‘Fahrenheit 9/11’. The movie ‘fahrenheit9/11’ opens by revisiting the contested 2000 election that put George W. Bush in office. ‘Was it all a dream?’ Moore asks of the celebrating Al Gore. Democrats are often told to ‘get over it,’ but any kind of recount would have been likely to result in a Gore win. Moore reminds us that in the summer of 2001, Bush’s presidency seemed destined to fail. The President took a record number of vacations, and we now know that in August, he ignored a memo entitled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.’
It is true that Michael Moore is overweight and has an in-your-face style that many find problematic. But so far, none of the condemnation heaped on ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ counters Moore’s overwhelming evidence that America is headed in the wrong direction. The kicking and screaming suggests a healthy measure of fear, which is as it should be: considered on the merit of its facts alone, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ is hard to dismiss. Instead of showing the September 11 attacks on screen, Moore leaves us in the dark with the sounds of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center, and then cuts to terrified faces in the streets of Manhattan, witnessing the horror but keeping it off-screen.
From here, he takes us to the Florida elementary school, where George W. Bush was reading ‘My Pet Goat’ to children and sat for long minutes after being told that the country was under attack, doing nothing.