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Bowling for Columbine

Did you watch Bowling for Columbine?

  • No. I won't watch anything Moore does

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, and I thought it was a bunch of anti-American lies

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes. It had some interesting stuff but I'm not sure it's all true

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, I liked it and I thought it was well done and informative

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    2
F

feral

Guest
Did you see the movie Bowling for Columbine? What did you think? I thought he brought up some valid points that are wise to research, and I liked that he does not appear the typical dashing movie star but a real guy. How about you?
 
T

Totentanz

Guest
Basically it says the same thing W. S. Burroughs does...that this country was founded on blood and is inherently violent and evil.
 
J

JakTak

Guest
I've read 'Stupid White Men' and 'Dude, Where's My Country?' .. I've only seen about 20 minutes of the video but what I saw was good. I'm right on with his thinking.

His points, while at times off-topic or derivative, are good arguments. Did you know Volkswagon designed the new beetles so that you HAD to drive them at least 3-4 times per week or they started messing up and after a while, won't even start?

How's that for a deal. You spend 12,000 on a car that is already designed to mess up after 4-6 years (so you trade it in for another one) and then they design it so that the computer chip deteriorates if you don't drive it.

That's the kind of stuff he gets into and it all goes around somehow back to the oil industry and politics.
 
T

Timz

Guest
I thought he brought up some valid points that are wise to research,
-Please do research it since it is made up.

and I liked that he does not appear the typical dashing movie star but a real guy.
-As he travels the country in a corporate private jet to attack (defame & slander) any who support ideas other than his. :roll:

You have been deceived.

God Bless,
Tim
 
T

Timz

Guest
Michael Moore's Columbine Gutterballs -- Part I
by
Larry Pratt
One of our members has made the excellent suggestion that we put together, for distribution, a rebuttal of the rabidly anti-gun movie Bowling For Columbine (BFC) which is directed by Michael Moore. Good idea. So, here is the beginning of our rebuttal in this the first of a series of columns which are the result of an extensive investigation of this wretched film. We also note other "gutterballs" Moore has thrown elsewhere.

In an interview in the Washington Times (10/18/02), Moore says: "We have such an ignorant nation. People don't know what's going on, and because you lack information, it's easier to become afraid." If this is true -- that ignorance equals fear -- then Moore is, without a doubt, the most fearful man in America, maybe the world.

Generally speaking, BFC is one of the most dishonest movies ever made. This awful film closes with Moore bowling a strike. But BFC is not a strike. It is an uninterrupted series of gutterballs which never come close, figuratively speaking, to hitting even one bowling pin. BFC is the film equivalent of Michael Bellesiles' fraudulent book Arming America which was so bad that when it was exposed Bellesiles was forced to resign from Emory University and return his $4,000 Bancroft Prize. OK. Now, to the specifics:

Gutterball Number One: Wrong On Guns And The Second Amendment
Michael Moore wants to fool us into thinking he's not really anti-gun. He often talks about how he grew up around guns, hunted as a kid in Michigan, as Boy Scout was in shooting contests, is a lifetime member of the NRA, blah, blah, blah. But, in seeking to leave the impression he's not anti-gun, he's a liar.

In an interview with Tim Russert on CNBC (10/19/02), Moore said that until we change what he calls America's "mean-spirited" ethic, "we have to put the guns away, we have to put the bullets away." On this same show, he also said: "There's no need to own three handguns." He said that as a result of his movie he's gotten reports of "people around the country trying to get stores in their towns to ban the sale of bullets."

On his website, Moore says, preposterously, regarding the recent Washington DC area so-called "sniper" murders, that "every one of their deaths could have probably been prevented had we had a national ballistics fingerprinting data base." On NBC's Today show (10/8/02), Moore says handguns "are meant only to kill human beings." He's either unaware that or doesn't care that millions of Americans have used handguns in self-defense -- and they never fired their guns.

On the Oprah Winfrey show (11/1/02), Moore says "we have too many guns." On MSNBC's Donahue (10/28/02), Moore says yes, he's talking about "stopping the selling of ammunition for weapons that are specifically designed to kill human beings" and this means "handguns or weapons where you can fire multiple rounds at a time." When Donahue asks if he'd like a ban on the sale of handguns, he says: "Yes, I believe that we don't need handguns."

Regarding the Second Amendment, in the previously mentioned interview with Tim Russert, Moore says the British ruled their empire for 300 years at the barrel of a gun. But, he adds: "That didn't give people in Britain wanting this sort of individual right to have a bunch of guns in the closet." This, of course, is not true. Early on, the British did want, and had, such an individual right and this is documented in detail by Bentley College History Professor Joyce Lee Malcolm in two excellent books: Guns And Violence: The English Experience and To Keep And Bear Arms: The Origins Of An Anglo-American Right, both published by Harvard University Press.

In his movie, arguing with a supporter of the Second Amendment, Moore says, absurdly, regarding the word "arms" in this Amendment, that "this could be a nuclear weapon." So, he asks, idiotically: Does this Second Amendment supporter think he has "the right to have weapons grade plutonium?"

Gutterball Number Two: Wrong With His Fake Bank/Instant Gun Buy
Although Moore presents himself, ad nauseam, as a fierce fighter for the average working stiff, in BFC he misses no opportunity to ridicule and portray as fools average working stiffs if they are gun-owners and/or gun-sellers. For example, the North Country Bank And Trust Company in Traverse City, Michigan (a Federally-licensed firearms dealer), offers, as a gift, a choice of long-guns for individuals with their certificates of deposit. The program is 12 years old and this chain of banks has given away hundreds of these long-guns.

In the movie, we see Moore at this bank. He fills out some papers and asks some stupid questions of a female employee. We see her saying there are 500 firearms in the bank vault. Moore asks, as if everyone with a long-gun is probably a bank robber: "Do you think it's a little dangerous handing out guns in a bank?" He walks out of the bank with his long-gun held high above his head.

But, there's more, a lot more, to this story. In an interview, Jan Jacobson, the woman at this bank shown in the movie, says they were filmed for about an hour-and-a-half during which she explained everything to Moore in detail. But, the way things were presented in the film, Jacobson says, it looks like "a wham-bam thing." She says she resents the way she was portrayed as some kind of "backwoods idiot" mindlessly handing out guns. She says Moore deceived her into being interviewed by saying of their long-gun-give-away program: "This is so great. I'm a hunter, a sportsman, grew up in Michigan, am an NRA member." She says: "He went on and on and on saying this was the most unique program he'd ever heard of."

Jacobson says the movie is misleading because it leaves the impression that a person can come in, sign up and walk out with a gun. But, this is not done because no guns are kept at her bank, although one would think so. She says that ordinarily a person entitled to one of the long-guns must go to a gun-dealer where the gun is shipped.

In fact, despite what BFC wants us to believe, Jacobson says there are no long-guns at her bank. The 500 guns mentioned in the movie are in a vault four hours away. She says that Moore's signing papers in the film was just for show. His immediately walking out of the bank with a long-gun was allowed because "this whole thing was set up two months prior to the filming of the movie" when he had already complied with all the rules, including a background check.

Jacobson says the bank's so-called "Weatherby Program" has "absolutely" been a smashing success. She says their corporate office was braced for some possible criticism because of BFC. But, they got only two calls -- and these were from people wanting to know the details of the "Weatherby Program" so they, too, could get their long-guns!

Other anti-gun bits shown in BFC were: Old black-and-white ads showing kids playing with (gasp!) toy guns, clearly a form of child abuse to Moore; and foul-mouthed comic Chris Rock saying how we need "bullet-control" with each bullet costing $5,000.

A footnote: On his website, Moore says of the long-gun he got at the North Country Bank And Trust Company that he will "creatively have it destroyed."

[/quote]
 
T

Timz

Guest
BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE

Documentary or Fiction?

-David T. Hardy-

Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" won the Oscar for best documentary. Unfortunately, it is not a documentary, by the Academy's own definition.

The injustice here is not so much to the viewer, as to the independent producers of real documentaries. These struggle in a field which receives but a fraction of the recognition and financing of the "entertainment industry." They are protected by Academy rules limiting the documentary competition to nonfiction.

Bowling is fiction. It makes its points by deceiving and by misleading the viewer. Statements are made which are false. Moore leads the reader to draw inferences which he must have known were wrong. Indeed, even speeches shown on screen are heavily edited, so that sentences are assembled in the speaker's voice, but which were not sentences he uttered. Bowling uses deception as its primary tool of persuasion and effect.

A film which does this may be a commercial success. It may be entertaining. But it is not a documentary. One need only consult Rule 12 of the rules for the Academy Award: a documentary is a non-fictional movie.

The point is not that Bowling is biased. No, the point is that Bowling is deliberately, seriously, and consistently deceptive.

1. Willie Horton. The first edition of the webpage had a section on falsification of the election ad regarding Willie Horton (the convict, not the baseball star). This was one of the earliest criticisms of Bowling--Ben Fritz caught it back in November, 2002.

To illustrate politicians' (and especially Republican politicians') willingness to play the "race card," Bowling shows what purports to be a television ad run by George Bush, Sr., in his race against Governor Dukakis. For those who weren't around back then -- Massachusetts had a "prison furlough" program where prisoners could be given short releases from the clink. Unfortunately, some of them never came back. Dukakis vetoed legislation which would have forbidden furlough to persons with "life without parole" sentences for murder, and authorities thereafter furloughed a number of murderers. Horton, in prison for a brutal stabbing murder, got a furlough, never returned, and then attacked a couple, assaulting both and raping the woman. His opponents in the presidental race took advantage of the the veto.

The ad as shown by Moore begins with a "revolving door" of justice, progresses to a picture of Willie Horton (who is black), and ends with dramatic subtitle: "Willie Horton released. Then kills again."

Fact: Bowling splices together two different election ads, one run by the Bush campaign (featuring a revolving door, and not even mentioning Horton) and another run by an independent expenditure campaign (naming Horton, and showing footage from which it can be seen that he is black). At the end, the ad ala' Moore has the customary note that it was paid for by the Bush-Quayle campaign. Moore intones "whether you're a psychotic killer or running for president of the United States, the one thing you can always count on is white America's fear of the black man." There is nothing to reveal that most of the ad just seen (and all of it that was relevant to Moore's claim) was not the Bush-Quayle ad, which didn't even name Horton.

Fact: Apparently unsatisfied with splicing the ads, Bowling's editors added a subtitle "Willie Horton released. Then kills again."

Fact: Ben Fitz also noted that Bowling's editors didn't bother to research the events before doctoring the ads. Horton's second arrest was not for murder. (The second set of charges were aggravated assault and rape).


I originally deleted this from the main webpage, because in the VHS version of Bowling Moore had the decency to remove the misleading footage. But as Brendan Nyhan recently wrote in Spinsanity, he put it back in in the DVD version! He did make one minor change, switching his edited-in caption to "Willie Horton released. Then rapes a woman." Obviously Moore had been informed of the Spinsanity criticism. He responded by correcting his own typo, not by removing the edited in caption, nor by revealing that the ad being shown was not in fact a Bush-Quayle ad.

2. NRA and the Reaction To Tragedy. A major theme in Bowling is that NRA is callous toward slayings. In order to make this theme fit the facts, however, Bowling repeatedly distorts the evidence.

A. Columbine Shooting/Denver NRA Meeting. Bowling portrays this with the following sequence:

Weeping children outside Columbine;

Cut to Charlton Heston holding a musket and proclaiming "I have only five words for you: 'from my cold, dead, hands'";

Cut to billboard advertising the meeting, while Moore intones "Just ten days after the Columbine killings, despite the pleas of a community in mourning, Charlton Heston came to Denver and held a large pro-gun rally for the National Rifle Association;"

Cut to Heston (supposedly) continuing speech... "I have a message from the Mayor, Mr. Wellington Webb, the Mayor of Denver. He sent me this; it says 'don't come here. We don't want you here.' I say to the Mayor this is our country, as Americans we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land. Don't come here? We're already here!"

The portrayal is one of an arrogant protest in response to the deaths -- or, as one reviewer put it, "it seemed that Charlton Heston and others rushed to Littleton to hold rallies and demonstrations directly after the tragedy." The portrayal is in fact false.


Fact: The Denver event was not a demonstration relating to Columbine, but an annual meeting (see links below), whose place and date had been fixed years in advance.


Fact: At Denver, the NRA canceled all events (normally several days of committee meetings, sporting events, dinners, and rallies) save the annual members' meeting; that could not be cancelled because corporate law required that it be held. [No way to change location, since you have to give advance notice of that to the members, and there were upwards of 4,000,000 members.]


Fact: Heston's "cold dead hands" speech, which leads off Moore's depiction of the Denver meeting, was not given at Denver after Columbine. It was given a year later in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was his gesture of gratitude upon his being given a handmade musket, at that annual meeting.

Fact: When Bowling continues on to the speech which Heston did give in Denver, it carefully edits it to change its theme.

Moore's fabrication here cannot be described by any polite term. It is a lie, a fraud, and a few other things. Carrying it out required a LOT of editing to mislead the viewer, as I will show below. I transcribed Heston's speech as Moore has it, and compared it to a news agency's transcript, color coding the passages. CLICK HERE for the comparison, with links to the original transcript.

Moore has actually taken audio of seven sentences, from five different parts of the speech, and a section given in a different speech entirely, and spliced them together. Each edit is cleverly covered by inserting a still or video footage for a few seconds.

First, right after the weeping victims, Moore puts on Heston's "I have only five words for you . . . cold dead hands" statement, making it seem directed at them. As noted above, it's actually a thank-you speech given a year later in North Carolina.

Moore then has an interlude -- a visual of a billboard and his narration. This is vital. He can't go directly to Heston's real Denver speech. If he did that, you might ask why Heston in mid-speech changed from a purple tie and lavender shirt to a white shirt and red tie, and the background draperies went from maroon to blue. Moore has to separate the two segments.



Moore's second edit (covered by splicing in a pan shot of the crowd) deletes Heston's announcement that NRA has in fact cancelled most of its meeting:

"As you know, we've cancelled the festivities, the fellowship we normally enjoy at our annual gatherings. This decision has perplexed a few and inconvenienced thousands. As your president, I apologize for that."

Moore then cuts to Heston noting that Denver's mayor asked NRA not to come, and shows Heston replying "I said to the Mayor: As Americans, we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land. Don't come here? We're already here!" as if in defiance.

Actually, Moore put an edit right in the middle of the first sentence, and another at its end! Heston really said (with reference his own WWII vet status) "I said to the mayor, well, my reply to the mayor is, I volunteered for the war they wanted me to attend when I was 18 years old. Since then, I've run small errands for my country, from Nigeria to Vietnam. I know many of you here in this room could say the same thing."

Moore cuts it after "I said to the Mayor" and attaches a sentence from the end of the next paragraph: "As Americans, we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land." He hides the deletion by cutting to footage of protestors and a photo of the Mayor before going back and showing Heston.

Moore has Heston then triumphantly announce "Don't come here? We're already here!" Actually, that sentence is clipped from a segment five paragraphs farther on in the speech. Again, Moore uses an editing trick to cover the doctoring, switching to a pan shot of the audience as Heston's (edited) voice continues.

What Heston said there was:

"NRA members are in city hall, Fort Carson, NORAD, the Air Force Academy and the Olympic Training Center. And yes, NRA members are surely among the police and fire and SWAT team heroes who risked their lives to rescue the students at Columbine.

Don't come here? We're already here. This community is our home. Every community in America is our home. We are a 128-year-old fixture of mainstream America. The Second Amendment ethic of lawful, responsible firearm ownership spans the broadest cross section of American life imaginable.

So, we have the same right as all other citizens to be here. To help shoulder the grief and share our sorrow and to offer our respectful, reassured voice to the national discourse that has erupted around this tragedy."



I recently discovered that Moore has set up a new webpage to respond to a chosen few points of criticism, one of which is his, er, creative editing of Heston's speech. Click here for a link to his page, and for my response to his attempted defense of what he did. Basically, Moore contends that he didn't mean for the viewer to get the impression that "cold dead hands" was spoken at Denver -- that just "appears as Heston is being introduced in narration." As for the rest, well, "Far from deliberately editing the film to make Heston look worse, I chose to leave most of this out and not make Heston look as evil as he actually was." Sure. That's why he left out:

"As you know, we've cancelled the festivities, the fellowship we normally enjoy at our annual gatherings."

"So, we have the same right as all other citizens to be here. To help shoulder the grief and share our sorrow and to offer our respectful, reassured voice to the national discourse that has erupted around this tragedy."

"NRA members are, above all, Americans. That means that whatever our differences, we are respectful of one another and we stand united, especially in adversity."

B. Mt. Morris shooting/ Flint rally. Bowling continues by juxtaposing another Heston speech with a school shooting of Kayla Rolland at Mt. Morris, MI, just north of Flint. Moore makes the claim that "Just as he did after the Columbine shooting, Charlton Heston showed up in Flint, to have a big pro-gun rally."


Fact: Heston's speech was given at a "get out the vote" rally in Flint, which was held when elections rolled by some eight months after the shooting ( Feb. 29 vs Oct. 17, 2000).

Fact: Bush and Gore were then both in the Flint area, trying to gather votes. Moore himself had been hosting rallies for Green Party candidate Nader in Flint a few weeks before.

Moore creates the impression that one event was right after the other so smoothly that I didn't spot his technique. It was picked up by Richard Rockley, who sent me an email.

Moore works by depriving you of context and guiding your mind to fill the vacuum -- with completely false ideas. It is brilliantly, if unethically, done,. Let's deconstruct his method.

The entire sequence takes barely 40 seconds. Images are flying by so rapidly that you cannot really think about them, you just form impressions.

Shot of Moore comforting Kayla's school principal after she discusses Kayla's murder. As they turn away, we hear Heston's voice: "From my cold, dead hands." [Moore is again attibuting it to a speech where it was not uttered.]

When Heston becomes visible, he's telling a group that freedom needs you now, more than ever, to come to its defense. Your impression: Heston is responding to something urgent, presumably the controversy caused by her death. And he's speaking about it like a fool.

Moore: "Just as he did after the Columbine shooting, Charlton Heston showed up in Flint, to have a big pro-gun rally."

Moore continues on to say that before he came to Flint, Heston had been interviewed by the Georgetown Hoya about Kayla's death... Why would this be important?

Image of Hoya (a student paper) appears on screen, with highlighting on words of reporter mentioning Kayla Rolland's name, and highlighting on Heston's name (only his name, not his reply) as he answers. Image is on screen only a few seconds.

Ah, you think you spot the relevance: he obviously was alerted to the case, and that's why be came.

And, Moore continues, the case was discussed on Heston's "own NRA" webpage... Again, your mind seeks relevance....

Image of a webpage for America's First Freedom (a website for NRA, not for Heston) with text "48 hours after Kayla Rolland was prounced dead" highlighted and zoomed in on.

Your impression: Heston did something 48 hours after she died. Why else would "his" webpage note this event, whatever it is? What would Heston's action have been? It must have been to go to Flint and hold the rally.

Scene cuts to protestors, including a woman with a Million Moms March t-shirt, who asks how Heston could come here, she's shocked and appalled, "it's like he's rubbing our face in it." (This speaker and the protest may be faked, but let's assume for the moment they're real.). This caps your impression. She's shocked by Heston coming there, 48 hours after the death. He'd hardly be rubbing faces in it if he came there much later, on a purpose unrelated to the death.

The viewer thinks he or she understands ....

One reviewer: Heston "held another NRA rally in Flint, Michigan, just 48 hours after a 6 year old shot and killed a classmate in that same town."

Another:"What was Heston thinking going to into Colorado and Michigan immediately after the massacres of innocent children?"

Let's look at the facts behind the presentation:

Heston's speech, with its sense of urgency, freedom needs you now more than ever before. As noted above, it's actually an election rally, held weeks before the closest election in American history.

Moore: "Just as at Columbine, Heston showed up in Flint to have a large pro-gun rally." As noted above, it was an election rally actually held eight months later.

Georgetown Hoya interview, with highlighting on reporter mentioning Kayla and on Heston's name where he responds.

What is not highlighted, and impossible to read except by repeating the scene, is that the reporter asks about Kayla and about the Columbine shooters, and Heston replies only as to the Columbine shooters. There is no indication that he recognized Kayla Rolland's case. It flashes past in the movie: click here to see it frozen.

"His NRA webpage" with highlighted reference to "48 hours after Kayla Robinson is pronounced dead." Here's where it gets interesting. Moore zooms in on that phrase so quickly that it blots out the rest of the sentence, and then takes the image off screen before you can read anything else.



(It's clearer in the movie). The page is long gone, but I finally found an archived version and also a June 2000 usenet posting usenet posting. Guess what the page really said happened? Not a Heston trip to Flint, but: "48-hours after Kayla Rolland is pronounced dead, Bill Clinton is on The Today Show telling a sympathetic Katie Couric, "Maybe this tragic death will help."" Nothing to do with Heston. Incidentally, if you have the DVD version and the right player, you can freeze frame this sequence and see it yourself. Then go back and freeze frame the rally, and you'll make out various Bush election posters and tags.

Yep, Moore had a reason for zooming in on the 48 hours. The zooming starts instantly, and moves sideways to block out the rest of the sentence before even the quickest viewer could read it.

If this is artistic talent, it's not the type that merits an Oscar.

C. Heston Interview. Having created the desired impression, Moore follows with his Heston interview. Heston's memory of the Flint event is foggy (he says it was an early morning event, and that they then went on to the next rally; in fact the rally was at 6 - 7:30 PM. and the last event of the day.). Heston's lack of recall is not surprising; it was one rally in a nine-stop tour of three States in three days.

Moore, who had plenty of time to prepare, continues the impression he has created, asking Heston misleading questions such as: "After that happened you came to Flint to hold a big rally and, you know, I just, did you feel it was being at all insensitive to the fact that this community had just gone through this tragedy?" Moore continues, "you think you'd like to apologize to the people in Flint for coming and doing that at that time?"

Moore knows the real sequence, and knows that Heston does not. Moore takes full advantage.

As noted above, Moore's deception works on reviewers. In fact, when Heston says he did not know about Kayla's shooting when he went to Flint, viewers see Heston as an inept liar:

"Then, he [Heston] and his ilk held ANOTHER gun-rally shortly after another child/gun tragedy in Flint, MI where a 6-year old child shot and killed a 6-year old classmate (Heston claims in the final interview of the film that he didn't know this had just happened when he appeared)." [Click here for original]

Bowling persuaded these viewers by deceiving them. Moore's creative skills are used to convince the viewer that things happened which did not and that a truthful man is a liar when he denies them.

A further question: is the end of the Heston interview faked?

3. Animated sequence equating NRA with KKK. In an animated history send-up, with the narrator talking rapidly, Bowling equates the NRA with the Klan, suggesting NRA was founded in 1871, "the same year that the Klan became an illegal terrorist organization." Bowling goes on to depict Klansmen becoming the NRA and an NRA character helping to light a burning cross.



This sequence is intended to create the impression either that NRA and the Klan were parallel groups or that when the Klan was outlawed its members formed the NRA.

Both impressions are not merely false, but directly opposed to the real facts.


Fact: The NRA was founded in 1871 -- by act of the New York Legislature, at request of former Union officers. The Klan was founded in 1866, and quickly became a terrorist organization. One might claim that while it was an organization and a terrorist one, it technically became an "illegal" such with passage of the federal Ku Klux Klan Act and Enforcement Act in 1871. These criminalized interference with civil rights, and empowered the President to use troops to suppress the Klan. (Although we'd have to acknowledge that murder, terror and arson were illegal long before that time -- the Klan hadn't been operating legally until 1871, it was operating illegally with the connivance of law enforcement.)


Fact: The Klan Act and Enforcement Act were signed into law by President Ulysess S. Grant. Grant used their provisions vigorously, suspending habeas corpus and deploying troops; under his leadership over 5,000 arrests were made and the Klan was dealt a serious (if all too short-lived) blow.

Fact: Grant's vigor in disrupting the Klan earned him unpopularity among many whites, but Frederick Douglass praised him, and an associate of Douglass wrote that African-Americans "will ever cherish a grateful remembrance of his name, fame and great services."

Fact: After Grant left the White House, the NRA elected him as its eighth president.

Fact: After Grant's term, the NRA elected General Philip Sheridan, who had removed the governors of Texas and Lousiana for failure to suppress the KKK.

Fact: The affinity of NRA for enemies of the Klan is hardly surprising. The NRA was founded by former Union officers, and eight of its first ten presidents were Union veterans.

Fact: During the 1950s and 1960s, groups of blacks organized as NRA chapters in order to obtain surplus military rifles to fight off Klansmen.

.4. Shooting at Buell Elementary School in Michigan. Bowling depicts the juvenile shooter who killed Kayla Rolland as a sympathetic youngster, from a struggling family, who just found a gun in his uncle's house and took it to school. "No one knew why the little boy wanted to shoot the little girl."


Fact: The little boy was the class thug, already suspended from school for stabbing another kid with a pencil, and had fought with Kayla the day before. Since the incident, he has stabbed another child with a knife.


Fact: The uncle's house was the family business -- the neighborhood crack-house. The gun was stolen and was purchased by the uncle in exchange for drugs.The shooter's father was already serving a prison term for theft and drug offenses. A few weeks later police busted the shooter's grandmother and aunt for narcotics sales. After police hauled the family away, the neighbors applauded the officers. This was not a nice but misunderstood family.


Links:1., 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11,

5. The Taliban and American Aid. In discussing military assistance to various countries, Bowling asserts that the U.S. gave $245 million in aid to the Taliban government of Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001.


Fact: The aid in question was humanitarian assistance, given through UN and nongovernmental organizations, to relieve famine in Afghanistan. [Various numbers are given for the amount of the aid, and some say several million went for clearing landmines.]

6. International Comparisons. To pound home its point, Bowling flashes a dramatic count of gun homicides in various countries: Canada 165, Germany 381, Australia 65, Japan 39, US 11,127. Now that's raw numbers, not rates -- Here's why he doesn't talk rates.

Verifying the figures was difficult, since Moore does not give a year for them. A lot of Moore's numbers didn't check out for any period I could find. As a last effort at checking, I did a Google search for each number and the word "gun" or words "gun homicides" Many traced -- only back to webpages repeating Bowling's figures. Moore is the only one using these numbers.

Germany: Bowling says 381: 1995 figures put homicides at 1,476, about four times what Bowling claims, and gun homicides at 168, about half what it claims: it's either far too high or far too low.

Australia: Bowling says 65. This is very close, albeit picking the year to get the data desired. Between 1980-1995, firearm homicides varied from 64-123, although never exactly 65. In 2000, it was 64, which was proudly proclaimed as the lowest number in the country's history.

US: Bowling says 11,127. FBI figures put it a lot lower. They report gun homicides were 8,719 in 2001, 8,661 in 2000, 8,480 in 1999. (2001 UCR, p. 23). Here's the table:



[You can download the entire report, in .pdf format, by clicking here; look for pt. 2 at p.23.] To be utterly fair, this is a count of the 13,752 homicides for which police submitted supplemental data (including weapon used): the total homicide count was 15,980. But what weapon, if any, was used in the other homicide is unknown to us, and was unknown to Moore.
After an email tip, I finally found a way to compute precisely 11,127. Ignore the FBI, use Nat'l Center for Health Statistics figures. These are based on doctors' death certificates rather than police investigation.

Then -- to their gun homicide figures, add the figure for legally-justified homicides: self-defense and police use against criminals. Presto, you have exactly Moore's 11,127. I can see no other way for him to get it.

Since Moore appears to use police figures for the other countries, it's hardly a valid comparison. More to the point, it's misleading since it includes self-defense and police: when we talk of a gun homicide problem we hardly have in mind a woman defending against a rapist, or a cop taking out an armed robber.

Canada: Moore's number is correct for 1999, a low point, but he ignores some obvious differences.

Bias. I wanted to talk about fabrication, not about bias, but I've gotten emails asking why I didn't mention that Switzerland requires almost all adult males to have guns, but has a lower homicide rate than Great Britain, or that Japanese-Americans, with the same proximity to guns as other Americans, have homicide rates half that of Japan itself. Okay, they're mentioned, now back to our regularly scheduled program.

7. Miscellaneous. Even the Canadian government is jumping in. Bowling shows Moore casually buying ammunition at an Ontario Walmart. He asks us to "look at what I, a foreign citizen, was able to do at a local Canadian Wal-Mart." He buys several boxes of ammunition without a question being raised. "That's right. I could buy as much ammunition as I wanted, in Canada."

Canadian officials have pointed out that the buy is faked or illegal: Canadian law has since, 1998, required ammunition buyers to present proper identification. Since Jan. 1, 2001, it has required non-Canadians to present a firearms borrowing or importation license, too. (Bowling appears to have been filmed in mid and late 2001).

While we're at it: Bowling shows footage of a B-52 on display at the Air Force Academy, while Moore scornfully intones that the plaque under it "proudly proclaims that the plane killed Vietnamese people on Christmas Eve of 1972."

The plaque actually reads that "Flying out of Utapao Royal Thai Naval Airfield in southeast Thailand, the crew of 'Diamond Lil' shot down a MIG northeast of Hanoi during 'Linebacker II' action on Christmas eve 1972." This is pretty mild compared to the rest of Bowling, but the viewer can't even trust Moore to honestly read a monument.

(As Spinsanity notes, Moore goes even farther in his add-on DVD. There, he tells us, "And they've got a plaque on there proudly proclaiming that this bomber, this B-52, killed thousands upon thousands of Vietnamese -- innocent civilians.")
8. Race. Moore does not directly state that Heston is a racist--he is the master of creating the false impression --but reviewers come away saying "Heston looks like an idiot, and a racist one at that" Source. "BTW, one thing the Heston interview did clear up, that man is shockingly racist." Source.

The remarks stem from Heston's answer (after Moore keeps pressing for why the US has more violence than other countries) that it might be due to the US "having a more mixed ethnicity" than other nations, and "We had enough problems with civil rights in the beginning." A viewer who accepts Moore's theme that gun ownership is driven by racial fears might conclude that Heston is blaming blacks and the civil rights movement.

But if you look at some history missing from Bowling, you get exactly the opposite picture. Heston is talking, not about race, but about racism. In the early 1960s, the civil rights movement was fighting for acceptance. Civil rights workers were being murdered. The Kennedy Administration, trying to hold together a Democratic coalition that ranged from liberals to fire-eater segregationists such as George Wallace and Lester Maddox, found the issue too hot to touch, and offered little support.

Heston got involved. He picketed discriminating restaurants. He worked with Martin Luther King, and helped King break Hollywood's color barrier (yes, there was one.). He led the actors' component of King's 1963 march in Washington, which set the stage for the key civil rights legislation in 1964.

Here's Heston's comments at the 2001 Congress on Racial Equality Martin Luther King dinner (presided over by NRA director, and CORE President, Roy Innes). More on Heston.

Most of the viewers were born long after the events Heston is recalling. To them, the civil rights struggle consists of Martin Luther King speaking, people singing "We Shall Overcome," and everyone coming to their senses. Heston remembers what it was really like.

If Heston fails to explain this in Bowling, we've got to note that Moore (despite his claim that he left the interview almost unedited) cut a lot of the interview out. Watch closely and you'll see a clock on the wall near Moore's head. When it's first seen, the time is about 5:47. When Heston finally walks out, it reads about 6:10. That's 23 minutes. I clocked the Heston interview in Bowling at 5 1/4 minutes. About three-quarters of what Heston did say was trimmed out. [Why the clock indicates six o'clock, when Moore is specific that he showed up for the interview at 8:30 AM, will have to await another investigation!]

9. Fear. Bowling probably has a good point when it suggests that the media feeds off fear in a search for the fast buck. Bowling cites some examples: the razor blades in Halloween apples scare, the flesh-eating bacteria scare, etc. The examples are taken straight from Barry Glassner's excellent book on the subject, "The Culture of Fear," and Moore interviews Glassner on-camera for the point.

Then Moore does exactly what he condemns in the media.

Given the prominence of schoolyard killings as a theme in Bowling for Columbine, Moore must have asked Glassner about that subject. Whatever Glassner said is, however, left on the cutting-room floor. That's because Glassner lists schoolyard shootings as one of the mythical fears. He points out that "More than three times as many people are killed by lightning as by violence at schools."

I suppose we might go farther, and ask if Moore's film is not illustrative of what it condemns. Moore argues that the media (a) distorts reality, and (b) hypes fear of other Americans, because (c) fear is good for a fast buck. Moore distorts reality, hypes fear of other Americans ("are we nation of gun nuts, or just nuts?") and, well, made several million fast bucks.
10. Guns (supposedly the point of the film). A point worth making (although not strictly on theme here): Bowling's theme is, rather curiously, not opposed to firearms ownership.

After making out Canada to be a haven of nonviolence, Moore asks why. He proclaims that Canada has "a tremendous amount of gun ownership," somewhat under one gun per household. He visits Canadian shooting ranges, gun stores, and in the end proclaims "Canada is a gun loving, gun toting, gun crazy country!"

Or as he put it elsewhere, "then I learned that Canada has 7 million guns but they don't kill each other like we do. I thought, gosh, that's uncomfortably close to the NRA position: Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Bowling concludes that Canada isn't peaceful because it lacks guns and gun nuts -- it has lots of those -- but because the Canadian mass media isn't into constant hyping of fear and loathing, and the American media is. (One problem).

Which leaves us to wonder why the Brady Campaign/Million Moms issued a press release. congratulating Moore on his Oscar nomination.

Or does Bowling have a hidden punch line, and in the end the joke is on them?

One possible explanation: did Bowling begin as one movie, and end up as another?

Incidentally, Moore has issued a webpage responding to criticism. In so doing, he actually admits that much of the above criticism is accurate. He did splice the Willie Horton ad, and Heston's "cold dead hands" was never spoken at Denver, and his statistics do stem from those of the Center for Disease Control, which include self-defense and police shootings of perps. As far as the rest of the criticisms above -- strange, but Moore doesn't have an answer. Here's my response.

Conclusion

The point is not that Bowling is unfair, or lacking in objectivity. The point is far more fundamental: Bowling for Columbine is dishonest. It is fraudulent. To trash Heston, it even uses the audio/video editor to assemble a Heston speech that Heston did not give, and sequences images and carefully highlighted text to spin the viewer's mind to a wrong conclusion. If there is art in this movie, it is a dishonest art. Moore does not inform his readers: he plays them like a violin.

A further thought, on a topic far broader (no pun intended) than Moore. Moore's film is unquestionably popular. He's attracted an almost-cult following. And judging from the emails I've received, plenty of his followers don't care a bit about whether they were misled. Can broader lessons be learned from this?

Suppose for a moment that Moore's behavior can be explained as a product of Narcisstic Personality Disorder, that he fits the clinical symptoms to a T, that indeed Bowling is a grand acting out of this character disorder. Does its popularity suggest something of far greater concern than one more narcissist in Hollywood? And does that in turn hold a key to mass slayings?Click here for some thoughts on that score.

http://www.hardylaw.net/Truth_About_Bowling.html

Also look here:
http://www.moorelies.com/ml/about/


God Bless,
Tim
 
L

Lupine

Guest
We watched Bowling for Columbine in my social and political sciences classes. I thought it was well done except that it skipped around a bit and some stuff, like the guys from Oscoda, didn't seem relevant. However the facts such as the amount of money the U.S. gave Osama binLaden hasn't been disputed anywhere, and that is what matters to me. As for Charlton Heston and his quotes, no matter when the NRA meeting was scheduled it's tactless to have a big rally supporting guns after a high school has just been blown away. It doesn't matter whether the NRA was trying to be rude or not, that's insensitive. Marilyn Manson called off his tour in respect because some felt that he instigated violence and it wasn't appropriate at the time; Heston could have done the same.
 
T

Timz

Guest
Lupine wrote:
.As for Charlton Heston and his quotes, no matter when the NRA meeting was scheduled it's tactless to have a big rally supporting guns after a high school has just been blown away. It doesn't matter whether the NRA was trying to be rude or not, that's insensitive. Marilyn Manson called off his tour in respect because some felt that he instigated violence and it wasn't appropriate at the time; Heston could have done the same.
:-? :o :-? :o

I'll repeat it for you:
2. NRA and the Reaction To Tragedy. A major theme in Bowling is that NRA is callous toward slayings. In order to make this theme fit the facts, however, Bowling repeatedly distorts the evidence.

A. Columbine Shooting/Denver NRA Meeting. Bowling portrays this with the following sequence:

Weeping children outside Columbine;

Cut to Charlton Heston holding a musket and proclaiming "I have only five words for you: 'from my cold, dead, hands'";

Cut to billboard advertising the meeting, while Moore intones "Just ten days after the Columbine killings, despite the pleas of a community in mourning, Charlton Heston came to Denver and held a large pro-gun rally for the National Rifle Association;"

Cut to Heston (supposedly) continuing speech... "I have a message from the Mayor, Mr. Wellington Webb, the Mayor of Denver. He sent me this; it says 'don't come here. We don't want you here.' I say to the Mayor this is our country, as Americans we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land. Don't come here? We're already here!"

The portrayal is one of an arrogant protest in response to the deaths -- or, as one reviewer put it, "it seemed that Charlton Heston and others rushed to Littleton to hold rallies and demonstrations directly after the tragedy." The portrayal is in fact false.


Fact: The Denver event was not a demonstration relating to Columbine, but an annual meeting (see links below), whose place and date had been fixed years in advance.


Fact: At Denver, the NRA canceled all events (normally several days of committee meetings, sporting events, dinners, and rallies) save the annual members' meeting; that could not be cancelled because corporate law required that it be held. [No way to change location, since you have to give advance notice of that to the members, and there were upwards of 4,000,000 members.]


Fact: Heston's "cold dead hands" speech, which leads off Moore's depiction of the Denver meeting, was not given at Denver after Columbine. It was given a year later in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was his gesture of gratitude upon his being given a handmade musket, at that annual meeting.

Fact: When Bowling continues on to the speech which Heston did give in Denver, it carefully edits it to change its theme.

Moore's fabrication here cannot be described by any polite term. It is a lie, a fraud, and a few other things. Carrying it out required a LOT of editing to mislead the viewer, as I will show below. I transcribed Heston's speech as Moore has it, and compared it to a news agency's transcript, color coding the passages. CLICK HERE for the comparison, with links to the original transcript.

Moore has actually taken audio of seven sentences, from five different parts of the speech, and a section given in a different speech entirely, and spliced them together. Each edit is cleverly covered by inserting a still or video footage for a few seconds.

First, right after the weeping victims, Moore puts on Heston's "I have only five words for you . . . cold dead hands" statement, making it seem directed at them. As noted above, it's actually a thank-you speech given a year later in North Carolina.

Moore then has an interlude -- a visual of a billboard and his narration. This is vital. He can't go directly to Heston's real Denver speech. If he did that, you might ask why Heston in mid-speech changed from a purple tie and lavender shirt to a white shirt and red tie, and the background draperies went from maroon to blue. Moore has to separate the two segments.



Moore's second edit (covered by splicing in a pan shot of the crowd) deletes Heston's announcement that NRA has in fact cancelled most of its meeting:

"As you know, we've cancelled the festivities, the fellowship we normally enjoy at our annual gatherings. This decision has perplexed a few and inconvenienced thousands. As your president, I apologize for that."

Moore then cuts to Heston noting that Denver's mayor asked NRA not to come, and shows Heston replying "I said to the Mayor: As Americans, we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land. Don't come here? We're already here!" as if in defiance.

Actually, Moore put an edit right in the middle of the first sentence, and another at its end! Heston really said (with reference his own WWII vet status) "I said to the mayor, well, my reply to the mayor is, I volunteered for the war they wanted me to attend when I was 18 years old. Since then, I've run small errands for my country, from Nigeria to Vietnam. I know many of you here in this room could say the same thing."

Moore cuts it after "I said to the Mayor" and attaches a sentence from the end of the next paragraph: "As Americans, we're free to travel wherever we want in our broad land." He hides the deletion by cutting to footage of protestors and a photo of the Mayor before going back and showing Heston.

Moore has Heston then triumphantly announce "Don't come here? We're already here!" Actually, that sentence is clipped from a segment five paragraphs farther on in the speech. Again, Moore uses an editing trick to cover the doctoring, switching to a pan shot of the audience as Heston's (edited) voice continues.

What Heston said there was:

"NRA members are in city hall, Fort Carson, NORAD, the Air Force Academy and the Olympic Training Center. And yes, NRA members are surely among the police and fire and SWAT team heroes who risked their lives to rescue the students at Columbine.

Don't come here? We're already here. This community is our home. Every community in America is our home. We are a 128-year-old fixture of mainstream America. The Second Amendment ethic of lawful, responsible firearm ownership spans the broadest cross section of American life imaginable.

So, we have the same right as all other citizens to be here. To help shoulder the grief and share our sorrow and to offer our respectful, reassured voice to the national discourse that has erupted around this tragedy."

Lupine wrote:
I thought it was well done
-A "documentary" that is purposely deceitful is "well done"? :o Sorry for any insult, but are you serious???
 

atmosphere

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2003
Messages
199
timz...do you have any thoughts on this matter, or were you planning on plagurizing the entire thing. one day you're gonna wake up and you're gonna do some thinking on your own and you'll realize 2 things, 1, don't do that. and 2, you spent one hundred and fifty grand on an education you could have gotten with a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.
 

Bryan

Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2003
Messages
230
Gender
Male
Christian
Yes
T. Hardy is a joke, and his "rebuttal" of Columbine is a biggest collection of baseless lies I've ever read. Most of it doesn't even pertain to the actual content of the movie.

Moore, on the other hand, is a comic genius.
 
T

Timz

Guest
T. Hardy is a joke, and his "rebuttal" of Columbine is a biggest collection of baseless lies I've ever read. Most of it doesn't even pertain to the actual content of the movie.

Moore, on the other hand, is a comic genius.
timz...do you have any thoughts on this matter, or were you planning on plagurizing the entire thing. one day you're gonna wake up and you're gonna do some thinking on your own and you'll realize 2 things, 1, don't do that. and 2, you spent one hundred and fifty grand on an education you could have gotten with a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.
Translation:
Rather than challenge Tim with well thought ideas and a defense of the movie that he has challenged the validity of, we will attack him personally and with poor rhetoric.

Well, if your fans of Micheal Moore you have learned defamation and slander from the best.
 
B

Blue-Lightning

Guest
It has been well documented that Moore purposefully altered facts within his documentary in order to push an agenda. He did in fact take blurbs from NRA speeches having taken places at different times and in different towns, and he then manipulated those blurbs so that it appeared they took place following the Columbine shooting and in defiance to the community, which did not occur.

Mr. Moore also makes several other fallacies and presents them as fact, but you can read about them here, among other places:

http://home.sprynet.com/~owl1/bowling.htm

anybody ever notice that our National Anthem is a song about WAR?
The American National Anthem is a song detailing the joy of the author when he first saw, at dawn's first light, the flag waving in the sky over a specific fort, proving that the Americans had withstood oncoming attackers.

BL
 

atmosphere

Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2003
Messages
199
i know where the song came from...francis scott key (or something like that)... but he didn't write it to be the National Anthem...
 
B

Blue-Lightning

Guest
Most national anthems are not intended to be anthems when first written, but are created originally as a patriotic piece that becomes well-known and well-accepted.

BL
 
B

Blue-Lightning

Guest
No, it's subject is not war, it's subject is the waving flag. The song does come from the time of a war though. Easily confused.

BL
 

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