After watching Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 a few weeks ago, I took interest in FahrenHYPE 9/11, an interesting rebuttal to Moore’s film, apparently driven largely by Dick Morris (one of the more enigmatic characters in U.S. politics. I can’t say for sure that the film is any more factual than what Moore puts forward in his film, but if you watched one, you should watch the other, in the interest of hearing both sides of the story. I don’t know whether to trust Dick Morris, so I don’t take the whole thing as fact, but there is plenty in the film to show why Michael Moore can not be trusted.
One of the most easily challenged charges of Moore is regarding now-CIA-Director Porter Goss. In Moore’s movie, Goss is shown speaking, saying that there’s an 800 [toll free phone] number people can call, I think regarding terrorism. Moore charges that there is no such number, insinuating that Goss is an irresponsible liar who is negligent in facing terrorism. The fact that HYPE brings to the table is that the number was actually an 877 number. So while Moore is FACTUALLY correct, the malicious intent is clear. Most every American would take Goss’ statement to mean a national, toll-free phone number. Moore preys on this by discrediting the statement on literal inaccuracy without giving the viewer enough detail to form an informed opinion. It’s sloppy, underhanded moves like these that call Moore’s credibility into question on ANY topic – he’s clearly willing to mislead you if it accomplishes his goals.
Perhaps the most compelling parts of HYPE are the parts that show real people in their own words, not the pundits spouting hard-to-check facts and figures. The double-amputee soldier and Oregon patrol officer are both shown expressing how Moore completely twisted and edited their own words to show viewpoints completely opposite what they believe. For instance, Moore showed the patrol officer talking about how he is the only one assigned to patrolling Oregon’s coast, and only part-time due to budget cuts. Moore uses this to suggest that the entire coast of Oregon is vulnerable to terrorism, and that it is due to Bush’s fiscal policy. In reality, that department is funded at the state level, so the cuts had nothing to do with federal policy, and furthermore, Moore completely ignored several other state and federal departments that are actively patrolling this coast, including the Coast Guard. Moore wanted you to believe that this one guy was the only one looking out for us on the Oregon coast. Also interesting is camera time with the school teacher in the classroom Bush was in when he was informed that the second plane had hit – the much maligned “My Pet Goat” photo op. She didn’t vote for Bush in 2000, but expresses strong admiration and respect for the way he handled himself that morning, and feels that it was quite appropriate and presidential.
I won’t say that FahrenHYPE 9/11 is completely true. Somewhere between Moore’s allegations and Morris’ rebuttals regarding Bush, Clinton, and everyone else’s ties to the bin Ladens, Saudi Arabia, etc. lies the truth. What I do know is that if you’ve only watched Moore’s propaganda, you’ve only heard one biased side of the story. HYPE may also be propaganda, I don’t know for sure, but in the name of intellectual honesty, you ought to watch it to get a bigger picture.