Michael Moore will be in the news a lot this week, with the opening of his new documentary, 'Fahrenheit 911.'. You'll hear a lot of chatter about it, about how Moore is part of a 'vast left-wing conspiracy,' about conservative movements to boycott and suppress the film, et cetera et cetera yadda yadda. And the talking heads will talk about it as they are wont to do. Like this:
I'm of two minds about Moore myself. I agree strongly with most of his views but the way he presents them, I do have some problems with. He tends to shoot himself in the foot and go too far (Oscar speech, anyone?). I can see where if you're a right-winger you'd find his acerbic hectoring as vile as I personally find Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, et al. I actually feel his Oscar-winning "Bowling For Columbine" wasn't his best work, a tonally mixed bag with some very effective moments and a few clunkers. I prefer the work he did in his TV series The Awful Truth and TV Nation, where he'd take on a particular target each week and stick it to them. It might be that Moore's energy works better in short form than long form. Either way, though, I'm definitely interested in seeing "911" and what he's come up with this time. With all the Bush-kissing apologists out there (Hello, "fair and balanced" FOX news!), us fading liberals will take what we can get. :)
Roger Ebert over at his web site has posted one of the best pieces on Moore I've read for a while, one which manages to avoid either liberal lionization of Moore or conservative demonization. He rightfully takes Moore to task for some blurry fact-spinning, but also gives him props for what he does manage to accomplish. It's a shame that when the name "Michael Moore" comes up, few commentators can be quite so rational.