More on Manufacturing
Today on IFC TV's film blog, there is a review of the anti-Michael Moore doc, Manufacturing Dissent that I wrote about recently. First, a couple of disclaimers/caveats/what-have-yous:
1. The IFC TV film blog is one of my favorite blogs around. It's combination of snark and links to a variety of fascinating links makes it a daily must-read.
2. I still haven't seen Dissent. But, I'm willing to take the blog's word for its description of it until I do.
The review's overarching theme is one of dismissal. And for many of its examples-- the film's descrying of Moore's desire for money, his failings at Mother Jones-- that seems accurate. But, there are other more disturbing examples of Moore's behavior, such the interview with Roger Smith that wound up on the cutting room floor and faking his mic being cut off at a GM meeting, that the review similarly dismisses. A sample is below:
The slippages and falsehoods amongst Moore's films are unfortunate, but not a stunning revelation in these days of reality show techniques. That Moore's films are manipulative is not a new idea either — back in 1989, when "Roger & Me" made its US premiere at the New York Film Festival, Vincent Canby observed, gleefully, that "Mr. Moore makes no attempt to be fair." We can't speak for everyone, but we've always regarded Moore's work as a series of pragmatically entertaining and blatantly one-sided attempts to inflame a passive liberal population. He may be a blowhard, he may be a provocateur, but we don't think he ever made the claim for being a practitioner of journalistic remove.Look, I am not pretending to defend the quality of Dissent, a documentary that I have never seen. But, to me, these revelations are stunning. While Moore never claimed objectivity, indeed reveled in his lack thereof, but I do think his work is greatly diminished, if not wholly discredited by outright falsehoods. His work, after all, always seeks to occupy a certain moral high ground over the subjects he attacks. Now, he has lost that. With these revelations, he is not the op-ed journalist his defenders claims he is, but something closer to, well, Geraldo.