It was awarded the status of top news, the front page of The New York Times. Disney was telling its Miramax subsidiary that it could not distribute radical, Bush-loathing Michael Moore's new "mockumentary," titled "Fahrenheit 9-11." This report, like virtually all the news accounts surrounding Moore's upcoming film, seem to glide right around Moore's very obvious hatred of conservatives and his very checkered history of cinematic fact-mangling.
The first act of fact-mangling on this film may be this story of Disney censorship. In paragraph six of the Times story, we were given a Disney spokesman declaring they "advised both the agent and Miramax in May of 2003 that the film would not be distributed by Miramax."
Stop right there. May of 2003? This was not news to Michael Moore. This was not a story for page one ... or page 30. It's simply not "news," period. How to make it news? It appears the scoop was that Moore flack Ari Emanuel claimed he had a conversation with Disney chairman Michael Eisner, who said he feared all the Bush-bashing might endanger the company's tax breaks in Florida, since the state is led by Gov. Jeb Bush.
Big news, right? Except Disney denies Eisner said this. Gov. Bush's office proclaimed the conspiracy theory "ludicrous." And Moore has a history of nutty accusations. So why on earth is the Times tooting Moore's horn?
The timing and theme of this story reek of Cheap Promotionalism. Why does this publicity debut match the eve of the film's debut at the Cannes Film Festival, where the European pseudo-sophisticates will no doubt laud all the butchered Bush-bashing? The title of Moore's film invites immediate comparison to "Fahrenheit 451," the 1953 Ray Bradbury science-fiction tale of firemen who don't fight fires but start fires burning books. The endlessly self-impressed Moore is no doubt suggesting that courageous leftist men of ideas are being censored by the ignorant and malignant post-9-11 trauma-exploiting Dubya Dynasty. Moore needs this movie to be censored somehow, or else his tale of American oppression is empty. Some concocted conspiracy of censorship is now part of its marketing plan.