Fact-checking Michael Moore

Michael Moore's previous films have generated a cottage industry of conservative commentators eager to find examples of sloppiness and exaggeration, but as New York Times reporter Philip Shenon observes, "if 'Fahrenheit 9/11' attracts the audience Mr. Moore and his distributors are predicting, Mr. Moore may face an onslaught of fact-checking unlike anything he - or any other documentary filmmaker - has ever experienced. After all, White House officials and the Bush family began impugning the film even before any of them had seen it." Shenon, who has spent a year covering the federal commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, viewed the film's premiere and says, "it seems safe to say that central assertions of fact in 'Fahrenheit 9/11' are supported by the public record (indeed, many of them will be familiar to those who have closely followed Mr. Bush's political career)." To make doubly sure, Moore has hired outside fact-checkers to vet the film.