Greg Palast is no Michael Moore, and his attempted take-down of President George W. Bush, Bush Family Fortunes, is certainly no Fahrenheit 9/11. This hour-long documentary is backed by lefty UK newspaper The Guardian and the BBC, so it's clear from the start that Palast isn't exactly attempting to present a fair and balanced look at his subject. Palast, an "award-winning" reporter who has been lauded primarily for similar hit pieces on Tony Blair and Rev. Pat Robertson, has all the liberal talking points down, though his presentation is not only less than convincing, it's virtually sleep inducing.
Anyone who follows politics from either side of the aisle will have heard all of Palast's arguments before: Bush's family connections got him out of Vietnam; he didn't show up for his National Guard duty; he stole the 2000 election from Al Gore by disenfranchising African-American voters in Florida and then stopping the recount; all the way down to the supposed connections with the Bin Laden family. Whether you believe these allegations or not, Palast provides no new evidence or insight into any of the topics he tackles.
In one instance, it's more a matter of bad timing than anything else. For his attack on Bush's supposed shirking of his guard duty, Palast relies on a sole interviewee: former Texas national guardsman Bill Burkett. Of course, we know now that Burkett was the source for those forged documents that have caused Dan Rather and CBS so much trouble. So it's more than a little hard to believe him when he tells Palast with conviction that Bush was AWOL during his time with the guard.
But here's the thing: in a film like this, it doesn't matter if your allegations are true or not. Democrats and liberals will see an attack film on Bush to have their own beliefs confirmed; Republicans and conservatives will go to get worked into a fervor. That's how Fahrenheit 9/11 grossed more than $100 million in the US alone.