Roaring laughter echoed through the USF Sun Dome on Sunday soon after Michael Moore took the stage. Yet Moore should not be discounted as a mere comedy act as his allegations have basis in fact and are, while funny, no laughing matter.
Moore indicted the media for “not doing their job” and told the audience that one of the most talked-about scenes from his movie Fahrenheit 9/11 was never shown in this form on TV, although most networks have access to the footage. The scene shows President George W. Bush on a golf course surrounded by press calling on countries to join his war on terror before he quips, “Now watch this drive!” only to turn around and drive a golf ball. The mainstream press never aired the complete scene, but rather cut the part in which Bush turns around to play some golf in order to “not make Bush look stupid” and “play nice” with the White House, as Moore said. He also said the press has essentially been giving Bush a “free ride.”
The question remains why this occurred, and if the press does not have the stamina to show a laughable action by the President such as this, what else do they miss or censor?
If a 10,000-word story in Sunday’s New York Times is any indication, the answer is: more than one would hope. The story details how much doubt the Bush administration had about facts presented as rock-hard evidence to constituents and the world community. In short: Every single detail concerning the aluminum tubes Iraq was supposedly seeking to produce WMDs had either been debunked or strongly questioned by experts. Yet the Bush administration chose to present the questionable intelligence as fact.
The extremely detailed and well-researched story is essentially a 10,000-word means of calling the Bush administration a bunch of liars without ever clearly stating it. Moore does this more effectively and packs some entertainment value while ensuring he has his facts straight.
Too bad the subject matter is dead serious for the troops currently stationed in Iraq; but that’s hardly Moore’s fault, and while the press bears some responsibility for not asking the right questions, the accountability rests solely on Bush’s shoulders.