6.25.2004

Fahrenheit Fact no. 14: Legislative sons in active service

In one particularly tasteless portion of the film, Moore attempts to flag down a few congressmen and "convince" them to sign their children up for military service, thus implying that our legislators represent an "elite" who will not send their sons and daughters to die in unpopular foreign wars (a'la Vietnam). Despite the fact that no national draft has been instituted and that military service is voluntary, Moore has presented us with a half-baked half-truth. For instance, Brooks Johnson, the son of Senator Tim Johnson (a democratic senator from South Dakota), is currently serving with distinction in the 101st Airborne. Also, regardless of what you think of Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), it's undeniable that he helped to pin the bars on his son, Beau Biden, who is a member of the Delaware Army National Guard (there's a picture of him being sworn in here). Although Beau isn't in the line of fire (he is currently practicing as a judge advocate), he is a military serviceman nonetheless. Another interesting fact: Attorney General John Ashcroft, defender of the much-maligned Patriot Act and punching bag of the liberal left, has a son who is currently on active duty in the Middle East. His name is Andrew Ashcroft, and he serves in the Persian Gulf aboard a naval destroyer called the USS McFaul (you can find the reference a few paragraphs down here). Furthermore, new evidence reveals that Representative Kennedy (R-MN), one of the lawmakers accosted in Fahrenheit 9/11, was censored by Michael Moore. According to the Star Tribune, Kennedy, when asked if he would be willing to send his son to Iraq, responded by stating that he had a nephew who was en-route to Afghanistan. He went on to inform Moore that his son was thinking about a career in the navy and that two of his nephews had already served in the armed forces,
Kennedy's side of the conversation, however, was cut from the film, leaving him looking bewildered and defensive.
What was Michael's excuse for trimming the key segment? Kennedy's remarks didn't help his thesis:
"He mentioned that he had a nephew that was going over to Afghanistan," Moore recounted. "So then I said 'No, no, that's not our job here today. We want you to send your child to Iraq. Not a nephew.' "
Kennedy lambasted Moore as a "master of the misleading" after viewing the interview in question. But that's not all. Another ambushed legislator, Representative John Tanner, was accosted by Moore while he was rushing to get to the floor of Congress. The Hill reports that Tanner
"[...] didn't even know who Michael Moore was [...] He asked me if I voted for the war and if I'd send my children to the war. I told him I did and that my children were full grown."