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Monday, September 06, 2004

Small sample statistics and Michael Moore

Michael Moore is supposedly going to pursue the oscar for Best Picture rather than the oscar for Best Documentary. It is a good thing that Moore at least implicitly admits that Fahrenheit 9/11 is not a documentary.

Moore's reasoning is based upon his hubris, for the most part, but also because everyone tells him that the movie is so popular and has a dramatic impact on them. Supposedly a friend of Moore's did some sidewalk statistics:
He told me how he had conducted an informal poll with "Fahrenheit 9/11" audiences in three different cities and the results were all the same. "Essentially, 80% of the people going IN to see your movie are already likely Kerry voters and the movie has galvanized them in a way you rarely see Democrats galvanized.

"But, here's the bad news for Bush: Though 80% going IN to your movie are Kerry voters, 100% of those COMING OUT of your movie are Kerry voters. You can't come out of this movie and say, 'I am absolutely and enthusiastically voting for George W. Bush.'"
What a load of crap. So this guy goes around in three cities and actually interviews every single person in the theater, before and after?

Likely Moore's friend interviewed a subsample of those who saw the movie, who are themselves a subsample of those who can go see movies (I am not in that mix with a three month old), who are themselves a subsample of the overall voting popoulation.

This is how John Kerry was nominated for president by the Democrats - subpopulations of subpopulations of subpopulations of Democrats voted in the primaries and the next thing you know - tada!!

Both approaches are equally bad, although nominating your movie for Best Picture is considerably less important than running for president.

Moore wants to get the movie on television the night before the election, which would have to qualify, in spirit, as a violation of our latest attempt to regulate campaign financing - which I thought Michael Moore was in favor of, but I guess only if it shuts up conservatives.

More of my take on Moore: I don't support Moore mainly because Moore doesn't seem to support himself. In just about every interview I have seen of him he has a different story and reason for why Bush is a jerk. Perhaps all of his reasons are in the movie, but I doubt it. I think Moore is the Andy Warhol of our time - he is only out to make money and puts together absolutely unbelievable conspiracy theories and sells them to a portion of the public desperate to believe that the conspiracies are possible. Much like Warhol (note: inadvertent typo in original post - sorry Mark Wohar) would call a Campbell's soup can art and a lot of people would agree with him, if only to seem cool, Moore does the same thing with anti-conservative plot lines. Lots of people will agree with Moore that Bush knew about 9-11 before it happened, whether he is actually right or wrong, because agreeing with him is so cool.

Moore is laughing all the way to the bank, and while he may actually subscribe to some "liberal" philosophy, I think his actions speak much louder than his words - the guy is a capitalist but a shyster, more akin to the snake oil salesman of old (with as much potential for damage) than the Bill Gates of today.

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