Thursday, May 06, 2004
Michael Moore: Manipulator [UPDATED x2]

...but you already knew he couldn't be trusted, didn't you?

Well, in case you had any doubts, here's more proof.

[HatTip to Daimnation and Michael Totten.]

It has come to my attention that some readers are missing the point of this post. Here's Michael J. Totten (who, by the way, leans to the Left):
Some people just don't get it. When liberals criticize the wing-nuts on their own side it doesn't hurt them. It helps them. Defending liars and conspiracy theorists because they're on your own 'side' makes your side look insane.

Ask yourself - should conservatives run interference for Ann Coulter just because she's right of center? Or should they tell her to get lost? Ask yourself what would be honorable behavior from the folks on the other side of the aisle. Then follow your own advice. You'll feel better and help yourself in the bargain.
Just to clarify what the issue is here, allow me to quote the source of the information, one Marc Cooper (also a Left-leaner):
Dissecting the current dust-up, it seems clear that Disney never intended to distribute Moore's film. Maybe the Mousketeers are cowards, but at least they are consistent. And Moore is whining now only to hype the pre-Cannes buzz. Sources report that Miramax never planned to release the Moore film, that it was always slated to come out through Lions Gate, as did the earlier Dogma.
And I'll follow that by quoting from the London Independent (which is quite a bit further to the Left):
Michael Moore, the establishment-bashing film-maker, accused the Walt Disney Company of political censorship yesterday because it is refusing to distribute his latest documentary which attacks the Bush administration's handling of national security since 11 September.
Get that? He's playing the free-speech card. Nevermind the fact that he has no right to have some entity other than himself give him a contract for distribution. It is perfectly within Disney's rights (no matter what their motivation) to decide not to help Mr. Moore out here. To continue:
Last year, Mr Moore cried censorship again after his unabashedly political speech at the Oscars - he called Mr Bush a "fictitious" president who had just started the Iraq invasion for "fictitious reasons" - was greeted with jeers and boos.
So he's done this before (as if you didn't know), and, again, his definition of free speech is: getting everyone else to cease their own. Heaven forbid they actually, you know, disagree. Moving on:
There is no indication, however, that [Miramax] was counting on [Mr. Eisner changing his mind], or that Mr Eisner has somehow reneged on an earlier promise.

"The only thing that's new here is in Disney's reaffirmation of their previously stated position," one well-placed source said on condition of anonymity. "Miramax never said it was distributing the film, even if people assumed it would find a way."
Aha! So the whole thing was a lie in the first place. "Miramax never said it was distributing the film..." The 'betrayal' of Mr. Moore by Miramax itself was bogus. This, friends, is the point - that Mr. Moore has repeatedly and grossly manipulated the facts, both in his books and his films, and now he's expanded that mode of deception into 'reality,' such as it is.

The Left, if it is ever to come back to coherence, would do well to distance itself from Moore's ravings.

UPDATE The 2nd
More from Mr. Cooper [emphasis in original]:
I cannot imagine Michael Moore having that sort of transformational effect on anyone. Moore arrives before us not with a newspaper under his arm, but rather with a bullhorn and a sledgehammer. [Mort] Sahl engaged his audience in subtle, complicated dialogue, enticing his fans to think beyond the conventional wisdom. Moore's style is to bully and bluster. Sahl helped teach me how to think. Moore purports to tell us what to think.

Which wouldn’t be so objectionable if there was evidence that Moore had any depth, any nuance or at least some consistency to his own thought.

I find no trace. His books are crude pastiches, not plagiarized but, let us say, deeply dependent on the work of others. Even his Oscar-winning Bowling for Columbine is but a cinematic redux of USC sociologist Barry Glassner's far superior book, The Culture of Fear.

Moore supported Nader's 2000 campaign and then at the end, called for a strategic vote for Gore. He slammed Clinton but simultaneously swooned over Hillary, describing her as his fantasy woman in his best-selling Downsize This! In Bowling for Columbine, Moore makes the phantasmagoric assertion that the Littleton killings are somehow linked to the tonnage of NATO bombs dropped on Yugoslavia that same day. Yet, he vigorously supported Wesley Clark for president — who, as former NATO Supreme Commander, oversaw that same bombing.

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. 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.

While touring his current book, Moore has boasted that turnouts of two, three or more thousand fans to see him in this or that venue proves something important about the existence of a majoritarian opposition in America. It does? Some Orange County cathedral services draw bigger crowds every Sunday.

Moore has had some great moments and, yes, he can be very funny. His 1989 Roger & Me deserved its unexpected success. But even that supposedly ultra-populist piece seemed oddly streaked with a scornful misanthropy, a sentiment, I suspect, that reveals something rather dark about Moore’s core views.
Like so many on the Left, Mr. Cooper has seen Michael Moore for what he is, and is wisely saying 'go away.'
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