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Movie Review: Fahrenheit 9/11

Updated on December 10, 2014

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a 2004 documentary directed by Michael Moore. This documentary is basically based on George Bush’s presidency, the September 11 events, war on terror and how it was covered by the mainstream media. Moore also explains how the Bush administration used the tragic even of September 11 to push forward its agenda for its wars “against terror” in places as Iraq and Afghanistan. His focus on the media concerning its role in this Bush’s war against terror was that the media acted as “cheerleaders” in the Iraq invasion on did not provide accurate information concerning the proceedings of this war.

Basically, Michael Moore argues that the Bush administrations had failed to take relevant action in defending America after the events of September 9/11. Instead, as he explains, he used the events in setting his agenda of backing his “corrupt practices”. In this film, he employs footages, facts, and interviews from various figures to illustrate this argument that the then president Bush and his administration actually got Americans into more trouble from the war on the terror agenda instigated by his administration. The title “Fahrenheit 9/11" is derived from a popular novel title by Ray Bradbury "Fahrenheit 451” which is translated to mean a society with repressive, authoritarian regime where books are outlawed and crime are the subversive ideas. In this book, a protagonist is awakened and joins the struggle to transform the society, Moore himself in this category.

Most journalists could acknowledge that the objective in their reporting is maintaining impartiality in their work. This aspect has continued to become rare, thanks to the rapid development of the internet and cable news stations. Though Michal Moore pokes fingers to media men in his “Fahrenheit 9/11", for contributing to the Iraq war, he ironically becomes an example of impartiality in this documentary for being biased in his reporting. To claim that the media joined hands in promoting the Iraq war is totally an exaggeration. It is acknowledged that the media in US at that time held the government responsible for the Iraq invasion.

Fallacies in the Movie


In one scene, Moore explains that Bush could have read the security briefing that was offered to him towards the end of 2001 which claimed that Osama Bin Laden had a plan of high jacking American planes. Although this may not be a pointer that the then president had not gone through the security briefing, Moore uses it here as a sarcastic remark to refer the fact that he had been aware of such a briefing but ultimately did nothing on it. Another sarcasm comment which Moore uses in this movie is the claim that the tile of the memo was given to Bush because he had not come across the actual memo.

He out rightly ignores the fact that what the actual memo contained was more important than the title itself. Ignoring crucial facts which you think will jeopardize your argument is not at all scholarly. The commentator could have alternatively argued that the memo contents were not adequate to supersede the alarm which its title raised.


In This film, Moore cleverly combines his narration and images to give a perception that AlGore was somewhere celebrating because he believed that he had won an election. When viewing the film, I had thought that it was an interesting revelation only to learn later that it was an outright lie. Another deceit used in this film is the implication by Moore that other networks altered those verdicts with regard to elections because the conservative fox did so. This was a great contradiction from the popular public assumption and I was very amazed to find this in this view. All those present in America at that time would attest that CBS, CNN and other mainstream media became the first entities to withdraw their support for Algore and not Fox. This was what mad the valid of the election to be doubted in the public eye. The election became doubtful when many people were asleep. Fox projected Bush as the winner at 2.16 a.m before the actual results were decided. They were followed subsequently by other media because the data inn which they were working was the same. Though Fox were the first to declare Bush the winner, Moore was however misleading in his narrations.


In this movie Moore asserts that Bush was on vacation around 42 percent of this time, using an article in the Washington Post. Though Moore does not seem to have a bad intention in citing this figure which was wrongly cited in the Washington post, it appears that there are some wrong facts he used and which out rightly misleads people to have wrong assumptions. The miscalculation of Bush’s vacation time may have been attributed to the fact that much work was being done at that particular time, yet it is just an issue can be disagreed by any normal people. Though we may not have the required data to evaluate the time management of Bush in greater depth, the depiction of Bush by Mr. Moore as basically having many vacations or loafing is out rightly valid.

Another ignorance of Moore is the Bush context in responding to a security issue from journalist while on a golf course. President George Bush is captured as being too much concerned on golf than his leadership in the war against terror and civilization. Holding a golf stick, he speaks to reporters “I call all worldwide states to do everything to prevent terrorism and the killers”. Here Moore ignores the fact that Bush was talking about another subject i.e Israel bombings.


As a polemic, Fahrenheit 9/11 is masterful created, but it cannot be regarded as a basis for informed decision making or judgment. The documentary by Moore subsequently caused a lot of controversies regarding the reign of Bush and his administration. These controversies include his relationship with Saudi Arabia, American military, the Iraq and Afghanistan war as well as the September 11, 2001 attacks. Moore claims that all these events are products of the conspiracy by the then president and his administration, plus other antagonists such as Osama bin Laden and his family. Such controversies which are not clearly substantiated can distort the perception of the people towards their government. We can rightly point here that Moore movie attains the notion of exaggerations and false accusations.

The main argument for Moore is that Bush had dubbed the American citizens. Other supplementary conclusion we can make is that America is fighting a war between those who have and those who don’t have. We can also conclude that Americans depended on the Bush government at least as per that time for protection.


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