MICHAEL MOORE ISN’T YOUR AVERAGE MILLIONAIRE CELEBRITY. His oafish, disheveled appearance is both physically and intellectually disengaging, so much so that you might not take him very seriously. You should. Ostensibly, Moore exposes the hypocrisy and misconduct of establishment figures through his films, TV shows and books. In reality, Moore, whose political stance is uncommonly demented, obtuse and juvenile, uses kamikaze journalism to further a clear and precarious agenda.
To distinguish himself from the flock of privileged leftist gadflies that litter the progressive causes, Moore likes to emphasize his working class Michigan upbringing. (Though from all accounts he never labored very hard himself, save one day on a Buick assembly line.) Despite his open hatred of the rich, Moore has few qualms about aping an authentic capitalist, peddling his new book, Stupid White Men… and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation, on seemingly all news, entertainment and radio show running. His efforts have paid off substantially, as Stupid White Men previously sat at the number one spot on Amazon.com.
Moore first established his celebrity as the director of Roger and Me, a tedious documentary, endlessly glorified by critics for its populist ethos and stark honesty. In it, Moore trails former General Motors CEO Roger Smith after the executive closed down a GM plant in Moore’s hometown of Flint. The film, which ended up exploiting the suffering of Flint’s blue-collar population, made Moore a rich man and an instant celebrity after years of political activism. Subsequently, Moore has directed a feature film, produced two TV series of faux investigative journalism and written best selling books.
What is most curious regarding Moore’s recent popularity is the lack of pointed questions being asked by the media regarding his radical political posture. Teeming with bizarre conspiracy theories, Moore freely assails free markets values and other capitalist institutions, employing an extreme political position that feeds off racial tensions, class jealousy and a distorted perspective of history. Any competent journalist would handle Moore as political commando, rather than an entertainer with a book to sell. That, however, has not been the case. Moore has been affectionately received by the press; his lecturing seldom obstructed by a question of substance from fawning peers.
Particularly gruesome has been Moore’s character assassination of President Bush. The day after September 11, for instance he wrote: “Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes’ destination of California — these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!” Blaming the president, who had been in office for less than a year, for an act that took considerable time to plan, while never once mentioning Bush’s predecessor as complicit, took impressive dexterity. [Apparently, according to Moore] if the terrorists would have targeted Americans in any of the