The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Friday, May 07, 2004

              Mickey and Moore
The New Republic has an excellent assessment of the latest flap involving Michael Moore - Disney's refusal to distribute his new movie called Fahrenheit 911.

"Yes, it is a free country, but it is not a perfect one. Because in a perfect country, an irresponsible, intellectually dishonest windbag like Moore would not be a rich, successful, Oscar-winning documentarian. He would instead be just another anonymous nutter, mumbling about fluoride in the water and penning anti-establishment tracts by candlelight in some backwoods Appalachian shack. And he would never, ever find another funder for his "art."
Disney arguably would have a moral obligation to distribute "Fahrenheit 911," financial consequences be damned, if Moore were a serious journalist doing serious investigative work (and by serious I mean intellectually and factually rigorous, not humorless). But he is not. Moore has instead built a career on movies and books that, though classified as non-fiction, nonetheless treat facts like some vague, extremely malleable outline around which to construct his "art."
Fine. So you're an entertainer. Then don't wrap yourself in the Constitution and rage about how you're being censored because of your courageous crusade to reveal unpopular political truths. Don't pretend you're a muckraking journalist if you are, in fact, simply a dumpier, left-wing version of Ann Coulter. Like you, Coulter is flitting around this free country lobbing her share of ideological bombs. She just has the good sense not to expect Mickey Mouse to help her do it."

As is often the case with "artists" who try to shock, there is a complete misunderstanding of the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of speech. Private companies, like Disney are not subject to the requirements of the First Amendment. And as such, have the right to decide what they want to support and what they don't.

Additionally, contrary to what they may think, criticism of these "artists" is not censorship; it is criticism. Ultimately they are responsible for their words and deeds and should try to understand that people who disagree with them are as free to express their disagreement as these "artists" are to express their "art. And if they can't take it, then maybe they should choose other professions.
|| Nudnik 3:20 PM
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