CNBC Cancels Michael Moore Wall Street Appearance After Pressure From NYSE |
Filmmaker Michael Moore was scheduled to be on CNBC today at 11 a.m., doing his interview on the steps of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Yet at the last minute, CNBC canceled Moore’s appearance. On Twitter, Moore says CNBC told him that the NYSE would not allow him to appear on its steps on what is likely a public street. As a fellow Twitter user points out to Moore, he appeared there in 2007 for an interview:
Moore just tweeted that CNBC has told him they can arrange a spot close to the NYSE: “CNBC now says they’ll meet me ‘on the corner of B’way& WallSt’-2 blocks away from NYSE. Hmmm-a compromise? Let’s c if I can get them closer.”
Yesterday, Michael Moore’s newest film, “Capitalism: A Love Story” was released in more than 1,000 theaters nationwide. One of the issues that Moore looks at is “dead peasants insurance,” where companies take out life insurance policies on their employees without their knowledge and then cash in when they die. Chicago Public Radio reports that Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) will introduce legislation that will curb the ability of employers to take out these insurance policies:
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Chicago) is raising a red flag. He chairs the U.S. House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit.
This week Gutiérrez introduced a bill that would ban employer-owned life insurance unless the worker earns at least a million dollars a year from the company. He presented the legislation Wednesday on the House floor.
“In a nation where millions of full-time workers have no health insurance, maybe if we can prevent companies from betting on the death of their employees, they’ll invest in the health of their employees,” Gutierrez told Chicago Public Radio.
Today is the nationwide release of Michael Moore’s new film Capitalism: A Love Story. The film chronicles how free market capitalism has created a system of “legalized greed” which corrupts government, removes basic elements of humanity from business, and has torn down the middle class. While Moore uses personal stories of individuals abused by corporate excess to create a narrative, he also explains much larger, sweeping problems like the rapidly widening gap between rich and poor.
As Moore has toured the media circuit promoting his film, hosts and pundits have worked quickly to try to marginalize his message. Rather than attack the substance of his film or debate the issues he raises, media figures are attempting to destroy Moore’s credibility. The most common trope has been to cast Moore as a “hypocrite” for being successful while at the same time criticizing capitalism. The other attack is to simply ridicule and mock Moore as an “extremist.” Business media in particular has been disdainful of Moore, accusing him of seeking “slavery.” Moore was scheduled to host CNBC’s Power Lunch, but was booted off shortly after six minutes. ThinkProgress has compiled a video of some of the character attacks on Moore. Watch it:
Michael Moore’s next documentary is “Capitalism: A Love Story,” a film which attacks the U.S. economic system as fundamentally unjust and declares, “Capitalism is an evil, and you cannot regulate evil. You have to eliminate it and replace it with something that is good for all people and that something is democracy.”
GM agreed to run the movie only if both Moore and the local press were locked out. Essentially, GM banned Moore from his own screening. A local Detroit news station interviewed Moore about the incident. He said GM should “get over” its grudge against him and be more accountable to citizens, especially in light of the billions of dollars the government has loaned it:
MOORE: General Motors said that I could not be on the premises doing any interviews or press. … I would get over it if I were them. … In the movie I actually try to attempt to see the new chairman to share my ideas about mass transit and other things that the General Motors factories could be building that would benefit about society. … We have 50 billion dollars of our money sitting over there. That is owned by us now. And the de facto CEO is President Barack Obama. I legally rented the four theaters to have my Detroit premiere, and yet somehow they’re able to ban me from my own premiere here? What country are we living in?
Despite GM’s warning against Moore coming to the screening at their theater, the filmmaker decided to attend anyway. He joined Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and others to discuss the film after the credits rolled. Watch it:
Fox News is beginning its assault on the Michael Moore’s new documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story.” In his new documentary, Moore concludes, “You have to eliminate [capitalism] and replace it with something that is good for all people and that something is democracy.”
Yesterday, Fox News hosted former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who bashed Moore and derided the perils of a welfare state. But after calling Moore “stupid,” “kind of a goofball,” and “a freaky guy,” Tancredo ironically begged Moore to send him a check:
TANCREDO: Hey, Michael, Michael, look at — look at me. To each according to his needs, from each according to their abilities. Buddy, you have got more money. I need some of it, OK? We had a rough winter here.
TANCREDO: It’s been tough. So, spread the wealth a little bit. Of course he isn’t. He is a hypocrite on top of it. But who in this administration feels like he does?
SULLIVAN: He does donate — he does donate a good percentage, but he should…
SULLIVAN: But, if he believes that, he should donate it all.
TANCREDO: That is exactly right. It’s to each according to his needs. And, believe me, there are a lot more people in this country who need it more than he does. I am one. Send me a check.
Both host Brian Sullivan and Tancredo acknowledged they hadn’t yet seen Moore’s movie. But that didn’t prevent them from making judgments about it.
Fox has taken the lead in bashing Moore’s previous documentaries. After the release of SiCKO, Brian Kilmeade said, “What makes you think Michael Moore would do anything except to make this country look bad.” After the release of Fahrenheit 9/11, Kilmeade called him “the documentarian who makes stuff up,” and Bill O’Reilly compared him to Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels.
Wendell Potter, a former top CIGNA health insurance official, left his job recently and is trying to atone for his role in propagating what he called “Wall Street-run health care that has proven itself an untrustworthy partner to its customers, to the doctors and hospitals who deliver care and to the state and federal governments that attempt to regulate it.” Appearing on PBS two weeks ago, Potter also divulged that the private health care industry “was really concerned” with Michael Moore’s documentary SiCKO because Moore “hit the nail on the head with his movie.” Host Bill Moyers posted copies of internal strategymemos from AHIP, the trade group and lobbying juggernaut representing the health insurance industry, detailing how to discredit Moore and conduct a PR campaign to maintain the status quo.
Now, as Congress moves into high-gear for reforming health care, AHIP appears be positioning itself to defeat a public option by using the same playbook they used against Moore in 2007. The AHIP anti-Moore memo similarly states:
Define the Health Indusrance Industry as Part of the Solution … Spread the word about ‘proactive solutions’ for health care … Highlight the value of managed care … A Debate We Can Win: Improving U.S. System Versus Enacting Government-Run Care
This week, AHIP released a new feel-good ad that posits private insurance as the cure to America’s health care crisis, along with a statement reaffirming that Congress must enact reform “without creating a government run plan” to compete with insurers. Similar to its message against Moore, the narrator for the new AHIP ad declares that “we’re America’s Health Insurance Companies, supporting bipartisan reforms.” Watch it:
A central strategy of the anti-Moore memo is described as: “Focus on Our Reform Proposals While Patients and Allies Make the Case Against Government-Run Care.” The allies were instructed to “showcase victims and horrors of government-run systems” and “bring victims of single-payer systems to the US for a media tour.” Indeed, while AHIP has made significant efforts this year to portray itself as “for reform” without a public option, it has left allied groups to do the dirty work.
The allies AHIP is leaning on this year include vicious attack groups such as Conservatives for Patients’ Rights (CPR), a group run by the same firm that managed the “Swift Boats” campaign against John Kerry, and Patients United, an astroturf group run by a former associate of Jack Abramoff. CPR is spending $20 million dollars running fear-mongering ads featuring people upset with the health care system in Canada and the UK. In addition, as AHIP had planned for Moore in 2007, CPR manages a website with various videos showing the supposed horrors of government-run systems. Patients United has organized advertising campaigns and media tours for experts and similar “victims” of government health care.
The ultimate goal of the anti-Moore strategy, to “disqualify government-run health care as a politically viable solution,” appears to mirror what we see AHIP doing today.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Michael Moore’s new documentary will focus on the global financial crisis and the U.S. economy. Moore is “feverishly shooting,” and it is expected to come out as early as this spring. “The untitled movie will contain an end-of-the-empire tone, say those familiar with the project.” Craig Minassian, an entertainment consultant, said, “If Moore offers a prescription for how to improve things, he may indeed find an audience that at this moment is eager for change,” but cautioned “it’s going to be hard for him. What this election shows is what’s right with America, and sometimes what Michael Moore does is highlight what’s wrong with America.”
The nominees for the 80th Academy Awards were announced this morning and the nominees in the “Best Documentary Feature” category are almost all progressive films, including ThinkProgress favorites SiCKO, No End In Sight and Taxi To The Dark Side. And the nominees are:
“No End in Sight” (Magnolia Pictures) A Representational Pictures Production: Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs