Michael "The Liar" Moore

I have never seen Bowling for Columbine, but Bill Whittle did, and has a nice dissection of it as part of a larger essay on magical beliefs.

Moore's thesis – near as I can follow it- is that America commits vastly more handgun murders than the rest of the world. Well, there's no disputing that. You would think Moore would make the point that it's because we have such easy access to handguns. He does not. He claims that there are plenty of guns in Canada, but they don't have our murder rate. The movie's premise is that we kill people with guns because we Americans are terrified all the time, and the one thing we are most terrified of is Black people.

Hope I didn't wreck the movie for you.

The title comes from Moore's assertion that Dylan and Klebold, the Columbine murderers, were so immune to violence that they went bowling in the morning before they shot up the school. It is a chilling thought. Didn't happen. But that shouldn't get in the way of a chilling thought, especially when it's your opening thesis.

The opening scene features Michael Moore in the North Country Bank & Trust in Traverse City, Michigan, which was running a promotion saying that for every account opened, they would give away not a toaster or a walkman, but a gun. We see Moore filling out the paperwork to open a new account. This done, the teller hands him a rifle. Moore exits the bank, thrusts the rifle into the air like some well-fed Sandinista, and over the freeze-frame says "maybe it's not such a good idea to give people a gun…in a bank!" Oh, how the NPR film club tittered at that line!

This isn't just misdirection. This is, pure and simple, a goddam lie. The bank did offer this promotion, and when Moore heard about it, he found out that when you open the new account, they give you a certificate. You then have to go to a gun shop to pick up the gun.

This wasn't damning enough. So Moore convinced the poor, decent, gullible people who ran that bank that it would be much better publicity for them if they could hand him the gun right there in the bank. Uh, well, um…okay. If it will help you with your movie. But the bank did not hand out guns on the premises. Moore created this scene to advance his premise. It's a funny scene. It is most emphatically not a documentary scene.

There is plenty more, just follow the link. It is well worth your time to read the whole thing.