Calculated Risk

Michael Moore sat down to discuss his book, 'Dude, Where's My Country?' with Brian Lamb on C-span tonight.


Yeah, it was great.
I should have been taking notes but then, it wasn't like he was defending a P.H.D.

Man, that's like being called to the Principals office, meeting Brian Lamb. It looked to me like Moore was losing weight the first ten minutes. I about reached out to adjust the color on my set too, because he was so pale. And his throat. Gulp, gulp.
Moore was trying to swallow and relax but he couldn't, at least for the first ten minutes. Then as time went on he relaxed, with a sort of 'never mind that, what about health care?' approach. Lamb is a genius and allowed that that to pass.
I'm sure there will be a great deal of commentary in the blogosphere over the next week. Moore squirmed, he lied, he contradicted himself, he was ridiculous. After a half-hour he became more confident and more entertaining as he realized Brian Lamb wasn't going to ride his ass.

When Moore said that Bush had argued that Saddam was partly responsible for 9-11, and that this argument was proven a lie, Lamb didn't bother to ask 'when did President Bush ever say that?'.

Lamb is thorough. He makes you talk. He lets you hang yourself.
Moore became comfortable after he'd established his working-class Flint credentials, but this was with a lot of regrettable insinuations that 'blue collar' people can't be expected to be overly bright.

Once Brian Lamb had him comfortable, and started quoting passages of his book to him, Moore let out several high pitched giggles for the rest of the night:
That's satire, Brian!

Now there I'm serious, Brian!

Moore said that before his first movie hit, 'Roger and Me', he'd never made a paycheck over 8000 dollars. In the next breath he said he'd averaged 12,000. Or, well, 17,000.
He was living at his folks. He dropped out of his sophomore year in college for some silly reason. Lack of parking space at the 'commuter college' in Flint...
I learned a lot tonight, but nothing to change my mind.

Moore was the first 18 year old to ever be elected to office, back in the early '70s (to a school board? I missed that).

Just a kid with a great love for his country, and an urgent desire to turn it away from Republican Evil. After all, it was Flint, Michigan, so you have to forgive me for being a boob. You don't think I was some sophisticate like the people on the West coast!
I wish Brian had asked 'but weren't you the editor of Mother Jones magazine?'

Average Flint my ass.
What struck me most during the interview was Moore's declaration that Bush found 911 a 'bonanza' for political gain. I can't quote here before the transcript, but it was noteworthy how many of the old talking points are gone now.

It's tough, after you've opposed the overthrow of the Taliban and Saddam. I mean, what to say?

Bush used 9-11 to support Alaskan oil drilling. And jerryfalwelljohnashcroftetc are evil.

No more 'it's for oil' argument. No more colonialism argument. Moore didn't even try to tie the war to our treatment of American Indians, and he didn't mention Custer.

His thesis makes a hullabaloo about our historic connection/ ties with the Saudis, of course, but that fails as a partisan issue. It fails even more since the Bush Doctrine is precisely addressing that issue.
Michael Moore is probably the most hated person on the internet, after Ted Rall.

He had to account for himself. I think that, confronted by the school-master, he revealed himself as a show-man who's dying in some pathetic, Willy Loman/doomed salesman sort of way. If not Huey Long.

What bothers me is that he performs so well, with his book-tours filling stadiums with 10,000 people.
That's what bothers Lamb, too. One of his very few confrontational questions was : what will you do with this power?

Moore blanched, and it was a wonderful moment. He seemed to pause and wonder if he wasn't becoming Jim Jones. Or Lenin or Stalin or Hitler. Then suddenly he was yelling that education polls show that youngsters don't even know where Iraq is! "We should make a law! You can't bomb a place if you can't find it on the map!"

Jesus that's pathetic. But mind you, Michael Moore is from Flint Michigan, so forgive him for being an a hole.
All in all, I think the charges of plagiarism, fakery, and elitism will stick to Michael Moore. The blogs will prevail.

But natch, it ought to worry us that he's filling stadiums.

It's very difficult pulling down a working class hero who's in favor of peace, love, and a free food and drug administration.

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