FW: [Black_Libertarians] The Fraud "From Flint"
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From: Richard B. Boddie [mailto:rboddie@...]
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 12:19 AM
Subject: [Black_Libertarians] The Fraud "From Flint"
The Fraud "From Flint"
By Lowell Ponte
FrontPageMagazine.com | January 31, 2005
MICHAEL MOORE AND HIS AGITPROP FILM FAHRENHEIT 9/11
were nowhere to be found on the lists of Academy Awards nominees
released last week. And despite his commercial success, the Writers
Guild omitted Moore from consideration for its first list of
documentary writing award nominees. The only award Moore received was
>from a gun rights group highlighting his hypocrisy after abodyguard
for this maker of the 2003 Academy Award-winning anti-gun Bowling for
Columbine got arrested in New York City for carrying a handgun not
Hypocrisy is nothing new for Michael Moore, nor the Hollywood Left.
But Hollywood makes its money by anticipating which way the winds are
blowing. By distancing itself from this self-aggrandizing egomaniac,
Tinsel Town may be signaling that America's cultural winds are
shifting away from the Loony Left.
So who is Michael Moore, this multi-millionaire filmmaker and author
of several books, who has been called "the Left's only well-known
shock jock," compared by Christopher Hitchens to socialist Adolf
>Hitler's film propagandist LeniRiefenstahl?
Michael Moore is his own fictional character, a self-written being
who soon will require another rewrite if his lucrative fantasy career
is to survive.
Moore's production company, aptly named, is Dog Eat Dog Films. His
agent Ariel "Ari" Emanuel is brother of Congressman Rahm Emanuel,
D-IL, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and
a former White House operative for President Bill Clinton.
Michael Moore never was a "working class boy from Flint, Michigan,"
as he pretends. He was born on April 23, 1954, in Davison, Michigan,
a lily-white upper-middle class suburb 10 miles east of Flint, where
his father Frank assembled AC spark plugs, and his mother was a
clerk-secretary for General Motors (GM).
For a few decades following World War II, America's global power
(relative to war-shattered Europe and Japan) and the benefits
provided to employees by GM and the United Auto Workers (UAW) union
made life pleasant.
Moore's parents enjoyed ample income, free medical and dental care,
four weeks of paid vacation each year, and had two cars in their
well-to-do Davison home. Moore's Irish-American father had spent
workday afternoons playing golf. After he retired at age 53 with a
full pension, he enjoyed a life of ease, golf and volunteer work at
the local Roman Catholic church.
Moore and his two younger sisters "were raised in what amounted to a
mini-welfare state, where powerful unions took care of most of their
members' basic needs, right down to prescription eyeglasses," wrote
Ella Taylor in 2004 in the left-wing newspaper L.A. Weekly. "No
wonder there's so much fellow feeling between Moore and Canada, which
has socialized medicine, not to mention Europe, where he is hugely
After eighth grade Moore enrolled in a Catholic pre-seminary. "He
admired the Berrigan brothers [radical anti-Vietnam War Catholic
priests] and thought that the priesthood was the way to effect social
change," wrote The New Yorker's Larissa MacFarquhar in February 2004.
"This resolve lasted only through his first year, though, after the
Detroit Tigers made it to the World Series for the first time in
Moore's life, and the seminary wouldn't allow him to watch the games."
Returning to school, at age 16, Moore gave a speech in a local
contest in which he condemned the Elks Club for barring blacks. He
won not only the contest prize but also a first intoxicating,
glory-addicting taste of fame as media reported his fledgling
political activism. CBS called to ask about his views. He soon sought
more attention with an Eagle Scout award-winning slide show accusing
what Moore called the worst polluters in his town. He was learning
that the road to fame was a harsh accusation against some established
conservative group or company that, if it fit the liberal political
template, would be accepted without question by the liberal media.
At age 17, he saw what remains Moore's favorite film, A Clockwork
Orange, a depiction of futuristic street bully "ultraviolence," rape,
and brainwashing, by Moore's still-favorite director, Stanley Kubrick.
At 18, Moore ran for city school board on a simple platform: "Fire
the Principal." He won. The principal, who had been kind to Moore as
a child, resigned and died soon thereafter of a heart attack.
Meanwhile, Moore reveled in the nationwide publicity he received for
becoming America's youngest elected city official.
Moore began studies at the local campus of the University of Michigan
but soon dropped out. He was given a job on the GM assembly line but
"called in sick the first day and never went back," which is the
closest Moore ever came to being part of the working class. He became
a local hippie, host of a Sunday morning radio show he called "Radio
Free Flint," and honed his skills at getting on local TV news by
staging whatever protests would attract the media attention he craved.
In 1976, at age 22, Moore created a small leftist newspaper, the
Flint Voice (later called the Michigan Voice), which he edited for 10
years. This position gave him access to left-wing activists,
fundraisers like singer Harry "Cat's in the Cradle" Chapin, and the
opportunity to do occasional commentaries for the National Public
Radio (NPR) show "All Things Considered."
Michigan was a hotbed of student radicalism. The radical Students for
a Democratic Society (SDS) held their first meeting in 1960 in Ann
Arbor, 50 miles south of Flint, and the SDS manifesto The Port Huron
Statement was signed in 1962 in that Michigan town, only 64 miles
east of Flint. Moore remained involved in leftist politics at the
University of Michigan and elsewhere in the state. "Moore was
interested in the usual lefty international issues of the time,"
wrote MacFarquhar. "He travelled to Nicaragua in 1983 to check out
In 1986, because of his growing reputation as a hotshot left-wing
journalist, Moore was hired as editor of the San Francisco-based
socialist magazine Mother Jones, beating out its Managing Editor
David Talbot (who later founded and continues to edit the left-wing
webzine Salon.com). Four months later, the magazine fired Moore. Adam
Hochschild, chairman of the foundation that owns Mother Jones,
described Moore as "arbitrary; he was suspicious; he was
unavailable." Moore's high-handed bullying and authoritarian
arrogance had alienated most staff members. And Moore had refused to
publish a piece by veteran leftist writer Paul Berman because it
mildly criticized the human rights record of Nicaragua's Fidel
Castro-allied Communist Sandinistas. One of America's farthest Left
magazines fired Michael Moore because, among other reasons, he was
too far-Left for it.
Moore, using what have become his familiar tactics, responded by
staging a media-grabbing public demonstration, by going on a Bay Area
radio show to accuse Berman (as MacFarquhar described) "of being a
traitor to the left and giving aid and comfort to [President Ronald]
Reagan," and by suing Mother Jones for $2 million. Moore eventually
pocketed $58,000 from its tax-exempt Foundation for National
Progress, which became seed money for his first "documentary." Roger
& Me, an agitprop assault on General Motors, its chief executive
Roger Smith and its recent worker layoffs in Flint, launched Moore
A key influence shaping Moore's mind and values were stories of his
uncle (via Moore's 1982 marriage) Laverne, who at a seminal moment in
labor history in 1936-37 had taken part in the 44-day sit-in at a
General Motors factory in Flint. This illegal hostage-taking of
private property, an act of urban terrorism tacitly approved by
Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ended with GM
accepting representation for its workers by the new United Auto
Workers (UAW) union. The UAW had been founded in 1935 as a radical
ideological union eager to use more revolutionary, confrontational
tactics than had the American Federation of Labor (AFL).
The UAW organizer of the Flint sit-in was Walter Reuther, later to
serve 25 years as UAW President. Reuther, the West Virginia-born son
of a German socialist, had supported Socialist Party candidate Norman
Thomas (grandfather of Newsweek Magazine's Assistant Managing Editor
Evan Thomas) for President. During the years 1933-35, Reuther and his
brother Victor spent time abroad, including more than 18 months
working at the Gorki automobile factory in Josef Stalin's
totalitarian Communist Soviet Union. Returning to the U.S. in 1935,
Reuther immediately put into practice the ideology and tactics he had
learned first-hand from Soviet Stalinists.
Reuther as UAW head during World War II, when the U.S. and Soviet
Union were allies fighting against socialist Adolf Hitler, kept
workers producing weapons at top efficiency. Any talk of sit-ins,
strikes or work slowdowns was suppressed. Reuther later repudiated
Communism and the Soviet Union, and returned to his socialist ideas.
But the Marxist-Stalinist-tinged ideological radicalism of the
1936-37 Flint sit-in would become the magical moment and place where
America's modern labor movement was born, a once-and-future garden of
>socialist utopian Eden in the imagination of MichaelMoore.
After Moore was fired by Mother Jones, he was rescued from
near-destitution by another critic of GM, Ralph Nader, author of the
seminal bible of anti-business consumer activism, Unsafe At Any
Speed. Nader paid Moore to edit a media-criticizing newsletter. Moore
soon lost this job too. The reason, according to Nader, is that Moore
spent most of his time away in Flint instead of writing the
newsletter. According to Moore (who routinely trashes those who
disagree with him), Nader was jealous that a publisher had paid Moore
an advance of almost $50,000 for a book (that in the end Moore never
completed) about General Motors.
After completing Roger & Me, Moore at the Telluride Film Festival
tracked down Roger Ebert, movie critic for the Chicago Sun-Times and
(then) for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Ebert is a liberal
who almost without exception gives big thumbs-up approval to any
movie that is left-wing, politically correct or criticizes America;
Moore's fact-bending documentary was all three. Rave reviews from
Ebert launched Moore on a high trajectory to wealth and superstardom.
Thanks to Ebert's support, Moore sold his documentary to Warner
Brothers in 1989 for an unprecedented $3 million.
(During the 2004 political campaign, Ebert repeatedly used his
television show [now syndicated by the Walt Disney Company's Buena
Vista division, a potential conflict of interest Ebert seldom
mentions to viewers] to promote Moore's propaganda film Fahrenheit
9/11. Ebert promised viewers that he would give comparable airtime to
reviewing any similar documentary done by conservatives but, of
course, he never did, despite the availability of such fine
documentaries as FahrenHYPE 9/11, partly funded by former Clinton
political advisor Dick Morris.)
Hollywood came courting, and in 1995 Moore gave birth to Canadian
Bacon, his only non-documentary movie (unless one counts his music
videos for groups such as Rage Against the Machine and R.E.M.). Its
fictional plot centers on a President of the United States who boosts
his popularity by engineering a war with Canada. Corpulent comedian
John Candy died while filming it, delaying the film's completion and
release date. It died at the box office. Moore said he was sabotaged
by the studio PolyGram because it is "owned by Philips of the
Netherlands, makers of weapons." (Moore always finds ways, however
absurd, to blame others for his failures.)
Moore then directed and hosted his own television show TV Nation, a
provocative and uneven magazine show. Nine episodes aired on NBC in
1994, and 8 episodes aired on FOX in 1995. It died twice for lack of
What happened behind the scenes at TV Nation gives a glimpse of the
real Michael Moore. "He disliked sharing credit with his writers"
like Merrill Markoe, wrote MacFarquhar. And he disliked sharing
money, as well.
When two of the show's young writers, who had been given the title
Associate Producer, took steps to join the Writers Guild (the
powerful union for movie and TV writers), Moore took them aside. "I'm
getting a lot of heat from the union to call you guys writers and pay
you under the union rules," Eric Zicklin recounted Moore's words for
>MacFarquhar. "I don't have the budget forthat," Moore threatened
them, "But if they keep coming down on me that'll mean I'll only be
able to afford one of you and the other one's gotta go."
"We were scared out of our minds," recalled Zicklin. "It was like a
theme from Roger & Me" with Moore as the unfeeling, anti-union boss.
"I can't accept [Moore] as a political person," another TV Nation
employee told MacFarquhar. "I can't buy into this thing of Michael
Moore is on your side - it's like trying to believe that Justin
Timberlake is a soulful guy. It's a media product: he's just selling
me something. For the preservation of my own soul I have to consider
him just an entertainer, because otherwise he's a huge a--hole. If
>you consider him an entertainer, then his acting like aselfish,
self-absorbed, pouty, deeply conflicted, easily wounded child is
run-of-the-mill, standard behavior. But if he's a political force,
then he's a jerk and a hypocrite and he didn't treat us right and he
was false in all his dealings."
"I can't go to his movies, and I can't hold his books for very long,"
Chris Kelly, who worked on TV Nation and Canadian Bacon told
MacFarquhar. "When he started writing his column for The Nation, I
cancelled my subscription. He broke my heart. That's what he does to
people." Other employees have described Moore as a boss who created
working conditions that resembled a "sweatshop" and "indentured
Moore has apologized in vague terms to Kelly and Markoe, but he
denies any other improper behavior. Other witnesses recall that
Moore, a self-proclaimed champion of the proletariat, repeatedly
tried to deny TV Nation writers payments, credits, and residuals for
their work - and that the Guild intervened repeatedly in complaints
(Moore hated President Ronald Reagan, even though Reagan was the
first and only former union leader (head of the Screen Actors Guild,
SAG) to become president of the United States.)
"He was the most difficult human being I've ever met," his former
Hollywood manager Douglas Urbanski told the Times of London. "There
was no one who even came close."
Moore struggled to stay on television with The Awful Truth
(1999-2000), a satire show jointly produced by the cable channel
Bravo and Britain's Channel 4, and Michael Moore Live (1999), which
broadcast from New York City but aired only in the United Kingdom.
He also created The Big One, a documentary of the tour for his 1996
book Downsize This! Threats from an Unarmed American
(Perennial/Harper). One common thread in Moore's documentaries is
that they all star, and are designed to glorify, Michael Moore.
In 2002, Moore's anti-gun documentary Bowling for Columbine reached
theaters. His depiction of America as a gun-crazed violent culture
was honored at the Cannes Film Festival in France and won the 2003
Academy Award for Documentary Feature, despite growing evidence that
much that was "documented" in it as fact had been staged, concocted,
or dishonestly and deceptively edited by Moore.
The sincerity of Moore's anti-gun outrage became clear in January
2005 when one of his own bodyguards was arrested in New York City for
possession of an unregistered handgun. The hypocritical Michael Moore
is not leading the way to utopia by his example.
"We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times," Moore told a
worldwide audience in his speech accepting his Academy Award for
Bowling for Columbine. "We live in a time where we have a man sending
us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fictition [sic.]
of duct tape or fictition [sic.] of orange alerts, we are against
this war [in Iraq], Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush. Shame on you."
But, in fact, much of Moore's documentary turned out to be
"fictition." The "weapon" plant he photographed in Colorado
manufactures weather satellites, not weapons. The clips he included
of National Rifle Association President Charleton Heston had been
edited together from several speeches given months apart so as to
create a dishonest collage of sentences. The rifle Moore claimed to
have walked out of a bank with as his reward for opening an account
was a staged event that for real customers involves a six-week
clearance process. Even the title Bowling for Columbine derived from
a false claim that two adolescents who went on a fatal shooting spree
had gone bowling that morning. They had not.
Similar deceptions and falsehoods can be found in all of Moore's
so-called documentaries. How does he get away with this again and
again? One answer is that the establishment media shares Moore's
left-of-center ideology, and because most reporters and reviewers
agree with his aim. Since they share his conclusions, they express
few quibbles over how he got there. They regard Moore as right even
when his methods are wrong. One New York Times reporter likened
Moore's work to editorial cartoons, which are designed not to be
accurate so much as to sell a point of view by distorting reality.
Those who share Moore's leftist agenda and, e.g., favor ever-more gun
control, will applaud Moore's editorial cartoon Bowling for Columbine.
"I don't believe in objectivity," Moore has said, speaking the
intellectually fashionable language of post-modern deconstructionism.
"I don't believe that any newspaper's objective. I believe there's
subjectivity in every article, and where every article is placed.
We're human beings, we're subjective animals, we're not machinesIt's
all personal." Or, as reviewer Roger Ebert admitted, "Moore has
granted himself poetic license."
When caught committing falsehoods, Moore has demurred that he is a
mere entertainer, a spinner of tales, jokes, and opinions who should
never be held to the ethical and accuracy standards of a responsible
reporter or historian. When Lou Dobbs of CNN pressed about his
inaccuracies in one book, Moore dismissed Dobbs' questions by saying:
"You know, look, this is a book of political humorHow can there be
inaccuracy in comedy?" To deflect another questioner, Moore declared
ambiguously that Roger & Me was not a documentary but "an
entertaining movie, like Sophie's Choice."
"If Moore gets the tone just right, he can reach the widest possible
audience," wrote MacFarquhar. "The conspiracy nuts will take him
seriously and appreciate his insight, while everyone else will think
he's joking and appreciate his humor. Every leftist political figure
with mainstream aspirations must have a fruitcake technique - a way
to retain a hold on the passionate fringe without losing the center -
and Moore is very effective."
When criticized, Moore has often accused his critics of trying to
censor a free press, as if he were delivering honest, ethical
journalism rather than lies for laughs and manipulative political
agitprop. He wants it both ways - to be able to exercise the
irresponsibility of a comic but to have his statements taken
seriously and to influence votes and policies.
In 2004, Moore declared himself a victim of censorship by the Walt
Disney Corporation, which he accused of suddenly, for political
reasons, blocking the release of his latest documentary, Fahrenheit
9/11. The company's Miramax Films division had spent $6 million to
produce the film.
Moore later admitted that Disney a year earlier had told him it would
not release his film. This partisan attack on incumbent President
Bush during the 2004 election campaign could damage the company's
reputation with moviegoers. Moore had lied about this, claiming
censorship days before the Cannes Film Festival as a publicity stunt
to gain attention and sympathy.
Moore's deceitful stunt worked. Fahrenheit 9/11 won the highest award
at Cannes from a panel of leftward judges headed by director Quentin
Tarantino. The applause continued for 13 minutes. One Finnish critic
praised Moore's "almost Shakespearean sense of absurdity." But famed
>French director Jean-Luc Godard dismissed Moore as"halfway
intelligentHe doesn't know what he's doing."
At one level the renowned film critic Richard Schickel slightly
disagrees with Godard. Moore is "careless with his facts, hysterical
in debate and, most basically, a guy trying to make a star out of
himself," Schickel told The Times of London in 2003. "He's a
self-aggrandizer and, perhaps, the very definition of the current
literary term, 'the unreliable narrator.' This guy either can't or
won't stick to the point, build a logical case for his arguments.
It's all hysteria - but, I think, calculated hysteria."
As might secretly have been arranged many months in advance,
Fahrenheit 9/11, whose title Moore stole from science fiction writer
Ray Bradbury's classic novel Fahrenheit 451, was distributed by
Lion's Gate Films. (Bradbury wasn't pleased.) Moore's film grossed
more than $100 million at the box office.
How credible is Fahrenheit 9/11? "Even if one agrees with all of
>Moore's arguments,"wrote one reviewer for the Hollywood Reporter,
"the film reduces decades of American foreign-policy failures to a
black-and-white cartoon that lays the blame on one family. He ignores
facts like the policy to arm and support Afghan rebels that began in
the Carter administration. For that matter, the Clinton team never
mounted a serious effort to go after al-Qaida even after the 1998
embassy bombings in East Africa."
Like other Moore documentaries, Fahrenheit 9/11 was packed with lies
and calculated distortions, riddled with more holes than substance.
To cite just two of these widely documented holes: Moore's film
depicted as a "headline" from an Illinois newspaper the words "Latest
Florida Recount Shows Gore Won Election." But, as Moore knew, these
words actually appeared, not above a news report, but atop a Letter
to the Editor and reflected only that one reader's (misguided)
One of Moore's biggest claims in his film was that members of Saudi
Arabia's bin Laden family (in which Osama is one of 53 children, a
disowned black sheep born not to the patriarch's wives but to a
concubine) had been allowed by Bush to fly out of the U.S.
unquestioned only hours after 9/11. In fact, they did not leave for
at least six days, after being questioned by the FBI, and permission
for their departure was given without any outside prompting solely by
Bush critic and Clinton administration White House counter-terrorism
holdover Richard Clarke, as Clarke himself admitted.
Hollywood knew that Moore's made-up film was intended to maim the
Republican president's reelection during the 2004 campaign. Moore's
crude, unethical weapon failed; Bush won, and Hollywood promptly
distanced itself from Moore.
At the 2004 Democratic National Convention, however, Moore was
treated like royalty and given a seat of honor at the side of former
President Carter in his presidential box. (Mr. Carter's toppling of
>America's ally the Shah of Iran precipitated the Iran-IraqWar, the
military buildup of Saddam Hussein, the Soviet invasion of
Afghanistan that empowered Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, led to
the oppression of millions of women, and opened a Pandora's Box of
>otherproblems, including America's incursion into Iraq. But Moore
was proud to sit next to the failed Democrat president.)
Democratic leaders such as then-Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota
embraced him and joined other prominent Democrats at the premier of
Moore's documentary. Moore was invited to write columns from the
conventions for USA Today. Propaganda and the Left had carried
Michael Moore a long way from "Flint, Michigan."
But the Kerry campaign was aware of Moore's mercurial, unstable
nature and tried to hold him at arm's length. "I can't speak for
every extremist out there," said Kerry campaign spokesman Chad
Clanton during a Westwood One radio interview on July 24, 2004.
"Michael Moore - these people aren't part of the Kerry campaign."
Kerry's advisors had watched Moore endorse primary candidate General
Wesley Clark, then almost destroy Clark by blurting out that
President Bush had been a "deserter." (They also remembered that
Moore had in past years endorsed Ralph Nader and proposed that TV
host Oprah Winfrey and liberal actor Tom Hanks run for president.)
They remembered Moore's 2003 assertion on NBC's Today Show that "Guns
don't kill people, Americans kill people." Who knew how loony Moore
might get, or when he might explode, blowing up any candidate who
stood too close with him?
How far Left is Michael Moore? "Capitalism is a sin," said Moore on
the CNN talk show Crossfire in 2002. "This is an evil system."
In his book Downsize This! Moore proposed several laws he believes
should be imposed to "protect ourselves" from capitalist
corporations. His utopia would "Prohibit corporations from closing a
profitable factory or business and moving it overseas. If they close
a business and move it within the U.S., they must pay reparations to
the community they are leaving behind." He argued that any breakup of
>the "'marriage' between a company and acommunity" ought to involve
"serious alimony to pay" if a "corporation packs up and leaves."
Moore would also "Prohibit companies from pitting one state or city
against another" by locating where the best tax rates and other
government inducements are offered.
But as the Drudge Report revealed on April 22, 2004, Michael Moore
himself rejected American companies and workers by outsourcing the
design and hosting of his own website to two Canadian companies.
Canadians "are just like us - only better," honorary Canadian Moore
told a "Take Back America" rally of the far-Left Campaign for
>America's Future (CAF), held in conjunction with the 2004Democratic
National Convention in Boston. "We love Canadians," he has said
elsewhere. "We all aspire to be more Canada-like.And thank you,
Canada, for not joining the coalition of the bribed and coerced,"
said Moore, using the diplomatically insane phrase about faithful
American allies by Democratic presidential aspirant Sen. John F.
Kerry of Massachusetts.
(Moore could have been arrested in his beloved Canada because while
promoting his movie in Toronto in June 2004, he urged Canadians to
vote against the conservative candidate for Prime Minister. It is a
crime in Canada for foreigners to "during an election period, in any
way induce electors to vote or refrain from votingfor a particular
In Downsize This!, Moore proposed to "Institute a 100 percent tax on
any profits gained by shareholders when the company's stock goes up
due to an announcement of firings. No one should be allowed to profit
>from such bad news." He would also "Prohibitexecutives' salaries
>from being more than thirty times greater than anaverage employee's
pay" and would "Require boards of directors of publicly owned
corporations to have representation from both workers and consumers."
If Moore despises Big Business, giant corporations and chain
superstores, how does he feel about small business like the local
mom-and-pop shop? "You know in my town the small businesses that
everyone wanted to protect?" he told a reporter from the Arcata Eye
in 2002. "They were the people that supported all the right-wing
groups. They were the Republicans in town, they were in Kiwanis, the
Chamber of Commerce - people that kept the town all white. The small
hardware salesman, the small clothing store sales persons, Jesse the
Barber who signed his name three different times on three different
petitions to recall me from the school board. F**k all these small
businesses - f**k 'em all," said Moore. "Bring in the chains."
Moore's economic authoritarianism - strikingly similar to the
policies of Hitler and Italian fascist Benito Mussolini - is, of
>course, megalomaniacal and insane. Moore's ideas come from hismyopic
and shallow understanding of history and economics.
Moore's claptrap populism is a form of economic suicide. To
understand why, imagine that you are an investor deciding where to
build a factory to manufacture a new technology. Would you choose to
locate it in a city, state or country governed by those holding
Michael Moore's ideology of property expropriation? This is why
investment and opportunity are fleeing the Democrat-dominated Rust
Belt for freer places - and why in the long run Michael Moore will be
unable to prevent this economic migration towards freedom.
Moore, incidentally, showed little "Buy American" patriotism for the
GM cars his father, mother, uncle, and grandfather helped build.
"When I became an adult, I decided I didn't want a General Motors
car," wrote Moore in his 2002 book Stupid White MenAnd Other Sorry
Excuses for the State of the Nation! (Regan Books), "mainly because
they broke down more often than I did. So I bought Volkswagens and
Hondas and drove around town with pride." Moore, therefore, helped
turn Flint into a Rust Belt city. No wonder they love Moore in
Germany, where he appeared before cheering crowds in a brown jacket.
This same quest for opportunity and freedom is what brought most
Americans' ancestors (including Moore's) here. This is one of the
things Michael Moore hates most about America. Most of our ancestors
were fleeing the residue of feudalism that continues in Europe.
Feudalism is akin to Moore's silly "marriage" analogy, which by
logical extension would prohibit not only the company from leaving
its workers but also the workers from leaving the company. Such was
the bondage of vassals under feudal society, which Moore apparently
prefers to liberty.
For thinking people, history has now demonstrated the stupidity of
>such feudal-socialist ideas. To understand why, consider one ofthe
few missteps of President Ronald Reagan when he jawboned the Japanese
into limiting the number of automobiles they exported to the U.S.
Restricting this competition saved some UAW jobs in Michigan, at a
cost experts pegged at $600,000 per job and an extra $2,000 higher
pricetag on new cars passed on to working Americans. It would have
been far cheaper to lay Flint union workers off and give each $50,000
per year for a decade.
But worse, companies such as Toyota, with their number of exports
limited, sent to America expensive, gas-guzzling Cressidas. This made
America more dependent on foreign oil, more vulnerable to the
politics of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and more pressed to intervene
militarily in foreign lands to maintain stability. And all this
happened because leftist demagogues like Michael Moore blocked the
drilling of new oil wells in America while demanding protection for
America's overpriced, uncompetitive union jobs. Political tampering
with the marketplace always produces unintended consequences. And
among the worst of such consequences are yet more laws and
regulations to remedy the mess politicians caused by their tampering
in the first place.
"Horatio Alger must die!" wrote Michael Moore in his 2003 book Dude,
Where's My Country? (Warner Books). "We're addicted to this happy
myth," wrote Moore, "that anyone can make it in America, and make it
bigListen, friends, you have to face the truth: You are never going
to be richThe system is rigged in favor of the few, and your name is
not among them, not now and not ever."
Those who become millionaires, Moore wrote, are "about one in a
million." If he is right, then America with a population of 295
million would have only 295 millionaires. But America has literally
millions of citizens whose net worth in real estate and savings
exceed $1 million. The average American family earns more than $1
million over its working life and could save much of that if
Democrats like Michael Moore were not confiscating half their
earnings in direct and hidden taxes.
But it would be far better, Moore apparently believes, if the
American Dream died and people accepted their politically-determined
place in a socialist-run system - where the capitalists will all
eventually be expropriated by regulations and taxes, private property
and "inequality" will vanish, and all jobs will become unionized
government jobs. (Moore refused to see the "new class" of
aristocratic rulers that arose under Soviet, Chinese and Cuban
Communism, where power became the coin of the realm, determining who
got the limousines and luxury dachas on the Black Sea, Beijing, and
Michael Moore's mentality was perfectly anticipated by the late
Longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer, who wrote that if you ask a
leftist at what other time in history he would want to live he will
reply: the Middle Ages. This was the age of feudalism and
paternalism, serfs and lords, the last time in the West prior to
Marxism that intellectuals were part of the ruling elite.
The irony in Moore calling for the death of Horatio Alger, of course,
is that Moore is one of these ultra-wealthy few, now probably worth
more than $50 million. He claims to be a working class egalitarian
who wants society to be open and honest, but Moore has always refused
to make public his and his company's tax, income, and net worth
records. He claims to give a third of his income to worthy causes,
but he refuses to make public records that would confirm this. If he
"pays his fair share," as leftists like to demand of the rich, and
uses no tax avoidance methods, Manhattanite Moore should be paying
more than half his huge income in taxesbut is he? His obsessive
concealment makes one wonder what this self-appointed People's
Watchdog has to hide.
"Michael Moore would never withstand the scrutiny he lays on other
people," his former manager Douglas Urbanski told the Times of
>London. "You would think that he's the ultimate commonman. But he's
Moore owns a New York City apartment worth at least $1.9 million. He
owns a beachfront estate in Torch Lake, Michigan, worth at least $1.2
million. (His comrades at the left-wing propaganda operation Media
Matters frantically attacked a 2004 report that Moore was
simultaneously, and therefore illegally, registered to vote in both
places.) His daughter Natalie, born in 1981, got much of her
education in elite private schools.
Moore's typical audience is not workers but college students, who pay
dearly for the honor of his celebrity presence and speechmaking. The
Federal Election Commission (FEC) launched an investigation into
Moore's 2004 "Slacker Uprising Tour" of dozens of colleges and
universities, most in swing states, during the closing days of the
presidential campaign. The filmmaker charged student organizations or
the schools up to $30,000 per appearance to share his ideological
views. In many instances, this may have involved a one-sided, and
hence illegal, partisan use of government facilities and money at
state universities and colleges to subsidize Moore's pro-Kerry
"The slacker motto," Moore told one cheering crowd of adolescent
college students, "is 'Sleep till noon, drink beer, vote Kerry
November 2,'" adding "'Pick nose, pick b*tt, pick Kerry" and ending
with an echo of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels from the Communist
Manifesto: "Slackers of the world, unite!"
"We need to let the working class know that we don't think we're
better than them," said Moore. We? Them? As Daniel Radosh, son of
>famed author Ron Radosh, wrotein June 1997 at Salon.com: "If [former
Republican House Speaker] Newt Gingrich said anything so patronizing,
the Left would never stop ridiculing him."
"To effect change we have to get off our high horse and start living
in the real world," Moore told one activist audience. "I want you
watching [the TV sitcom] 'Friends' every single week. I want you
listening to country music."
"Rap music and country music, these are the voicesof people who are
disenfranchised," Moore told one college audience. "I know the music
sucks, but don't you want to put yourself through some pain to see
what people are feeling?" Added Radosh: "Not that we're better than
them or anything."
Moore's response to Daniel Radosh's investigation was to smear Radosh
by accusing him of being right-wing, to smear Salon.com by accusing
it of taking ad money from Borders Books (a company that Moore
claimed banned him after he tried to help unionize its workers), and
to smear Salon publisher David Talbot by accusing him of a "personal
grudge" from when Moore beat Talbot by becoming editor of Mother
Jones. But Moore, using his usual theatrical bluster to distract the
audience, avoided answering most of the questions Radosh raised.
Moore also threatened a lawsuit against Salon.com. As Slate.com
editor Jack Shafer wrote in a similar context: "Moore's hysterical,
empty threats" to sue critics of one of his documentaries shows that
he "appears to believe in free speech only for himself."
Moore's threats, like those long used by consumer advocate Ralph
Nader to stifle his critics, have apparently frightened some
publications out of publishing articles that cast Moore in a
less-than-glowing light. His techniques, are, well, Moorewellian.
To be fair, capitalism, Republicans, conservatives (or as he calls
them, "hate-triots"), and America are not the only things Michael
Moore hates. He apparently hates Protestants, and has semi-seriously
proposed that the way to resolve the conflict in Northern Ireland is
to forcibly re-baptize all Protestants there as Catholics.
Moore hates Cuban-Americans, largely because they vote Republican.
Moore, writes Humberto Fontova, author of Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite
Tyrant (2005, Regnery), has also said that Cuban-Americans are
"terrorists," "drug smugglers," "gangsters," and in Moore's word,
"wimps" for not staying in Cuba to shape their socialist utopia. In
2000, on his website Moore wrote an "Open Letter to Elian Gonzalez,"
in which he accused the boy's mother (who drown bringing her
five-year-old from Castro's island prison to freedom in America) of
>kidnapping her son. "Thetruth is your mother and her boyfriend
snatched you and put you on that death boat," wrote Moore, "because
they simply wanted to make more money."
By contrast, Cuba's government-run television broadcast Moore's
Fahrenheit 9/11 unedited because it was already, by Castro's exacting
Marxist standards, perfect anti-American propaganda.
Moore apparently hates Jews, at least those in Israel, and their
supporters. As David Brooks wrote in the June 26, 2004, New York
Times, "In Liverpool, [Michael Moore] paused to contemplate the
epicenters of evil in the modern world: 'It's all part of the same
ball of wax, right? The oil companies, Israel, Halliburton.'"
Moore dedicated his book Dude, Where's My Country? to Rachel Corrie,
an activist with the radical International Solidarity Movement (ISM)
accidentally killed by an Israeli bulldozer she was attempting to
impede as it destroyed tunnels used by terrorists to smuggle weapons.
"In their hearts [Israelis] know they are wrong," wrote Moore in
Dude, Where's My Country? "and they know they would be doing just
what the Palestinians are doing if the sandal were on the other foot."
No wonder Moore has been honored by the American Arab
Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) and the Muslim American Public
Affairs Council (MPAC). Moore in a speech before the ADC said he
would not attend a scheduled screening of one of his movies in Israel
until Israel ceased to occupy the West Bank and Gaza.
And no wonder that an affiliate of the Iran-linked terrorist group
Hezbollah offered to help promote his film Fahrenheit 9/11 in the
Middle East, especially after Moore tried to prevent it from being
shown in Israel, as reported in the February 16, 2004, issue of the
In Fahrenheit 9/11, Saddam Hussein's brutal Ba'athist socialist
dictatorship - which put more than 300,000 of its victims in mass
graves - is depicted by Moore as a land of children laughing and
flying kites. Then come the American bombers, bringing death and
destruction. "I'm just trying to present another side of the story,"
Moore told ABC News.
Part of Moore's movie lionized Congressman Jim McDermott, D-WA, a
member of the socialist Progressive Caucus in the House of
Representatives who traveled to Iraq before the 2003 war to support
the Hussein regime. Moore never mentioned that McDermott also
received more than $10,000 in cash and travel expenses from Hussein
And Moore praises the Islamist terrorists killing American soldiers
in Iraq today. "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation
are not 'insurgents' or 'terrorists' or 'The Enemy," said Moore.
"They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow
- and they will win."
Do Moore's anti-American books and films cause or help terrorists
legitimize violence? Apparently so. The Indonesian convicted of the
Bali terror bombings of 2002 had his lawyer read to the court
excerpts of Moore's Stupid White Men as justification for his hatred
of the West.
Moore has said he wants "regime change" of the democratically elected
governments in Australia, Italy, and Japan because they are part of
the Coalition of the Willing.
And Moore hates and, like a petulant child, attacks those who refuse
to give him whatever he wants. When, for example, Pete Townshend of
the British rock group The Who refused to give Moore the rights to
use his song "Won't Get Fooled Again" in Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore
responded in his typical way. He trashed Townshend in the press and
accused the musician of supporting the war in Iraq, even though it
was widely known that this was untrue.
Several websites courageously persist in documenting what their
authors see as Moore's shortcomings and deceits. Among these are
Moore Watch, Moore Exposed, Spinsanity on Michael Moore, and Moore
In June 2004, Regan Books, the publisher of Moore's book Stupid White
Men, published Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man. Its
co-authors are former U.S. Interior Department attorney David T.
Hardy, who founded Moore Exposed, and Jason Clarke, creator of Moore
Lies. This book gives precise details about the distortions,
contradictions, hypocrisies, errors, and outright lies in each of
Moore's writings and film documentaries, as analyzed by two of
>Moore's most relentless critics.Moore has said that he is at work on a sequel to his 2004 political
propaganda film Fahrenheit 9/11. He is also preparing a documentary
critical of the pharmaceutical industry and American healthcare that
Moore has tentatively titled "Sicko." Moore is likely to schedule its
arrival in theaters for mid-2006 to provide propaganda helpful to
Democrats running in the congressional midterm elections.
Thus far, the candidates Moore has embraced, or who have embraced him
like Clark and Daschle, have lost on election day, leading some to
wonder whether receiving a political blessing from Michael Moore is a
curse. In 2006, Moore could again become what analyst Collin Levey
called "the new Ralph Nader," an ego-driven left-wing albatross
around the neck of the Democratic Party.
Days after the 2004 election, Moore appeared on NBC's Tonight Show
with Jay Leno. The audience was stunned as the usually unkempt
filmmaker walked onstage neatly shaven, wearing a suit and necktie.
The outcome was good for him either way, Moore jovially explained.
Moore made a mountain of money by exploiting the Democratic
convention, campaign and media to sell his products to the leftist
faithful, who were almost his only customers. Moore's shrill
propaganda was a sermon to the choir that converted almost nobody,
but it diverted tens of millions of liberal political dollars from
the campaign to Moore's own pockets. Moore boasted to Leno that
President Bush's tax cuts will now let him keep more of his
"Moore's shtick is to deftly read the emotional contours of the
liberal left and then to profitably mold and expand himself to fill
the void," wrote Marc Cooper last March in LA Weekly. "He's a
polarizer, not a teacher. His ramped-up stage style, shouting and
screaming profanities at Dubya, no doubt provides some satisfying
moments for the already-converted but can only alienate and confound
those still in doubt."
Some Democrats watching the show must have wondered whether
undermining their candidate's campaign to help Bush win had always
been Michael Moore's secret plan. Is Michael Moore America's most
influential propagandist against capitalism, or its most cynical,
self-serving capitalist? Is Michael Moore really a closet Republican,
the GOP's most cunning secret agent? Is Michael Moore an elephant (or
a pig) disguised in donkey clothing? He is exactly what he appears to
be: a radical leftist who has grown wealthy by exploiting an economic
system he would destroy in a nation whose founding principles he
Libertarianism: To African-Americans
"Often, younger blacks in call themselves independent or
libertarian or say they think the two parties didn't
differ fundamentally." -- New York Times (Feb. 1, 2004)