Main Documentary Of Lies Discussion

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03:30:24 PM Jun 10th 2017
I'd like to call for the removal of this page. If real documentaries that can be proven to be lying about their main points aren't allowed to be listed here, the page is pointless.
12:57:27 PM Aug 16th 2017
I second this.

If we're going to walk on eggshells by cutting real docs full of provable bullshit (which is the actual trope in the first place) we might as well delete the entire page.
01:49:40 AM May 7th 2015
The Blackfish example needs to be looked at. It doesn't provide any claims in the documentary that are outright false, doesn't mention that orcas in captivity actually do live much shorter lives than those in the wild, and there are trainers have spoken out against SeaWorld's practices (I believe this was the guy who was also interviewed on The Daily Show). It also cites SeaWorld's own website Hardly the most unbiased source on this topic.

I didn't remove it myself, because I figured it's best to discuss first.
05:31:19 AM May 7th 2015
Honestly, that's the entry that makes me think this should be a YMMV trope.

Some claim it's a documentary of lies, some say it's not. "This documentary is untrue" should be a straightforward enough thing, but it rarely is, especially since many documentaries wind up being mostly true, but with a few key lies.
07:14:48 AM Aug 12th 2014
This page is not politically balanced, at least in the narrow sense of having parity between left-slanted and right-slanted documentaries. Are liberals so scrupulously honest that only six liberal or left-wing examples could be found, not counting Michael Moore, one of them dating back to the Cold War? (Eight if you include the CNN one on Vietnam, and the Oliver Stone one, though I'm inclined to put Stone in the same category as Moore.) I'm perfectly happy to believe that, but that itself makes me feel I should steelman the idea that truth has a liberal bias.
10:27:25 AM Aug 12th 2014
I can very well think so.

That said, I don't think we need to go as far as establish numerical balance of any kind here. Seems way too nitpickish.
01:04:45 PM Mar 18th 2015
Facts do tend to have a liberal bias. If you can find more objective examples of liberal Documentaries of Lies, feel free to post them.
07:47:12 AM May 11th 2014
This bit seems to be missing half a sentence or something:

  • Capitalism: A Love Story
    • While its references are generally solid, the "capitalism is evil" statements at the end of the film are awkward when in interviews Moore had to continually qualify that when he said capitalism in the film.

10:38:36 AM Jan 26th 2014
Can the chemtrail quackery What Are They Spraying please be added?
10:39:50 AM Jan 26th 2014
Sure, if you can produce a good example writeup.
04:29:58 PM Nov 9th 2013
How does a judge's ruling that states that the film "is substantially founded upon scientific research and fact" qualify An Inconvenient Truth as a Documentary of Lies?
04:20:28 PM Nov 9th 2013
What support is there for the claim that "one can voluntarily opt out of taxes"? I am a tax preparer, and I know of no tax in the U.S. that one can opt out of. Members of certain faiths and some ministers can be exempted from Social Security taxes, but that's based on sincerely held religious beliefs, not just a wish to avoid the tax.

The very definition of "tax" states that it is compulsory.
09:07:44 PM Sep 27th 2013

  • At one point, the film claims that ABC's Nightline planned to air a special report about Flint's economic troubles, but that the ABC news van was stolen and the broadcast was adruptly terminated (thus reinforcing Moore's impression of a layoff-induced crime wave). The film's depiction is suspect. First, the film shows a clip of Ted Koppel in the Washington studio, then static, then a test pattern, then a sign reading "PLEASE STAND BY." If the cables in Flint were severed as the van drove off, it should have only affected the broadcast feed from Flint and not shut down the nationwide feed from Washington. The film then shows a TV reporter on the scene purportedly explaining the fiasco, but she is being shot on celluloid and not with a news (read: video) camera. (The same reporter is seen in video footage earlier in the film.) It turns out this was an especially complex exercise in Manipulative Editing: the incident with the Nightline van never happened.

All evidence I can find confirms that the Nightline incident did occur, generally as depicted in the film. The flaws in its re-creation can be excused by dramatic license.
06:48:20 AM Sep 30th 2013
Where is your source confirming that the incident did occur?
04:20:03 AM Jun 1st 2013
Re cut request: Nowhere there was consensus to cut this page, and it hasn't engendered edit wars or natter so far, and it does have many inbounds.

Please decline it.
01:10:52 PM Jun 2nd 2013
Regarding the cut reason, "The more I look at it, the more this page looks like some serious Flame Bait. Calling for more work on it would most likely only spark an edit war. If it is not cut altogether, I'd suggest either tagging it subjective and limiting all examples to YMMV articles, or marking it No Real Life Examples, Please!."

Lying in a documentary is an objective, provable fact (in other words, hardly YMMV territory). We've had one edit war that I know of (see the thread immediately below), and consensus is that the example is valid. As the article is inherently a real-life majority trope (fictional examples are likely parodies), making it NRLEP would kill most of the article.

That's not saying the page couldn't use a little tidying up (and I wouldn't be opposed to a citations rule akin to what's been done with Unfortunate Implications), but this is hardly cutworthy.
10:38:08 AM Apr 4th 2013
edited by Sammettik
A fundie tried to delete the Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed example, given how few edits he's made to this site I doubt he'll try again, but just in case I'm putting a copy here where he can't get to it.

  • Ben Stein's Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a creationist... sorry, "intelligent design" propaganda piece that utterly ignores the readily available facts about the cases highlighted, all wrapped in an "evolution leads to Nazism" bun. The scientists interviewed have since claimed that the interviews were quote mined, and that they were interviewed under false pretenses.
    • What's especially egregious is a lengthy quote from Charles Darwin that seemingly supports the central premise to the documentary... the problem being that they omitted a passage wherein Darwin is thankful that humans are above natural inclinations, and actually care about each other as human beings, regardless of defect. This passage occurs in the middle of the quote given, so it is not as if they Dan Browned. They deliberately left out contradictory evidence.
    • The central idea that the film pushes is that a "pro-evolutionary conspiracy" among scientists is suppressing the theory of intelligent design, with several interviewees claiming that they had been "blacklisted" for daring to support it. A simple Google search turned up articles that these people had authored for major publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, published years after their supposed "blacklistings".
      • They also lied about what the pro-ID scientists had actually done, as well. For a thorough debunking of the movie, see here.
    • While the Quote Mine of Charles Darwin was bad, at least the film makers had the intelligence to leave out the part that revealed the dishonest tactic. However, when Ben Stein interviewed Richard Dawkins, Stein twists and quote mines Dawkins on several occassions, without even altering the footage to leave out the proper context. In The God Delusion, Dawkins mentions the scene ending example, wherein Stein asks Dawkins for a plausible scenario about how intelligent design could be true. Dawkins mentions aliens, stating in The God Delusion that he thought he was offering an "olive branch". However, Stein then takes Dawkins hypothetical and plays it like Dawkins gave serious credulity to the idea.
10:51:15 AM Apr 4th 2013
edited by Sammettik
Addendum: He also vandalized the actual article, removing anything negative about the film.
06:03:09 PM Apr 4th 2013
edited by seminoles8
First of all, I removed those entries from the article for the very good reasons I have already sent to the website, second it's rude and just plain wrong to call me a fundamentalist, and third I noticed that because of posting these lies on the article you're just trying to present a liberal bias by trying to discredit Intelligent Design, even though the theory has a basis in scientific fact, which you can find out more about as well as the film in the thorough reviewing website:
06:05:57 PM Apr 4th 2013
edited by seminoles8
It's also wrong of accusing me of vandalizing the article even though I did no such thing. So why are you continuing to post these lies you're presenting about the documentary?
06:56:38 PM Apr 4th 2013
edited by
Look buddy, I'm not in the mood to argue, but the allegations of quote mining and deliberately leaving out contradictory evidence were all true.
07:01:28 PM Apr 4th 2013
edited by Sammettik
Actually you know what? Forget it. I smell a flame/edit war brewing in the future, and I don't want be involved with it.
09:29:52 AM Apr 5th 2013
edited by Hodor
So, taking this to discussion.

First, I'm not really sure how to respond to a poster that thinks intelligent design has a basis in scientific fact (and as was noted, aren't all the sites you are quoted actually connected with the Expelled film itself?)

That aside, at the very least, you haven't offered any good reason to take out incidents of quote-mining (which can be demonstrated simply by showing the full quote) or of use of Godwin's Law (since the film really does argue that Darwin influenced Hitler).
11:00:21 AM Apr 5th 2013
edited by StarSword
As a Christian, I would like to say @seminoles8 that you fundies give the rest of us a bad name. Cite a third-party source for criticisms of the film being factually inaccurate (hint: the site of the folks who made the film doesn't count), or concede.
08:13:50 PM May 26th 2013
Look, I'd want to point out that one, the allegations of quote mining among other things were not entirely true aside of having realized the film wrongly tried to play The Hitler Card, two I'm not trying to argue with anyone here, three the websites I've quoted have not connection to the Expelled film at all, four I actually have offered a few good reasons to take out the so-called incidents of quote-mining, five I'm actually a Catholic and it's still wrong of everyone here to accuse and call me a fundamentalist who would give other Christians a bad name, and six the site I've cited is not written or connected to the people who made the film at all, so no I won't let anyone here force me to concede since I'm only trying to point out the facts to everyone here.
08:25:03 PM May 26th 2013
And I also think another reason everyone is listing the film Expelled as a Documentary of Lies is because everyone here about it is just (
11:29:21 PM May 26th 2013
One, the accusations of quote mining were completely true. Just for starters, a comparison of Ben Stein's version of Darwin with Darwin's version of Darwin (go to the third page). For bonus points, Stein used the exact same cherry-picked statements that William Jennings Bryan did in the Scopes trial way back in 1925.

Two, what do you call what you're doing if not an argument.

Three: I see one site linked further up the page. A brief Google search shows that it was made by the same guys who made the film.

Four: Unfortunately the page histories were wiped a month back by wiki maintenance so I can't see what reasons you cited anymore. No response at this time.

Five: Nobody gives a crap which denomination you are.

Six: See three.

Seven: And I think you're Complaining about People Not Liking the Show. (See, I can do it too.)
01:11:08 PM May 27th 2013
Ok one, the accusations of quote-mining may or may not be true so you may have a point in this case.

Two, it's not an arguement because it's not that I'm disagreeing with everyone here, I'm just merely pointing out the facts about the film.

Three: I actually did a Google search about the website I cited on here, but nowhere does it say that it was made by the same people who made the film, so I want to know where that information you got came from.

Four: it's very rude to say that no one gives a bleep about which denomination I am, it's like if I insulted you about how no one gives a bleep about whatever religion you are or not, how would that make you feel if I did that to you?

Five: And how am I Because all you're doing is just trying to criticize and demonize others (even if those people aren't on this website) who actually do like the film and constantly complain about the film that you don't like.
03:31:41 AM Jan 4th 2013
No offence, but this one example is a bit overblown - I quote :

"The entire Walking with... series has been heavily criticized for presenting everything as a true fact, down to the skin patterns and colors of the prehistoric animals, and only backing up a fraction of their claims with supplementary books, "behind the scenes" documentaries, and their website. The creators defended themselves by playing the "it's meant to be entertainment" card, but their shows were always presented as scientifically accurate, educational docus. Nowadays, after the paleontological advancements of the last decade have proved a good deal of what's shown to be false, people are finally beginning to regard the series as more of an entertainment program."

Well, then by that logic, every single documentary about prehistoric life is inaccurate or a sham, since we don't have a 100 % picture of a long extinct species. I think this entry is just Complaining About Shows You Don't Like. The BBC didn't make Walking with Dinosaurs to do Author Tracts or actively deceive viewers and paleonthology fans. When compared to the many of the "killer dinos" spectacle-heavy docus that are mentioned on this page, Walking with Dinosaurs is still a million times more accurate, serious and dignified. Just because it had to be mildly speculative about one or two details from time to time - like all paleonthology often needs to be - doesn't make it a Critical Research Failure from beginning to end.
01:24:37 AM Dec 31st 2012
edited by brandonkinmanlee
About zeitgeist,how the movie sees it is how most youtube atheist sees it,and the Four Hoursemen of Atheism , Penn and Teller and Skeptic magazine do believe one religion comes from the other , as similar to the origin of santa claus. Youtube example : Darkmatter2525 , evid3nce , edwardcurrent , nonstampcollector , thethinkingatheist .

P.S. michael moore and alex jones disagrees with peter joseph because MM and AJ are christian while PJ is atheist. DECIDE YOUR POSITION.
10:17:55 AM Jan 22nd 2013
Good for them. They are demonstrably wrong, so the point stands.
11:13:39 AM Jul 31st 2012
edited by Ranonames
I am removing the entry on this page about Michael Moor, which appears to have been mainly gotten from a documentary of lies called Michael Moore Hates America or from people complaining about shows they do not watch.
  • In bowling for columbine there is footage and independent verification that the guns were secured on the bank premises, not at a local gun shop.
  • The montage of Hesston speaking were not claimed to be from one speech.
  • That was a real bush ad.
  • The statistics came from the United States government.
  • The cartoon never claimed those things.
The same is true for the entries on other movies and they even admit that what he said was true of he never said it. While I do not completely agree with the man, his movies are slanted and his work has a few factual errors, it is far from this trope and mostly accurate

any questions

11:22:10 AM Jul 31st 2012
edited by MrDeath
"Mostly accurate" is ridiculous. He makes crap up, and what you're listing is either misinformation, or exactly the "logic" the film uses to think it'll get away with it. Your objection amounts to, "The film isn't lying, because the film said it isn't."

If you're removing it, I'm putting it right back.
01:36:24 PM Mar 3rd 2012
edited by XiVXaV
"In addition, several of the people interviewed in the documentary (Hearts and Minds) implied that the Vietnam War, and US involvement, had started in 1946, when in actuality, the war (which, BTW, was an invasion from the North, not simply a civil war) didn't even start until 1950, and American involvement didn't even start until 1955. In addition, the main part of American involvement, where soldiers directly and openly entered battle against the North Vietnamese, had actually begun in 1965. In other words, its not even close to "twenty years" of conflict."

Taking a look at some of these dates shows they aren't as wrong as this entry makes them out to be. 1946 - Probably referring to the First Indochina War, which began in 1946 and during which the United States supplied massive amounts of money and supplies to the French beginning in 1950.

That conflict ended in 1954 with the Geneva Conference, which stipulated that the nation would be split North and South for two years until elections would decide on leadership for all of Vietnam. It was actually the South under Diem that violated this agreement, prompting action from the North. So yes, it was a Civil War.

The fall of Saigon to the North occurs in 1975, so even if you count the years from 1954 to the beginning of Rolling Thunder and direct American involvement in 1965 as being peacetime (which is very debatable), you still have 1946-1954 (eight years) plus 1965 to 1975 (ten years) which is 18 years of fighting, which I think is fair to round up to 20.
02:44:30 PM Apr 24th 2012
Well, the South violated the agreement to hold elections because it was obvious that every single person in North Vietnam was going to "vote" for the Communists, and since the North was more heavily populated than the South, that would have meant that the South would have come under Communist rule even if every person in the South voted against the Communists. That certainly violated the spirit of the agreement, even if not the letter.

Also, while it's true that the war lasted until 1975, the last American troops were withdrawn in 1973. So realistically, America fought the Vietnam War for approximately 8 years.
04:35:47 PM Jul 21st 2012
Sure, but this is Documentary of Lies. A few debatable points and some rounding of time spans hardly constitutes lying.

Mainly, what's debatable here is if separating the countries for a few years means the conflict between them can't be counted as a Civil War, despite the fact that they existed as a single nation for far longer.

And the phrase chosen was "Twenty years of conflict", not of "American involvement". Adding up the years of fighting, even being very charitable and counting '54 to '65 as peacetime, that's still ~18 years of "conflict".
10:55:32 AM Jan 21st 2012
When adding entries, please remember the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment, since this page tends to attract a lot of Complaining About Shows You Don't Like. Also keep in mind that there are some things out there that, while they could never be proven (religious beliefs, etc.), are not necessarily false and should not be dismissed as "lies." Your Mileage May Vary is obviously going to come heavily into play on this page.

Yes main page, no sh*t! Look, even if Ben Stein's Expelled was this trope, potlinking "intelligent design" to Polishing The Turd is very offensive. ID suggests that our world was created by something of higher intelligence, but doesn't
09:21:48 AM Jan 21st 2013
ID suggest a lot more than the world being created by something of higher intelligence.
10:58:24 PM May 17th 2011
These are X, Just...X — examples need details. Please see How to Write an Example.

04:11:15 PM Jan 30th 2011
edited by Spinosegnosaurus77
Supersize Me, I think, should be here. Now, let me explain why. I'm not saying that the results found, that eating nothing but McDonald's for a month is unhealthy, are untrue. That would be stupid. However, fans often try to say that the central point of the film is that mcDonalds is evil and will kill you. Okay, you do realize that all eating nothing but greasy fast food for a month (which was your own decision and not some evil mind control by the company) just means you're a dumbass, right?

Also, his eating to excess doesn't really prove anything, anyhow. His experimentation was flawed. If he had yielded this kind of results by having fast food as often as the average american it'd be fine, but every day? Who eats like that?

People use this movie as an example of why fast food is evil and There Should Be a Law, but all it is is one guy being stupid to prove a point, and the fanbase trying to link it to evil mega corps. I'm just using the Law Of Cautious Editing Judgment before putting it up, since it's as much a fanbase issue.
05:41:09 PM Jan 30th 2011
If he had yielded this kind of results by having fast food as often as the average american it'd be fine, but every day? Who eats like that?

If you are a low-income American living in a neighborhood with little to no grocery stores - yes, you would. It's a major issue here in Chicago, and I suspect it's no different in other major cities.
06:32:01 PM Mar 28th 2011
Furthermore, Spurlock addresses these points in the documentary himself. The first of the two being that eating fast food is a personal choice, he actually spends a good portion of the film addressing, saying that he believes that if there is no information available about the nutritional content of the food, there is no way to argue that the public should accept the negative consequences of such a diet as part of an "informed" decision. That was the whole point of the segment where he went around to various Mc Donald establishments and asked to see nutritional chart information.

He also has one line where he says practically the very same words you have— "No one is SUPPOSED to eat this stuff three times a day" and then breaks out a graphic of "users/super heavy users".

While I don't believe he was presenting a fair, balanced, and completely unbiased examination of fast food's involvement in the obesity crisis (I work at a similar establishment to Mc Donald's as the assistant manager and if someone just walked in and asked to see the nutritional information, unless I really had the time to spare to walk the customer through it, I'd probably blow them off as quickly as possible to be able to get back to work), he does at least make an attempt to answer these rebuttals.

They're not conclusive attempts but they are attempts.
02:39:24 PM Apr 24th 2012
Also, while I am not Spurlock's biggest fan by any stretch of the imagination, this trope is about documentaries that lie, not documentaries that have an agenda, no matter how heavy-handedly or even unfairly they may push that agenda.
11:20:23 PM Aug 28th 2013 not exactly a smoking gun, but I think it's at least enough to discuss it's inclusion on this page.
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