Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Double Standard

"When ABC cut portions of the most controversial segments before airing the film, there was no outcry from the American Civil Liberties Union that has so often and so loudly lectured us on the dangers not merely of government censorship, but of insidious self-censorship as a result of public pressures.

Nor did the New York Times or the law faculty of Harvard University rush to the producers' defense, despite the long-held and self-acclaimed commitments of both to free speech and the First Amendment at nearly all costs. And, of course, we heard none of the current furor when Oliver Stone produced his wacko conspiracies on the Kennedy assassination and the life of Richard Nixon.

Third, a far greater problem, contrary to the current noise, is not with the docudrama per se--especially when the viewer is clearly and often apprised of this new genre's nature and limitations--but rather with documentaries that do not list any such disclaimers and yet distort truth through clever editing of film clips. A great deal of Michael Moore's documentaries was composed of drive-by interviews of the surprised, senile, or bushwhacked. Many interviews encouraged false impressions, and, unknown to the viewer, were not natural or impromptu, but propped or staged, and so taken out context as to imply the very opposite as intended by the speaker.

Note again, for all this, Mr. Moore was not condemned by historians or lawyers, but rather rewarded with a prominent seat at the Democratic National Convention. "

Read The Path to 9/11--A Postmortem by Victor Davis Hanson


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