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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Junior G Wade Taylor IV (4) covers his face after a missed point during Texas A&Ms game against Arkansas on Feb. 20, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Jaime Rowe/The Battalion)
When it rains, it pours
February 24, 2024
Ali Camarillo (2) waiting to see if he got the out during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
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76th Speaker of the Senate Marcus Glass, left, poses with incoming 77th Speaker of the Senate Ava Blackburn.
Student leaders reflect on years of service in final Student Senate meeting
Justice Jenson, Senior News Reporter • April 18, 2024

The Student Government Association wrapped up its 76th session by giving out awards such as the Senator, Committee and Statesman of the Year...

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Freshman Tiago Pires reaches to return the ball during Texas A&M’s match against Arkansas on Sunday, April 7, 2024 at Mitchell Tennis Center. (Lana Cheatham/The Battalion)
No. 14 Aggies receive early exit from SEC Tournament
Matthew Seaver, Sports Writer • April 19, 2024

The No. 14 Texas A&M men’s tennis team fell to the No. 44 LSU Tigers 4-3 in a down-to-the-wire duel on Thursday, April 18. Facing off at...

Julia Cottrill (42) celebrating a double during Texas A&Ms game against Southeastern Louisiana on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024 at Davis Diamond. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
Muffled the Mean Green
April 17, 2024
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Members of the 2023-2024 Aggie Muster Committee pose outside the Jack K. Williams Administration Building. (Photo courtesy of Aggie Muster Committee)
Orchestrating a century-old tradition
Sydnei Miles, Head Life & Arts Editor • April 18, 2024

As Muster approaches, the Aggie Muster Committee works to organize a now century-old tradition. These students “coordinate every facet” of...

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(Graphic by Ethan Mattson/The Battalion)
Opinion: ‘Fake Money,’ real change
Eddie Phillips, Opinion Writer • April 19, 2024

Us Aggies live privileged existences: companies beg us to take on tens of thousands in loans.  I know this may sound contradictory, but the...

Fahrenheit 9/11 – Conservative View

“Fahrenheit 9/11,” with its name lifted from the famous Ray Bradbury novel “Fahrenheit 451,” was touted by its director as “the temperature at which freedom burns.” But at what temperature does an audience’s tolerance for Moore, or President Bush, boil?
In Moore’s latest attack on Bush, he makes the severe claims, among others, that Osama bin Laden’s family was flown out of the United States after the 9-11 attacks, the Bush family and the administration is directly influenced by Saudi Arabian investment and that the ties between the Taliban and Iraq are looser than we might suspect. It’s the personal story of a mother who lost her son in Iraq, and it’s a comedy that satirizes the president and his decisions. But mostly, it’s incendiary.
Slanting real events to political bias, Moore presents “facts” and cleverly edits interviews and footage of the Iraq War, complete with dramatic music corresponding to his desired emotion.
Or maybe that’s his point: As a director, he’s allowed to skew information – unlike the media.
Despite its box-office topping performance and worship from critics, “Fahrenheit” is disappointing in “Bowling for Columbine’s” shadow.
Although the audience never guessed as to Moore’s point of view on gun control, there, Moore respected his audience by outlining his case, introducing each scenario, and then letting his sources’ interviews develop naturally and independently to illustrate his point.
In “Fahrenheit,” Moore patronizes and insults the spin-weary viewer’s intelligence, using more sarcastic, rhetorical-question voiceover narration in this film to literally tell us how to interpret his images. His theories about Bush and the War are not explored, as they could have been – the viewer longs for some voice from the other side, if even to feign objectivity. Instead, they are simply asserted to us before a display of images. One wonders how many talking-head interviews were conducted before he obtained the preferred response.
Moore is also hypocritical about the media-induced “culture of fear” seen in “Bowling for Columbine” and that is again a major target of this film. He blames Fox News and the Bush administration for using hyped news coverage and color-coded terror alert levels, he claims, to keep Americans on edge and supportive of the War, but employs the very tactics he supposedly hates: He tells the audience how hundreds of miles of Oregon coastline are unguarded and how airport security allows matches and cigarette lighters on board. He plays ominous music at all the predictable times. He hints at what doom lies ahead if the corrupt Bush is re-elected this year.
Although every documentary should have a point of view, calling “Fahrenheit” such is a misnomer. This film is so propagandistic that anyone emerging from the theater having switched party allegiances is too feeble-minded to be watching primetime television commercials.
Luckily, its media attention ensures that everyone knows by now that Moore came with an agenda. He’s biased, he says, but he’s showing us “the truth.” He vehemently denies that his film has knowingly misrepresented anything, and says all information is true.
As for its accuracy, who knows anymore? An undisputed truth barometer seems nonexistent nowadays, as Moore has created a “war room” of fact-checkers and political analysts dedicated to defending all information in the film (interestingly, he also threatens to sue any who libel him), and despite that, there are already hundreds of published reports, articles and Web sites contesting every allegation and fact stated in the film.
That being said, from a filmic standpoint, “Fahrenheit” is thought-provoking, entertaining and well-made. The funny moments are hilarious, and the serious moments are heartbreaking. A sequence of photographs of smiling Bushes posing with Saudi royals, set to REM’s lyrics about “shiny happy people holding hands,” and the 1940s-style travelogue reel of the “Coalition of the Willing” are classic Moore. Among the most captivating is the footage of the president being informed by aides of the World Trade Center attacks during an elementary school visit on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and the horrific images of desecrated American soldier corpses, which were outlawed in the media by the Patriot Act.
The movie deserves the praise it receives because it encourages us to question the government and the media. By exposing Bush connections and showing the painful, gruesome side of war, Moore presents ineffaceable illustrations of the workings of power, corruption, democracy and war in the human race.
Yes, it’s biased, and no, it’s not a documentary – but this testament to the First Amendment is nothing to fear.
If you believe that a documentary filmmaker assumes journalistic responsibility, this won’t be up for any Pulitzer. But if an artist’s duty is to explain the world as seen through his eyes, Moore succeeds in his crusade, as those who have ever been skeptical of Bush will be seeing 20/20.

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