We expect Fox News And the Washington Times to hate it, but the reaction from the left seems to prove the old adage that a liberal wouldn’t join his or her own side in an argument. My own arguments against it relate to how little new information it revealed. The audience at the show I saw laughed hysterically at the images of our government primping themselves for the camera and generally looking dim, but the facts of the film have been well reported in previous works. Collectively, Bushwacked, Lies, and The Iron Triangle all lead the reader to the same conclusion Moore comes to. These authors’ references show a diversity of well researched primary sources — including government documents and qualified informants — that paint a fairly clear picture. It’s this brush that Moore uses for Fahrenheit 9/11.
The right’s response to this has been ad hominem attacks and undetailed denials. National security, they say, prevents them from revealing all the facts. Whatever. It’s sad to think that conservatives need to be reminded that the basis of a democratic society is free and open debate. And while character assassinations play well on Fox, they don’t disprove the argument or negate the fact.
So here’s my point: if Moore and the authors of the many dozens of other works critical of this administration are wrong, then prove it.
Until then, let me just say that I’m growing increasingly uneasy about the cult-of-Bush-worship that Brittany Spears exemplified in her appearance in Fahrenheit. The Greeks expected questions and debate, so did the Romans before the fall of the republic. Egyptian pharaohs, Mayan emperors, and Soviet premiers may have killed or non-personed those who questioned them, but democracy demands otherwise.