Michael Moore’s films haven’t been doing so well at the box office in the past few years but now he’s trying to recapture the success he had with Fahrenheit 9/11 during the Bush years. His new film is called Fahrenheit 11/9 for the day after Trump’s election. Speaking to HuffPost, Moore described Trump as an “evil genius.”
Donald Trump is an evil genius. He has no intention of leaving the White House. Whenever he hears that another country has a president for life, he perks up and thinks, “I like the sound of that!” And he has an obedient political party that holds every seat of power backing him up.
American journalism schools have not trained students how to cover an authoritarian leader. Our media has no idea what it is up against. They’re getting steamrolled by a tyrant because Trump understands media and understands the country he lives in more than those that cover him do.
Asked if he has hope for the future of the Republic, Moore gave this colorful answer:
F**k hope. Seriously, f**k hope. F**k despair, too. But f**k hope.
Hope is passive. Hope gives you permission to let someone else do the work. Hope leads people to believe that tax returns, or a pee tape, or the FBI or an adult film star will save the country. Hope, and the passivity that comes with it, is what helped get us here to begin with. It’s the lazy way out.
We don’t need hope. We need action.
Here’s why I don’t think this film is going to work the way Fahrenheit 9/11 did. In the trailer below you’ll see he refers to Trump as “the last American president.” That’s apparently a reference to the idea that he plans to stay in office for life…or something. At base, what Michael Moore is selling is partisan panic over the 2016 election. It reminds me of that scene from Airplane when the stewardess tells the passengers to “assume crash positions” and everyone climbs on top of the seats and starts screaming. Clearly, there’s a market for that sort of thing and Moore has proven he knows that market, so I wouldn’t count him out.
On the other hand, partisan hysteria is a much more crowded market now than it was in 2004. There are already quite a few reliable suppliers: CNN, MSNBC, etc. working that vein on a daily basis. So, for instance, the trailer below features Parkland students David Hogg and Emma Gonzalez talking about gun control. But CNN helped make them both media stars in the first place and has featured them repeatedly already? Similarly, do people really need to go to the theater to see Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez talk about Democratic Socialism when she’s on television every day?
I’m not saying the movie will fail, just that I don’t think Moore can really turn up the volume of partisan hysteria when the knob is already cranked to eleven. I guess we’ll find out when this opens whether or not the American left can go one louder. Here’s the trailer:
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) August 9, 2018