Fahrenheit 9/11

Corrected entry: The movie lauds an anti-Bush riot that took place in Washington, D.C., on the day of Bush's inauguration. According to Moore, "No president had ever witnessed such a thing on his inauguration day. " According to CNN, Richard Nixon faced comparable protests in 1969 and 1973. According to USA Today, the anti-Bush organizers claimed that they expected 20,000 protesters to show up, whereas the anti-Nixon protest in 1973 drew 60,000 people. (USA Today, Jan. 20, 2001).

Correction: Moore was referring to the fact that no President had to, in a sense, run for cover.

Corrected entry: When Moore is talking about United Defense, who make the Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, there is a cut to some stock footage of an IFV in action. All well and good, except that the vehicle shown is a Warrior, used by the British Army and not manufactured by United Defense.

Correction: Moore never overtly states that the vehicle shown is precisely what he is talking about. The video clip is there simply to show a general illustration of the sort of vehicle he is referencing. Since United Defense makes a similar apparatus, the footage serves its purpose and is not a mistake.

Matty Blast

Corrected entry: Moore implies that the name of James Bath being blacked out from Bush National Guard records which were released by the White House is due to a conspiracy. It's not and the blackout might appear less sinister if Moore revealed that federal law (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, HIPAA) required the National Guard to black out the names any Guardsmen whose medical information was on the same pages as the records which the Guard released regarding George Bush's health records. In Bath's case, he had been suspended for failing to take an annual physical exam. So what Moore presents as a sinister effort to conceal the identity of James Bath was in fact the legally-required compliance with federal law. Moore gloats: "What Bush didn't know was that I already had a copy of his military records - uncensored - obtained in the year 2000." Moore creates the impression that he is an investigative sleuth. Actually, the records had been released in 2000. The privacy regulations for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) went into effect on April 14, 2003, and so did not apply when the National Guard records were released in 2000.

Correction: None of what Moore says is a mistake, it may be misleading and designed to make him look clever but that doesn't make it wrong. This is an overtly political documentary and all he does is provide information and let draw our own conclusions.


Corrected entry: Bush once served on the Board of Directors of the Harken Energy Company. According to Fahrenheit: Moore: "Yes, it helps to be the President's son. Especially when you're being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission." TV reporter: "In 1990 when Mr. Bush was a director of Harken Energy he received this memo from company lawyers warning directors not to sell stock if they had unfavorable information about the company. One week later he sold $848,000 worth of Harken stock. Two months later, Harken announced losses of more than $23 million dollars." Moore: "Bush beat the rap from the SEC" What Moore left out: Bush sold the stock long after he checked with those same "company lawyers" who had provided the cautionary memo, and they told him that the sale was legal. Almost all of the information that caused Harken's large quarterly loss developed only after Bush had sold the stock.

Correction: Moore has a point he wants to make and whether you like it or not, he doesn't have to give you all the information available. His original statement that it helps to be the presidents son has not been disproved by the information that Bush was told the sale was legal. If it was as clear cut as that then why were the SEC investigating?


Corrected entry: Michael Moore interviews Craig Unger and asks: How much money do the Saudis have invested in America, roughly? Unger says, "I've heard figures inside of $860 billion dollars." Later, Moore says, "So I read where like the Saudis have a trillion dollars in our banks of their money." The Saudi Arabian embassy estimates its investment in the United States is $450 billion. An Arab News Editorial dated 22 August 2002 said, "It is reckoned that private Saudi investments abroad amount to $750 billion, of which investments in the US account for 60 percent or $450 billion. Of that, some 35 percent (around $160 billion) is in the US capital market —- equities and bonds. The rest, $290 billion, is mainly in property."

John Pilge

Correction: The mistake is actually in the source that Moore refers to. He doesn't state as fact that the Saudis have one trillion in US banks, he states that he has read this.


Corrected entry: Ray Bradbury, author of "Fahrenheit 451," unsuccessfully tried to block Michael Moore from using the title "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Correction: Bradbury never tried to block Moore's use of the title; he did, however voice extreme displeasure about it and in the Swedish newspaper "Dagens Nyheter" claimed that Moore's publishers had not returned his calls.

Corrected entry: Moore points out the distressingly close relationship between Saudi Arabia's ambassador, Prince Bandar, and the Bush family. But Moore does not explain that Bandar has been a bipartisan Washington power broker for decades, and that former President Bill Clinton repeatedly relied on Bandar to advance Clinton's own Middle East agenda.

Correction: Moore doesn't defend Clinton as the epitome of presidential virtue and certainly never denies that the Clinton administration had dealings with Saudi Arabia. The point is that the relationship between the Bush administration and the Saudis has had a direct effect on American foreign policy in a post-9/11 world. Demanding that Clinton also be blamed is a red herring.


Corrected entry: Fahrenheit asserts that Saddam's Iraq was a nation that "had never attacked the United States. A nation that had never threatened to attack the United States. A nation that had never murdered a single American citizen." The government of Iraq under Saddam permitted a terrorist named Abu Nidal who is certainly responsible for killing an American named Leon Klinghoffer to have Iraq as a safe haven; if Saddam Hussein funded suicide bombers in Israel, including one who did kill 5 Americans in one attack in 2003; if the Iraqi police—now this is not a murder but it's a plan to murder—to assassinate President Bush Sr. which at the time merited airstrikes from President Clinton once that plot was discovered; doesn't that invalidate the claim that the Iraqi government of Saddam never murdered an American or never had a hand in murdering an American

Correction: Moore's statement is literally true: the government of Iraq never attacked the US and never killed a US citizen directly. The connections that the author makes are all indirect and could be interpreted as the Iraqi government "having a hand" in the deaths of Americans, but it's still not the government of Iraq killing Americans.


Corrected entry: Moore mocks Attorney General John Ashcroft by pointing out that Ashcroft once lost a Senate race in Missouri to a man who had died three weeks earlier. "Voters preferred the dead guy." When voters in Missouri cast their ballots for the dead man, Mel Carnahan, they knew they were really voting for Carnahan's widow, Jean. The Democratic governor of Missouri had vowed to appoint Carnahan's widow to the job if he won.

Correction: The point Moore was trying to make was that Mr Ashcroft was held in low regard by the voters. Choosing the unknown quantity that is a someone's wife over an established politician is just as good an indicator of someone's unpopularity.

Richard Johnson

Corrected entry: Moore states in the film, "In his first eight months in office before September 11th, George W. Bush was on vacation, according to the Washington Post, forty-two percent of the time." Shortly before 9/11, the Post calculated that Bush had spent 42 percent of his presidency at vacation spots or en route, including all or part of 54 days at his ranch. That calculation, however, includes weekends, which Moore failed to mention. Many of those days are weekends, and the Camp David stays have included working visits with foreign leaders. Since the Eisenhower administration, Presidents have usually spent many weekends at Camp David, which is fully equipped for Presidential work. Once the Camp David time is excluded, Bush's "vacation" time drops to 13 percent.

Correction: First: Moore doesn't make the claim, he repeats it. Second: Weekends account for a little under 29% of a week; therefore, it had to be more than weekends in the 42% figure. Third: Camp David is a get-away for Presidents. It is a "vacation" even if it is for the weekend. Clinton spent much of his time in DC in the white house.

Corrected entry: Michael Moore shows a clip of CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin saying that if ballots had been recounted in Florida after the 2000 presidential vote, "under every scenario Gore won the election." What Moore doesn't show is that a six-month study in 2001 by news organizations including The New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN found just the opposite. Even if the Supreme Court had not stopped a statewide recount, or if a more limited recount of four heavily Democratic counties had taken place, Bush still would have won Florida and the election.

Correction: This is an ongoing debate. The truth is no one of the general public will know for sure who won the popular vote. Moore is showing is point of view on the issue. It doesn't mean that he lied about it.


Corrected entry: Moore says, "The plan to have Bush get out of the limo for the traditional walk to the White House was scrapped." But according to the BBC, "Mr. Bush delighted his supporters by getting out of his limousine and walked the last block of the parade, holding hands with his wife Laura."

Correction: The traditional walk is the whole way, not just the last block.


Corrected entry: Moore shows himself filming the movie near the Saudi embassy in Washington, D.C.: Moore: "Even though we were nowhere near the White House, for some reason the Secret Service had shown up to ask us what we were doing standing across the street from the Saudi embassy." Officer: "That's fine. Just wanted to get some information on what was going on." Moore on camera: "Yeah yeah yeah, I didn't realize the Secret Service guards foreign embassies." Officer: "Uh, not usually, no sir." But in fact, any tourist to Washington, DC, will see plenty of Secret Service agents guarding all of the other foreign embassies which request such protection. Other than guarding the White House and some federal buildings, it's the largest use of personnel by the Secret Service's Uniformed Division. According to the Secret Service website: Uniformed Division officers provide protection for the White House Complex, the Vice-President's residence, the Main Treasury Building and Annex, and foreign diplomatic missions and embassies in the Washington, DC area. So there is nothing strange about the Secret Service protecting the Saudi embassy in Washington, especially since al Qaeda attacks have taken place against Saudi Arabia. According to Article 22 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, an international agreement which has been ratified by the United States, every host country (including the United States) is obliged to protect every embassy within its borders.

Correction: If Moore asks a question and gets an answer, how is that a mistake in the film? Is it not the officer's mistake for not knowing his job description? Now, if Moore had asked a milkman I could see a mistake.

Corrected entry: Fahrenheit mocks President Bush for continuing to read the book "My Pet Goat" to a classroom of elementary school children after he was told about the September 11 attacks. Actually, as reported in the magazine "The New Yorker," the book was "Reading Mastery 2," which contains an exercise called "The Pet Goat."

Correction: What the commentary actually says is that Bush continued reading "My Pet Goat". There is no mention of whether it is a book or a story. The core of the error is the slightly different title.

Corrected entry: In one 2000 election scene the movie states that Fox news declared a winner in Florida before any other network and that Bush had won. Actually Fox declared last and said that Gore had won Florida.

Correction: Actually, the movie emphatically states that Fox news declared Bush as the winner in Florida before any other station *declared Bush the winner.* While Fox did make an initial declaration last, and did say that Gore had won, it quickly revised and declared Florida for Bush--the first station to do so.

Corrected entry: Michael Moore was born and raised in Davison, Michigan and not Flint, Michigan which he states in his movies. He attended Davison High School. Davison, Michigan is near Flint. However, it has a higher standard of living and lower poverty and unemployment rate than Flint.

Correction: Looking at a map, I can see that Davison is a tiny speck of a suburb of Flint. Most people who live in suburbs (even large ones) of well-known cities (as I do) do not hesitate in telling people that they are from the city rather than the suburb.

Corrected entry: The movie mentions the "coalition of the willing" as being a few insignificant nations like Iceland with no military. However, as of The transfer of sovereignty in Iraq on June 28, 2004, a total of 32 countries had 25,000 troops in Iraq along with another 135,000 from the U.S. Great Britain, Poland, and Italy each had thousands of troops in Iraq as of the transfer.

Correction: Everybody knows the Allies are powerful countries (Spain, UK, etc), but Moore tries to show how Bush managed in the beginning to ally to poor countries with almost no troops not to be alone in this "peace proccess".


Corrected entry: Moore states that "out of the 535 members of Congress, only one had an enlisted son in Iraq." The action of the segment consists of Moore accosting Congressmen to try to convince them to have their children enlist in the military. At the end, Moore declares, "Not a single member of Congress wanted to sacrifice their child for the war in Iraq." But the fact is, Moore's opening ("only one") and his conclusion ("not a single member") are both incorrect. Sergeant Brooks Johnson, the son of South Dakota Democratic Senator Tim Johnson, serves in the 101st Airborne Division and fought in Iraq in 2003. The son of California Republican Representative Duncan Hunter quit his job after September 11, and enlisted in the Marines; his artillery unit was deployed in the heart of insurgent territory in February 2004. Delaware Senator Joseph Biden's son Beau is on active duty; although Beau Biden has no control over where he is deployed, he has not been sent to Iraq, and therefore does not "count" for Moore's purposes. Seven members of Congress have been confirmed to have children in the military.

Correction: When he states that "Not a single member of Congress wanted to sacrifice their child for the war in Iraq." He is commenting on his trying to get the Congressmen to enlist their children on the steps of Congress. None of them agreed on that day.

Corrected entry: There were two competing plans to access untapped oil supplies. These two plans were: 1) The Unocal Plan-to run pipelines to Afganistan 2) The Enron Plan-to run pipelines under the Caspian Sea. The Unocal Plan would have provided funding to the Taliban. Former President Clinton supported this plan. Unocal eventually shelved its plan. Later, after the 2000 presidential election and the September 11th terrorist attacks, the new Afghan government signed a deal to permit the pipeline). However, originally President George Bush backed the Enron Plan. It appears Michael Moore may have confused his pipelines.

Correction: Mr. Bush endorsed both pipelines. Initially he supported the Enron line the most, but after Enron topple he started to support Unocal pipeline. No confusion. Further, the US officials that made the pipeline deal with the Afganistan started their work before the war started, and the clan that ended up giving them the best offer, was the one that 'won' the rulership afterwards. Even though this clan is far from the largest, most central or most popular among the people.

Corrected entry: In the movie, Moore states that on September 12th, 2001, the day after the September 11th attacks, that the U.S. government "secretly" flew the Bin Laden family out of the U.S. when the all flights were grounded. However, this is not true. The Bin Laden family was flown out of the U.S. for their own safety on September 15th, 2001, all all domestic flights were allowed to resume normal operations. Also, Moore states that the Bush family has close ties with the Bin Laden family. But what he does not mention is that the Bin Laden family had severed ties with Osama Bin Laden many, many years ago and has written him off due to his radical and terroristic behavior and ideas.

Correction: If one were to watch the film, they would see that Moore does in fact address that the Bin Ladens have severed ties with Osama. It's said that they officialy cut ties with him, but one of his experts claims that Osama was present at a large Bin Laden wedding only a few years ago, and whether they've actually cut ties with him is in question. He also does say that the Bin Ladens were flown out September 15th, he states the the meetings took place on the 12th to fly them out.


Factual error: A headline from the Pantagraph (an Illinois newspaper) dated 19 December 2001, is shown in big letters to read, "Latest Florida recount shows Gore won election." In fact, no edition of the Pentagraph has ever featured an article that claimed this. The only time those words appeared in that newspaper was in small print over a letter to the editor dated 5 December 2001.

More mistakes in Fahrenheit 9/11

Jeffrey Tobin: If there was a statewide recount, under every scenario, Gore won the election.
Narrator: It won't matter, just so long as all of your daddy's friends on the Su-preme Court vote the right way.

More quotes from Fahrenheit 9/11

Trivia: Has the highest weekend opening gross ($23 million) of any documentary. It also holds the record as the highest-grossing documentary of all time ($222 million worldwide, $119 million in the US alone).

More trivia for Fahrenheit 9/11

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