Michael Moore: Mainstream Media Boosts Dishonesty

Somewhat fresh off the trail from despicable attempts to distort the events and facts surrounding Columbine, 9/11 and the American health care system, filmmaker Michael Moore is back to perpetuate new mis-truths and to face off with a new “villain” – capitalism. In case of shear irony, in his new film entitled, “Capitalism: A Love Story,” Moore sets out to unravel the very system that gives him notoriety, fame and, no doubt, opulence. Fortunately for Moore, we live in a free society. Despite the fact that his films are comprised of antics and obnoxious absurdities that only small-minded Americans would believe in their totality, he has every right to continue his idiocy. It is the coverage of Moore and his half-witted films that cause one to question the media’s promotional motives.

Mainstream outlets can’t seem to get enough of Moore, as they offer him positive coverage galore and provide him with valuable air time to push his insidious projects. Meanwhile, conservative film projects receive little to no praise – or even attention, for that matter.

A few weeks back, LA Times blogger Patrick Goldstein wrote a snarky post about conservative reaction to Moore’s film. Aside from dismissive commentary about why conservatives are overreacting, Goldstein offered up what he saw as proof that not all media outlets give Moore a free pass. He wrote,

…Variety has the first authoritative review up of Moore’s film — and it hardly reads like a liberal valentine, with just as many caveats as kudos. It calls “Capitalism” one of Moore’s best films but goes on to say: “There’s still plenty here to annoy right-wingers, as well as those who, however much they agree with Moore’s politics, just can’t stomach his oversimplification, on-the-nose sentimentality and goofball japery.”

If calling the film one of Moore’s best ever qualifies as “authoritative,” I suppose journalists asking then-candidate Barack Obama how his parents would feel about his accomplishments if they were still alive qualifies as “hard-hitting investigative journalism.” And don’t even get me started on the semantic inequality present in the penning of “right-wingers” versus “those who…agree with Moore’s politics.”

How about a fact check, Goldstein? Even one? You can’t tell me there isn’t someone refuting at least one of the “facts” present in Moore’s film. It’s not just “oversimplification” that liberals and conservatives, alike, should be concerned about. Moore manipulates events and happenings and creates an aura of understanding that has the foundational value of quicksand. And that brings me to aReuters piece (carried by none other than The New York Times) entitled, “Michael Moore’s “Capitalism” Economical With Facts.” According to the article,

…the film launches a call for socialism via a popular uprising against the evils of capitalism and free enterprise. Although it’s less focused than “Sicko” or “Fahrenheit 9/11,” this competition entry is a typical Moore oeuvre: funny, often over the top and ofdubious documentation, but with strongly made points that leave viewers much to ponder and debate after they walk out of the theater.

In what other venue would a documentary, book or professional record earn the distinction of being of “dubious documentation,” while making strong points that will inspire debate and dialogue? Usually, if the basis is not founded on fact, the argument can – or should, rather – go no further.

The piece goes on to admit that Moore is not known for objectivity or “impeccable” research, and that he favors Obama as a symbol of hope in the film. Now, for the article’s a-bomb. According to Reuters,

Moore has assembled a collection of nearly unbelievable horror stories to illustrate why capitalism and democracy do not go hand in hand, like a privately owned juvenile correctional facility, which paid the local judge to jail teens for misdemeanors.

Wow.

And then there’s the Washington Post piece entitled, “For ‘Capitalism,’ Moore Sells Short Politicians of all Denominations.” The lead says it all: “Just when it looked as if conservatives might be cornering the market on angry populism, along comes Michael Moore.”

I suppose those liberals who threw bleach on delegates at the Republican National Convention were lovable Furby-like creatures – not angry populists. After all, the Republicans have apparently already dominated that market.

I could go on and on. While most American outlets covered the film’s synopsis, scope, theme, etc., many in the mainstream media failed to point out Moore’s glaring hypocrisy. How can a man who has makes millions off of his anti-American rhetoric have the audacity to make a film about the evils of capitalism? It took the gusto of a British journalist to really delve into the insanity. The Telegraph’s Will Heaven wrote the following:

Don’t be fooled by the scruffy cap and trampish demeanour. Moore is as well-to-do as the “stupid white men” which he has made millions of dollars from criticising…

Sadly for Michael Moore, many of the people that should be watching his films don’t get the joke either. He is supposed to be the champion of the oppressed, who spends his career holding the rich and famous to account. Now he’s one of them, and lapping up the lifestyle like a banker in boom time, it makes no sense.

Kudos to Heaven and The Telegraph for writing the most honest piece I’ve seen on Michael Moore’s deafening hypocrisy. While American media outlets seem encapsulated in wonder by Moore’s outlandish work, it seems the Europeans – who are typically quite receptive of his films – are onto his antics. Now, if we could only get the rest of America and the media on board the “reality express,” we’d be golden.

NY20: The Day of Reckoning is Upon Us

Both Democrats and Republicans are looking at tonight's electoral result as a potential indicator of party success. Individuals on both sides of the political aisle are attaching significant capital to the race that will inevitably find a replacement for Kristen E. Gillibrand, the Representative who recently filled former Sen. Hillary Clinton's Senate seat.

According to last week's numbers, Democratic candidate, Scott Murphy, is leading Republican candidate, James N. Tedisco. But, as Americans have learned, early polling isn't always indicative of what will truly happen once the ballots are tallied (remember the media's coverage 2004 election?).

This election does, indeed, hold great consequence for both parties. For the Democrats, a win signifies yet another vote – and, most importantly, a further deterioration of what little system of “checks and balances” is left within the federal government (Democratic rule is running amok, in case you haven't noticed). For the GOP, a win might inspire the confidence needed to rebound and the inspiration to win back more seats in 2010.

Listening to liberal pundits talk about a potential Murphy win practically inundates audiences with a level of irony unseen since Biden's latest gaffe (luckily for America, Biden is so inflicted with gaffisism that one rarely has to wait between flaps).

As liberal commentators chalk up a hypothetical Murphy win to Obama's “superb” leadership (as though a Democrat replacing a Democrat would constitute a historic victory), one cannot help but chuckle. After all, conservatives have been bellowing (considering the far-left policies America has been inflicted with, not loudly enough) in response to Obama's inexperienced meanderings. The liberal response? “Obama hasn't been in office long enough to judge him! Bush left him with a horrible situation!”

So let's translate: Liberals believe that a Tedisco loss is predicated upon Obama's idyllic leadership, but they do not believe that Obama has been in office long enough to rightfully criticize. Something doesn't add up here, hence the irony ensues.

The New York Times sums the hype up, appropriately (irony, yet again) as follows:

“Even before a vote was cast, the contest was freighted with all kinds of political significance — an early test of President Obama's political strength, a verdict on the stimulus package, a do-or-die moment for a new Republican national chairman, an early sign of how the 2010 midterm elections are going to go (never mind that they are 20 months way).”

But, let's be real. New York is only one state (and let's remember, this is only one district) and viewpoints and perspectives held within district boundaries will, in no way, capture the sociopolitical landscape that is sure to evolve over the next two years. As reported by the Times, former Virginia congressman, Tom David, says it best:

“The first thing you can count on is this thing is going to be way overspun. I don’t think it portends a thing for the midterms. But it emboldens whoever wins.”

While Obama and RNC Chairman, Michael Steele, have thrown their names and campaigning power behind the candidates, at the end of the day it is New Yorkers who will most directly benefit or see deficits in the quality of their lives as a result of the election. Let's hope Tedisco pulls it off. After all, New York state needs all the red blood she can get.

GOP Reformation in the Bronx

In a piece by New York Times reporter Katherine Bindley entitled, "In This G.O.P., the 'O' Stands for Optimism," Bindley highlights a new, yet unlikely union: the Bronx County Young Republican Club. Upon discovering the article, I was taken aback - first, by the Times' mention of a Republican cause (although it should be noted that the article is fairly short in length, which is unsurprising; it's the Times, people) and secondly, by the formation of a Republican group in one of the nation's most staunchly liberal bastions. Alas, there is hope for New York! The piece opens with the following:

"MUCH of New York was abuzz on Tuesday evening celebrating the inauguration of President Obama in Washington. But at Venice, a noisy Italian bistro in the Morris Park section of the Bronx, an improbable event was taking place at that moment: the first official meeting of a nascent Bronx County Young Republican Club."

According to the Times, Chance Haywood is the group's chairman. A real estate broker, Haywood has delved head-first into his leadership role. Unlike some Republicans, he recognizes the necessity of captivating hearts and minds for purposes of reviving the party and the formation of this union is a first step toward doing just that. Haywood recognizes what most Republicans are just starting to confront: The need to "stem the tide" of liberal dominance. This is especially important if the GOP wants to claim local victory in future races - races that Democrats continue to win.

Let's face it: In the war of ideas, Democrats' proposals are like instant spray tan: They come on strong, then fade away quickly leaving a less-than-pleasing residue. If we step up the ante, there's no reason we can't reclaim some seats.

Luckily, Haywood has brilliant plans for the club. According to the Times, future activities may include guest speakers and community events. But, perhaps the most exciting element will be the work that the Bronx County Young Republican Club does with local colleges and universities - the localities where we are seeing liberal indoctrination take prominence. It's time to restore ideological equilibrium to America's campuses.

Importantly, Haywood also recognized a fact that is becoming increasingly more obvious as the days progress: Obama's policies might lead to a renewal and rejuvenation of the Republican Party. As per the Times, he said:

"Hopefully, this time we'll stick to our principles a little better than we did the last time," he said. "Assuming we ever get the majority of the House again."

While the GOP suffered major setbacks in 2006 and 2008, a renewal is upon us. But Haywood is right - we need to concentrate on restating, then sticking to our values. It is extremely encouraging to see Haywood and others joining together to form cohesion in one of the most unlikely localities. This is a group we are sure to hear more from; the fate of our nation may depend on such activism. Now, let's work together to create and sustain other groups like it. It's time to renew our party.

New York Times Launches Interactive Transparency Site

Over the past week, The New York Times has been in the news on more than one occasion.  On Christmas Eve it was reported that the company's advertising revenue plummeted 20.9% in November from one year ago.  According to Editor & Publisher,

The company's ad revenue, which makes up nearly two-thirds of total revenue, had booked declines of 16.2 percent in October and 14.1 percent in September.

In short: This is terrible news for the company that runs a newspaper that has been hailed as a journalistic beacon for decades.  The crash of the financial market, the decline in popularity of print news and sloppy journalism have tattered ad sales as well as the paper's credibility and viability.

And if you don't believe me about the Times' questionable credibility, take a look at Vicki Iseman's $27 million lawsuit against the paper for the famed "McCain hit piece."
While I am typically the first person to complain about the paper's overt liberal bias, the Times does deserve credit for the creation of "Represent," a new transparency feature that promises to connect New Yorkers to their elected officials.  The Times posted a piece that explains "Represent" clearly and concisely: 

Bottom line: While the Times is typically an ideological nightmare, this very cool, super useful transparency tool deserves recognition.  Check it out and be sure to leave a comment with your perspective.