To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would almost be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental. To describe it as an exercise in facile crowd-pleasing would be too obvious. Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of “dissenting” bravery. –Christopher Hitchens –Unfairenheit 9/11: The lies of Michael Moore (Slate)
Woah… Hitchens is known as one of the few to attack pop-culture saints such as Bob Hope and even Mother Teresa, so it can’t be easy to dismiss his attack on Moore. He’s not a conservative who’s annoyed that Moore has trumped Rush Limbaugh-style politics-as-entertainment by using images (which speak directly to our emotions, as opposed to words, which at least sometimes engage our minds).
Hitchens, who has made a few documentaries himself, sounds a bit bitter in the following quote, but I think it’s an important perspective to consider:
[A] documentary must have a “POV” or point of view and that it must also impose a narrative line. But if you leave out absolutely everything that might give your “narrative” a problem and throw in any old rubbish that might support it, and you don’t even care that one bit of that rubbish flatly contradicts the next bit, and you give no chance to those who might differ, then you have betrayed your craft. If you flatter and fawn upon your potential audience, I might add, you are patronizing them and insulting them.