Joel Bellman (who works for supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky but is writing for himself) has the "Counterpunch" in today's LAT Calendar arguing that the media has bought into a faux frenzy about Fahrenheit 9/11.
Too many in the media chose not to let facts get in the way of a good story. With almost touching naiveté, some foreign journalists actually seemed to believe the director's campfire ghost story that President Bush might personally succeed in suppressing his film.
The circus continued, with most reporters siding with the shambling, stubbly filmmaking David over the ruthlessly on-message administration Goliath.
Film critics, not previously known for their sophisticated grasp of complex foreign-policy matters or subtleties of constitutional law, generally pronounced themselves thoroughly persuaded by Moore's message — which, one suspects, they thoroughly agreed with before setting foot in the screening room.
Moreover, nothing succeeds like success, and "Fahrenheit 9/11" is indisputably the most commercially successful documentary of all time — even if that only means, as New York Times columnist Frank Rich tartly noted, "that its ticket sales are whipping the bejesus out of 'Winged Migration' and 'Spellbound.' "
Bellman used to write and edit for the Herald Examiner and others. Also in Calendar, Lynell George visits with Jerry Stahl on the occasion of his new book I, Fatty, "a wisecracking, sepia-toned novelization of the chemical highs and legal lows of silent-film-era star Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle and the more famous Hollywood scandal that undid him."