Monday, July 19, 2004

Tell Me, More, Tell Me More… My Feelings About Michael Moore

I stand on the dividing line. I respect what he has done and how he has played the game. He is no saint but he does get people talking and thinking about facts and concepts.

The only way to know the truth is to be able to gather the lies, rumors, parables and truth and then begin to compare and contrast. Moore’s movie provides a conversation point for that process.

Come to think of it - that would be grounds for sainthood in my book.

I accept the movie for what is – one man’s opinion of the events that had a relationship on September 11, 2001 and subsequent actions. This opinion is based on facts that he and his team have gathered and assembled and then interpreted through his eyes and experience.

Every storyteller, reporter, poet, journalist, photographer, documentarian does the same thing. Can’t help it. There is no absolutely unbiased human being. If we are honest we strive toward the light of truth. But that bright light of fame and success is a heady drink hard to ignore.

I first heard of Michael Moore when he created his first movie – Roger and Me. He was one of 300,000 laid-off workers from General Motors in Flint, Michigan. It financially devastated the city that has yet to recover. He grabbed his camera and started interviewing people who were also given the boot and he tried to interview the head of General Motors, Roger Smith.

Not NY or Hollywood company man, Michael was self-taught. He had a knack for self-promotion and a storytelling narrative. He managed to break past the thousands of graduate school filmmakers and got his film seen and praised. Deservedly so.

The Internet Movie Database has a short biography on Mike at and you can also view a list of his work as a producer at

So I have major respect for him from the get-go. I need to share that with you because it would be dishonest not to inform you of that fact.

I don’t approve of everything he does. Sometime he goes too far, or in the case of Bowling for Columbine, his film about gun control and America’s fascination with weapons, not far enough. He should have mentioned that those kids were on psychiatrists prescribed drugs that might have facilitated their desire to kill fellow students.

He can be overbearing. That is okay. I can choose to listen or not. He can be rude, hypocritical (Mikey, your website is produced and maintained by Canadians – what’s up the that?) and with this level of success he is about due for a bone headed move he is gonna wish in hindsight he hadn’t done.

And yes, he is and presents himself to be a liberal. His movies come from that viewpoint. That seems to be one of the major complaints about him. He is a liberal.

So what? He is not presenting himself as a reporter or journalist (citizen journalist – absolutely but that is kind of a new concept). He is not saying that he does not have an opinion. That is what a documentary is – an opinion or viewpoint on an experience.

If it is okay for Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio to do it then why is not okay for Michael to do the same? I’m asking?

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