Political satire and entertainment…

Spinsanity takes Michael Moore to task for factual errors and lapses of logic in his new movie “Bowling for Columbine.” First, let me say that I find Moore entertaining. I enjoyed “Roger and Me” and his show “TV Nation.” If you’ve been reading Rhetorica for at least a few weeks, then you know that I hold entertainers in low regard when they attempt to be political pundits, i.e. attempt to be taken seriously. Part of the problem with Moore is that he is a good satirist (i.e. wants to be taken seriously), but he damages his credibility when he gets the facts wrong or fails to make a cogent argument. Satirists should be entertaining, but should not be merely entertaining. Moore would be more effective as a satirist if he followed more carefully the venerable models of Swift and Twain, as Ben Fritz suggests.

One of Spinsanity’s readers left a comment suggesting Moore and Ann Coulter should date. Are they flip sides of the same coin? Hmmmm… I’ll suggest they are not. Coulter is not a satirist. Satire requires a talent to be funny, and in my estimation she isn’t. Nor do I think she’s trying to be funny. But she is very entertaining.