Wednesday, December 03, 2003
A Bit Of An Issue

I was in Indigo this afternoon after class, picking up the latest issue of MacAddict (yes, I'm a Macintosh man), and as I was in line waiting for the checkout, I realized that I was in the middle of a bookstore that was very much geared toward Southern Ontario. Take, for instance, the books that were arrayed to greet visitors as they entered from the street:

Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country?

Michael Moore's Stupid White Men

Al Franken's Lying Liars...

And several displays of Canadiana, and staff picks.

Funny, no? The first thing that greets you as you walk into the largest Canadian bookstore are displays of Americans disparaging the country they are from. I was actually behind a guy purchasing Stupid White Men, and wanted to lean over and whisper a warning to him. "Make sure you go and look up all the sources that Moore uses yourself...I've heard he tends to stretch the truth."

But I didn't. Why? Heck, because I'm not going to change that guy's mind. And besides, it's rather rude. He wasn't asking me to comment on his purchase, just as I'm not asking him to comment on mine. If we were in a discussion group, or a classroom, or anywhere else that normal conversation takes place, then sure, I would've chatted with him about Mr. Moore's indiscretions.

But as a result of bottling this up inside, I've got a fomenting unease about this whole issue. I've written before on what I think of Mr. Moore's tendency to "speak for all Americans." But there's more to it than just his presumption. There's also the fact that, quite frequently, he's wrong. And not only is he frequently wrong in his opinions (for what can you be if you disagree with me, but wrong?), he is even more frequently wrong about his facts.

I don't speak this out of a vacuum. I have done quite a bit of research into this issue (put so eloquently by Al Franken: "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them"). I don't want it to go for naught, so I'll drop a few links here for you to follow. Just to ease my own mind, understand. I don't really expect things to change - they won't. But at least this way, I can feel better because I told someone about what I've seen.

So without further ado:

There are several sites that 'watch' Mr. Moore, trying to follow his tracks and clean up after he makes a mess of the facts: MooreWatch, MooreLies and Bowling For Truth are three that I find enlightening.

There are also a quite a number of sites that aren't devoted solely to the correction of Mr. Moore, but do run pieces on him from time to time. Spinsanity has several essays (here, here, here, here, and here), as does David T. Harvey (here and here), and heck, even Salon (a left-wing publication) has written on the issue.

Some take a more humorous approach. But he's even been taken apart by the more traditional (ie. magazine rack) publications. City Journal, American Prospect, and Front Page Magazine have all done spots criticizing him.

I've got more in my list of links, but I think that's enough for the moment. Certainly enough for me to have reasonable doubt about his accuracy and motives. Certainly enough for me to avoid his material, as I do that by Noam Chomsky (which is a whole OTHER issue, along with a whole other list of links!).

Whew! I still feel the need to rant, but that helped ease the immediate need to spout off. I'll keep doing more research and grabbing more links, but at least now someone knows about it.

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A webjournal of ideas, comments, and various other miscellany from a Texan university student (with occasional input from his family) living in Toronto, Ontario. Can you say "culture shock?"

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