Michael Moore and the R-word

R as in Riefenstahl.

It's not the first time Michael Moore has been compared to Riefenstahl--that happened during the release of Bowling for Columbine--but it's become the calling card of the right wing over the last two weeks. Mention Fahrenheit 9/11 to a right-winger, especially one with a radio show, a newspaper column or even a blog and they spit the R-word at you with hurricane force. Do a google search of their two names and you'll get nearly ten thousand hits.

It's crap, but even more so, it's offensive to anyone who suffered under the Nazi regime.

Right-wingers got in a twist when some folks entered a couple of ads that compared King George the Lesser to Adolf Hitler into Moveon.org's "Bush in 30 Seconds" contest. They got mad at the wrong people--Moveon didn't sponsor the ads and pulled them from the contest pretty quickly--but they did have reason to be angry. Bush is an asshole of the highest degree, but he hasn't led the US into a world war (yet) and hasn't advocated the wholesale slaughter of a group of people based on their ethnicity or religion (also yet). Bush is no Hitler.

And Moore is no Riefenstahl either. If anything, he's the anti-Riefenstahl. Riefenstahl made films glorifying the state, glorifying Naziism, and parroting the state line. Moore's films are not subsidized by the state, are not glorifying the state, and are certainly not parroting the state line. He pounds the administration at every opportunity--no matter which one it is. He's hammered Democrat and Republican alike.

But more to the point, Moore doesn't glorify a state that commits genocide and plunges the entire world into chaos and destruction. If anything, Moore is trying to show how we've gotten this close to the current precipice, perhaps so we can stop before we go over the edge.

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