George W. Bush has rarely, if ever, said a discouraging word about Hollywood, but Hollywood is unloading every gun and bomb bay on George W. Bush. Earlier in the summer, we had the cartoonish science-fiction film "The Day After Tomorrow," in which the clueless Bush stand-in president somehow freezes from global warming, and the Cheney stand-in vice president confesses he should have listened to the Greenpeace gang, for they have all knowledge and wisdom.
At least that malarkey was pitched as fiction, raising further questions about Al Gore's political sanity for roundly endorsing it.
The main exhibit now is Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9-11," a film full of flagrant fouls on the facts, posing as a nonfiction documentary. In Moore's alternative universe, President Bush went to war not to fight terrorism, but for oil riches. He went to war not to defend America's honor and security, but to enrich defense contractors and keep the poor people in the ghetto (or exploit them as cannon fodder). He went to war not to defeat Osama bin Laden, but as a monstrously cynical wink-wink deal between the Bush family and the bin Laden family.
How inaccurate is it? Entire corporate dairy farms don't have this much manure. Moore critics could write a book the size of a dictionary chronicling the second-by-second lying and fact-mangling in this movie, starting from the very first minutes in which Moore suggests Bush couldn't get anything passed in his first eight months in office. (Major tax cut, anyone?) On and on the conspiracies tumble out, yet surprisingly he leaves out his best one: the theory that Bush has Osama stowed in some Saudi attic for safe-keeping.
Then consider how low it stoops in its mean-spiritedness. The Bushes and the bin Ladens plotted September 11 together? Think of every supposed Republican campaign atrocity the news media have drummed into our heads in the last 20 years, and compare it to Moore's bubbling cauldron of hate.
The Willie Horton ad? "Romper Room" stuff. Pat Buchanan's 1992 convention speech? A day in the park with Mary Poppins. The "RATS" ad? Get serious. Even the nastiest liberal ads in 2000, like the sleazoid NAACP commercial with James Byrd's daughter insisting George W. Bush dragged her daddy to his death all over again, look like Barney the Dinosaur next to this tripe.