Talk:Fahrenheit 9/11/Not a documentary

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Moore's Film NOT Documentary[edit]

A documentary film is one that holds facts as such, not distorted to favor a bias. Documentary labeling this film by Moore gives documentary film makers a bad name- we might as well call Sci-Fi movies documentaries as well. As much interest as one may have in the issue of Moore's movie one must realize that opinion is not fact, misrepresentation of reality is not fact and blatent lies are not fact. This movie is an op-ed piece of off-color political entertainment and should not be construed as fact or documentary. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Haamerhed (talk • contribs) 04:42 UTC, 7 Jun 2005.

I've decided to make a documentary film about this discussion. I will be sure to include the fact that Wiki describes Moore's movie as fictional- now if my information is wrong is my film still a documentary? Haamer.

I've seen this argument put on one or two extreme rightwing websites. It seems to be an attempt to rule polemic pieces as a separate genre from documentary. While the idea of classifying political opinion pieces separately from other documentary pieces may have its merits, it is not normal practice. Film-makers, critics and the general public alike, all describe such pieces as documentaries. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 07:29, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The problem with calling Farenheit 9/11 a documentary is that Michael Moore deliberately attempted to misinform viewers of his movie. Documentary implies that he itended to inform his viewers. Lets consider what I consider to be the most egregious example of this, the segment near then end when he talks about congressmen sending their children to war.
  1. Moore claims that "out of the 535 members of Congress, only one had an enlisted son in Iraq". In fact, at the time of the movie there were six children of congressmen serving in the military and two serving in Iraq. Moore doesn't count the son of California Republican Representative Duncan Hunter (who quit his job after 9/11 and was deployed to Iraq in February 2004) because he is a second lieutenant (and therefore not an enlisted man). But his comments are specifically designed to make viewers believe that only one son of congressman was serving in our military, even though Moore knew otherwise.
  2. Moore edits the film to make it appear as if Representative Kennedy refuses to help him pass out his flyers. In fact, Moore's own transcript contains the following exchange: "Moore: Is there any way you could help me with that? Kennedy: How would I help you? Moore: Pass it out to other members of Congress. Kennedy: I’d be happy to — especially those who voted for the war. I have a nephew on his way to Afghanistan."
  3. Moore depicts Representative Castle as being unwilling to send any of his children to Iraq, but fails to inform viewers that Representative Castle has no children.
  4. Moore uses the entirety of the segment to make the point that fewer members of congress sent their children to Iraq than did reqular Americans. The reality is that on average children of Congressmen were significantly MORE likely to have fought in Iraq than children without a parent serving in congress.
The entire segment was deliberately designed to create a false impression. I don't have a problem with POV documentaries (on the contrary, I LOVE them including left wing films like Bowling for Columbine and Fog of War), but when you deliberately design a film to communicate information that you know to be false (As I think the above evidence clearly proves Michael Moore did) it is a propaganda film.
Nobody ever calls a film they like a propaganda film. They are usually labeled documentaries or newsreels. But you can't change what something is by labeling it diferently. --Jsolinsky 19:18, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No, you can't change what it is by labeling it as propaganda. The film industry, IMDB, the press consider it a documentary. So it'll be a documentary here on Wikipedia. We've been over this argument many times, please read the archive. Rhobite 19:35, Jun 7, 2005 (UTC)
  • IMDB lists it as a documentary because they don't have a category for propaganda.
  • IMDB also lists Triumph des Willens by Leni Riefenstahl in the same category, but it describes the film thusly "The infamous propaganda film of the 1934 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg, Germany"
  • IMDB further says this about its genre classifications "Most movies can easily be described with certain umbrella terms, such as Westerns, dramas, or comedies. Of course, some films defy such ready qualification, so realize that these are generalizations."
  • Wikipedia says this "there has been some debate over whether or not these three films are actual documentaries or not" in reference to Farenheit 9/11 and other films
I've reviewed the archive. Given the clear evidence that Farenheit 9/11 is propaganda, the absence of any contrary evidence, and the acknowledgement by IMDB that their genre classifications are generalizations and that their documentary category includes propaganda, I don't see how you can remedy calling Farenheit 9/11 a documentary with Wikipedia:NPOV. ESPECIALLY since Wikipedia itself says that there is a controversey surrounding the use of this label.--Jsolinsky 20:14, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I won't get into a discussion on this subject here because I've discussed allegations similar to yours elsewhere. You have to recognise that what you're doing here is precisely what you're accusing Moore of doing--expressing your opinion and representing it as fact. There are other interpretations of the facts upon which you base your statements about F9/11. It doesn't matter whether you're right or wrong about that, there is a firm consensus that polemics and op eds fall firmly within the scope of the term documentary. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 21:10, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I have NEVER written on an entry thet "Farenheit 9/11 is not a documentary". That would be POV (my POV). I am accusing you of expressing your POV that is a documentary by putting it in wikipedia entries. As I have written elsewhere, once I clean up the F9/11 controversy info, I intend to put out an RfC.
As far as there being a firm consensus that F911 is a documentary, then why does the very entry that you cite (documentary film) say otherwise. --Jsolinsky 01:49, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've read documentary film and the most that can be said about that article is that it acknowledges that some people have questioned whether F9/11 is a documentary. It is a bit like an article about Earth acknowledging the existence of people who question the earth's roundness. By all neutral standards, F9/11 is a documentary. If Ann Coulter made a movie in which she presented her opinion, that would also be a documentary. It would be extremely naive to believe that a documentary necessarily presents a point of view that every single viewer wll agree with. It's a documentary that presents Michael Moore's point of view, just as Cosmos presented Carl Sagan's (intensely secular, vehemently anti-war) point of view and the many David Attenborough documentary series present Attenborough's naturalist, conservationist and ecologist point of view.

   "If Ann Coulter made a movie in which she presented her opinion, that would also be a documentary." 
Or if Ron Howard made a movie called "The Da Vinci Code" it also would be a documentary- Haamer. 

"It is a bit like an article about Earth acknowledging the existence of people who question the earth's roundness. By all neutral standards, F9/11 is a documentary." More appropriately it would be like watching a movie that declares the Earth flat and critics call it "The Truth". The simple and plain fact of the matter- if it isn't true- it's not documentary. Haamer.

It suddenly occurs to me that your main problem with Moore's movie may well be that you think that a documentary must not be presented in such a manner as to emphasize and support a political argument. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 23:33, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

As I've written elsewhere, I like Documentaries with a point of view, Moore's earlier work included. My problem is best summarized by the following definition submitted by somebody else in the next section: "Documentary film is a broad category of cinematic expression united by the intent to remain factual or non-fictional."

Michael Moore INTENTIONALY deceived viewers of 9/11. He deliberately chose words and edited footage to create a movie with the intent and effect of convincing viewers of "facts" which Moore himself knew were false. That crosses the line for me. --Jsolinsky 02:49, 11 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You're entitled to your opinion that Moore deceived his viewers, and to the opinion that he did so intentionally. These are opinions. When you state them as fact, well you have the burden of proof. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 03:31, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Here is conclusive proof that Moore intentionally deceived his viewers (the film is rife with similar examples. I use this one because Moore was actually present when the documented events occured and he is consequently damned by his own transcripts. In other areas of the film, Moore could plausibly plead ignorance.):
Lets consider just the segment near then end when he talks about congressmen sending their children to war.
  1. Moore edits the film to make it appear as if Representative Kennedy refuses to help him pass out his flyers. In fact, Moore's own transcript contains the following exchange: "Moore: Is there any way you could help me with that? Kennedy: How would I help you? Moore: Pass it out to other members of Congress. Kennedy: I’d be happy to — especially those who voted for the war. I have a nephew on his way to Afghanistan."
  2. Moore claims that "out of the 535 members of Congress, only one had an enlisted son in Iraq". In fact, at the time of the movie there were six children of congressmen serving in the military and two serving in Iraq. Moore doesn't count the son of California Republican Representative Duncan Hunter (who quit his job after 9/11 and was deployed to Iraq in February 2004) because he is a second lieutenant (and therefore not an enlisted man). But his comments are specifically designed to make viewers believe that only one son of congressman was serving in our military, even though Moore knew otherwise (hence his use of the word enlisted).
  3. Moore depicts Representative Castle as being unwilling to send any of his children to Iraq, but fails to inform viewers that Representative Castle has no children.
  4. Moore uses the entirety of the segment to make the point that fewer members of congress sent their children to Iraq than did reqular Americans. The reality is that on average children of Congressmen were significantly MORE likely to have fought in Iraq than children without a parent serving in congress.
The entire segment was deliberately designed to create a false impression. It worked, viewers of Farenheit 9/11 almost universally left the theatre accepting as fact an entire line of argument that was demonstrably false. --Jsolinsky 07:43, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Amazingly enough, there is a documentary about Moore's Mocumentary that bears that burden; http://www.fahrenhype911.com/

These are accusations that I've seen before. They state assumptions about the purpose of certain edits and the conclusion that Moore intends the audience to draw. Then they state facts that conflict with those assumptions and claim that this is evidence that the film maker deliberately misled. I never understand why people who present these "proofs" don't see that making assumptions is distinct from stating facts. Whenever I see such assumptions being made, I ask myself: is this a fair assumption? Particularly I ask myself: did this scene have the effect on me when I watched the movie that this person is saying Moore intended it to have? The answer so far has always been "no, far from it." In the absence of that, the statement that Moore intended me to draw a conclusion that I did not in fact draw seems outlandish at the very least. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 08:18, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Are you actually telling me that Michael Moore did not intend his audiences to believe that children of congressmen are less likely to serve in iraq than children of non-congressmen? Are you actually telling me that YOU watched F911 and did NOT come away with the belief that children of congressmen were less likely to fight in Iraq? If so you are the first such person I have met. I have talked to about 40 people about the film, and every one of them left the theatre believing this (and the vast majority of them voted for Kerry). I certainly left the theatre believing this.
Your claim seems so preposterous it almost has to be a troll, but I'll bite anyway. What do you think that Michael Moore was trying to communicate to his audiences when he went around Washington DC approaching Congressmen about sending their children to Iraq?--Jsolinsky 23:57, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)
This isn't a place for rhetoric. Your arguments do depend on reasoning based on certain assumptions. Ridiculing someone else's descriptions of their experience of the movie doesn't make your statements about Moore's intentions more factual. The fact that your statements are based on assumptions means that we cannot state them as fact. If I had sat through the movie and gleaned the impressions that you claim Moore intended me to, perhaps I'd have some sympathy with your position, but it still would not make the inference a fact.
The impression I got from the Congress sequence was that Moore wanted to demonstrate that people sending young men and women to fight were less willing to send their own. He did so by his trademark cartoon-style confrontation--just walk up and ask a Congressman if he'll get his son to sign up to fight in Iraq, and film the reaction. A cheap shot, but immense fun to watch. As a matter of fact, at the start of the Iraq war only the son of Sen. Tim Johnson (D-South Dakota) was serving in the military in Iraq. The sons of Joe Wilson (R-South Carolina) and Duncan Hunter (R-California) reportedly were sent to Iraq later in 2003. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 07:37, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

"I never understand why people who present these "proofs" don't see that making assumptions is distinct from stating facts.". And I don't see why movies making assumptions are classified as fact (you know- the distinguishing characteristic of a documentary.). Haamer.

I should have stated it more carefully. The people making the assumptions (and reaching questionable conclusions) are those who state that Moore deceived his audience and did so deliberately. -Tony Sidaway|Talk 07:37, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Repointing the finger doesn't change the fact that clever cut-n-paste by Moore to create assumptions is held by those that appreciate his drivel as fact. The reason I'm even at this discussion is because of accusations that Hamid Karzai was an advisor to Unocal Oil- Wiki states "most notably in the documentary film" F911. Karzai denies it, Unocal denies it- there are no documents to prove it and it is not the truth. If we label political propoganda a documentary it better be the facts. It's not a factual movie hence it's not documentary- I don't care what his topic is. It really is that simple. Haamer.

I'm not sure what you mean by "repointing the finger." Now you argue that "clever cut-n-paste by Moore [can] create assumptions." That's a subtle switch of argument and doesn't address what I have said. A documentary can contain factual errors and still be a documentary, so I'm not sure where you're going with the Karzai thing. It originated in a Le Monde report which has since been refuted by Karzai and Unocal. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 06:52, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Oh, Ok. You're right Moore's film is perfectly factual and he didn't intend to manipulate the truth for his own profit during a highly heated political battle. So why won't Moore himself call it a documentary? "Castigating the allegedly lazy President, Moore says, "Or perhaps he just should have read the security briefing that was given to him on August 6, 2001 that said that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack America by hijacking airplanes." Moore supplies no evidence for his assertion that President Bush did not read the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Brief. Moore’s assertion appears to be a complete fabrication." Because he knows the truth- it's not a documentary. "[Moore response: Regarding Karzai, cites the article in Le Monde, and two later articles which appear to use Le Monde's information. Moore's translation is: "He was a consultant for the American oil company Unocal, while they studied the construction of a pipeline in Afghanistan." The actual sentence was "Après Kaboul et l'Inde ou il a étudié le droit, il a parfait sa formation aux Etats-Unis ou il fut un moment consultant de l'enterprise pétrolière américaine Unocal, quand celle-ci étudiant la construction d'un oléduc en Afghanistan." Translated: After Kabul and India where he had studied law, he completed his training in the United States where he was briefly (literally: "for a moment") a consultant for the American petroleum business Unocal, when it was studying the construction of a pipeline in Afghanistan." Neither Le Monde nor Moore has provided any evidence to substantiate the claim about Unocal and Karzai." Inserting the bit about Karzai in his film without checking out the validity of the one source he used (le monde) is irresponsible "documentary". Investigating sources is paramount to relaying truthfulness if that indeed is the goal- truth. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 207.69.138.10 (talk • contribs) 14:30, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC.}

What makes you ask why Moore doesn't call the film a documentary? On his website in his personal letter he calls it "the #1 movie in the country, the largest grossing documentary ever." I'm not sure what your point is about Moore's translation. Clearly he's trimmed excess words but kept the sense. If Le Monde, Christian Science Monitor have their facts wrong then it would be wrong to include this piece in the movie. However you have not presented any evidence that the newspapers are wrong and the oil company and the politician are telling the truth, so really it's a matter of who you find more credible, journalists or politicians and oil men.

I'll leave it there because clearly you're making a political argument rather than a factual one, and jumping to unwarranted conclusions on flimsy evidence. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 16:43, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

You keep suggesting this argument is political rather than factual, I am not debating the content of the film I am arguing it's validity. Your argument is that if it's in print it's factual enough for documentary, for example your evidence that Moore will outright call his film "documentary" proper is a comment on his ratings, not the film. This is exactly the point we are debating- should Moore's movie be a contender with movie makers that actually relate truth? Or is there a place for his film further down the reality ladder somewhere amongst the mockumentary men? WMD ( http://www.iraqitruthproject.com/ ) begins with an ambush interview of Michael Moore by Evan Coyne Maloney in which Michael Moore admits that Farenheit 9/11 is not a documentary. Michael Moore says Farenheit 9/11 " is like an Op Ed for the newspaper." Haamer.

Indeed, and Moore's reference to it as an op-ed is quoted in the article, as is the denunciation of it as "propaganda". If we were to decide that one criterion of "documentary" is complete neutrality, then most documentaries would be booted from the category. If we were to decide that a film isn't a documentary unless it's completely free of errors (or unless its errors fall below some arbitrary limit set by the High Council of Wikipedia), then we're going to be forever engaged in disputes about particular assertions in particular documentaries. Some people disagree with Fahrenheit 9/11. Fine, I disagree with a lot of the lies in the film Stolen Honor, but I haven't tried to remove it from the Category:Documentary films. It belongs there for the same reasons Moore's film does. JamesMLane 13:34, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
This argument should never had made it this far, further up clear intentions of deception were uncovered and no reasonable rebuttle was made, no one is saying that documentaries have to be neutral, the just have to be based on facts, which part of this movie is, and parts are not, as mentioned above. This isn't up for debate, it's NOT a documentary. I can understand wishing the whole thing was true, Bush isn't the greatest president, but blindly believing Moore and ignoring that there are lawsuits because Moore knowingly misrepresented them in order to prove his point. Tony Sidaway, YOU have made this political above you describe how you enjoy watching the cheapshots at the senators about whether they would send their children to Iraq, we don't need your political views and don't let them guide you in your Wikipedia writing. Furthermore, ignoring the facts above, discrediting none of them, you have failed to disprove this film being a propaganda. There is nothing wrong with the film being labeled a propaganda, and not a documentary. Propaganda has served useful purposes, and as has this (if you agree with it). This is a propaganda because it is not entirely factual, not because it has a point of view.Arcade123 08:15, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

What is "Documentary" film?[edit]

Webster defines it as; 1 : being or consisting of documents : contained or certified in writing <documentary evidence> 2 : of, relating to, or employing documentation in literature or art; broadly : FACTUAL, OBJECTIVE <a documentary film of the war>

Wiki defines it as; Documentary film is a broad category of cinematic expression united by the intent to remain factual or non-fictional.

During my days of filming academia the topic of truth was very easily learned through the efforts and errors of documentary work on the Kent State shootings. While news footage was edited to appear as if the Guard had fired two volleys, that misrepresentation alone was enough to cost a reporter his job. (name fails me) On the other hand; responsible reporting, documenting & transcribing on film what really happened took time, effort and patience to compile. http://may4archive.org/may4movie.shtml Now why should all the effort of producing a factual documentary- a documentary by definition- be pandered because there is an "Umbrella" term for movies that emulate this genre, yet fail to meet the reality check? Labeling Michael Moore's F911 a documentary pimps the hard work of documentary film makers and trivializes the truth we hold paramount in production. If his film qualifies as documentary- you have to change the definition of documentary. How about this one, "Documentary film- any story told in cinema with an authoritative voice accompanied by news footage."

You're going to have to take your case to IMDB.com and try and sell it there, as IMDB is pretty much the most authoratative source on moviess there is (unless you can name a better source) and it calls F9/11 a documentary, thus we call it a documentary. --kizzle 17:29, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)
  So what you're telling me is that a discussion about the validity of Moore's fiction is out of the question because another website- without arbitration- has declared Moore's movie a 'documentary'...well why do I bother coming to the 'Wiki" site if IMDB has ALL the answers?! Haamer.
Another source is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. I don't know whether they ever formally ruled on the status of Fahrenheit 9/11, because Moore submitted it for "Best Picture" rather than "Best Documentary Feature". At the time, though, there was media discussion about Moore's decision, with the clear implication being that he could have submitted it in the Documentary category. The Academy's definition is:
An eligible documentary film is defined as a theatrically released non-fiction motion picture dealing creatively with cultural, artistic, historical, social, scientific, economic or other subjects. It may be photographed in actual occurrence, or may employ partial re-enactment, stock footage, stills, animation, stop-motion or other techniques, as long as the emphasis is on fact and not on fiction. [1]
"Non-fiction" generally means (and the Wikipedia article Non-fiction agrees) that it's presented as factual, even if it's actually untrue. Moore's earlier film Bowling for Columbine was attacked on many of the same grounds as Fahrenheit 9/11, but it won as Best Documentary Feature. The phrase "as long as the emphasis is on fact and not on fiction" supports this -- even if a particular film got some facts wrong, it's still emphasizing facts, and so is a documentary (even Stolen Honor or other such propaganda). JamesMLane 19:02, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
way to outdo me again, jerk :) --kizzle 19:22, Jun 22, 2005 (UTC)
It's payback for your voting the wrong way on the Bush poll.  :) JamesMLane 10:56, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Now it's a poll? I always thought it was a request for comments. Regardless, Moore's movie is a propaganda documentary at the very least..his removal from considerations for any potential Oscars to ensure it would be seen on video by voters prior to the 2004 elections is all the proof we need.--MONGO 15:03, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
If it were to be assumed that Moore's movie isn't propaganda, this would not change his desire to show it prior to the 2004 elections. So you're saying if it wasn't propaganda, he wouldn't have shown it? --kizzle 00:37, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
Moore's movie Bowling for Columbine did well in awards and F911 did well at Cannes...he made the arrangements to ensure the movie would get on video before the elctions and by doing so he knew it would be eliminated from any Oscar considerations...but did it anyway. I can't say that he wouldn't have shown it...but I can say that it seems a little "timely"...although, due to the potentialities of bigger revenues some could also claim that his motivations were apolitical and instead based on money...somehow, I would not be inclined to believe this to be the case.--MONGO 07:23, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
No, I agree he tried to release it on video to sway potential voters, he even admitted as much on his web-site. I just don't see how this a priori renders F9/11 propaganda? --kizzle 21:08, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps caling it propaganda isn't best...regardless, his efforts didn't work...the more the Democrats allow the hollywood bunch to do their talking for them, the more mainstream/centrist Americans become alienated and the harder it will be for the Democrats to regain the White House.--MONGO 21:33, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm real sick of that line, heard it about a billion times. You must watch Fox News a lot. Kerry didn't lose because of F9/11, nor did it have a negative effect on his poll numbers, unless you want to cite a poll to prove me wrong. It actually had the opposite, and helped the base along with undecideds. Just because Kerry lost, doesn't mean you can look at everything he did and say, see that's why he lost. If Bush arbitrarily had 120,000 less votes in Ohio, you could cite about a billion reasons why he lost overall.
The best way Democrats can regain the White House is to somehow educate the mainstream/centrist/republicans is that these people represent a fringe extremist section of the Republican party, and do not, in fact, speak for the majority of people except for hard-core chickenhawks who believe that the best Midde-Eastern policy is to get our hands in their political system as much as possible to avoid a Pan-Arabic movement that spurns World War III. 95% of Americans (upper middle-class, middle-class, and the poor), even those in the heartland, care about is having a good job, caring for their family, and being able to express their ideas in a free society. Somehow, these people must be taught that the Republican party as run today only represents the 5% that cares about how their stock is doing, and how they can increase the shareholder price of their corporation by firing US workers and hiring labor for a quarter of the price in India. That is how the Democrats will win, not whether or not some movie comes out. Your attribution of significance to Michael Moore is over-emphasized, it is the Democratic party which needs to change, not Hollywood, who, in making movies, has a right to express their beliefs just like any other American, or is there an inverse relationship between the amount of fame you have and your right to freedom of speech? Extremism is bad in either direction, be it Michael Moore or George W. Bush (meaning Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz), once people know these extremists for who they are and vote their conscience rather than their personal ability to make money off the candidate or that you could see yourself "buying a beer" with him, we can keep them out of the White House altogether and not be in the deep shit we are in, with the rest of the world who hates us, a country with a president's approval ratings the worst since the last president to forcefully resign in shame from the office, and a war with no end in sight, no exit strategy, and less troops and recruits by the day. --kizzle 22:51, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)
Good God, man! I'm sorry this turned into some confrontational thing...I certainly didn't mean to insult. I was only stating that the Democratic party will be better off if it can find other mouthpieces for them than the hollywood elitist. I am going to ship this to my user page so you can yell at me there.
Haha, Mongo, you know I got respect for you, didn't mean the above in any emotional sense, just you struck a nerve with your comment that I felt needed to be addressed, so read the above without any malice on my part :) --kizzle 23:10, Jun 26, 2005 (UTC)

"Somehow, these people must be taught...", Somehow indeed. The lesson in this topic is TRUTH. It isn't about how to win elections, it isn't about how to make a movie and it for sure isn't about Hollywood. The simple fact of the matter, once again, is M. Moores movie isn't factual, it is presented to favor a bias and it is a MISREPRESENTATION of REALITY. If F911 is the tool you use to "somehow" teach "these" people- they're simply gonna learn a lie. Haamer.

No, Michael Moore is a douchebag who occasionally misrepresents facts and truths to better his side. This does not invalidate every single breath he has taken, and many of his criticisms are valid. And the tool I was referring to in order to "teach" people about the true nature of the Republican party is not any film, but merely traditional grass-roots politicking and news sans think-tanks. --kizzle 05:54, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

"No, Michael Moore is a douchebag who occasionally misrepresents facts and truths to better his side." Wasn't that Moore's condemnation of Bush? I don't understand his logic. Haamer.

Take that banter somewhere else; this is not a message board. Reginmund 00:12, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

Ok, lets get back to the definition of a documentary. I will list several definitions.

documentary

  adjective
  1.    (1.a.)relating to or consisting of or derived from documents 
  2.    (1.b.)emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings, insertion of fictional matter, or interpretation; objective art" [syn: objective] 
  noun
  1.    (2.)a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event 

WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.

American Heritage Dictionary doc•u•men•ta•ry adj.

  1. (3.a.)Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents.
  2. (3.b)Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film.

doc•u•men•ta•ry adjective, noun, plural -ries. –adjective

  1.       (4.a.)Also, doc•u•men•tal  - pertaining to, consisting of, or derived from documents: a documentary history of France.
  2.    (4.b.)Movies, Television. based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements: a documentary life of Gandhi.

If you want sources for these definitions go to dictionary.com type in documentary and then click on the first 3 cite sources, and you will have sources.

First off, definition number
1. a. This (I am guessing) will be the definition of debate, his film is meant to be based off documents, but he knowingly and blatantly misrepresented people (Peter Damon) being one such example. I AM NOT saying that the rest of the film is not factual, just that a few segments are, and these segments are very clearly not accidents in misrepresenting the truth, we can go into that later if that still isn't established. I find that this definition to be too broad for our argument, because it can be argued that as long as someone has an interview and draws conclusions based on that interview (no matter if they are completely opposite the truth) then they are basing their conclusions on documents, which I'm find morally unacceptable. This could be used to distort or conceal the truth, which documentaries are supposed to report, at any and every turn, solely at the author's discretion. I don't find this fitting in the character of a documentary, but lets continue...
1. b. I find that this definition hammers home the point. "emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings, insertion of fictional matter, or interpretation;" We have already established that the film is ABOUT Moore proving his point, not providing a neutral setting. There are also instances of fictional matter in his film, mentioned above in the film's discussion page. And lastly, the entire movie is an interpretation of data to fit Moore's point. Although I personally, agree with Moore, his film does not fall under a documentary and even the judges at the Oscar's felt that way (please don't take this as more than it's worth, just an interesting side note). This definition also brings up an example "objective art". “Objective: not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.” To me, this is very clear, but lets continue...
2. Another definition that might cause conflict, as it should, because it is not as specific as the other definitions. Moore's film does present facts about persons and events. This definition doesn't specify whether it can also include inaccuracies and misrepresentations, let alone interpretation, and POV etc. Refer to (1.a.) for my beliefs on these broad definitions.
3.a. This is another broad definition. Refer to (1.a)
3.b. Objectively. (here's that word again). “Objective: not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.”
4.a. This definition brings up an interesting example, "a documentary of France." This makes me think of a History Channel special which brings out the story of the development of France. Though this is not a political topic, it is a good example that documentaries should be entirely factually based and when facts are not available, these documentaries make that clear and explain scientists' best guesses and what evidence leads them to believe so. Moore's film is designed to sway people to his POV, which a true documentary, such as a History Channel Special, does not.
4.b. This definition brings up ‘purports to be factually accurate’ and ‘contains no fictional elements’. Some believe Moore strove to be factually accurate through the entire film, but I believe they just haven’t heard of people such as Peter Damon, who were represented as the polar opposite of what they actually believed. A quick recap of Peter Damon’s story: In Fahrenheit 9/11, Peter is clearly portrayed as anti-war and Moore would make us believe he feels abandoned, and maybe even deceived by his country/president. His appearance in the film is cut out of a recycled NBC interview and at the end of the interview newsman Brian Williams adds, "These men, with catastrophic wounds are ... completely behind the war effort," can it be any more clear?

There is more than enough here to disqualify the film as being a documentary on two accounts. Not consistently pertaining to facts, and not NPOV. Please don’t go blab about the awards it won as a ‘documentary’ because according to the definition it is clearly not. I find dictionaries a more reliable source than film festivals and their judge panels (though apparently this is just me).

I propose we move on to find a genre for this film and remove this film from the documentary category, and cease to call it a documentary, though we should absolutely still keep all of the awards the film won as a documentary in the article (even though it is not one, it still is an award). I propose we make a section to organize a discussion in order to hash out the necessary changes. Thanks for reading :) Arcade123 20:22, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Some of the claims that Moore "lied" seems pretty silly. One enlisted child = 1 enlisted child, if the others are not "enlisted" by military terms, or meet requirements based on rank, then they do not. Anytime you say "depicts" you are saying "what I seen happen." Also I am not sure why a documentary can not be propaganda ... who said the two have to be seperate? Also if the film is winning awards as a documentary, then people alot more qualified then the random sampling of Wikipedia users, are making a judgement, we defer to just those people on Wikipedia and their classifications. --SevenOfDiamonds 11:13, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Arcade, you have not provided a singe fact that says that this film isn't a documentary. You haven't provided a single piece of evidence that shows that Moore lied. Moore used footage of a state trooper complaining about budget cuts. He never said that the trooper opposed the War. You say that he intended to deceive. You are wrong. You are assuming that he intended to deceive but you have absolutely no idea as to what his motives were. You are stating your opinion about how Moore intended to insinuate the footage when you truly don't know for a fact what his intentions were. What you are doing is providing original research which is prohibited on Wikipedia. It is not a fact, I repeat NOT a fact that Moore intended to deceive. Don't you dare say it is again because it isn't You have no evidence of that; it is only how you perceived it. You are also assuming that because many people oppose the use of "documentary", means that they are right. This is also original research. Just because people oppose the film's classification as a documentary, doesn't mean that it isn't a documentary. There is much more Holocaust denial... that doesn't make it a fact either. The matter of fact is that you haven't provided a single fact that conflicts this film. You use weasel words such as "Moore would make you believe" and "twisted to insinuate". Again, this is not a fact, it is a weasel word which is prohibited on Wikipedia. I have already shown you the definition of a documentary and Fahrenheit 9/11 fits into it. It is a film that interprets given information for aesthetic and/or educational purposes. Reginmund 16:35, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, lets go through your accusations point by point, and re outline all of the facts that have been brought to bear earlier and on other discussion pages.

By the way, don’t tell me this is original research, these are the English ‘’’definitions’’’ of this ‘‘‘word’’’ if you have no time for the major points of the English language then you have wasted your time communicating with me because I refer to English dictionaries for my guides to the wonderful world of words. I have given you my sources as to these definitions and I am showing you that just because many people call something a documentary doesn’t mean it fits the English definition of one. Many people call Pluto a planet even though it is not. Many people say there are 9 planets, but there are 8. Just because something is generally accepted doesn’t make it true, you said so yourself. Don’t

You also say that I believe, because others do, that this film isn’t a documentary. This is untrue, I have been providing you with evidence and facts since my first post, and I will continue to do so.

1. It is a fact that Moore represented Damon as anti-war, and made him out to feel abandoned.
2. It is a fact that Newsman Brian Williams ends the NBC clip by adding, "These men, with catastrophic wounds are ... completely behind the war effort,"
What does this mean to you Reginmund? Do you believe it is accidental? Could it be that Moore, wanted to get his point across at the expense of the facts?
Here's what you said "Don't you dare say it is again because it isn't You have no evidence of that" No evidence? Are you mad? Don't you tell me what and what not to say. I have been providing evidence and facts to support everything I have said, can you say the same? Lets continue...

“He never said that the trooper opposed the War. You say that he intended to deceive. You are wrong.” - Reginmund

We agree on ‘‘‘something’’’, it’s a start . Yes, Moore never did say anything that the trooper opposed the war. But, I never wrote anything about Moore misrepresenting the police officers opinions. I was highlighting the methods by which they were interviewed, by Moore’s employees acting as if they were doing a documentary on Oregon budget cuts. How am I wrong? What would you call this?

I have never mentioned ‘’’once’’’ that the state trooper’s feelings about the war were misrepresented, I said “his interview taken completely out of context and was blatantly deceived.” He was deceived, “Moore sent a crew to interview him under the guise of making a documentary about cutbacks in some state police programs.” Why would Moore do that? The piece was used in a different film and they officers were never contacted. How is this making conclusions? It is what it is.

You say you have shown me a definition, I have shown you the first 9 off of dictionary.com which collects definitions from numerous dictionaries. I suppose under ‘wikilaw’ your definition reigns supreme? Please! Though, I must state that I do appreciate you bringing up that definition. That means this film fits 1 out of 10, common definitions for the word “documentary.” I also find it interesting that you completely ignore the definitions of the English language provided to you in order to discredit me through a wiki technicality, but I will abide by these rules, seeing as this is Wikipedia. But, don’t be mistaken, I will not back down if it is falsely waved in my face.

Now, a couple questions, is it acceptable to use this as a singular definition for a documentary as it agrees with the definitions above? Otherwise I will keep listing all of them.A documentary is a factually based document with a neutral point-of-view.

I have provided two significant facts that are inaccurate, or were found through dishonest means. I have also provided you with the first 9 definitions of the word “documentary” off of dictionary.com which are the definitions as written by numerous dictionaries. Everyone seems to agree that Moore’s film is not NPOV, and I have shown that there are inaccuracies in his film. Please don’t insult my intelligence by saying have shown no evidence because it is what I have been doing the whole way through this.

For the record, I intend to communicate with those who help decide the Wikipedia definition of a ‘documentary’ and I wish to re categorize the ‘political films’ (on both sides of the spectrum) as something else, though I’m not sure what, I would love help with it . Reginmund, I mean no hard-feelings, I am simply trying to help Wikipedia be as accurate as possible because I read through it frequently to better my understanding of the world.

Quick word to Seven of Diamonds: 1. Just because people call it a documentary doesn’t mean it is. 2. The Oscars disqualified it from the documentary category. I am not suggesting we hide the awards it has won for being a documentary, I am just saying the film, along with many others, do not fit the definition of a documentary and Wikipedia is obliged to be as accurate as possible. I intend to change the genre of these (I’ll call them political propaganda for now) films on both sides of the political spectrum. I don’t want Wikipedia to be the grounds for Republicans or Democrats to make each other out to be like fools by selectively publishing facts in a ‘documentary’ because Wikipedia allows it to be called that. Arcade123 20:02, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

One quick addition: I realize how I can appear biased because I have chosen a film on the left to be my initial example of a false documentary, but I assure, and you will be able to hold me accountable, that I believe Wikipedia needs to recategorize and define these films as what they are, political propaganda, not documentaries. If the film were on the right, I would do the same thing as this film, find lies/inaccuracies/discrepancies in the film and use that as part of the grounds to get it taken out of the documentary category and I would gladly appreciate any help in doing so. Arcade123 20:06, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

"I have never mentioned once that the state trooper’s feelings about the war were misrepresented, I said his interview taken completely out of context and was blatantly deceived." - Arcade123

Have you any idea that what you just said means the same thing? You obviously have not been reading anything that I have been saying. I have provided a dictionary definition and referred you to it several times. Don't lie about that again.
Moore's use of putting a statement about how "soldiers should not be left behind" still does not state that the soldier's words were taken completely out of context. It doesn't at all imply that the soldier opposes the War. It just shows the result of the war and subliminally asking the question "Was the war worth this?" regardless of the soldier's creed. It again, does nothing to say that anything besides the fact that the soldier feels excruciating pain. That is a fact. However, it is not a fact that Moore intended to use the interview to deceive the soldier's words. You have no evidence as to whether or not he did. Thus, you are using original research which is prohibited on Wikipedia. You are assuming that his interview was meant to say that he was pacifist just because. Again, this is original research to assume. You cannot assume. It is not a fact that Moore intended to deceive him. If you continue to step out of line and break Wikipedia's policies, I will not hesitate to tell you not to say it again because you are wrong and you are going against a policy which states original research as:

a term used in Wikipedia to refer to unpublished facts, arguments, concepts, statements, or theories

You are theorising that Moore used the interview with the intent to say that the soldier opposed the War just because the soldier believes that his interview was taken out of context. In reality, Moore never said or intended to do this. Don't again say that I am mad for not assuming that he did because it is wrong and it goes against policy.
You are also twisting my words. Stop it.

He never said that the trooper opposed the War. You say that he intended to deceive. You are wrong. -Reginmund

I have never mentioned once that the state trooper’s feelings about the war were misrepresented, I said “his interview taken completely out of context and was blatantly deceived. -Arcade123

News flash! I didn't say that his feelings were misrepresented either! I said that you stated that Moore intended to deceive him. Looking at the text, you did say that he intended to deceive! I did say that you said that and I didn't say that you stated that Moore "misrepresented".
Now, as you did say that Moore blatantly deceived him, that is also original research. Of course prohibited. You have no evidence that Moore intended to deceive. He documents state cutbacks. He never says that anything about the War. His theme is that the domestic problems such as this should be first priority over fighting a war. He never said that the War was the cause of the state budget cutbacks.
You are again assuming that he intended to deceive them just because the trooper thought that his words were taken to mean support for the War. Again, assuming is original research. Again, Moore used the footage to encourage support for domestic reform instead of the War as opposed to blaming the War for the cause.
Your dictionary definitions do not whatsoever omit the film as a documentary...

adjective

 1.    (1.a.)relating to or consisting of or derived from documents 
 2.    (1.b.)emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings, insertion of fictional matter, or interpretation; objective art"
This definition is of no use since it is the definition of an adjective. "Documentary" is not an adjective.

noun

 1.    (2.)a film or TV program presenting the facts about a person or event 
This fits in perfectly. Fahrenheit 9/11 presents facts. It presents the fact that a wounded soldier is distressed about his condition. It presents facts that the Oregon state troopers are suffering from budject cutbacks. It does nothing to say that either interviewees opposed the War.
1. (3.a.)Consisting of, concerning, or based on documents.
 2. (3.b)Presenting facts objectively without editorializing or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film.
Again, this works fine too. The film is based on documentation of a soldier in pain and a trooper in distress. No connection to their creeds whatsoever. Again, there is no fictional matter. Moore never said that they opposed the War.
 1.       (4.a.)Also, doc•u•men•tal  - pertaining to, consisting of, or derived from documents: a documentary history of France.
 2.    (4.b.)Movies, Television. based on or re-creating an actual event, era, life story, etc., that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements: a documentary life of Gandhi.
Again, all of this work is derived from documentation of a soldier in pain and a trooper in distress. It is also a film that re-creates the actual events that a trooper is in distress and a soldier is in pain. Those are all facts. Those are all factually accurate. There is no say as to whether or not they supported or opposed the War. Therefore, there are no fictional elements.

these segments are very clearly not accidents in misrepresenting the truth - Arcade123

Clearly? I see Moore showing us a soldier in pain with the theme of determining whether or not the War was worth it. It doesn't say that he opposes the War, therefore it doesn't misrepresent the truth. It also shows a trooper distressed about the budget cuts with Moore's intent to show whether or not a war is more important that domestic problems.
You continue to make assumptions and original research throughout not only the debate as to whether or not this is a documentary, but to what I am saying. You "suppose" that my definitions reign supreme. I never said that. You are speculating again. You say that I ignore the difinitions due to a Wiki technicality. That is another lie. I said you cannot use speculation (i.e. original research) to prove a point. I never omitted a dictionary definition as a point. Don't purporte that it is "falsely waved in your face" unless it actually is. I have only stated actual Wikipedia policies and if you can find one that is not, be my guest. Otherwise, if you accuse me of such acts again, I will report you for incivility and even though you don't have to "back down" to a policy, I assure you, it will get you nowhere but blocked again.

A documentary is a factually based document with a neutral point-of-view. - Arcade123

For the sake of this encyclopaedia, stop making up rules. It says in no definition of a documentary film that a documentary should represent a neutral point of view. You ONCE AGAIN, are performing original research. Now, I'll give you a definition that was written by professional lexicographers unlike yourself. (Which makes the definition that you made up completely obsolete)

A motion picture that shapes and interprets factual material for purposes of education or entertainment. - Encyclopædia Britannica

This film is of course a motion picture and it shapes and interprets the factual material (already proven to be factual) for purposes of education and entertainment.
If you want to help this encyclopaedia, read this because you have no understanding of what you are not supposed to be doing. You have not provided facts, you have provided speculation, assuming that Moore intended to deceive them which is unproven and just because you believe so, doesn't mean other people do, including me. I don't want to waste any more time trying to explain to you a policy. If you use original research again (i.e. assume that Moore intended to deceive without any proof just because it looked like he did), I will not, repeat will not respond to another filibuster that you post. If you have any other arguments, let me know.

Reginmund 21:49, 30 July 2007 (UTC)