The filmmaker Michael Moore was on Piers Morgan’s CNN show a couple of nights ago and was asked (via Twitter) how he squares the fact that he’s benefitted enormously from capitalism while turning into one of its leading critics. In the exchange that followed, Morgan asked (rhetorically, he thought), “You’re in the top one percent, right?” To which Moore replied, “I’m not in the top one percent. No.”
Now just for the record, the latest data shows that the top one percent means you’re a person with an adjusted gross income of roughly $380,000. Michael Moore’s net worth is estimated to be around $50 million. Which means he’s closer to being in the top one-tenth of one percent of earners in America. But no matter. Moore had a lie to tell, and tell it he did, and several more times. Piers Morgan, knowing Moore was misleading him and his audience, said, “I need you to admit the bleeding obvious. I need you to sit here and say, ‘I’m in the one percent.’ Because it’s important.” To which Moore said, “Well, I can’t. Because I’m not.”
“You are, though,” Morgan said.
“No, I’m not. I’m not,” Moore insisted again.
“You’re not in the one percent?” an exasperated Morgan asked again.
“Of course I’m not!” Moore shouted. “How can I be in the one percent?”
“Because you’re worth millions,” Morgan said.
To which Moore said, emphatically, “No, that’s not true.”
Except that it is true. And everyone knows it’s true.
The only thing Moore conceded is that he does “really well.” As for the line of questioning, Moore plaintively asked, “What’s the point?”
Since he asked, let’s see if we can help Moore answer that question.
The point is that in roughly four minutes Michael Moore, icon of the left, established beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is both a hypocrite and a liar (though not a terribly good one; he’s clearly not Clintonesque when it comes to delivering repeated lies). Being a left-wing ideologue is bad enough; being an unprincipled one is worse.
Moore is clearly a conflicted man. He hates capitalism even though he’s (over) eaten from the fruits of its tree. He’s made tens of millions of dollars on a system he considers irredeemably corrupt. And in the interview he tries, with comic ineptness, to portray himself as virtuous.
But the filmmaker is a fraud, from hat to toe. And the wonderful thing is that it’s all been caught on camera.
The whirligig of time brings in its revenges.