[FoRK] Meta-deceit: Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 911

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Thu Jul 8 12:37:52 PDT 2004

I'm going to use a phrase that "conservatives" (Faux news and other 
right-wing talking heads in particular) love to apply these days to the 
opposition, but which they chronically, hypocritically fail to 
recognize in themselves:

Intellectual dishonesty.

The National Review article Bill mentioned:


...is IMHO a prime example of the du jour right-wing intellectual 
dishonesty that is rampant whenever the right defends itself from *any* 

No doubt about it:  Moore's movie is flawed, it's propaganda, it plays 
fast and loose with its own subject matter.  But the "59 deceits" 
listed in this article are, by and large, not deceit at all under any 
reasonable definition of "deceit."  Implication, op-ed, unintentional 
inaccuracy, ommissions, differing assessments of relevance, 
interpretation, narrative, and yes even cheap shots --- do not rise to 
the level of "deceit."  In order to qualify these things as "deceit" 
the article would have to point out obvious and intentional 
misstatements of fact --- which it rarely does in its list of 
"deceits."  Instead, the article offers a point of view that a priori 
assumes a certain intent (in editing, for example) and a certain set of 
interpretations.  (As an example, -wrt- Bush's vacationing.)  It 
cherry-picks interpretations, reports, and analysis that "refute" 
(rather, are merely contrary to) various things in the film.  (As an 
example, the election results.)  And it offers the periodic signature 
right-wing move, that coup-de-grace:  dismissive arrogance (as in the 
defense of Bush's own dilettante arrogance on the golf course:  "Well, 
that’s what you get if you catch the president on a golf course.")

I was going deconstruct the article item-by-item, but it hardly seems 
worthwhile.  No doubt the intellectual dishonesty of this article is 
quite obvious to all who care to recognize it, and conversely can never 
be recognized or admitted by its intended target audience.  "Moore bad; 
  Moore lies;  we tell you the truth;  Bush good;  listen to Fox;  
listen to Rush;  read the National Review;  drink the Kool-Aid."

Drink the Kool-Aid while enjoying the Emperor's fashion show.



PS - for the record, I was generally disappointed in the film.  In 
general I'm not a Michael Moore fan, and never have been;  he 
aggravates me.  And I think he blew an opportunity with this film.  But 
--- meticulous and yet glaringly intellectually dishonest partisan 
deconstructions of his film such as this one merely underscore the 
obsessive pathology of the right these days:  post-traumatic stress 
disorder leading to significant dissociation.

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