Monday, July 12, 2004

Easterbrook Mismeasures Moore

Gregg Easterbrook tells bigger fibs than Michael Moore does (Daily Express, TNR On-line, July 12th). Moore stretches and simplifies, but he rarely lies outright. Concerning whether a B-52 was killing Vietnamese people on Christmas Eve of 1972, who is more likely to be to correct: Moore, who extrapolates from the commemoratory plaque that the bomber wouldn't have encountered a MIG unless it had been so engaged, or Easterbrook, who seems to suggest that the encounter between the B-52 and the MIG was purely accidental. It is possible to celebrate the amazing skill required to shoot down a MIG while also deploring the mission of the B-52: these are not contradictory positions. Easterbrook thinks Moore is anti-American, but maybe Easterbrook is just anti-Vietnamese. Most of the supposed errors people like SpinSanity and others seize upon are of the same sort: small technical omissions that obscure a larger and deeper truth that the rest of us can clearly see if we just open our eyes.

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