Tuesday, August 03, 2004

This is an absolutely fascinating profile of Michael Moore that ran in the New Yorker earlier this year. I only saw it for the first time today.

The writer is clearly sympathetic to and admiring of Moore. And yet Moore's hypocricy and chronic dishonesty (not to mention the utter intellectual bankrupcy of his leftism) show up here perhaps more clearly than in anything else that has been written about him.

An incident at Cambridge in England is particularly telling:
A male student stood up in the back of the room to ask a question. “You talk about the culture of fear in ‘Bowling for Columbine,’” he said, “so why do you have so much security?”

“Who said that I have so much security?” Moore said, sounding tense.

“Well, you have actually quite a lot,” the student said.

An older man sitting in the front row pointed to three men in the room. The men, who were standing in identical at-ease positions with their hands clasped and their legs apart, were dressed in uniforms consisting of khakis, white shirts, and navy blazers. Each had a small company badge on his lapel and a curly wire coming out of his ear. “They assume that all these men are your bodyguards,” the older man said.

“Why are they assuming that?” Moore asked. “Because they’re black?”

There was a chorus of low oohs in the room, as though to indicate that this was a dirty blow; but then students started clapping, as though to congratulate Moore for scoring a point.
A few paragraphs later, the writer adds:
It is because Moore makes such a forceful argument about the perniciousness of fear that the sight of him surrounded by security in a room full of students was so jarring. For the three uniformed men travelling with Moore were, of course, security guards—as Moore did not deny when asked later on (though they also functioned as assistants). They had been hired by Moore’s publisher to protect him on the tour...
But of course Moore is merely doing what any charlatan does. It's his brain-dead followers (like the dopes who applauded Moore's obvious disingenuousness) who ought to have brains enough to see through it. They're so interested in Moore's feverish conspiracy theories that they can't see the big, fat, unpleasant truth right in front of them.

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