Many blogs have already noted Tuesday’s amazingly quick, and quick-witted, video response by Senator Fred Thompson to the re-surfaced Michael Moore’s open letter.
Blogger Bob Krumm said it best when he argued that Senator Thompson’s response speed could be a powerful factor should he decide to run, particularly compared to lumbering campaign operations like Senator Hillary Clinton’s.
The video, though, is also important from another perspective. Let’s examine Michael Moore’s pathetically predictable modus operandi. He’s got a movie coming out at Cannes in a few weeks. Despite being publicly silent for two years, he breaks into the news last week with a manufactured controversy, which is immediately lapped up by the media. If you think this is a genuine turn of events, you weren’t watching closely enough in 2004, when Moore manufactured a fake controversy just prior to the release of his last film, Fahrenheit 9/11. While there were folks who were watching and responding to Moore (myself included), the mainstream media did the entirely expected: they parroted Moore’s talking points, helping him to a $100 million-plus box office take.
So here’s why Senator Thompson’s video is important. While critics of Moore like myself and many other bloggers are typically viewed by the media as conservative cranks at best, the gravitas that Senator Thompson lends to a critique of Moore simply cannot be ignored, and will only grow more watchable to as the campaign season goes on. Particularly if all his responses- to Moore and other public idiots- are as clever and as devastating as his retort this week.
Others with stature and media oxygen have wisely chosen to ignore Michael Moore, a position I commend and support. At the same time, I am grateful to see somebody taking another approach, and facing Moore head-on. It’s a battle of wits Moore frequently baits people to engage in, if only for his own rewards, and he often chooses poorly. This time, a man who severely outmatches him has chosen to flick him away, in 30 seconds or less, for the world to see and share. I’m looking forward to the next time Moore, or somebody of his ilk, challenges Senator Thompson.