[Marxism] On the cover of Time Magazine!

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jul 4 16:43:42 MDT 2004

‘I don’t like this film being reduced to Bush vs. Kerry,’ Moore tells

Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Which Books Films To Be Shown on 
Military Bases Around the World, Has Contacted Fahrenheit Distributor to 
Book the Film

Sunday, Jul. 04, 2004
New York -- “I don’t like this film being reduced to Bush vs. Kerry,” 
Fahrenheit 9/11 director Michael Moore tells TIME’s Richard Corliss in 
this week’s cover story. Moore tells TIME, “When Clinton was president I 
went after him. And if Kerry’s president, on Day Two I’ll be on him.”

This election year, with stakes and tempers high, a potent non-fiction 
genre is emerging: the agit-doc, dealing with high-octane political 
issues, often in a confrontational tone, Corliss writes. Trailing on 
Moore’s box office clout, they are surging into the mainstream. One 
agit-doc, The Hunting of the President, co-directed by Clinton pal Harry 
Thomason, was originally to go to 30 theaters; now its distributor has 
revved the number to 125, and has put the film’s trailer on many screens 
showing Fahrenheit 9/11. The Army and Air Force Exchange Service, which 
books films to be shown on military bases around the world, has 
contacted Fahrenheit’s distributor to book the film, TIME reports.

“We’ve underestimated the audience’s desire to see (political) 
material,” says Robert Greenwald, director of Uncovered: The War on 
Iraq, a sober and devastating critique of Bush foreign policy. “I don’t 
think it’s about hating the President. It’s that politics has been 
brought home to the deepest part of ourselves. People now feel ‘Politics 
is Me’.”

Today people get their news and, just as important, their attitudes from 
more rambunctious sources: from the polarized polemicists on talk radio 
and cable news channels, from comedians and webmasters. That’s 
poli-tainment, and as practiced by Rush Limbaugh and a host of 
right-wing radio hosts, and by Matt Drudge on the internet, it hounded 
Bill Clinton’s presidency while spicing and coarsening the standards of 
political discourse, Corliss writes.

Fahrenheit 9/11 may be the watershed event that demonstrates whether the 
empire of poli-tainment can have decisive influence on a presidential 
campaign, Corliss writes. If it does, we may come to look back on its 
hugely successful first week the way we now think of the televised 
presidential debate between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon, as a moment 
when we grasped for the first time the potential of a mass medium to 
affect American politics in new ways. In which case, expect the next 
generation of campaign strategists to precede every major election not 
only with the traditional TV ad buys but also with a scheme for the 
rollout of some thermonuclear book or movie or CD or even video game, 
all designed to tilt the political balance just in time, Corliss writes.

Andrew Sullivan asks: Is Michael Moore Actually Mel Gibson’s Alter Ego? 
In a related essay, Sullivan writes, “There are times when the far right 
and the far left are so close in methodology as to be indistinguishable. 
And both movies are not just terrible as movies—crude, boring, 
gratuitous; they are also deeply corrosive of the possibility of real 
debate and reason in our culture. They replace argument with feeling, 
reasoned persuasion with the rawest of group loyalties.”

full: http://www.time.com/time/

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