‘An onslaught of attack’

Court: Michael Moore did not defame Iraq vet

Michael Moore

A federal appeals court has ruled filmmaker Michael Moore did not defame an Iraq war veteran when Moore used a clip from a television interview without his permission in the anti-war documentary –Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Moore says he makes “movies that point out larger truths” and then has to “suffer through an onslaught of attack.”

Moore said he hasn’t lost a lawsuit in 17 years of film-making, which shows his movies are accurate.

No, that shows that he didn’t break any laws.

I can say anything I want, and unless what I say is illegal, I won’t lose a lawsuit. That doesn’t mean anything I say “accurate,” does it?

–At some point, I’m wondering, when do I get to catch a break?” Moore said.

In the interview in the movie, Damon was asked about the painkiller he was being given. Damon wasn’t terribly happy about the medicine and said so, but the scene was shown shortly after a scene where Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash.,said that the Bush administration was “leaving all kinds of veterans behind.” Damon says that the clips location gives it the appearance of supporting McDermott’s claim, which he does not.

Judge Aida Delgado-Colon said that while Damon’s anger and frustration were understandable, the clip could not reasonably be construed as defamatory under state law.

“There is no reason to believe that a reasonable member of the military or veteran community would conclude that Damon’s appearance in the documentary conveyed a defamatory meaning, and therefore lowered his reputation or subjected him to scorn, hatred, ridicule or contempt in that community,” according to the court’s March 21 ruling.

Good call, Judge. The reason Damon filed the lawsuit was that members of his unit criticized him for appearing in Moore’s movie.

I guess Murdoc’s legal advice would be: Don’t agree to appear in a Michael Moore film if you care whether or not you will be shown to say or think what you said or thought.

Remember:

The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not “insurgents” or “terrorists” or “The Enemy.” They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win.

–Michael Moore, April 2004

Comments

  1. I guess Murdoc’s legal advice would be: Don’t agree to appear in a Michael Moore film if you care whether or not you will be shown to say or think what you said or thought. Well, this is the twisted thing (If I remember correctly): He did NOT agree to appear in a Michael Moore film. He was interviewed by a news team. Later, Michael Moore needed some footage to manufacture a segment which appears to support his argument. He simply bought the rights from the news outlet. AFAIK McDermott probably found about it when the movie was released. If some slob calls me on my intercom claiming to be a card carrying NAR member, or if some strange acting dude vaguely resembling Sacha Baron Cohen I know not to sign or say sh*t. But when you are talking to a bona fide news crew, you do not expect to be part of some slobby film makers propaganda machine.

  2. Don’t agree to appear in a Michael Moore film if you care whether or not you will be shown to say or think what you said or thought.’ Don’t talk to any media for the same reason, be it local news, national news, print.

  3. Okay, I didn’t realize that Moore used news footage. I really did think it was an interview either for Moore or used with permission.

  4. But when you are talking to a bona fide news crew, you do not expect to be part of some slobby film makers propaganda machine.

    Yeah, but it’s REALLY HARD to tell the difference between them sometimes.

  5. Lovely picture of MIke, with the article. It really kinda captures his essence, don’t you think? LOL!

  6. ‘At some point, I’m wondering, when do I get to catch a break?’ Moore said.

    If a break had any caloric value, he’d have caught one years ago.