Marginal Footnotes

Vet Suing Michael Moore
June 1, 2006, 9:00 pm
Filed under: Media, Uncategorized

I have never met Michael Moore, so it's difficult for me to say whether I would like him as a human being or whether or not he is in fact the big fat idiot he appears to be. His films irritate me first because they are painfully unsubtle and secondarily because they willfully manipulate their audience, using misdirection and occasionally outright falsehoods in order to prove arguments which are, incidentally, usually true.  I've always found this strategy bizarre, because when he is found out, as he invariably is, he ends up looking like a jack-ass. Whatever argument he was trying to make is lost or mitigated but the ensuing outrage. I am willing to concede that Roger & Me is a great film, for example, and it's probably a fundamentally fair representation of a dying town.  But if that fundamental truth underwrites the narrative, why did Moore find it necessary to, for example, interview evictees who never worked for GM, while suggesting, by omission, they did (Moore could have made an argument about wider socio-economic effects, but did not do so–he implied these people had been laid off). 

Well anyway, a former marine named Peter Damon, who lost both his arms in the war, is suing Moore for using (without his permission or even consultation) in Fahrenheit 911 video footage of him filmed by NBC Nightly News.  Moore, it seems, decontextualized Damon's remarks and thereby misrepresented them. You can watch a video of Damon discussing his lawsuit here.


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