Media Embrace Millionaire Moore's Vendetta against Capitalism
Millionaire Michael Moore says capitalism is evil and that the entire system should be thrown out for one that is “democratic” and “fair.”
That’s the overarching message of
ABC’s “Nightline” ran an 8-minute long segment Sept. 22 interviewing Moore and showing clips of his film, and it received an additional five minutes on “Good Morning America” Sept. 23. ABC didn’t include a single critic of
The film has generated uncritical buzz among many other news outlets including MSNBC, The New York Times, Associated Press and “The Jay Leno Show.” He is also scheduled to be a guest of “Larry King Live,” “The Situation Room,” and “The View” Sept. 23 and 24. Four networks, a wire service and three out of five major newspapers will have covered the movie in the span of a week.
Many of the media descriptions of the “fascinating filmmaker” were flattering. ABC’s Terry Moran said, “Michael Moore hates capitalism. He hates it with a savagely funny and surprisingly religious passion.”
Picking up on that religious theme, The New York Times’ Bruce Headlam said that in private conversation
MSNBC’s Alex Witt praised the movie in a Sept. 20 discussion, but at least she mentioned that people have been critical of
But hypocrisy isn’t the only criticism of
Despite that, much of the news media gushed over “Sicko” and Moore. Reports said he shows “compassion” and “generosity.” The same ABC reporter, Moran, gushed in 2007 that Moore was “taking on America’s deeply flawed health care system” because “fixing health care is a moral, even a religious obligation.”
Moran even suggested
‘Radical’ Ideas and Lies
In his “Nightline” interview with Terry Moran,
Moran indicated that
The very next morning Chris Cuomo interviewed
“You can trust me,” Cuomo repeated as he welcomed
But as Steve Finefrock reported, Smith had “granted a lengthy interview” on-camera while that movie was being made.
Cuomo didn’t ask about that misrepresentation or others including
When asked for a solution,
Cuomo didn’t ask
Capitalism: Great Evil?
The news media didn’t challenge
Steven Pearlstein wrote in the Washington Post Aug. 1, 2008 that “my guess is that this consensus [toward free markets] is unraveling.” Other news outlets, including CNBC, said capitalism “seems to be dead.”
Moore himself claimed on CNN’s “Larry King Live” that it was dead in 2008. Now, he’s pushing the capitalism-is-evil theme with his new movie, which takes on the economic collapse, bailouts, auto companies, “dead peasant” insurance policies, Goldman Sachs, foreclosures and more.
Witt on MSNBC didn’t criticize the “capitalism is evil” theme of the film and neither did the AP story that ran Sept. 20. ABC reporters also let it go.
During “The Jay Leno Show” on Sept. 15, Leno responded to
“I think greed is evil, but I think capitalism is OK as long as – moderation in all things,” Leno said.
“Some things are just wrong,”
Even liberal blogger Arianna Huffington was more adamant in her disagreement on that one point (she liked the movie though). On The Huffington Post blog, she wrote “In the film, Michael describes capitalism as evil. I disagree. I don’t think capitalism is evil. I think what he have right now is not capitalism.”
Huffington continued saying, “In capitalism as envisioned by its leading lights, including Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall, you need a moral foundation in order for free markets to work. And when a company fails, it fails. It doesn't get bailed out using trillions of dollars of taxpayer money. What we have right now is Corporatism. It's welfare for the rich. It's the government picking winners and losers. It's Wall Street having their taxpayer-funded cake and eating it too. It's socialized losses and privatized gains.”
Rich Karlgaard of Forbes wrote something similar about Adam Smith back in 2007. He explained that while Smith’s famous benevolence of the butcher quote sounds like “selfishness,” Smith had defined self-interest in an earlier book as “a psychological need to win favor within one’s society.”
Karlgaard said, “He did not change his belief that moral sentiments and self-interest are the same thing. Let’s not forget our Adam Smith. When we do, capitalism loses its moral authority, and the redistributionists win.”
“A businessman must seek government approval for the minutest detail of his operation or face the wrath of some government agency, whether it’s at the federal, state or local level,” Williams wrote.