Do you think Michael Moore sleeps well at night? I’ve often wondered how the America-hating filmmaker could live with himself. After all, this is a guy who has made enormous sums of money by manipulating Columbine massacre victims and American soldiers into being pawns in his hateful “documentaries.”
But now that one of his victims has become a casualty of war, I’ve just got to believe he has a very, very difficult time getting eight hours of sleep a night. Surely the man has a sliver of a conscience and sees the face of Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar every waking hour of his life.
When Moore’s film “Fahrenheit 9/11” first came out, I dreaded seeing it. Knowing what Moore does for a living, I knew his anti-war film would be a disgusting spectacle. If a man is capable of having a Columbine shooting victim get wheeled into a retail store to demand a refund for the bullets left in her body by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in order to stage a scene for “Bowling for Columbine”, he’d be capable of just about anything.
But I strongly believe that no one should criticize a book or a movie or a TV show without seeing it. It’s just not fair to rail against something without having the benefit of knowing the material.
So off to the movie theatre I went. Thankfully, I had a free pass, so I didn’t have to pay one dime that would help line Moore’s ample pockets.
“Fahrenheit 9/11” was even worse than I expected. It could reasonably be described as the mother lode of smear jobs against the American soldier. Moore undoubtedly spent hundreds of hours interviewing soldiers who are fighting in this war, but naturally, the only interviews he showed were servicemen talking about going out to kill Iraqis and even making fun of a dead enemy by poking him with a stick and calling him “Ali Baba.”
He also had a field day with a couple of military recruiters. In one scene, he showed Ray Plouhar trying to recruit young men in a shopping mall parking lot in Flint, Michigan. I’m sure Michael Moore really enjoyed showing Plouhar saying, “It’s better to get them when they’re in ones and twos and work on them that way.” Moore was obviously attempting to portray Ray as a buffoon who was so desperate for recruits that he would make that kind of comment.
Well, Ray Plouhar was no buffoon. He was a brave hero who had taken four years off from active duty to serve as a recruiter, and then went right back into battle, fighting for a cause he believed in. Plouhar was such an honorable young man that he donated one of his kidneys to his uncle.
And he sure didn’t appreciate the way Moore portrayed him in the film, nor did he approve of the movie’s content. Some said he would never have agreed to allow Moore to use him in the movie if he had known what Moore’s intentions were going to be. But then again, that’s what a propagandist like Michael Moore does. He distorts, deceives, manipulates and laughs all the way to the bank.
On Monday, June 26, 2006, Staff Sgt. Raymond J. Plouhar, 30, died of injuries he suffered while conducting combat operations in Iraq’s volatile Anbar province. His grieving father said, “I’m proud that my son wanted to protect the freedom of this country whether we all agree with the war or not.”
I’m sure his opinion of Michael Moore and the way he treated his son in “Fahrenheit 9/11” isn’t something that could be published in this column.
Now that Ray Plouhar has died, I wonder if there will be many Michael Moore-style filmmakers poking their cameras into Moore’s face and asking him how he feels. Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear what Moore would say about Ray Plouhar now?
I’m guessing that despite his millionaire lifestyle (I once watched him climb aboard a huge, private jet in State College, Pennsylvania), he isn’t sleeping very well these days. I have enough faith in the human condition to believe that even Michael Moore feels ashamed of what he did to one of our heroes. I’ve got to believe that he tosses and turns on his silk sheets, feeling pretty terrible that his movie caused Ray Plouhar and his family such embarrassment. I think he must be absolutely miserable in realizing what a mean-spirited jerk he is.
But then again, I tend to be an optimist about such matters.