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Bush Family Fortunes: The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (2004)

Video  -  Documentary  -  28 September 2004 (USA)
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Reviews: 5 user | 3 critic

Greg Palast has been following the Bush family around for years as an investigative reporter for the BBC. This is some of the information he has found, as recorded in his book "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy".



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Clayton Roberts ...
Himself - Director of Elections, Florida
Greg Palast ...
Jim Hightower ...
Himself - Former Agriculture Commissioner
Bill White ...
Himself - Former Fighter Pilot
Terry Johnson ...
Himself - Bush's College Room-mate
Robert Dieter ...
Himself - Bush's College Room-mate
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Bill Burkett ...
Himself - Retired Lt. Col., Texas Air Guard
Karen Hughes ...
Herself (archive footage)
Jeb Bush ...
Himself (archive footage)
Katherine Harris ...
Herself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Willie Steen ...
Himself - Florida Voter


Greg Palast has been following the Bush family around for years as an investigative reporter for the BBC. This is some of the information he has found, as recorded in his book "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy".

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28 September 2004 (USA)  »

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OK. I'm Suspicious
23 February 2011 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Greg Palast - the investigative journalist who made this "documentary"

  • goes to great lengths (especially in the first several minutes) to

establish a ground of credibility for this. Several times he refers to his "BBC-TV" crew and, yes, he's worked for the BBC. The BBC is a pretty credible news organization, so making sure that the BBC connection is pointed out clearly and repeatedly makes the suggestion that this is a very credible documentary. But that troubled me from the beginning (partly because the film opens by saying it was made by a company called "Disinformation Films") so even while I was watching this with great curiosity (and agreeing with many of the points that were being made because I'm no fan of George W. Bush) I was anxious to see the closing credits. They were interesting. They state that the film was made "from" a BBC program called "Bush Family Fortunes" (suggesting that the BBC material was edited at least to some degree), it openly acknowledged including material from other sources, the BBC logo never appears anywhere in the film's credits, and the final copyright notice is not "BBC" but "Greg Palast." So whatever credibility the "BBC" connection offered to this is gone to anyone who looks for signs of any particular BBC connection. The list of thanks offered to people who in some way were involved in this includes thanks to a number of Hollywood folks including people with well known anti- Bush leanings with names such as Ed Asner and Alec Baldwin popping up. None of the Hollywood types appear in the film so maybe they just financed it. Horrors! Did they buy themselves a documentary? (Surely if you're going to accuse Bush of being a lackey for those who donate to him, you can't honestly exempt Greg Palast from the same charge?) And of course the last words of the credits (before the copyright notice) are "Special Thanks to Michael Moore." OK. I get the picture. Notwithstanding Palast's pushing of his BBC connections in the first few minutes, this is not a BBC production and doesn't deserve the credibility that being a BBC production would give it.

Most of this goes over already well-worn ground against the Bush family. His supporters will howl in outrage over this; his opponents will cry tears of joy over this - but there really isn't anything new. Bush's joining the Texas Air Guard kept him out of Vietnam. The Florida vote count was questionable. The Bush family has big corporate connections that probably influenced Bush's decisions in office. The Bush family had connections with the Bin Laden family. And - most shocking of all - the Iraq War was about oil! (Yes, that's sarcastic.)

It's no wonder special thanks was given to Michael Moore. Greg Palast is clearly a Michael Moore wannabe. It's the same biased, sarcastic stuff against Bush which includes personal attacks, and right off the top questions Bush's own intelligence. Like MM's stuff, it makes no pretension of being unbiased (except by dishonestly implying that it's somehow a piece of work by the BBC). And what's with Palast and that stupid hat he wears throughout. It made him look like some Hollywood detective from the 40's, but it didn't make me take him seriously. Sure he raises some valid points - points that, as I've said, have been raised over and over (so how many new pretend docs do we need to raise them?) But - valid though many of his points may be - it's hard to take this seriously.

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