Pissing on Michael Moore

Let me see if I get this straight:

EVERYONE* who’s seen it thinks Michael Moore’s new movie is the best thing he’s ever done, and addresses a critical issue in American life that’s being ignored at — literally — the peril of every American. (The Fox News reporter at Cannes was, reportedly, moved to tears by it.)

[* within reason, and I mean “reason” literally. HW]

And Michael Moore, being successful and having made a good movie must be pissed on.

I kid you not.

Ella Taylor in the LA WEEKLY:

But even a man with Moore’s billowing persecution complex shouldn’t have been surprised by the health care industry gearing up to rebut his richly deserved attack on their heedless bottom-line mentality … Though Moore has had the good sense to take himself out of the picture as much as his engorged ego can stand, Sicko remains full of familiar Moore-ish stunts …

AND:

That said, the movie is a great piece of populist outrage and a dangerously good comedy about a looming American tragedy …

OK. Glad you didn’t hate it, lady.

Here’s Ralph Nader on COUNTERPUNCH:

He sat there dejected and indignant-twenty years ago-in our office. His position as editor of the monthly muckraking magazine, Mother Jones, had broken up. He was looking for a job that would allow him to bring his conscience to work.

We gave him a place and support to start Moore’s Weekly-a media critique.

Michael Moore has gone a long way since that short-lived publication. He went on to do documentary films, starting with Roger and Me-meaning of course, Michael Moore.

Rich, famous and Hollywood chic, Moore will open his latest film-‘Sicko’ in theatres around the country on June 29, 2007. To many of those who have already seen this indictment and conviction of the corporations that sell health care under an array of tricky conditions, it is his best move yet. …

You’d almost think Nader liked the movie, but then, this tag:

If Moore is serious about getting “real change,” as he phrases his goal, he will have to make at least two more contributions. First, he will need to … With all his super-rich Hollywood contacts and admirers, Moore should be able to multiply this proposed group’s budget several fold. Michael can even call it ‘Moore’s Miracle!’

Er, Nader is the one who PROPOSED the group!

Nader, having taken credit for Michael Moore, now tells Moore how to spend the money he will make from the film.

Assuming that he makes any, by the by.

Let’s see, who ELSE is pissing on Michael Moore? (Aside from the predictable corporate shills, GOP goons, and Ann Coulter wannabes, like, say, Michelle, Petite Mal’s Kin).

Here’s the “official news story and interview” from AP writer David Germain:

Moore: Health Care Wasn’t Always `Sicko’
By DAVID GERMAIN | AP Movie Writer
3:33 PM EDT, June 27, 2007

LOS ANGELES – “The doctor will see you now,” says a Hollywood publicist as she opens a door for a reporter at Los Angeles city hall.

Alone inside a conference room there is Michael Moore, who has just finished speaking at a rally outside with supporters of universal health coverage for Americans.

… AP: Harvey Weinstein says his initial reaction over the investigation of your Cuba trip was elation that the federal government was helping to publicize the film. Did you ever feel that?

Moore: No. This is serious. I’m being investigated by the federal government, for what? I’m a free citizen in a free country. I can travel freely. To tell me I can’t go somewhere is antithetical to what freedom and democracy are about. … I read a lot when that happened, like, “Oh, boy, Michael Moore and Harvey, they must just love this.” But I don’t really need to do anything to get people to come to my movies. They come. … Everybody knows who I am at this point, I think. They know what my movies are about. They’re either going to come or not come. It may seem stupid of the Bush administration to have done anything to help publicize the film, but the film was going to be known, anyway.

And here is the “official” (i.e. standard) film review from the AP:

Moore’s ‘Sicko’ a persuasive, if one-sided, look at health care
Movie Review: ‘Sicko’
by Christy Lemire AP Movie Critic
June 28, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) – “Sicko” is a documentary, but it’s a comedy, too — and a family drama and a travelogue and, ultimately, a horror movie.

It’s also the rare Michael Moore film that isn’t primarily about Michael Moore — at least not for the first hour or so. He truly seems to be aiming for the greater good here, not just pushing a personal agenda or carrying out a vendetta as he appeared to do in “Roger & Me” and “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

But it is quintessential Moore: expertly crafted, eminently entertaining, one-sided and overly simplistic ….

Aw, jeepers, Christy, tell us how you REALLY feel.

Let me get this straight: because it’s a movie that doesn’t feature as much Michael Moore as you hate to see, you use it to SLAM him … for being Michael Moore?

This isn’t criticism (I’ve been a professional book and film critic for 30 years, kiddies): this is the ideological equivalent of the DTs.

Let’s see: in a world of FAUX NOOZ, bullshit news events (witness the spate of phony “terrorist” busts of incompetent boobs that vanish when the true nature of the bust is known, or the big operation that we haven’t heard anything about since last week when it was trumpeted on front pages), in a world where we are continually subjected to character assassination masquerading as political analysis, and WORSE (like FRANK LUNTZ* being hired by PBS to do the post-mortem polling on the Democratic Debate tonight), what is so objectionable to Michael Moore having a point of view? He states it, cheerfully, up front, which is refreshing in this Age of Gilded Mendacity.

[*Note: in the hours since I finished this and fell asleep, PBS has PULLED Luntz from the immediate debate aftermath, but his polling and ‘analysis’ will appear the following night — according the firedoglake bloggers on the Thom Hartmann Show a few minutes ago.]

But hating Michael Moore has become yet another fetish of the Right, and being good Lefties, we, too must eat our dead. The way that Gore was pissed on, post-2000 (conveniently forgotten, I note), or Kerry was pissed on, post-2004. Now, let the pissing begin:

(The end of the AP review):

Then, in the second half of “Sicko,” Moore visits Britain, France and — in a climactic bit of literal showboating — Cuba, all countries where citizens enjoy the benefits of government-run medical care. In his much-ballyhooed trip to Guantanamo Bay, he stands at the front of a boat, surrounded by some of the men and women who volunteered at ground zero after 9/11 and have suffered physical and mental health problems ever since, and asks through a bullhorn that they receive the same medical treatment as the prisoners there. Of course he knew from the moment he pulled away from the dock in Miami that they wouldn’t get the attention they sought, but still — it makes for good theater.

No shit, Sherlock. I mean, using THEATER in a movie? Good lord!

What weakens “Sicko” is that Moore never offers a single dissenting voice or even suggests in a cursory way that he tried to reach any political leaders or insurance executives for a response. We’re told that top administrators receive bonuses for denying care, for example — that the less coverage they provide, the fewer people they help, the more money they save their companies — but there’s no one to explain or defend this practice. Nor does Moore bother to mention how much it might cost to institute universal health care in the United States.

Instead he tickles the funny bone and tugs at the heart — with surgical precision. “Sicko,” a Lionsgate and Weinstein Co. release, runs 123 minutes. AP: ***

What weakens this review is an obvious pre-existing intention to slur Michael Moore, and a disquieting tendency to display an overzealous obsession with five dollar thesaurus words as a substitute for actual critical thought.

Just think: Michael Moore’s weakness is that he doesn’t make a movie for the companies who spend millions on spiking Bill and Hillary Clinton’s health care program (that they ran on, and which we VOTED for).

What ACTUALLY weakens the AP review is the AP reviewer. Onward.

Again: she LIKES it. Everybody likes it. They just like pissing on Michael Moore too much to NOT make the review about slamming him … for being a success? For making a good movie about an important subject?

I guess I just don’t understand Americans. Or, perhaps I understand them too well.

There’s a great line in one of my new favorite books about the last Persian invasion of Greece, and the pivotal battle of Salamis, The Battle of Salamis, The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece — and Western Civilization (2004), by Barry Strauss:

Democracy distrusts great men, and Themistocles was not ashamed about reminding Athenians of his greatness …. Disrespected in his own city-state Themistocles had to go to Sparta to achieve recognition [for saving Greece]. (pp. 239-240)

Democracy is deeply suspicious of, jealous of, and, finally, contemptuous of great men. We raise them up for their talent and then crucify them for having had the temerity to succeed. I watched this with Camille Paglia: when Sexual Personae came out, she was hailed as a great, original and important thinker. And then, as her next two collections came out, we admitted to the superiority of the essays, and started nitpicking Paglia herself.

She had made a success of herself.

All right. Back to pissing on Michael Moore:

Here, from the professional pissers at NewsBusters (“Exposing and combating liberal media bias,” which is, evidently, bad, unlike their proud conservative bias; bias being only bad if it’s liberal, one supposes):

Media’s Gushing for Moore Enough to Make You ‘Sicko’
Posted by Julia A. Seymour on June 27, 2007 – 17:27.

Michael Moore is a documented liar who uses “omission, exaggeration and cinematic sleight of hand” to make his political points. But that doesn’t seem to matter to the media who cover his movies.

Now journalists are using “Sicko,” which opens June 29, to make a giddy, unabashed case for socialized health care in America — and even urging Moore to run for office.

He shows “compassion” and “generosity,” he’s a great “campaigner” and an “adroit politician,” reporters have declared.

He’s “taking on America’s deeply flawed health care system,” said Terry Moran on ABC’s “Nightline” June 13. And “… the point his movie ultimately makes: fixing health care is a moral, even a religious obligation.”

There. Unalloyed hatred from the Rightie professionals. It’s so refreshing. Not like the little fits and starts of the amateur lefties’ pissing and gritching prose-fest.

Here’s the raw, 190 proof “white lightning” tag for Julia A. Seymour’s ode to her own moral superiority:

Other journalists have taken Moore’s exaggerated ideas and pro-socialist agenda and run with it … The concept that health care is “free” for everyone in Canada, France, Britain and Cuba is a major argument in Moore’s film. While this is laughable considering the higher taxes and longer waits that come with “free” care, the majority of media coverage have barely challenged the idea.

Ah. Get a whiff of that Klanlike derision. Michael Moore must surely be the new black man for these White Sheet wannabes. Who else?

“Porcine propagandist Michael Moore has a new movie coming out, ‘Sicko.’ No, it’s not an autobiography but a hit piece on American health care, which extols communist Cuba’s health-care system for wealthy foreigners.” — James Taranto

Fat jokes are a big thing with this crowd. Just once, I wish America would surprise me and NOT descend to a vile schoolyard tactic that was old by the time we got to second grade. Ooooh, what a bunch of clever little monkeys you are! You notice that Michael Moore is fat! That’s IMPORTANT in this argument, right?

And this from (hard Rightie) HUMAN EVENTS:

Elton John’s Partner Blasts Michael Moore and ‘Sicko’

Newsbusters’ Lynn Davidson reports that Elton John’s partner David Furnish blasted Michael Moore for his movie, ‘Sicko.’ Furnish opines, “I completely disagree with Michael Moore. With my own father, when he was ill, the only option was to hire a jet and fly him to America. It was the only place to get good treatment.”

Gee: we hate fags (just like Fred Phelps says God does), but if we can USE them to further our agenda, we LOVE them. I guess they’ve got a lot of little eichmanns from the Right moonlighting from their ‘Global Warming What Global Warming?’ reporting to do a quick couple weeks of Michael Moore bashing. (I can hardly wait for “comedian” Dennis Miller’s analysis — he who has been doing a schtick suggesting that thermometers either didn’t work in 1900, or else they were so primitive that their actual readings couldn’t be believed).

You’d swear that if it weren’t for Charles Darwin, Michael Moore, George Soros and Labor Unions, the United States would be a paradise, with chocolate rivers, caviar trees and krugerrands growing on what had formerly been tumbleweeds. And, of course, those awful liberals and their STOOOOPID “civil rights.”

It’s sure great to know that the left will defend Michael Moore.

With all due respect, no one can help but notice that a weighty health issue is affecting you personally. We’d like to help you fix that. Going vegetarian is an easy and life-saving step that people of all economic backgrounds can take in order to become less reliant on the government’s shoddy healthcare system, and it’s something that you and all Americans can benefit from personally. Vegetarians weigh, on average, up to 20 percent less than their meat-eating counterparts–meaning less weight-related problems like heart attacks and strokes–and live about eight years longer. I’m sure that your fans would appreciate having you around longer! By going vegetarian, you would also provide a powerful message of personal responsibility for one’s health, allowing others to become less reliant on a system that doesn’t care about them. As they say at Nike (sorry!): ‘Just do it.’ We can help, but first, here are some facts …

Well, to be fair, PETA does say nice things about the (fat meat-eating guy’s) film:

Congratulations from PETA on the reviews for SiCKO. Although we think that your film could actually help reform America’s sorely inadequate health care system, there’s an elephant in the room, and it is you.

OK. But we need something with a little more “oomph” and a little less gray matter, if you catch my drift. PETA is merely boorish in their self-absorbed self-righteousness. Maybe they need a role model.

Like this from Michelle Malkin’s video blog thing (appropriately entitled) Hot Air:

New Vent: Schooling Michael Moore Updated
posted at 8:05 am on June 22, 2007 by Bryan

Michelle picks apart the cherry-picked facts and half-baked logic of Michael Moore’s new crockumentary, SiCKO, which opens in theaters today. Plus, health tips from the svelte film maker.

Wow, literally a hateful exudation from Michelle Malkin. Not even her direct hate, but her hate channeled through one of her underlings. THAT’s hate, kiddies. We’re going to have cover some bodacious real estate in Ideological Lunacy Angerland, if we hope to ever catch up to the Advanced Hating Technology of the Right. So, leftie writers: take the challenge. If you’re going to attack Michael Moore because it is now PeeCee and de rigeur to do so, put some real Oooomph behind it. Don’t just gratuitously hate. Don’t give us your patronizing disdain. Give us your RAW, reptile brain fear and loathing. Like this, from the same site:

Bloated socialist using 9/11 illnesses to shill for Castro, free health care
posted at 8:25 pm on April 15, 2007 by Allahpundit*

[*Nota Bene: Haw haw haw. HW]

If America won’t help them, the revolution will. Best part: He flew them there under a ‘journalism’ exception to the travel ban.

(So, Michael Moore isn’t a “journalist” like Michelle Malkin and HOT AIR’s anonymous hateslingers? Great. Gotcha?)

Or, check out this website devoted, body and soul to Michael Moore:

Since April 2003, Moorelies has exposed the truth about pseudo-muckraker Michael Moore and his 17-year record of inaccuracy and distortion. He’s not your friend, and we’ll prove it.

That’s what you’ve got to top, lefties. Get out there and slam Moore some “moore.”

Make us proud.

Now, who will sing us a hymn of hate to conclude these festivities?

Leave us not forget that new darling of the Rationalizing Right, Fred “I am not a president but I play one on TV” Thompson. Take it away, Brother Thompson:

“The next time you’re [Michael Moore] down in Cuba… you might ask them about another documentary maker. His name was Nicolas Guillen. He did something Castro didn’t like, and they put him in a mental institution for several years, giving him devastating electroshock treatments. A mental institution, Michael. Might be something you ought to think about.”

There. The collective kidneys have gotten quite the workout (they’re intrinsic to the ‘obnoxious’ portion of the Collective Obnoxious, after all).

And hope they hold out — individually and collectively — what with the fact that many of the critics would be utterly unable to pay for hospitalization if their kidneys broke down for any reason.

And, just so you don’t feel left out:

“Most fair-minded readers will no doubt take me at my word when I say that a majority of Democrats in this country are out of their gourds.” — Jonah Goldberg

Thank Ghod we don’t have the ‘fairness doctrine’ in place anymore — as the Rabid Wingnuts of the Fulminating Right are currently straw-manning the barricades over.

Because if we had a ‘fairness doctrine’ then someone would have to say something NICE about Michael Moore.

And that, apparently, would suck.

So, piss on, brave Americans. Michael Moore’s pretentious Hollywood success is a living affront to each and every one of us, and, perhaps, even — right AND left — we can use his fat celebrity meat-eatingness to UNITE us against a common object of scorn and derision.

America! Long may it rave.

Courage.

»«»«»«»«»«»

© 2007 Hart Williams. Cross-posted from Zug - Hart Williams' Blog
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Skiing Uphill and Boregasm, Zug is 'the little blog that could.'

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About Hart Williams

Mr. Williams grew up in Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico. He lived in Hollywood, California for many years. He has been published in The Washington Post, The Kansas City Star, The Santa Fe Sun, The Los Angeles Free Press, Oui Magazine, New West, and many, many more. A published novelist and a filmed screenwriter, Mr. Williams eschews the decadence of Hollywood for the simple, wholesome goodness of the plain, honest people of the land. He enjoys Luis Buñuel documentaries immensely.
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4 Responses to Pissing on Michael Moore

  1. Darrell Prows says:

    Isn’t the right allowed to do intellectually stimulating documentaries also?

    OOOHHH!!! That’s right! It’s hard to film a bumper sticker and get people to buy tickets to watch it.

    (We had a deal here a few weeks back where Hannity “debated” the Salt Lake Mayor on Iraq/Impeachment, and used a short film. I was just blown away to see him put clips in there of people like Bill Clinton, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. I’m sure he did it because his fans would have had a jones if he strayed too far from what they’re used to.)

  2. Ginny Cotts says:

    Hart,

    Fortunately I dropped the idea of repudiating Dr Ron for writing a good review of ‘Sicko” because, afterall, Moore is very controversial, overweight, and it would set a bad example of supporting obesity, turn independents against liberals and hurt chances for health care reform. {Thanks for the chance to get that in. I opted not to do a post because I figured no amount of sarcasm would work as well as ignore.}

    This really is quite ludicrous. Too familiar. Just because I have to lower the temperature of my blood periodically…

    Universal Health Care is NOT socialized medicine.

    A single payor health care system is NOT socialized medicine.

    A single payor system will not prevent anyone from getting their own health care where ever they choose to go. The news did a story on someone a few years ago who went to Israel for a procedure that had been developed there and was not available here. Before long, a lot of Americans may be going to other countries to get proprietary treatment developed from stem cell research.

    Universal or single payor health care systems are no more ‘free’ than the invasion of Iraq would have cost as little as we were told. We get that. We also get that NOT having health care for 48 million people costs much more. If an ounce of prevention still saves a pound of cure, that would be 16 times more. Since that idea started, the cost of health care treatment has probably increased 1000 times. Do the math.

    Ok, the point really is, we need to find out how much we are spending now, figure out how to put it all together, what we could cut out and how much more we would need to fund it. Then we could have a Pentagon ‘basement’ sale. Old destroyers, F16s, etc. (They would need to get IDs on the buyers before completing the sales.)

    In our insurance based health care system, on a BCBS program, it took me 6 weeks to get an appointment with a pulmonologist, 2 months for a dermatologist. The original testing for sleep apnea was over 3 months with Kaiser. (And they were fast. Other people I checked with had 4 month waits)

    Time delays in this system cause MANY problems. I’ve had home care patients who could not get timely physician appointments even though I had called the office RN to inform them of a problem the patient needed to be seen for. One ended up being admitted to the hospital for a 5 day stay – on the day her appointment had been scheduled for.

    We actually have LESS choice in providers than we used to. Your employer gets to choose your insurance company, and therefore your Dr, Dentist, Vision care provider, and druggist. The lab, medical imaging, therapy and medical equipment providers are all determined by that contract. If your employer or the insurance company decide the contract is not renewed next year, you may very well have to change all or most of your providers on the new contract.

    If you decide to get a new job (which Americans do an average of every 4 years) it is just as likely that you will find yourself with a different insurance company that uses different doctors, etc.

    My favorite gripe is the lack of balance or one sided nature of Moore’s films. That should be funny coming from right wingers but, Sicko is moore like it…

    Moore does not pick issues that are gray. He goes for the really black and white stuff. The fact that it is mostly black is WHY he is doing another movie. You can only do so much cherry picking. If there are a lot of bad ones, that’s the point of his movie. To point out you might want to check for worms before you take a big bite of your piece of cherry pie..

    I can just see an Insurance company CEO sitting down for an interview with M. Moore. 🙄

    Given that psychological studies have looked at the degree and frequency of mental health problems among fundamentalists, (you can guess) I have to wonder if some are paranoid that under a different health care system they might end up with a new diagnosis, that would need to be treated.

    Anger management treatment comes to mind too.

    As for PETA having to weigh in on this, I would like to say again that my kids at one time had their own chapter:

    People for the Eating of Tasty Animals

    That said, I’m going to light up the grill and sear some beast.

  3. Yes, it’s true. A lack of tasty animals might well cause one to lose weight and live longer, but it also seems to have the side-effect of making you bugf*ck crazy.

    I grew up around hospitals, and watched the industry change from a place where doctors made house calls (remember them? I actually do) to, well, now.

    And I watched my uncle the MD get inundated with drugs (his family were all hypochondriacs, after awhile): he sent each kid off to college with a SHOEBOX full of professional samples. And the shoebox would be empty by the end of the semester.

    And on and on and on.

    What we have now can best be described as “the worst of all possible worlds.”

    Right now, my wife and I fell off of any kind of medical insurance last year. We went through three different companies, and, each time, no matter how high we’d set the deductable, they jacked the premiums beyond the ability of our small business to pay.

    Our employees are in the same boat, but none of us can afford insurance, so we’re pretty much reduced to hoping that no one gets sick.

    And sometimes we think back to when we delayed picking a company insurance plan because Bill Clinton had just been elected and we wanted to see what the government’s role was going to be. We laugh.

    Just what it is now: doodley squat.

  4. Darrell Prows says:

    “None of the above” is getting most of the votes, and we’re getting none of the above.