I suspect the ultimate political fallout from Michael Moore’s controversial documentary, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” will be — nothing.
An unscientific survey (mine) finds that most “Fahrenheit” patrons are there for the same reason people listen to talk radio. To be validated. To be part of the choir awaiting the preacher.
Those not in the mood for a bludgeoning, anti-Bush polemic — or who prefer a lot less of Moore on any subject — will stay away in droves. Running down the United States for profit doesn’t appeal to everyone. An anti-American diatribe that is popular with the French will deter others.
The merely curious and skeptical will likely remain that way. Moore, like a cinematic Ronda Storms, has a way of getting in the way of his own point of view. His voice-overs are frequently as silly and sophomoric as they are manipulative and disingenuous. Ellipses-connecting inferences masquerade as conspiratorial facts. A heavy editing hand is always preferable to a deft touch. Cheap shots are a Moore staple. He has his Bolshevik moments and flights of race-baiting fancy.
But in “Fahrenheit,” he also has plenty of material. A commander in chief who is not presidential. An unnecessary war. A mismanaged occupation. The conversion of the moral high ground into an abyss of unilateralism and arrogance.
Plus the historical context that preceded George W. Bush. To wit: An unbroken chain of administrations that have been in bed with the House of Saud. And an FBI and CIA that had been incommunicado for too long. All Moore had to do was get out of the way and exercise taste other than bad.
But here’s some advice for apoplectic conservatives.
Don’t add to the notoriety. Don’t bring more attention to “Fahrenheit” by trying to refute specious assertions and skewed conclusions. And definitely don’t try to prevent it from being shown or advertised. It is what it is, a MoveOn.orgy that won’t matter — except for making Moore millions.