Friday, May 6, 2011

Why Does the News Media Give Credibility to People Like Michael Moore?

As long as I live, I will never understand how the news media picks out certain people to interview all the time as if they have some great insight that the rest of us mere mortals are lacking.  One of these media creations is Michael Moore, who was featured on CNN last night bellowing about the killing of Osama Bin Laden as if he is some great guru of foreign affairs.

The thing that troubles me the most about the media time given to what appears to me to be a self-absorbed clown is that few people in the media ever challenge some of his ridiculous statements.  Last night, he claimed Bin Laden was executed and should have been brought to New York to stand trial for his crimes.

Sorry, Michael.  I don’t think what Bin Laden did would be considered a crime.  Instead, most rational people would consider it an act of war, and he was rightfully killed in another act of war.

Michael Moore is a self-confessed socialist who is believed to be worth more than $10 million.  No hypocrisy there.  He is noted for his so-called documentaries, which are really leftist propaganda films about American life.  Of course, the themes of these films are decidedly critical of American society and politics, especially those people with conservative and traditional philosophies.  Moore is a college dropout, but he often claims to be one of the brightest people alive and has reportedly said that he memorized the inaugural address of President John F. Kennedy.

In one of his movies, “Fahrenheit 9/11,”  Moore is interviewing Michigan Congressman John Conyers about what Moore considered the passage of unconstitutional legislation, such as the “Patriot Act.”  Conyers said that most of the congressmen and senators didn’t even read the bills before they were passed into law. 

To my dismay, I’ve never seen a news person challenge Conyers or Moore on that statement. I interviewed lawmakers when I was a reporter, and I worked with both state and federal legislators on bills when I was a communications professional in the health care field.  I can say without hesitation that most legislators don’t have the time to read legislation.  That is why they have large staffs of attorneys to read the bills and summarize them for the lawmakers to decide how to vote. 

By the way, have you ever seen the size of most pieces of legislation?  There aren’t enough hours in the day for any one person to read every piece of legislation.

To imply that lawmakers not actually reading the “Patriot Act” invalidates it as Moore does in his propaganda film is absurd.  Under that standard, President Obama’s health care reform legislation should be invalidated because I can guarantee you that hardly any congressman or senator read that huge piece of legislation word for word.

The sad thing to me is that most people in the media who have ever reported on the legislative process know how it operates, and they know how false that part of Moore’s film was.  Yet, because the media has somehow decided to present Michael Moore as one of our quintessential arbiters or what is right and wrong in society, he can present a litany of falsehoods and get away with them.

As I was watching Moore present another one of his irrational rants for Piers Morgan on CNN, I was reminded about how one of Piers' former countryman might have responded to what he just heard.  The late Winston Churchill was often confronted by people who thought they knew more than him about the great issues of the day. If I may take the liberty to paraphrase the great Churchill, “I wish I could be as sure of one thing as Michael Moore seems to be about everything.”

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