Last week, we wrote about the Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat, whose trip to Los Angeles for the Academy Awards was interrupted by the Transportation Security Administration, which reportedly detained him for an hour-and-a-half for seemingly no apparent reason. (To make matters worse, Burnat’s Five Broken Cameras lost to Searching for Sugar Man for best documentary.)
According to reports, fellow filmmaker Michael Moore came to Burnat’s aid, calling Academy Awards officials who then called lawyers who contacted immigration officials to confirm Emad’s invitation to the Oscars. Moore tweeted up a storm about incident, excoriating American officials and painting himself the hero. Burnat released a statement likening the incident to Israeli checkpoints and roadblocks and everyone seemed contrite about the incident.
It’s now being reported that Moore, who is known for his flair for the
untrue, hyperbolized dramatic, may have made a mountain out of a natural delay.
First, a reporter BuzzFeed published a story bringing Moore’s narrative into question, then that reporter was attacked by Moore and others. Now, Moore’s story seems to be drawing more scrutiny now that other customs officials have weighed in.
But as time went on, Buzzfeed’s case only got stronger, while Moore’s began to collapse. Yesterday at 4 p.m., Stuart posted a new story, this one relying on no less than five unnamed officials — you have to imagine the feds were pissed to be induced to produce five sources — as well as handwritten TSA logs. Those logs show that Burnat was referred to secondary inspection at 5:28 p.m., admitted there at 5:30 p.m., and released at 5:53 p.m.
So, are we supposed to rely solely on the self-serving word of government agents? Not quite. The Atlantic’s shoe-leather reporting revealed that Burnat’s plane arrived at LAX at 4:59 p.m. , fourteen minutes behind schedule. Even if the plane was blessed with a relatively quick deboarding, it’s hard to imagine that Burnat could have possibly first encountered federal agents any earlier than 5:20 p.m.
Check out the rest here and, I suppose, don’t let Michael Moore make up your mind for you.