Movie mogul Michael Moore makes money off the Middle

RANCHO SANTA FE, CA., March 16, 2011 – First in Wisconsin…now in Michigan, Michael Moore has been encouraging middle-class Americans to rise up against the evil rich and their minion Governors.  As he said on March 5th, “America is not broke.  Not by a long shot.  The country is awash in wealth and cash.  It’s just that it’s not in your hands.  It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich …  The only thing that’s broke is the moral compass of the rulers.  And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on.”  Makes for a good movie … don’t you think?

Speaking of which, it will be interesting to see if “uber-rich” (at least by most people’s humble standards) Michael Moore will somehow find a way to profit from the protests.  His cameras have been running at both rallies, he’s been capturing interviews, and he’s been hyping the events on Twitter while directing traffic to his website to watch the live feed.  Hmmm … it almost sounds like a trailer for one of his one-dimensional documentaries.

The term one dimensional seems to fit because Michael is refreshingly honest about his bias.  He doesn’t pretend that his documentaries are objective.  He admits that they reflect his strong belief that corporate America is out to destroy middle-class working families.  What’s ironic is how he delivers the message to the masses.

Moore has been twittering away in recent days about the solidarity of the people and the dramatic message they are sending to the morally bankrupt government officials who serve as mere puppets of the “uber-rich.”  He tweeted, “Every CEO, every teacher-hater, every rich f*** on the Forbes 400 will b hoping against hope that no one shows up in Madison…”

When you’re trying to rally the troops, it’s best to use absolute stereotypes like that.  It doesn’t matter whether the stereotypes are fair … or even remotely true … as long as the desired effect is achieved (i.e., elevating passion to the degree that reason no longer matters).  It works as well in real life as it does in the movies.  So, just for clarity:  According to Moore’s rash generalization, George Soros and the Koch Brothers apparently have a lot in common.

Michael also espouses that it’s the people of Wisconsin who were sending a message in last week’s protest.  Interestingly enough, Michael’s tweets include:

  • “From Flint & Cleveland, fr Chicago & St. Louis, fr the Twin Cities & beyond, I’m getting tweets texts & emails fr ppl On the Road 2 Madison!”
  • “Getting msgs fr ppl in Cincy, DesMoines, Indy, Detroit, IowaCity, TraverseCity, Springfield, Toledo: “We’re on the road to Madison!”

Did you notice that the people were coming from other States?  So, you’ve got a big, boisterous crowd that purportedly represents the will of the people of Wisconsin … made up of a lot of people who aren’t from Wisconsin.

Then, the “Wisconsin” attendees were encouraged to “march” to Lansing for this week’s protest.  Someone should check with the NLRB.  There may be an opportunity to organize a Professional Protestors’ Union.

At one point, The Common Sense Czar tweeted a suggestion to Michael:  organize a “march on Washington, D.C. where the Prez doesn’t need ‘comfortable shoes’ because Fed. Employees are banned from organizing” (ever since the Carter Administration).  Strangely enough, Michael didn’t tweet back.

He did tweet:  “Susan Sarandon speaking now.  Rally has begun early!  If you’re near the capitol, try to make you’re way there now!”   It’s always great to hear millionaire celebrities encouraging action on the part of the middle class with whom they would otherwise not associate.  It’s also fascinating that those in attendance never seem to be troubled by the paradox.

Michael Moore has every right to promote the events and fan the flames of democracy to support his personal beliefs.  He also has the right to promote the events and fan the flames of democracy to support his career.  You see, Michael Moore makes a ton of money making documentary movies.

He films real people and real events and edits the content to support his personal point of view.  He doesn’t need to pay the union scale to anyone.  His “actors” are free and don’t demand any residuals.  Michael gets to keep all of the money.

No special effects are required … just a cooperative crowd, a few interviews, and a director’s cut that eliminates any opposing opinion.  This is freedom of controlled speech at its finest!

Now, in fairness to Mr. Moore, no one knows if he will attempt to profit once again off of the backs of the middle class.  If he does make a film, millions will flock to see it.  Those who attended the events will go to the movie to see if they’re in it … and they’ll take their friends and family members.  Those who believe that Moore is the bastion of the middle class will go to the movie to pay homage to their leader.  Others might attend … just to see a movie.

In any event, it will be interesting to see if Michael Moore adds to his personal fortune by making a non-union film about the exploitation of union workers by millionaires … like him.  As honest as he is, he may have been telling us of his plan since the beginning.  Perhaps Roger & Me really alluded to the fact that there’s not much difference between the two.  Popcorn anyone?


T.J. O’Hara is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and strategic consultant in the private and public sectors. In 2012, he emerged as the leading independent candidate for the Office of President of the United States and the first nominee of the Whig Party in over 150 years.


This article first appeared in T.J. O’Hara’s recurring column, The Common Sense Czar, in the Communities Section of The Washington Times.