The Guardian's Propaganda Film About Dearborn
It presents itself as being a balanced documentary. In reality, it's a shamelessly slanted piece of work that pretends to be seeking out the truth about Dearborn, Michigan, which once had the world's largest auto plant and now has the world's largest mosque. Only sixteen minutes long, it was commissioned by the Guardian, made by noted documentary filmmakers Katharine Round and Ben Steele, and was just posted on that newspaper's website.
In the beginning we meet Sarah, an affluent, pretty, U.S.-born young woman of Lebanese descent. She recently graduated from law school – and wears a hijab. We're patently meant to see her as charming, well-spoken, reasonable – a person who not only represents no danger to American society but who is, in fact, an asset. We meet her friends, too – all in hijab.
Sarah complains about a store greeter who ignored her. “In this country I feel our minds are almost being oppressed,” she says, “because we can't be ourselves, in a way.” (This from somebody who's wearing a head covering that symbolizes oppression.)
The documentary then shifts to the other side. Christian talk-radio host Bob Dutko is on the air, talking about Muhammed, who, he says, had more in common with ISIS than with peaceful Muslims today. True, but we're obviously supposed to view him as an ignorant bigot. We meet Rob, who has attached to his car a parade float-type trailer decorated with U.S. flags, signs reading “Safeguard Our Borders,” and the word TRUMP in giant letters. The filmmakers play “You're a Grand Old Flag.” We're plainly supposed to see him as a buffoon. The film's heavy-handed style brings to mind Michael Moore's debut opus, Roger & Me.
Next we meet Nick. He's in his living room, sitting under a huge U.S. flag and playing a video game involving guns – so we can see where this is going. Then he's bowling (that favorite activity of “the deplorables”). He says he worries about “our culture disappearing”: Americans are barely reproducing at the replacement rate of 2.1, while Muslim couples are bringing in eight kids apiece. He's got a point – but he, too, is manifestly an Islamophobe.
Nick, we're told, belongs to an armed civilian group, the Michigan Militia. We see them at firearms practice. “Who knows what's going on in those mosques?” Nick says. “They've got sleeper cells around just waiting to strike.” True – but again, he's obviously supposed to come off as a hysterical gun nut.