- ... The secret of his success: his books are billed as fact, but contain myths woven together with conspiracy theory. He has discovered a powerful trick being copied by authors hungry for fortune - and, increasingly, by politicians hungry for votes.
... Spurned by his success, Mr Moore has swapped his luxury Manhattan flat for the Cannes Film Festival this week to preview Fahrenheit 9/11 - a film with which he says he wants to topple the US president.
...Mr Moore takes up the story: "Nobody could go up in the sky. Except the administration allowed a private Saudi jet to go to five American cities and pick up 20 members of the bin Laden family and get them out of the country. And the FBI was very upset that they didn’t get to interrogate them."
This is truly remarkable. But it is also flatly untrue - as proven by the bipartisan 9/11 Committee, which found that the planes with Saudis took off only after airspace reopened and the FBI had interviewed 22 of the 26 suspects. The White House was not involved.
This is, sadly, by no means the only myth masquerading as fact in Moore’s bestselling books. There are entire websites devoted to nailing down the parts where he’s dressed up gossip as gospel, or concocted entire arguments...
A while ago, he was challenged by CNN about "glaring inaccuracies" in Stupid White Men. "This is a book of political humour. So, I mean, I don’t respond to that sort of stuff, you know ... How can there be inaccuracy in comedy?"
A wonderful caveat. Mr Moore makes his money from people who think the facts he presents are true. His Oscar was for documentary, not fiction. Yet his policy, it seems, is to make ’em laugh - even if that means bending the truth.
Mr Moore is neither venal nor stupid. He has become the world’s richest comedian by taking a political theme, sexing it up with a few deliberate distortions and then dressing it all as fact: even if this means misleading his audience.
... The sadness is that both hit strong themes which deserve strong attention. Fahrenheit 9/11 is based out the outrage of the West propping up the House of Saud - which, in turn, houses the most fanatical regime in the world now that the Taleban have left Afghanistan.
It deserves to be lambasted: but a comedian who is misleading his audience with twisted and bent facts is doing this far more effectively than politicians, with whom a higher bar of truth is required.
So is the moral of the story that truth is superfluous? Or that politicians should stop presuming that the voter’s IQ sinks to room temperature at election time?
A look at the campaigns for the 10 June elections in Britain suggests that Moore-style populism is winning over...
This is not a new game - in literature, at least. From Froissart’s Chronicles to John Prebble’s works on Scottish history, fact has for centuries been mixed with fiction to make the end result more entertaining.
But fighting lies with even bigger lies is no recipe for political success. Tell some tall stories in books, and you can make lots of cash, as Mr Moore has proved so successfully. But mislead voters and the result will be millions who will not bother to vote at all - and start to believe comedians in baseball caps instead.
by Fraser Nelson, "Scottish news direct from Scotland", 19 May 2004
Cм. про то же - по сути самое - но только на иных примерах: Протоколы Мура