Michael Moore

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Michael Moore, 2004.
One of the
Pundits
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And a dirty dozen more

Michael Moore is a propagandist documentarian filmmaker and activist who is affiliated with populist or liberal causes.

Conservatives often accuse him of being exactly morally opposite to Ann Coulter. As being the moral opposite of Ann Coulter is what virtually all liberals and moderates aspire to, this is not much of an insult. However, he is also despised by some liberals, for engaging in the same kind of distortion and hypocrisy, thus undermining the left's credibility. Some have called him the "left-wing Rush Limbaugh" (though that is questionable, since his films have at least some form of truth).[1]

His movies/books are as subtle as a sledgehammer and have been criticized for inaccuracies. Moore usually responds to criticisms of his works with ad hominem attacks as opposed to answering to said criticisms, since he has no valid defenses against them.[2]

For the most part Michael Moore can be described as mostly harmless.

The Mother Jones affair[edit]

In 1986 he got a new job as the editor of the San Francisco based magazine Mother Jones. It lasted about 5 minutes; as a Michigan boy, he didn't quite fit the San Francisco culture, or something. The ostensible reason, depending on which side you believe is either that Moore nixed an article critical of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, or that Mother Jones nixed a cover story about General Motors plant closings in Michigan. In any case, Moore sued for wrongful dismissal, settled out of court, and took his winnings to finance his first film, Roger & Me, which was about those GM plant closings.

Filmmaking[edit]

Though great at getting around with cameras and looking like he's doing a bang-up job, Michael Moore's documentaries are full of propaganda techniques and fallacious reasoning, such as appeal to emotion and ad hominem attacks.

Roger & Me[edit]

In 1984, Moore and Ralph Nader were bosom buddies. But then a Nader associate noticed the idea for a little documentary on General Motors didn't quite originate with the person who made it. Later, Nader wrote a scathing letter to the Times asking Moore to give back the $30k Nader was owed.[3]

"Testify"[edit]

In 1999, Michael Moore directed a Rage Against the Machine video whose basic thesis was that Bush and Gore were exactly the same.

Bowling for Columbine[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Bowling for Columbine

Here he tries to stick it to the NRA bastards who are clearly at fault for providing the obviously disturbed students with weapons. The movie ends with Michael Moore harassing an aged and obviously dementing Charlton Heston and trespassing on his property while pleading that he... well, it wasn't exactly clear what he expected to get out of the frail and forgetful Heston, he just ended up looking like he was about to cry over not getting it. Given that Heston was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease a year and a half before the time of filming, this sequence could probably be classified as elder abuse/baiting of a disabled person.

Fahrenheit 9/11[edit]

In case you are unaware, that is the temperature at which freedom burns. In decimal that's about .82F or -17.32C. Anyhoo, George W. Bush is paraded around as a pure force of idiocratic evil who is tight with Saudi Arabia, and thus was complicit in the World Trade Center attacks.

A number of logical fallacies are committed, including an ad hominem in which instead of criticizing Dubya's politics, Moore attempts to portray him as a "lame duck president" for having been on vacation 42% of the time in his first eight months in office.[4] This movie also contains one of the most egregious examples of quote mining, where Condoleezza Rice is portrayed as arguing that there was a link between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 attacks, even though she was actually saying the opposite.

In 2004, Moore went completely off his nut, declaring that if Bush was re-elected as President:

"...he's going to bring back the draft. He will be forced to. Because, thanks to his crazy war, recruitment is going to be at an all-time low. And many of the troops stuck over there are NOT going to re-enlist. The only way Bush is going to be able to staff the military is to draft you and your friends. Parents, make no mistake about it - Bush's second term will see your sons taken from you and sent to fight wars for the oily rich."

Over four years later, the draft had not been reintroduced.

Sicko[edit]

In Sicko Michael Moore dreadfully reminds Americans how much their health care system sucks, how it's all the Republicans' fault, how virtually every other country worth its landmass does better and something about prisoners in the shut-down-since-2011 Guantanamo Bay getting better care for free on the government's dime even though it's expected that all prisoners should be treated well because they are the responsibility of the government.

Christopher Hitchens on Moore[edit]

Hitch wasn't too fond of him, remarking that it was quite hypocritical of the European left, who regard the average American to be a fat, stupid, greedy white man, to embrace Moore, who absolutely embodies all of these traits, as their figurehead. Hitchens was also critical of Fahrenheit 9/11, saying "To describe this film as dishonest and demagogic would be to promote those terms to the level of respectability. To describe this film as a piece of crap would be to run the risk of a discourse that would never again rise above the excremental…Fahrenheit 9/11 is a sinister exercise in moral frivolity, crudely disguised as an exercise in seriousness. It is also a spectacle of abject political cowardice masking itself as a demonstration of 'dissenting' bravery." Then again, this was pro-War on Terror era Hitch.

More of Moore[edit]

Moore re-entered the good graces of (some) lefties when he paid Julian Assange's bail, which was greater than USD100,000, in December 2010.

"Rust Belt Brexit" was a brilliant forecast of the situation in the Great Lakes region. (Then again, he said "Get used to saying President Romney'" back in 2012, so...) At least Moore will be happy; he has someone new to make movies against.

Published work[edit]

(Stolen from Wikipedia)

Books[edit]

  • Moore, Michael (1996). Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American. Perennial (Harper Edition). ISBN 0-06-097733-7.
  • Moore, Michael; & Glynn, Kathleen (1998). Adventures In A TV Nation. Perennial. ISBN 0-06-098809-6.
  • Moore, Michael (2002). Stupid White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!. Regan Books. ISBN 0-06-039245-2.
  • Moore, Michael (2003). Dude, Where's My Country?. Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-53223-1.
  • Moore, Michael (2004). Will They Ever Trust Us Again?. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-7152-1.
  • Moore, Michael (2004). The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-7292-7.
  • Moore, Michael (2010). Here Comes Trouble. Penguin. ISBN 0-713-99701-9

Films[edit]

  • Roger & Me (1989)
  • Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint (1992) (TV)
  • Canadian Bacon (1995) (Non-documentary comedy)
  • The Big One (1997)
  • And Justice for All (1998) (TV)
  • Lucky Numbers (2000)
  • Bowling for Columbine (2002) (Winner - Best Documentary Feature Oscar)
  • Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) (Winner - "Palme d'Or" in Cannes)
  • Sicko (2007)
  • Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)
  • Where to Invade Next (2015)
  • Michael Moore in TrumpLand (2016)

TV series[edit]

  • TV Nation (1994)
  • The Awful Truth (1999)
  • Michael Moore Live (1999)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. For one, he is generally liked in Canuckistan for being what could be the only person that has shown factual evidence about universal health care in the American media.
  2. An example can be found here in his defense of Stupid White Men in an interview with Lou Dobbs; http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0204/12/mlld.00.html
  3. Levin, Devon P., "Maker of Documentary That Attacks G.M. Alienates His Allies", New York Times 1.19.90.
  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZwrteFNic4