Since it’s come into the news again via the leaked cable on the Labour party fundraiser, I thought I’d have a read through the essay “Fifty Six Deceits in Fahrenheit 911“. I have to confess, there are several that I didn’t know (at least, not fully).
Fahrenheit 9/11 states, “In his first eight months in office before September 11th, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time.”
Shortly before 9/11, the Post calculated that Bush had spent 42 percent of his presidency at vacation spots or en route, including all or part of 54 days at his ranch. That calculation, however, includes weekends, which Moore failed to mention.
Tom McNamee, “Just the facts on ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ Chicago Sun-Times, June 28, 2004. See also: Mike Allen, “White House On the Range. Bush Retreats to Ranch for ‘Working Vacation’,” Washington Post, August 7, 2001 Many of those days are weekends, and the Camp David stays have included working visits with foreign leaders. Since the Eisenhower administration, Presidents have usually spent many weekends at Camp David, which is fully equipped for Presidential work. Once the Camp David time is excluded, Bush’s “vacation” time drops to 13 percent.
Much of that 13 percent was spent on Bush’s ranch in Texas. Reader Scott Marquardt looked into a random week of Bush’s August 2001 “vacation.” Using public documents from http://www.whitehouse.gov, here is what he found:
Monday, August 20
Spoke concerning the budget while visiting a high school in Independence, Missouri.
Spoke at the annual Veteran’s of Foreign Wars convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Signed six bills into law.
Announced his nominees for Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Agriculture, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management, member of the Federal Housing Finance Board, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disabled Employment Policy, U.S. Representative to the General Assembly of the U.N., and Assistant Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development for the Bureau of Humanitarian Response.
Spoke with workers at the Harley Davidson factory.
Dined with Kansas Governor Bill Graves, discussing politics.
This one I knew, but not the bit about Clinton.
By the way, the clip of Bush making a comment about terrorism, and then hitting a golf ball, is also taken out of context, at least partially:
Tuesday night on FNC’s Special Report with Brit Hume, Brian Wilson noted how “the viewer is left with the misleading impression Mr. Bush is talking about al-Qaeda terrorists.” But Wilson disclosed that “a check of the raw tape reveals the President is talking about an attack against Israel, carried out by a Palestinian suicide bomber.”
“Cyberalert,” Media Research Center, July 1, 2004, item. 3.
Interestingly, as detailed in Bill Clinton’s autobiography My Life, in November 1995. when President Clinton learned that Israel’s Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had been shot, Clinton went out to the White House lawn and hit golf balls while he waited to learn if Rabin would live. That Clinton played golf after learning of a terrible crime in Israel obviously does not mean that he did not care about the crime. If a television station had recorded some footage of Clinton hitting golf balls that awful night, it would have easy for a hyper-partisan film-maker to use the footage against Clinton unfairly.
Moore wraps up the vacation segment: “It was a summer to remember. And when it was over, he left Texas for his second favorite place.” The movie then shows Bush in Florida. Actually, he went back to Washington, where he gave a speech on August 31.
Then there’s the book Bush was reading when he was informed of the attacks. We all know – it was called “My Pet Goat”. Wrong.
Fahrenheit mocks President Bush for continuing to read the book My Pet Goat to a classroom of elementary school children after he was told about the September 11 attacks. Actually, as reported in The New Yorker, the book was Reading Mastery 2, which contains an exercise called “The Pet Goat.” The title of the book is not very important in itself, but the invented title of My Pet Goat makes it easier to ridicule Bush.
I guess the real title might have suggested that Bush was interested in education – which he was.
Anyway, have a read and remind yourself of how the left operates. Remember, even with essays like this out there clearly identifying the multitude of deceits in the movie, Labour MPs were still prepared to use it as a fundraiser. Worse, they defend that decision to this day.