Why They’re Afraid Of Michael Moore – by John Pilger

A ZNet Commentary

Moore’s “threat” is his unerring view from the ground. He abrogates the contempt in which elite America and the media hold ordinary people. This is a taboo subject among many journalists, especially those claiming to have risen to the nirvana of “impartiality” and others who profess to teach journalism. If Moore simply presented victims in the time-honoured, ambulance-chasing way, leaving the audience tearful but paralysed, he would have few enemies. He would not be looked down upon as a polemicist and self-promoter and all the other pejorative tags that await those who step beyond the invisible boundaries in societies where wealth is said to equal freedom. The few who dig deep into the nature of a liberal ideology that regards itself as superior, yet is responsible for crimes epic in proportion and generally unrecognised, risk being eased out of the “mainstream”, especially if they are young – a process that a former editor once described to me as “a sort of gentle defenestration”. None has broken through like Moore, and his detractors are perverse to say he is not a “professional journalist” when the role of the professional journalist is so often that of zealously, if surreptitiously, serving the status quo. Without the loyalty of these professionals on the New York Times and other august (mostly liberal) media institutions “of record”, the criminal invasion of Iraq might not have happened and a million people would be alive today. Deployed in Hollywood’s sanctum – the cinema – Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 shone a light in their eyes, reached into the memory hole, and told the truth. That is why audiences all over the world stood and cheered.

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