Wednesday, June 30, 2004

The Debate over Fahrenheit 9/11

If Conservatives are interested in really countering Fahrenheit 9/11, here's some suggestions:

From what I've seen from the usual right-wing sources, the Republican response to Fahrenheit 9/11 has mainly been in the form of personal attacks on Michael Moore. Interesting. Particularly from a party that also has their own heavy-set icon in Rush Limbaugh. Unlike Moore though, left-wingers such as myself could also choose to ridicule Rush more on his three failed marriages and well-documented drug problem than his weight. Republicans can only argue Moore is fat. Typical, but ineffective.

If the right wants to counter Fahrenheit 9/11, they should NOT be censoring it in any way, shape or form. All that tends to do is reinforce the themes and opinions suggested in the film, particularly when Moore discussed the Patriot Act and Ashcroft as cracking down on civil liberties. If I'm a moviegoer and I see this after hearing how the Republicans tried to censor this film, don't you think it sort of justifies some of Moore's claims?

Therefore, I've developed two varying approachs for how the right should counter Fahrenheit 9/11. Go through the movie bit by bit, and argue their claims. Don't leave it up to some right-wing loonie, but by someone legitimate who can be held accountable for their responses, and who can also be debated in return.

For instance, the other day Rush disputed the claim of Unocal's involvement in the post-Taliban pipeline. He said "Another big lie has to do with the pipeline being built in Afghanistan. Unocal wants to build a pipeline. Moore says we went into Afghanistan so that under the guise of defeating the Taliban but we were there really to set up the pipeline to be built by Unocal and that the new Afghanistan president was part of the deal. It's a lie. Unocal gave up trying to build the pipeline in 1999. (statement) It's not being built; there is no pipeline, and none was being contemplated at the time." Of course, he was wrong, the pipeline IS being built and Unocal IS part of it (see Footnote 1), but still, he had the right idea to try and debate the movie on its merits. The problem with this is that too many conservatives prefer insults to information, and would rather call Moore a "fatass" than dispute the validity of his claims with intelligent, fact-backed arguments.

Second approach will probably appeal to most right-wingers. Sue Michael Moore for slander. Ann Coulter used to be a lawyer and appears to be an expert on slander (not because she wrote a book titled "Slander," but because most words out of her mouth about anyone non-right wing, qualify as slanderous...ironic), so she could be the head counsel. Plus, she could get a shitload of money if she won. Think about it. First, you're talking about over $ 20 million worth of revenue you can go after, and thats so far. Secondly, you're talking about slandering the reputation of a sitting President in an election year. Can you say "record judgement?" There's only one major problem with this idea. In order to win Coulter et al would have to prove that the claims in the movie were false. They couldn't just spew out their normal rhetoric of how Fahrenheit 9/11 is all lies. They would have to thoroughly examine each claim and prove that it was false. Calling Michael Moore fat won't work, neither will calling the film "anti-American" (in fact, the latter could result in a countersuit by the producers). Nope, the right-wingers would have to PROVE the claims in this movie is false. Being that's going to be quite a difficult challenge for the right, I would assume that they will just continue to take the low road as usual, and continue to tell their opponents to "fuck off" like Dick Cheney did instead of trying to resort to facts.

Footnote 1 - Unocal did stop the pipeline project in 1999, but did resume it in 2002 after the Taliban regime had been replaced.

QUOTE: "Mr Razim said US energy company Unocal was the "lead company" among those
that would build the pipeline, which would bring 30bn cubic meters of Turkmen gas to market annually. Unocal - which led a consortium of companies from Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Japan and South Korea - has maintained the project is both economically and technically feasible once Afghan stability was secured."

The Mr. Razim referred to is Mohammad Alim Razim, the minister for Mines & Industries in Afghanistan in 2002.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Generic Intro

Wow, my boredom has reached new levels. I actually joined the realm of the supernerd and started up a blog. What is a blog you ask? I really don't know, I answer. I read about it on and decided to check it out. I think its some sort of online journal thing. CNN said the average blog only lasts about six months, then the "blogger" usually stops giving a shit about it. Of course, I'm far more lazy than the average man and have the attention span of a ferret on a double espresso, so any bets on how long until I abandon my blog? Here are some odds:

50:1 - 6 months
25:1 - 1 month
5:1 - 2 weeks
2:1 - this will be the last post I ever put on it.

Actually, I think this could be useful. Its a great way to post updates about where I'm travelling and the stuff I'm doing. Of course, this only would appeal to the two people who care about what I'm doing (hi Mom & Dad!), but I could also use it for some political rants, expressing my sharp wit, and just general bitching, which is always fun.