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July 09, 2004

IS MICHAEL MOORE DEFLATING? "Moore's moral universe is in large part an illusion. . . . This self-serving distortion is a metaphor for the man. It follows a well-worn pattern of convenient distortion in his work." This from the predictably anti-Bush Sydney Morning Herald. I imagine that the Kerry campaign won't be happy being associated with this poster.

UPDATE: Steven Den Beste thinks that Moore may be the American Left's Moqtada Al-Sadr. [Isn't it inflammatory to compare Moore to a murderous anti-American cleric? --Ed. Not after Moore's "Minutemen" comparison!]

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Paul Noonan thinks that the flag-burning poster linked to above is being misunderstood:

After looking at the flag burning cover that you link to, I find myself in the position of having to defend Moore. I recall that the cover of Fahrenheit 451 in my high school library featured a picture of books burning. Fahrenheit 451 does not advocate the burning of books. Therefore, I believe that Moore's point is that the administration is responsible for the destruction of what the flag stands for, and is accusing them of "burning the flag." He is in effect advocating NOT burning the flag.

Actually, I think he's probably trying to have it both ways, showing a burning flag while maintaining plausible deniability. That would be in character. When a provocateur uses a provocative image, the likely reason is to provoke. But the point is worth noting.

MORE: Reader Shane Nichols isn't buying the Moore defense above:

Okay, that was a valiant, but vain, attempt to defend another of Michael Moore's indefensible acts. Bradbury's book was a cautionary tale of the future in which the government's control of information had gone unbridled and reached the point of book burning. U.S. flag burning, on the other hand, is an act that is most commonly engaged in by the target audience of Michael Moore's movie. This poster, conspicuously depicting an American flag burning, was apparently directed to moviegoers in the Benelux countries. Does your reader really suggest that this poster is meant to strike fear in the heart of the average citizen of a Benelux country that U.S. flags will be burned -- as the book burning in F451 was intended to do with respect to books? That is ridiculous. The purpose of the burning flag on the poster is to do what everyone who looks at it thinks it is supposed to do: inspire or fan hatred for the U.S. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . .

I think that Moore's main goal was to get people talking about him, and he's succeeded. That's good for Moore. I'm not so sure it's good for the Democrats. As reader Tom Fojtik emails:

I just read Steve Den Beste's piece on al Sadr and Moore and am wondering if Moore is serving as the domestic equivalent of the "flypaper" theory some have used to describe our strategy in Iraq. All the folks that worship Moore are now out in public for everyone to see. Does Moore work for Karl Rove?

Moore an agent provocateur for Rove? I'm sure I could produce evidence that would compelling by Fahrenheit 9/11 standards!

STILL MORE: Thoughts on Tom Daschle and Michael Moore, from Daschle v. Thune, which says that Daschle missed a Joseph Welch moment.

MORE STILL: Hugh Hewitt says the Democratic party needs "electoral shock therapy." But it's had that before, repeatedly, since 1972 and it didn't seem to help.