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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 10:51 PM

Log Offers Detail On Filmmaker's Delay

A handwritten log maintained by federal agents at Los Angeles International Airport indicates that agents detained a Palestinian filmmaker for 23 minutes on his way to the Academy Awards.

Filmmaker Michael Moore wrote on Twitter that airport authorities "couldn't understand how a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee." He also wrote that they had held the filmmaker, Emad Burnat, for "1.5 hours," and released him after Moore advised him to drop Moore's name and called Academy officials.

Burnat also wrote on Facebook that "my family and I were...made to justify our travel to the United States despite holding valid visas and despite widely available public knowledge affirming that my reason for traveling to Los Anglees was that I was in fact an Oscar nominee."

But while there is nothing in the log to contradict Burnat's account or his gratitude to Moore for leaping to his aid, the document does suggest that Moore overstated, at least, the length of the incident. The filmmaker's tweets originally drew complaints from an airport official that Moore was overhyping a routine, and relatively brief, incident. That account, in turn, prompted Moore to accuse BuzzFeed (and presumably the source) of dishonesty.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/tessastuart/log-offers-detail-on-filmmakers-delay

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Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Reply Log Offers Detail On Filmmaker's Delay (Original post)
oberliner Feb 2013 OP
Ken Burch Feb 2013 #1
oberliner Feb 2013 #2
shaayecanaan Feb 2013 #3
oberliner Feb 2013 #6
Ken Burch Feb 2013 #9
shaayecanaan Feb 2013 #4
Jefferson23 Feb 2013 #5
oberliner Feb 2013 #7
shaayecanaan Feb 2013 #8
Ken Burch Feb 2013 #10

Response to oberliner (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:38 AM

1. Basically, the Homeland Security goons couldn't get their heads around the idea

that a Palestinian could do anything other than kill people.

And even if the timeline was exaggerated, that's a trivial point, since there was never any justification at all for delaying this man and his family. What he showed them on his phone should have instantly been proof that he was there for honorable intentions, and would have automatically been accepted as such had he been a nominee from any non-Arab land. And we all know it.

It was just the "Arabs CAN'T be decent people or do good things" idea. And BuzzFeed is hairsplitting on all of this.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:47 AM

2. That's BS

People who are neither Palestinian nor Arab get questioned longer than this all the time all over the world when traveling overseas for reasons great and small.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:30 AM

3. He was detained for a "bit over an hour"...

Buzzfeed have managed to get an awful lot wrong about this incident. I gather that they are trying to salvage some credibility out of the entire affair, or at least try and land some hits of their own, but in any event it does seem that the customs people relented after Michael Moore became involved.

Moore has also claimed that Burnat was threatened with deportation in front of his wife and son. Its interesting that the anonymous "source" hasnt bothered to deny that allegation.

BTW, as someone with an Arabic name, I am perfectly used to being held up in US immigration clearance, and I travel on an Australian passport. It would typically be much worse for a Palestinian.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:35 AM

6. No he wasn't

That has turned out to be BS. In fact, much of what Michael Moore has said/tweeted has turned out to be BS.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:33 PM

9. He was asked to prove he was invited to the Oscars and he did.

With ANYONE ELSE, that would have been enough. Michael Moore would never have had to intervene with a nominee from Sweden or Canada or...yes, Israel. Any of those would just automatically have been let through once they showed the proof(as he did on his cel phone)of his being invited.

And if somebody was really planning to blow up the Oscars, they wouldn't fly people in FROM PALESTINE to do it...they'd have had people waiting in the area for weeks beforehand.

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Response to oberliner (Original post)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:40 AM

4. How Buzzfeed turned its sloppy journalism into something to celebrate

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/02/how-buzzfeed-turned-its-sloppy-journalism-something-celebrate/62598/

BuzzFeed has made a name for itself over the last year for adding substantive reporting to its usual cat and corgi photo fare, so it's strange to see the organization take a stand for truth on such a flimsy story.

The tactic they've employed is borrowed from the world of political consultants: if confronted with an error, just change the subject. And you can see that in how Stuart's stories have been edited and re-edited since their initial premise started crumbling. Stuart's first article was originally titled, "Was Michael Moore's Dramatic Rescue of An Oscar-Nominated Director Just A Publicity Stunt?" and claimed multiple anonymous sources stating that Moore's account of the Burnat detention was "baloney" and "the whole thing was an elaborate publicity stunt for the film." When it turned out that Stuart had just one sole anonymous source, the headline was dialed back to "Los Angeles Airport Source Disputes Michael Moore 'Rescue' Account" and a correction was appended. It was also edited to address the lone source's claim that once Burnat produced an Oscar ticket he was whisked through customs: as Moore pointed out, the Academy Awards hadn't issued paper tickets to anyone on the date in question.

For Stuart's second story the "source" had multiplied to "five officials." The only new evidence these anonymous officials gave Stuart actually backed up Burnat's account: handwritten logs that purportedly showed that for 23 minutes Burnat was detained by customs for "secondary inspection." These logs do not say anything about what happened before or after that 23 minutes; Moore told us the entire episode lasted "a little bit over an hour." He checked his phone and found that 40 minutes elapsed between the first panicked word from Burnat and the final message saying he'd been released. Even Stuart conceded "there is nothing in the log to contradict Burnat's account." But after Moore spoke with us, BuzzFeed declared victory in an update, introducing the entirely new charge that Moore "had exaggerated the timeline" by focusing on a tweet in which Moore originally pegged the whole affair at an hour and a half compared to the 40 minutes he told us. Did you catch that sleight of hand? In 48 hours, BuzzFeed has gone from reporting that Burnat's ordeal was entirely fabricated to admitting the ordeal occurred but didn't last quite as long as Moore claimed. That's the basis of their claim to speak for the truth.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 09:47 AM

5. Good clean up work, thanks for posting. n/t

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 10:36 AM

7. Michael Moore Caught Exaggerating LAX Oscars Detainment -- What Else Is New?

Excerpt:

But now we know the truth: Burnat was detained for all of 23 minutes. As anyone who's ever traveled internationally can tell you, that's hardly cause for concern.

But here's what really galls.

It's the young Buzzfeed reporter who had the audacity to question Moore's account who's been called out as a liar -- not Moore. Even as the facts have shown Moore to be, at worst, a shameless publicity hound or, at best, a careless exaggerator, it's Buzzfeed that everyone is shaming.

Even the Atlantic, whose detail-rich reporting has done much to confirm Buzzfeed's account, seems intent on taking Moore's side, calling Buzzfeed's story "deeply flawed" and letting Moore have the final say. Reporter David Wagner closes his story with a quote that basically suggests none of the facts matter. Quoth Moore, "It doesn't really matter if it took 5 minutes, or 23 minutes, or 23 hours. ... The main issue here -- and Buzzfeed is trying to cloud it because they got caught saying some things that aren't true -- is why was he detained at all?"

Really? We don't want Customs questioning anyone at all? International travelers, even those from countries that have shown clear distaste for our foreign policy, should be able to come and go as they please, no questions asked? Twenty-three minutes -- a time in which the traveler is permitted to call friends stateside, and presumably get lawyers involved if need be -- is somehow unforgivable?

Here are the facts. Moore kicked off the conversation last week by tweeting about Burnat's treatment at LAX -- saying he'd been detained, his Oscar invite did no good, and the ordeal lasted "1.5 hours." With 1.4 million Twitter followers, his allegations generated serious media interest.

And that's when Buzzfeed got involved. The website, which has recently opened an L.A. bureau, ran a story by Tessa Stuart quoting an unnamed TSA source and questioning Moore's dramatic account.

http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2013/02/michael_moore_buzzfeed_emad_burnat.php

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Response to oberliner (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 04:58 PM

8. I like this code...

Really? We don't want Customs questioning anyone at all? International travelers, even those from countries that have shown clear distaste for our foreign policy, should be able to come and go as they please, no questions asked?


He was traveling on a Jordanian passport. I am not sure of what "clear distaste" to which she might be referring - King Abdullah of Jordan has generally been on far better terms with Obama than Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.

Frankly, this sounds like code for "he was Arab, so he should naturally be suspected of terrorism".

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Response to oberliner (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 28, 2013, 06:35 PM

10. MOST OF THE WORLD has shown "clear distaste for our foreign policy".

We should hold up everybody at customs that isn't from the Republic of Sycophantistan?

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