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Moore gets taste of own medicine
Tony Allen-Mills, New York
March 05, 2007

THE hunter has become the hunted. Michael Moore, the celebrated left-wing filmmaker, has become the unwilling subject of a new documentary that raises damaging questions about the credibility of his work.
The director and star of successful documentaries such as Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore has repeatedly been accused by his right-wing enemies of distorting or manipulating the material in his films. On his website he dismisses his critics as "wacko attackos".
Yet the latest assault on Moore's filmmaking techniques has come from an unexpected quarter. In Manufacturing Dissent, a documentary to be shown for the first time at a Texas film festival on Saturday, a pair of left-wing Canadian filmmakers take Moore to task for what they describe as a disturbing pattern of fact-fudging and misrepresentation.

"When we started this project we hoped to have done a documentary that celebrated Michael Moore. We were admirers and fans," said Debbie Melnyk, who made the film with her husband, Rick Caine. "Then we found out certain facts about his documentaries that we hadn't known before."

When Caine and Melnyk began to follow Moore as part of their own documentary, their efforts to interview him met with the same kind of obstruction, denial and, ultimately, physical ejection that Moore had suffered when he tried to track down Roger Smith, the former chief executive of General Motors, for his first film, Roger & Me. It was in Flint, Michigan, Moore's former home town, that Caine and Melnyk made the first discovery that they say rocked their confidence in his approach. Roger & Me was a hugely successful account of what Moore portrayed as a fruitless task to force Mr Smith to answer questions about GM's policies in closing the car manufacturing plants that had long been Flint's economic lifeline.

Caine and Melnyk claim that Moore interviewed Mr Smith on camera twice. But the scenes were left on the cutting-room floor, apparently for greater dramatic effect.

Manufacturing Dissent includes a long catalogue of alleged exaggerations or distortions in several of Moore's films. In Bowling for Columbine, a scathing indictment of US gun violence, Moore visited Toronto to show parts of the city that were supposedly so free of crime everyone left their front doors unlocked.

"Michael makes it look as though 100 per cent of the doors were unlocked, but his local producer told us it was really only 40 per cent," said Caine.

Caine and Melnyk said they had hoped to interview Moore about his views on how much editing was acceptable before a factual documentary turned into misleading propaganda.

"We had met him at a premiere of the Columbine film in Toronto, and he said, 'Oh yes, talk to my people and they'll set something up'," said Caine. "We then called his people and they said he's not doing any more interviews in Toronto. We had his email, we sent a letter to his lawyers, we had his phone number in New York. But each time he said no."

Then Caine and Melnyk began to run into open hostility. Eventually, in a scene that might have come from Roger & Me, they were bundled out of an event where Moore's sister knocked aside Caine's camera.

But they insist they should not be confused with those who want to damage Moore.

"If you have to sell out your values and principles to get at a greater truth, where does that leave you?" said Melnyk. "If we think it's wrong for the Government to lie and manipulate, how do we think that (left-wingers) doing it is the solution?"

The Sunday Times (Australia)
 

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I hope they heap it on that lying fat pig. Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal!!
 

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doggai,

Are you comparing Rush and Colter to Michael Moore? Sorry but I don’t see the comparison. One lies and distorts the truth to make money and advance his personal political agenda. The other two, use the media spotlight to talk about factual political events, and have wide followings of listeners that share common political views. How is that a comparison?
 
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