August 26, 2004
Imagine the outcry if the Bush campaign were calling on Miramax to stop distributing "Fahrenheit 9/11," which really does have numerous proven falsehoods.-- James Taranto, Wall Street Journal
I am so sick of politics that I feel like taking a break from writing about it. But I am more bothered by the hypocrisy than by the merits of charges and countercharges, and much as I wish both sides would respect the First Amendment rights of each other, I have a question.
Why is it that the same people now screaming about a group of older veterans who questioned Kerry's war record didn't complain at all about a film whose central thesis is that Bush knew about 9/11 in advance, and worked in sinister partnership with Osama bin Laden?
Unfit for Command is a book. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a movie. Here's a brief comparison.
Here are Fahrenheit 9/11's gross receipts according to the IMDB:
Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) $116,761,122
According to Moore, the film is targeting at least 2,000 screens.
And Moore never made any bones about his goal of using the film as an organizing and recruitment tool:
But the bad news for Bush supporters doesn't stop there. Moore plans to use the movie as an organizing tool. On June 28, he conducted a virtual town hall meeting with the liberal group MoveOn.org. Moore exhorted the 55,000 listeners who logged in or turned out at 4,600 MoveOn parties around the country to sign up as foot soldiers in an anti-Bush crusade. Once people see his flick, said Moore, anyone who once supported Bush and the war in Iraq "will feel deceived and betrayed, and they will respond with a vengeance."
Unfit for Command had an initial printing of 85,000 copies; another run of 550,000 is planned, with one major bookseller facing accusations of not wanting to sell it, as well as pressure not to sell it:
NEW YORK (AP) - The nation's two biggest bookstore chains, Barnes & Noble and Borders, say angry customers are accusing them of political bias as the retailers struggle to keep up with demand for a best seller that questions John Kerry's military service in Vietnam.I am not sure who stands to make more money, but common sense suggests that it's tougher for most people to read a book than to watch a movie, and when that is factored into the sales receipts, Moore would appear to have the advantage over the Swift Boat veterans. Even though "Unfit for Command" is ranked Number 1 at Amazon, assuming a million copies are sold (a generous assumption considering the initial run), the total receipts won't begin to approach the Moore film, nor will the former's total number of readers approach the total number of the latter's viewers.
But Moore's film aside, the biggest competition the Swift Boat veterans face is, according to liberal cartoonist Tom Oliphant, the daily press!
O'Neill: Jim, one other thing, they can look at swiftvets.com, which is the Web site that has a great deal of information on it.Yeah, I'd say the Swift Boat vets appear to be outgunned.
posted by Eric on 08.26.04 at 09:06 AM
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