I was recently pointed to an article written by Christopher Hitchens for Slate, the online news outlet. It’s a strong case for ignoring Fahrenheit 9/11, which stirred up some lingering thoughts I’ve been having.
It presents many interesting refutations of Moore’s film, and what he proposes as fact. What drives Hitchens crazy is what tugged at the back of my mind while watching the film: Moore presents any and all arguments against the Bush administration and their actions, without anchoring his own position. Moore tries to create a sympathy-free zone for Bush and his administration.
Essentially, Hitchens’ point, minus factual refutations, boils down to:
“I know, thanks, before you tell me, that a documentary must have a “POV” or point of view and that it must also impose a narrative line. But if you leave out absolutely everything that might give your “narrative” a problem and throw in any old rubbish that might support it, and you don’t even care that one bit of that rubbish flatly contradicts the next bit, and you give no chance to those who might differ, then you have betrayed your craft. If you flatter and fawn upon your potential audience, I might add, you are patronizing them and insulting them.”
As time goes on, I get angrier and angrier at the injustices and abuses of power that I see, but I also become warier and warier of those who stand on the pulpits and hurl invectives, even in the name of Truth. I believe that George W. Bush is a terrible leader, who behaves impulsively and in a bullheaded manner, and demonstrates little to no savvy as a politician. I also believe that he will plunge us into a holy war, which will draw religious lines if he is not voted out. However, the only tactics that seem to shake stars out of the eyes of swing voters appear to be those of the people I want to distance myself from.
I’m tired of watching arguments over minute factual details that’ve been warped and twisted to someone’s agenda. Can’t we have a public discourse without rampant self-serving distortion? And where can I find and observe this discourse?