Showing of anti-Bush film by CCC professor creates stir

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor

A Clovis Community College instructor who invited students to an on-campus viewing of the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 has created a buzz among students who felt the viewing was in poor taste.

English instructor Paul Nagy said he showed the movie, a documentary highly critical of President Bush’s administration, to about 35 students, 12 of whom were in his English 102 class. He said the film was used as an examination on argument and persuasion.

He said CCC’s student government officially sponsored the viewing. A student who identified herself as student-body president Carisima Garcia declined comment on the issue.
After CCC students found out the movie was available for viewing at the college’s Town Hall, college officials said they received numerous complaints from students.

Lisa Spencer, CCC’s director of marketing and communications, said fliers were set up on campus promoting the event but it is yet to be determined who put up the fliers.

“The school did not support this,” she said.

Nagy said he did not put up fliers around campus, though he did post information about the movie on the door at Town Hall, which is a large meeting room at the college.

Spencer said college officials will know more today and they have planned a 2 p.m. press conference.

Nagy said the students in his class had the option of watching the film for an assignment, but had other films to choose from. Three of his students did not attend the viewing, he said.

He said showing the film this close to the General Election would help his students learn how argument and persuasion works in politics.

Nagy declined to give his political preference, but he wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the Clovis News Journal two weeks ago. In the letter, Nagy pledges his allegiance to Sen. John Kerry and criticizes the Bush administration. A part of his letter reads:

“Can we really afford to re-elect (Bush) who really can’t recognize — let alone admit — when his policies aren’t working? When so much of his leadership is not founded on an honest relationship with the American public, but instead, a brazen form of corporate cronyism?”

Fahrenheit 9/11 is a documentary by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore, who examines the Bush administration’s actions in the wake of the tragic events of 9/11.

The movie has been highly acclaimed by some and highly criticized for its content.