Here’s what the New York Times‘ Dwight Garner had to say about the first chapter of Michael Moore’s new book, Here Comes Trouble, which was reviewed in Wednesday’s paper:
The part to skip is the opening 32 pages; these are red meat tossed to Mr. Moore’s true believers, the ones who want another volume like his bestseller “Stupid White Men” (2001). These opening pages are about recent culture wars — about Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly and how Mr. Moore became, in his view, “the most hated man in America.” He was forced to hire members of the Navy Seals as security guards, he says. He skulked around like Salman Rushdie after the fatwa.
“The part to skip”? Apparently The Guardian thought otherwise, as they ran that “part” of Moore’s book on Sept. 7. And they were right to do it, as that excerpt is not just “about recent culture wars.” Rather, it tells the shocking story—one that people ought to know—of Moore’s ordeal after criticizing BushCo’s invasion of Iraq in his Oscar acceptance speech in March of 2003.
Whatever you may think of Michael Moore, it took real guts to speak out as he did that night; and what he then went through because of that brave statement was outrageous. It’s telling that there’s been no US coverage of Moore’s story, and that the Times would, in its own cool way, attempt to black it out—telling, but hardly a surprise, considering how slavishly the US press, the Times included, toed Bush/Cheney’s propaganda line about Saddam Hussein’s vast arsenal of imaginary nukes, anthrax spores and sarin. Naturally they would prefer that we not think back on their own collusion with the Bush regime, or know what happened to those very few who tried to tell the truth about that war.
Now, I have my own complaint about Moore’s piece. For whatever cockamamie reason, Moore still insists that Bush beat Kerry in 2004:
“The campaign against me was meant to stop too many Republicans from seeing [Fahrenheit 9/11]. And it worked. Of course, it also didn’t help that Kerry was a lousy candidate. Bush won by one state, Ohio.”
He’s been making that same case since shortly after the 2004 “election”; and while it was a very weak case then, by now it’s as preposterous as Rick Perry’s stand on climate change, or Michele Bachmann’s on “the homosexual agenda”—or, for that matter, Bush/Cheney’s on Saddam Hussein and 9/11. Now that we have thecontract proving that Rove’s team rigged that race electronically, there’s no excuse for claiming otherwise. (I wrote to Moore about the contract when that story broke, but never did hear back.)
But, that aside, Moore’s story here is one that every sane American should read, because it tells us just how dangerous it was, not long ago—as it is now—to tell the awful truth, and do it loud enough so that a lot of people hear it.