Jewish World Review July 2, 2004 / 13 Tamuz, 5764

Jack Kelly

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Moore's lib backlash? | It's clear his film "Fahrenheit 9/11" will make Michael Moore a ton of money. Moore also hopes it will influence the presidential election. Liberal pundits Ellen Goodman and Richard Cohen fear it may.

"Halfway through 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' I realized this wasn't an audience, it was a fan club," Goodman said in her Boston Globe column.

Goodman came to the theater expecting to be one of the fans. "If 'Fahrenheit 9/11' preaches to the choir, you could find me in the alto section," she said.

But the movie made her uneasy. "Not even this alto believes the Iraq war was brought to us courtesy of the Bush-Saudi oil money connection. Not even the rosiest pair of my retro-spectacles sees prewar Iraq as a happy valley where little children flew kites."

The Washington Post's Cohen brought a notebook with him to a screening, "and in the dark made notes before I gave up, defeated by the utter stupidity of the movie."

Cohen noted the falseness of Moore's central premise, which was dissected at greater length by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball in Newsweek.

"Not only was I dismayed at how prosaic and boring the movie was...but I recoiled from Moore's methodology...For a time, I hated his approach more than I opposed the cartoonishly portrayed Bush," Cohen said.

Democrats who think the box office success of "Fahrenheit 9/11" indicates victory at the polls in November should think again, Cohen said. What the movie really is, he said, is "a warning to the Democrats to keep the loony left at a safe distance."

"The case against Bush should not rest on guilt by association or half-baked conspiracy theories, which collapse at the first double take but reinforce the fervor of those already convinced," Cohen said. "The success of Moore's movie suggests this is already happening — a dialogue in which anti-Bush forces talk to themselves in a way that puts off others... I fear how it will play to the undecided."

Democrats are not keeping the loony left at a safe distance. A vote in the Senate was cancelled so that Democrats could attend the Washington premier of 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' "There might be half the Democratic Senate here," Sen. Bob Graham of Florida, a former presidential candidate, told the New York Times. Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe praised Moore's movie.

"This embrace of Moore's crackpottery is great news for Moore, very bad news for Democrats," said Andrew Ferguson in his review for the Bloomberg News Service.

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Goodman said Moore "has been called the left-wing answer to Rush Limbaugh." She doubted that was a good thing.

But Moore, who is dripping with disdain for his country and his countrymen, is more like a left wing David Duke. David Brooks did Moore the unkindness of quoting him in his New York Times column:

"They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet," Moore said of his fellow Americans in an interview with Britain's Daily Mirror. "Our stupidity is embarrassing."

In the immediate aftermath of 9/ll, Moore blamed the attacks on America.

"We, the United States of America, are culpable in committing so many acts of terror and bloodshed that we had better get a clue about the culture of violence in which we have been active participants," Moore said.

Are these views with which Democrats want to be associated?

John Kerry has neither praised nor condemned Moore or his movie, as Republicans did Duke and "The Clinton Chronicles," a 1994 "documentary" which — through innuendo and some outright lies — accused the former President of drug dealing and worse.

"By allowing the media and the radical fringe elements of the Left to act as his proxies, Kerry...has surrendered control over his message," said Bill Reece in an email to the Instapundit web site. The Bush-Cheney campaign already has had fun twitting Kerry's "Coalition of the Wild-Eyed."

The unhinged Al Gore, who's been sounding a lot like Moore lately, will speak in prime time at the Democratic convention, as will Howard (the Scream) Dean. If voters come to associate Kerry with the views of Moore, Gore, and Dean, after November George McGovern may no longer be the biggest loser in American political history.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. Comment by clicking here.

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