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Monday, April 21, 2003  

Take Moore's Oscar back, conservatives say

Someone has started a drive to revoke filmmaker Michael Moore's Oscar. The rabid Right Wingers at FreeRepublic have picked up the campaign, but it seems to have started at a weblog. According to the site set up to convince the Academy to snatch the sucker back, Moore is guilty of some rather quaint incursions.

The 75th Academy Awards handed the OscarĀ® for "Best Documentary" to Michael Moore for Bowling for Columbine. Bowling is a nasty bit of anti-American propaganda. Viewers are taught that:

America was founded on violence and fear, as quarrelsome pilgrims fled to the new world, where their paranoia led them to massacre the Indians, then the British, and then each other;

The Columbine murderers' violence might have its roots in the fact that one had a father in our military (American soldiers are presumably murderers, and it must rub off on their kids) or that there was a defense contractor in the area;

Charlton Heston (one of Hollywood's few upstanding men) is a callous fool;

The terrorist attack on 9/11 is related to past American foreign policy -- in short, America's own fault;

(No need to go farther, you get the drift. No wonder it got a standing ovation at France's Cannes Film Festival.)

I can't help but wonder who this person thinks the upstanding men in Hollywood, in addition to Charlton Heston, are.

One supporter of the campaign to revoke Moore's Oscar well-known in the blogosphere is Dave Kopel, the gun enthusiast currently embroiled in a scandal over apparently helping fellow Right Winger John Lott falsify information in his new book. Kopel says Bowling for Columbine was not really eligible for the Oscar because it isn't a documentary, but a 'mockumentary.'

. . .The fact is that a mockumentary larded with untruths and brazen self-contradiction is gobbling up documentary prizes: a special award at the Cannes Film Festival, the National Board of Review's "Best Documentary," the International Documentary Association's choice for best documentary ever, and the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

Kopel's complaint is unconvincing since the persons awarding those prizes know much more about filmmaking than he does.

The Wall Street Journal's web zine, the Opinion Journal, may have initiated the cause. In fact, it would be difficult to find a far Right cause it hasn't taken up. John Fund began the drumbeat before the Oscars, claiming Moore would win because of political correctness in Hollywood. (Yes, that John Fund. The same fellow with a scandalous reputation for sexually exploiting women.)

With Hollywood in a fever pitch against the war in Iraq, Michael Moore is likely to win the Oscar for Best Documentary at Sunday's Academy Awards. Bowling for Columbine, Mr. Moore's work of anti-American propaganda, has grossed over $15 million, an amazing sum for a film billed as a documentary. But the film, a merry dissection of America's "culture of fear" and love of guns, is filled with so many inaccuracies and distortions that it ought to be classed as a work of fiction.

InstaPundit Glenn Reynolds has mentioned the revocation drive on his blog, which attracts the attention of thousands. Like Kopel, he has questions to answer in regard to the new John Lott scandal.

So far, the revocation drive is a creature of the Web and, seemingly, fellows with troubles of their own. Time will tell whether it spreads to mainstream media and the hoi polloi.

I would consider it ridiculous for the Academy to seriously think about taking back an Oscar because of a political attack on the recipient. However, the drive has picked up steam at conservative sites and blogs since I became aware of it Friday.

Moore is either oblivious or undeterred. He again stated his opposition to Pres. George W. (Shrub) Bush and his plans for the country in Texas, the state Bush claims as home, Tuesday.

The filmmaker told students at the University of Texas that the United States was at war with Iraq because Bush was trying to direct attention away from his domestic failures.

"It's not about the weapons of mass destruction; it's about the weapons of mass distraction," he told 4,400 students and guests.

Moore says he mainly receives messages of support and jokes about Right Wingers who target him for boycotts -- or worse.

Moore told the Austin American-Statesman before his lecture that 90 percent of the response he's gotten has been positive and that, despite having investigated the roots of violence in his most recent documentary, he hasn't received any threats.

"Should I be getting death threats?" he said, jokingly. "It is pretty risky of me to be coming to Texas, don't you think?"

I find Moore a bit much at times, but believe he did the right thing at the Academy Awards. For everyone to pretend there was no invasion of Iraq occurring would have been ludicrous. If a person isn't going to take a stand on issues he cares about, what is the value in caring about them?


(1)Some of this material appeared in a previous blog entry.

(2)The nature of my template makes it difficult to focus attention on more than one entry at a time. I also urge you to read the more serious entry "Meet Bill Regnery," below.

3:19 AM