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Veteran Sues Michael Moore for False Portrayal

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It comes as absolutely no surprise to me that Michael Moore is being sued for misrepresenting facts in one of his films. That is, after all, his bread and butter.

Sgt. Peter Damon is asking for $85 million due to "loss of reputation, emotional distress, embarrassment, and personal humiliation." He says the documentarian falsely portrayed him as expressing anti-government sentiments in Fahrenheit 9/11. Damon lost both of his arms in Iraq when the tire of the Blackhawk helicopter he was servicing blew up. Moore's film uses a clip of Damon that originally aired on NBC Nightly News in which he complains about the pain and gives a (metaphorical) thumbs up to a new pain killer the military gave him.

The crux of Damon's argument is that his clip was situated soon after a clip of a U.S. Representative accusing the Bush administration of "leaving veterans behind," thus implying that Damon was one such veteran. In his lawsuit, Damon avers that he supports Bush and the war, and he points to the extensive treatment he got at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the house that was built for him by Homes For Our Troops as evidence that he wasn't left behind.

Michael Moore is always getting caught playing fast and loose with the truth, largely because he seems to work backwards. He arrives at a conclusion (Bush is evil, Bush is white, guns actually do kill people, etc.) and then assembles his hand-picked evidence. I often agree with Moore's conclusions, but I would never endorse his methods, which give journalism — if this is even possible — a bad name.

Conservatives will be quick to jump on the Moore-bashing bandwagon, and you can see this story getting prominent attention on Drudge right now. They'll have to do some Michael Moore-style obfuscating, however, to justify the preposterous award Damon is seeking. $85 million for "personal distress" hardly fits in with the philosophy of tort reform. But hey, what's another hypocrite?

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  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I find it particularly ironic that Damon’s injury is something which could have happened to him just as easily on a base safe at home or working in civilian aircraft maintenance and is really not combat related at all. That’s the real sign of how far Moore had to reach to get the results he wanted.

    Dave

  • MCH

    And actually he could have used a civilian who was injured in a car wreck here at home, since some of the keyboard troopers compare being killed in combat to traffic fatalities.

  • http://spatulaforum.blogspot.com Nik

    And why did he wait 2+ years after the movie’s release to sue? Curious. I don’t agree with Moore’s selective tactics, but this is just a run at the cash bank.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Well of cours it is, Nik. But at least it’s a deserving target for once. The $85 million figure is laughable, but he’s making a good point nonetheless.

    Dave

  • tommyd

    Damon appears to be an opportunist. He doesn’t really have a case. He spoke on record to NBC and his words were possibly taken out of context? Uh, happens all the time buddy! And he’s suing Moore for $85 million? Yea, right, maybe in the next world.

    Damon suffered an unfortunate injury but when you talk to the press and go on record, you take your chances, man.

  • http://www.berenforcongress.com Steve Beren

    As the Republican candidate opposing Jim McDermott in this year’s election, I can say that this matter is just one more example of how extreme and unethical McDermott is. I want to help Sgt. Damon in any way I can. As I said in my May 27 speech to the state GOP convention:

    “I support our troops in Iraq. They are today’s ‘band of brothers.’ I support them and I support their mission. Their mission is our mission. But Jim McDermott has called our troops in Iraq ‘a continued irritant.’ Actually it is McDermott who is an irritant to the state of Washington. If ever a congressman should pursue an ‘exit strategy,’ it’s Jim McDermott.”

    Steve Beren
    http://www.berenforcongress.com

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    Welcome to Blogcritics, Mr. Beren.

  • Clavos

    This article is another home run, Mr. Blackwell!

  • Lumpy

    The sad part is that this will probably have no impact at all on the bloated, lying egomaniac.

  • http://victorplenty.blogspot.com Victor Plenty

    Now now, Lumpy, there’s no reason to bring Limbaugh into this.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Oh my bad, I thought he was talking about Cheney or Falwell

  • http://www.snarkattack.info/ Snarkattack

    I completely agree with you saying that Moore gives journalism a bad name. I generally share his points of view but the methods in which he tries to get them across are truly appalling – I discovered this upon reading Stupid White Men. He needs to start backing up the facts or claims he makes (particularly in his written material) with academic references. It gets tiresome sifting through what is fact and fiction with this fellow.

  • zingzing

    hey steve beren–what’s the SWP?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Socialist Workers Party – they’re the group which runs MoveOn.org, CodePink and other activist groups from behind the scenes.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    huh. funny.

    beren likes to flop around all over the political spectrum. probably just in time for election season.

  • http://jonsobel.com/ Jon Sobel

    Dave, Moveon.org is not by any stretch of the imagination “run” by your personal boogeyman, the Socialist Workers Party. Moveon.org is a “big tent” organization that allies with several wings of the left, including the far left. Only in America are political alliances among factions considered weird or threatening by nature.

  • http://www.mytown.ca/sakin Larry A. Sakin

    I think Sgt. Damon will have a difficult time proving damages. Its unlikely that his appearance in Moore’s film will cause him undue stress or impact his future earning ability.

    And Tommyd nailed it when he wrote “When you go on the record with the press, you take your chances.”

  • http://www.tresbleu/blogspot.com Sister Ray

    Glad this brave vet is calling Moore on his dishonest editing.

    Now, I’m going to indulge in reading the “Man Sued Over Not Giving Orgasms” thread that was right above this one. So tempting!

  • John

    This is ridiculous. The fact that the plaintiff is happy with how the law is supporting wounded vets has nothing to do with Moore’s point. And I can’t see how that segment can be viewed as implying that the plaintiff agreed with Moore in any way. The Bush Administration has far surpassed Osama bin Laden in the number of deaths they are respectively responsible for, and it uses guys like this plaintiff as cannon fodder. The only real winners are the corporate fat cats that put Bush in office. Even if the plaintiff is proud to be a wounded hero extolling some higher glory in the war machine, millions of us would rather he have gotten hurt painting his house or something, and have left the other victims of war alive and well.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    You’re quite right, Jon. Moveon.org also draws a great deal of support from CPUSA.

    Dave

  • IgnatiusReilly

    What is brave about issuing a frivolous law suit? If he signed his likeness away to NBC, he no longer owns it.

  • Arch Conservative

    Frivoulous lawsuit’s are the left’s forte.

    Aside from the lawsuit I think many on the left are angry that this guy even had the gall to question “Moore’s masterpiece of truth.”

    Imagine that… a liberal actually being taken to task about something they said……. well I never………..

  • Clavos

    According to CNN, back in January Sgt. Damon appeared onstage with Ted Chappaquiddick Kennedy at a speech Kennedy gave to the lefty Center For American Progress in which he (Kennedy)denounced the war (surprise!).

    Kinda negates Sgt. Damon’s current stance–too bad.

  • Clavos

    Re my #23: that was supposed to be January, 2004–I can’t type.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    “Frivoulous lawsuit’s are the left’s forte.”

    I statement made by smeone who obviously knows nothing about the law or legal profession.

  • Arch Conservative

    According to CNN, back in January Sgt. Damon appeared onstage with Ted Chappaquiddick Kennedy at a speech Kennedy gave to the lefty Center For American Progress in which he (Kennedy)denounced the war (surprise!).

    Kinda negates Sgt. Damon’s current stance–too bad.

    Is that anything like “I voted for the war before I voted against it,” Clavos?

  • Clavos

    Arch, are you saying the Sgt’s a flip-flopper???

  • http://www.cooltimbers.com Doug

    RE Nick “And why did he wait 2+ years after the movie’s release to sue? ”

    Well let me see.. he had both arms blown off, a fellow worker killed, and he needed to get his body patched up. He needed to learn how to do the daily routines we take for granted.

    Please watch video at homesforourtroops.org Just willingly going into a combat arena makes the man a hero in my eyes.