ASSIST’s War on Moore

ASSIST continues to oppose Michael Moore and all his works. Last week it gave webspace to Tom Marsland, who gets a lot of mileage out of comparing everyone he dislikes to Nazis and/or Communists. Now Tom Snyder weighs in on Fahrenheit 9/11:

IMAGE VERSUS REALITY: SEEING IS NOT ALWAYS BELIEVING

Why Documentaries Like FAHRENHEIT 9/11 Should Not Be Trusted

For some reason, however, the title made me think of these pictures published last year on ASSIST, which purported to prove that Korean faith healer Dr Lee Jae-Rock is empowered by God to heal the sick (the fourth picture in particular was so feeble that James Randi reposted it).

But back to the topic in hand: Snyder points out that Moore is responsible for at least two falsehoods in his film. First, Moore accuses Bush of stealing the 2000 election, which even “liberal journalists” have conceded is untrue; and, second, Richard Clark has shown the accusations about the Saudi flights out of USA after 9/11 to have been false. But Snyder has a more devastating critique: he’s compared Moore to the Bible, and found the latter more reliable:

in order to know the truth about reality, all readers and viewers should have an instructional manual, an ultimate authority on whom they can rely. The Bible is the best, most reliable, most truthful, most moral, most beautiful, most factual, most rational, most logical, most historical, and most profound instructional manual on the face of this planet. By knowing, studying, and using the truth that it reports, you can know the truth about the comments, opinions, and value judgments of the people, books, articles, movies, videos, TV programs, and theater plays in your life and in your social and cultural environment.

Snyder also invites us to the MOVIEGUIDE® website, where he is part of a team that categorises films by Christian standards, on the following scale: Exemplary, Moral, Good, Wholesome, Caution, Extreme Caution, Excessive, and Abhorrent. Spiderman 2 gets a “Good”; King Arthur an “Extreme Caution”, in part because of its sympathetic treatment of Pelagius, Augustine of Hippo’s British opponent. However, a National Geographic documentary about life in Mongolia is classed as “abhorrent”:

Although there are two mythical references to God in this fascinating National Geographic film, the movie’s Buddhist ceremonies, animistic worship, and idolatry are extremely dangerous and ultimately abhorrent.

The documentary is called The Story of the Weeping Camel; the reviewer smugly advises us to “Consider the Lamb of God Instead”. (Check out the film’s great website, by the way)

Needless to say, Moore also ends up receiving an anti-imprimatur from a reviewer named Jerry McGlothlin:

Very strong liberal, even socialist, humanist political worldview loaded with anti-capitalist and anti-Republican elements; some anti-American elements; some Marxist Communist ideas pitting the rich against the poor, always oppressed, innocent, and even lovable, masses; some brief anti-Christian elements; one positive portrayal of a person of apparent Christian faith who opposes Iraq war; 11 obscenities (including four “f” words) and three light profanities; graphic images of beheadings, dead bodies, and mutilations; no sex scenes other than a brief exchange between U.S. soldier and Iraqi prisoner; brief nudity of wounded boy; alcohol use; smoking and brief drug reference; and, politics of envy, mockery, slander, anti-military attitude, and propaganda filled with personal attacks and distortions that play loose with facts and uses only that footage which supports malicious attacks.

MOVIEGUIDE is run by Ted Baehr (or Theodore Baehr), who has a regular column in ASSIST in which he laboriously measures films up against his understanding of the “Christian worldview”. Baehr is described by Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily as

one of my favorite Christian cultural warriors…It was Ted Baehr who took on the mission of the Protestant Church Office and the Catholic Church’s Legion of Decency to work with Hollywood when the mainline denominations abandoned the industry.

Farah was responding to a negative press from Christianity Today, which sees a conflict of interest between Baehr’s reviews and his sideline in movie promotion. MOVIEGUIDE links to several articles defending Baehr against these charges, although not the CT complaint itself, which can be read here. In his position as founder and chair of the Christian Film & Television Commission, Baehr also rewards inspiring works with a prize funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Baehr’s bio can be read on his Media-Wise Family website.