida viewer called Shenon on his interruption: " whenever we get these wild allegations and misstatements by critics of the administration, like, 'Jerry Ford pardoned the Iran-Contra people,' [a reference to a false allegation from a previous caller] you never correct it. But any slight variance--and you just interrupted the caller, two calls ago--any slight variance in your mantra, you're quick to defend the previous administration [Clinton] and quick to defend such reports."
Update: And Michael Moore Appreciated Shenon's Boosterism, Too! Here, on MichaelMoore.com, the Husky Huckster quotes Shenon as giving the Times stamp-of-approval to his propaganda piece:
Are the Facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 True?
Yes, absolutely. Phil Shenon, the New York Times senior correspondent who covers the 9/11 Commission, wrote in a major June 20, 2004, article published about Fahrenheit 9/11, it seems safe to say that central assertions of fact in Fahrenheit 9/11 are supported by the public record (indeed, many of them will be familiar to those who have closely followed Mr. Bush's political career). Shenon noted that Michael Moore hired outside fact-checkers, led by a former general counsel of The New Yorker and a veteran member of that magazine's legendary fact-checking team, to vet the film. Philip Shenon, "Michael Moore Is Ready for His Close-Up," New York Times, June 20, 2004.
So, Michael Moore and Philip Shenon seem to be real big fans of each other's work.
Posted by: Mark at September 29, 2004 11:26 AM (C54d0)
Posted by: Joe R. the Unabrewer at September 29, 2004 12:43 PM (5anNT)
Posted by: Eaton at March 11, 2010 12:07 PM (6vRfb)
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