Sunday, May 23

Fahrenheit 9/11 Sheds Light on Bush Inc.

The fact that Moore's film won top honors today (La palme d'or) at Cannes, where, incidentally, "the jury of nine included four Americans, while France was represented solely by actress Emmanuelle BĂ©art," should help it to break through the corporate censorship that is now common in the United States. Not even Bush's influence on the Federal Communications Commission, most significantly in the form of his appointee, Colin Powell's pro-corporate monopoly son, chairman Michael Powell, will do him much good when, at this point, action to ban an internationally recognized film could only bring it greater attention.

Assessing the film's reception in the United States should be an excellent means of judging the quality of the press generally, and, in the weeks following its release in the States, I intend to make just such an assessment. Already, Steven Weiss has written on the corporate squabble over the release of this film in the U.S. as a case that reveals the extent to which election-year politics can seemingly weigh on the decisions of a major political donor.

Ryan Parry from the Daily Mirror lists 10 reasons why Bush would like to ban Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. Judging from others' accounts of the movie, Bush may have, in fact, 100 or more reasons to want to see this film banned.

Moore was asked by someone at Cannes how he felt Bush would react to seeing the film himself, and he replied, "I hope nobody tells him I've won this award while he's eating a pretzel." (The President fainted in 2002 after choking on a pretzel while watching a football game alone.) Curiously, on the same day that Moore received his award, the president, putting his presidential duties first as he always does, was on a 17-mile bike ride during which he fell off his bike and cut his face and hands and hurt his knees. I try never to lend credence to superstitious thoughts, but I wonder if Bush fell from his bike at the very moment the award to Moore was announced...