Debbie Schlussel writes in the Wall Street Journal that Spurlock's 30 Days program isn't so much a documentary as a polemic. The gist of the episode Schulssel's refering to: A regular guy lives as a Muslim for thirty days, and grows sensitive to the plights of Muslims in America.
He's supposed to "learn" these lessons on his own. In truth, it seems the outcome is generally predetermined. Here's Schlussel:
I asked the show's executive producers--all of whom worked on "The Awful Truth With Michael Moore," a cable TV show--how this could be a documentary when they had decided the outcome in advance. Wasn't it possible that Mr. Stacy would come out seeing that there isn't Islamophobia to the extent that the Muslim community claims? Might he see that there is disturbingly strong support in the Detroit-area Islamic community for terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah--a fact regularly documented even in the normally pliant Detroit media?The funny thing is, I probably side with Spurlock over Schussel on the broader debate here. But that doesn't excuse that the facts in these shows are selectively manipulated to engineer predetermined outcomes, and that they're still packaged as "documentaries."
No, the producers told me. "Morgan wants the show to demonstrate to America that we are Islamophobic and that 9/11's biggest victims are Muslims."
I'd wager that each episode of Spurlock's show, though sold as a "documentary," will end with just as tidy a lesson.