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Michael Moore


is not stupid. In a self-serving announcement on his webpage, Moore says he’s decided not to submit “Fahrenheit 9/11″ for consideration for the Best Documentary Oscar. Why? He’s hoping to get it broadcast on television before the election.

“Although I have no assurance from our home video distributor that they would allow a one-time television broadcast — and the chances are they probably won’t — I have decided it is more important to take that risk and hope against hope that I can persuade someone to put it on TV, even if it’s the night before the election.,” Moore writes. “If there is even the remotest of chances that I can get this film seen by a few million more Americans before election day, then that is more important to me than winning another documentary Oscar. I have already won a Best Documentary statue. Having a second one would be nice, but not as nice as getting this country back in the hands of the majority.”

This is obvious nonsense. There’s no reason Moore can’t simultaneously submit his film to the Motion Picture Academy and try to work a network TV deal. If it gets on the air, he’s disqualified. What’s the problem?

The problem, as has been pointed out many times by real documentarians and even Scott Simon of NPR, is that Michael Moore’s films aren’t actually documentaries. Had the Academy upheld its own standards, Moore’s Bowling For Columbine would have been disqualified. There is no way the error-riddled, intentionally falsified Fahrenheit 9/11 could get a similar pass.

Still, turning this weakness (Moore’s total lack of credibility) into a strength (“I’m sacrificing an Oscar to defeat George W. Bush!”) is classic Michael Moore and proves why he is successful. Shamelessness sells.


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