Moore's 9/11 banned by theater owner


mdoneil writes "Fridley Theaters owner has banned Farenheit 9/11 because it incites terrorism.

I'm not as sure about that as R.L. Fridley is, but I think his idea not to show propaganda films from either the left or the right is on target.

If it is political propaganda, and I do think it is simply that and not by any strech of the imagination a documentary, the parties should arrange for its showing."


The Taliban and Al-Queda and those that behead people to make political statements are anonymous too. Do you hide behind a mask in public as well? Into which category of coward do you fall?

I believe Moore himself describes it as an op-ed piece. I don't know if he has disclaimed it as a documentary or not.

Thanks for pointing out the Fox News review. It is quite interesting, but some of it seems rather dubious:

But, really, in the end, not seeing "F9/11" would be like allowing your First Amendment rights to be abrogated, no matter whether you're a Republican or a Democrat.

Really, that's quite a stretch.

By way of reciprocation, here's Kevin Drum's (the erstwhile Calpundit's) blog> on it. His conclusion is that, yes, it is "unfair, full of innuendo and cheap shots, and guilty of specious arguments", but it is the perfect complement to the manner of argumentation practiced by the right all along. Tu quoque?

Were you making a distinction between your point of view and Ogged's? I ask, because it looks to me as if Ogged is also concerned because he/she agrees with Moore:

But I'm profoundly uncomfortable surrendering the insistence on an honest discourse. I don't know if it's possible to regain a healthy political life--whatever the administration--if our means are dishonest. I'd like to make a clever epistemological answer: while demagoguery might not be wrong in principle, our civilized presumption that we should be honest, and the unknowable corrosive effects of dishonesty, compel us to eschew it. But I don't think that works either. If the mullahs in Iran could be overthrown with a crafty and utterly false propaganda campaign, would I object? No, I don't think so.

Prior to that, Ogged expresses "irreconcilable ambivalence" about the movie.

As for Chomsky & Pilger making the same argument, I have to wonder what Moore's argument is such that we could say that Chomsky & Pilger are making the same one. I suppose there is the vague "Bush is an incompetent dolt beholden to the Saudis" allegation, but if what I've read at>, Newsweek,> and> is largely true, the evidence he has offered in support of this proposition is largely specious.

I'm certain that Lahane has rebuttals of these articles up at Moore's website. If I get time, I would like to analyze them to see if they offer any real arguments.

"And, sadly, there is that trend of not wanting to hear the other side too."

I thought we had LISNews for that? Who's to say the theater owner doesn't belong to some online chat group of movie theater owners and employees where they are debating the exact same things?

If someone on the conservative side like Karen Hughes suddenly said that Vince Foster was the victim of a Black Ops mission, liberals wouldn't be talking about 'wanting to hear the other side'. They'd be calling for her head on a platter and we'd give it them. I only consider Moore 'the other side' to the degree 'the other side' seems to embrace him but beyond that I feel no obligation to listen to him. Just because people aren't listening to Moore that's not a sign that they aren't willing to listen.

I don't know, mdoneil. Nader has an authoritarian streak that I find unappealing. He's kind of like a gaunt Cheney...perhaps they were seperated at birth? No, I won't be voting for him!
As for the movie...I don't want to pay either! Let's just sneak in! It'll be a lark for both of us, eh?

Sorry, not in Florida it is against the law to wear a mask. (F.S.S § 876.12 et seq.) I don't make them, I don't enforce them, I just obey them.

Oh I am going to miss our date anonymous. I get all a flutter when masks come into the equation. Or Margaritas same effect.

Where did I say I would never see the movie? I said I would never pay to see the movie, I even said I would pay not to see the movie. But I never said I would not see the movie. Everything has its price. You vote for Nader and I'll have a screening on my garage door for entire neighborhood.

You're seriously saying that it's easier to make up your own mind when certain films aren't shown? Wouldn't it be better to be exposed to Moore and Limbaugh and anyone else who wanted to put their view across, and make up your own mind then?

I take it from the tone of your remark that we don't have a date...It hurts...I thought we'd have a pleasant evening, watch the movie, then engage in a rational discusssion. I now see the error of my ways.

I really wonder why you bothered to spend the time typing that.

Flamebait that mentions me personally deserves an appropriate response. If someone can use my name in their comments, hiding behind anonymity is hypocritical and cowardly.

No one is required to disclose their email address. Your argument that one may not want to give one’s email address to yet another website is specious since your email is not disclosed.

I am not the one who first used the term “ban� when referring to Moore’s latest film. The headline writer for the Wichita Eagle was the first. Perhaps you should have read the article.

To call Moore’s film a documentary is laughable. Even he does not call it a documentary, however that may be in an effort to avoid violating campaign finance laws that could restrict advertising if it were a documentary. Since Moore considers it an Op-Ed piece, and since the political slant nears 270 degrees it fails to qualify as a documentary in my book.

Of course I am not opposed to a laissez faire economy. Business owners should be allowed to do as they please. If this gentleman does not want overtly political nonsense in his theaters more power to him. The fact that it did well at the box office speaks volumes about the superiority of our free market democracy, the same system evolving in Iraq.

So before cowards post anonymous poorly reasoned vitriol twisting my words I suggest they read and re-read what I wrote. I never suggested that I was being coerced or forced to see the film. I noted that I did not agree with the theater owner that showing Moore’s film would lead to terrorism, and I noted that propaganda comes from both the right and the left.

The cowardly anonymous response directed at me shows the mere mention of Moore’s film in a not entirely laudatory light upsets the radical left so much that they launch ad hominem attacks on those proposing reasoned discussion. I feel sorry for the individuals because they are wound so tightly that they violently recoil without digesting the facts spouting nonsense commentary and not helping their cause. However this is beneficial in that undecided voters can choose between reasoned discussion from the right, or angry anti-establishment venom from the radical left.

Anonymous ad hominem attacks demonstrate only cowardice and ignorance, not unexpected from those who can’t objectively discuss the issues. I am quite willing to engage in reasoned discussion. Twisting my words in a feeble attempt to make a point is childish, poorly designed argument, and to be blunt simply stupid.

I don't know about the Anonymous Patron who suggested (nothing coercive!) that you DON'T see the Michael Moore epic. I do want to say something in defense of masks! YES! I wear one! It's because I like to be anonymous! It does get a little complicated when I go to my bank to make transactions, but they've become used to me and we have an understanding (they like my money too much to make a big fuss).
As for cowardice, why don't we just eliminate privacy altogether? NO ANONYMITY! Period! As Ed Meese used to say: "If you aren't doing anything wrong, you got nothing to worry about."
By the way, I have no interest in filling Michael Moore's coffers, so I won't be seeing it unless YOU (mDoneil!) are paying my way!

One could note that "Anonymous Patron" is suffering from serious multiple personality disorder, given the wide and often contradictory range of opinions and political positions that "Anonymous Patron" has expressed.

Or one could note that "not being anonymous" on lisnews means giving one's email address to yet another website, and many people don't like doing that when it's not absolutely necessary.

A snarky response to your silly remark about being "spoon fed propaganda" hardly justifies your offensive comparison of this Anonymous Patron to the Taliban and Al Qaeda. And aren't you the one who used the word "banned" to describe Fridley's decision not to show the movie? As I said in a previous post, unless Fridley controls enough theaters to seriously impede people's ability to see the movie if they want to, this is a remarkably silly use of the word "banned."

Also, having a strong political point of view doesn't make it "not a documentary." Most documentaries have a point of view; documentaries on current issues or events often have a strong political point of view. The only weird about Fahrenheit 9/11 as a documentary is that, opening on a bit under a thousand screens (admittedly, a very _large_ opening, for a documentary), it was the box office winner for its opening weekend--with the number two and number three movies opening on, respectively, just under and just over 3,000 screens.

F 9/11 got that opening of not quite 1,000 screens because the pre-release publicity (especially the free pre-release publicity, courtesy of the Republican party) convinced theater owners it would be a money-maker for them. (And they were right.) Surely you can't have any objection to business owners making business decisions on the basis of what they think will be most profitable for them? What are you, some kind of commie?:)

I don't think this movie is supposed to be a documentary at all. It's one director's, albeit a very opinionated one's, (though aren't most movie director's "opinionated"?) view of what the background is re the Osama Bin Laden/Al Queda vendetta against the US.

There have been several very good articles in the New York Times in the last few days.

Personally, I think "banning" anything is a dangerous game.

He did not simply ban this film he banned any politically centered films. If Rush Limbaugh (when not hiting the Vicodin or the wife) were to come out with a movie these theaters would not show that either.

Now as a con (as opposed to a neocon, not someone from state prison) I think that is just dandy, because I can make up my own mind by evaluating the issues and people, not having propaganda spoon fed to me.

Show more good movies. If Gone With the Wind or the orignial Star Wars were in theaters I would see more movies than I do with the crap that is available today.

Spiderman my arse, that is a comic book.

Thanks Lis, and good point about the choice of words, too.

mdoneil, if you don't want to see it, then DON'T! I checked around my community and there are NO bands of armed thugs forcing people from the homes to the local cineplex! Of course, you live in Florida and I don't...

Some opposed to Bush have given it negative reviews, and Roger Friedman at Fox News said in his review "It turns out to be a really brilliant piece of work, and a film that members of all political parties should see without fail." You can see his entire review at:,2933,122680,00.html

So, at least some people on each side are actually looking at the movie itself, and making their judgments based on the movie.

As for whether or not being an "op-ed", something clearly intended to convey a point of view, no, that doesn't take it out of the documentary category. Nearly all documentaries strongly express a point of view (how could they not?), and when it's a documentary about contemporary events or issues, the point of view is ofen political, whether explicitly or implicitly.

I do have to say, though, that unless Fridley owns enough theaters to significantly impair people's ability to see the movie regionally, this is a silly use of the word "banned". (Of course, it's quite possible that they do, but the story certainly doesn't make that clear.)

Intellectuals like Chomsky expect to be effective by making reasoned arguments and responding intelligently to opposing views. OPEN YOUR EYES - conservatives have been very effective since the Reagan era in demonizing liberals, and it's time for liberals to respond in kind. For those who abhor emotional arguments: would you rather be the minority party for the foreseeable future?

Good comments, thought to be fair Moore isn't responsible for Unfogged's opinion of his work. Personally I find Moore dishonest and manipulative, and this concerns me *because* I agree with him. A similar argument is made with a thousand times more integrity and intelligence by people like Pilger and Chomsky, but do they get the same publicity as Moore (or someone like Coulter on the other side)?

Which means that I completely agree with your last point.

I am also worried by the trend of not wanting to listen to the other side, and as one coming from the other side from Moore, I certainly intend to see it, though perhaps not until it comes out on DVD. And I do think it is important to point out that Moore has claimed that it is an op-ed (but has he also denied that it is a documentary? will it be considered for an Oscar in that category?).

I have to say that I find it noteworthy that a self-confessed> has been candid enough to admit that "Moore is dishonest and grossly manipulative, but I applauded anyway, because, simply, he hates Bush and so do I." BTW, I heartily recommend this person's blog posting, because he/she later gets to what I agree is the real question that must be faced by both left and right: the debasement of public political discourse in this country.

Fortunately, Mr. Fridley has the same right to his opinions as the rest of us. From my point of view, I cannot see how this movie would "incite terrorists"...but I can see how it might incite its viewers.

Yes, you are correct about people not having to see the movie and about the movie theatre's not having to show it either.

And, sadly, there is that trend of not wanting to hear the other side too.

No one has to see the movie if they don't want to.

No movie theater has to show the movie if they don't want to.

Now, I don't see the harm Mr. Fridley does. There is this odd trend in America these days where no one wants to hear the other side of issues, as if they are afraid they might change their mind.