Friday, October 09, 2009

Political Post I: Michael Moore, Union Buster

In the interest of being fair and balanced, let me here snark on Michael Moore for stiffing IA crew members on his most recent film:

Michael Moore used some non-union crewmembers when union workers were available in the production of his latest film "Capitalism: A Love Story," a documentary that argues the capitalist system allows for greedy corporations to exploit working-class people.

"For all of the different jobs on the movie that could have used union labor, he used union labor, except for one job, the stagehands, represented by IATSE," said a labor source ...

In a statement issued to, Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, said the filmmaker wished the union included more documentary crew people -- but he did not deny that IATSE members were snubbed in favor of non-union employees.

"This is a Writer's Guild, Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild film, as all of Michael's films are. He is a proud, dues-paying member of all three of these unions," said Emanuel.

So you got that, everybody? Big Mike is hooked up with the important labor organizations. But the one that reps editors, camera people, makeup artists, costumers, animators, grips, people like that?

Not so much.


Anonymous said...

For those who don't know, Ari Emanuel's brother is Rahm Emanuel, the President's chief of staff.

Anonymous said...

"For those who don't know, Ari Emanuel's brother is Rahm Emanuel, the President's chief of staff."

Are you suggesting that there's msome evil conspiracy afoot or just amazing us with your knowledge of fun facts?

Here's a fun Fact for you: Ari Emmanuel is who Ari Gold on HBO's Entourage is based on.

Hmm...I wonder if Jeremy Piven had something to do with Moore not using a union crew...the dots are starting to get connected!!!

Floyd Norman said...

When my partners and I were producing educational films back in the sixties we usually shot with non-union crews. It wasn’t that we were anti-union -- it’s because we had no money.

A Hollywood film company spends more on lunch than we did for an entire film shoot. For our little company, filming union was impossible. In all other aspects however, I’m completely a union man, and I’ve benefited by being one.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Moore has plenty of money. And a large film company behind him.

His documentary cost a tidy little bundle to make.

Anonymous said...

I'm disappointed to hear this. He should've known he'd get knocked for this, and done the obvious and right thing.

Anonymous said...

All that said, it's a BRILLIANT film. Pick at Moore all you want, but America needs a better Health Care where patients deal with their doctors, and health insurance companies stop encouraging DEATH as the primary option.

Anonymous said...

And lollipops grow on trees and everyone sings campfire songs and squirrels and dolphins dance together in the moonlight forever and ever and ever!

Moore is a really nice guy and all, but he offers no solutions to anything short of wishful thinking and good intention. He writes and films fantasy. It appears also now that he is living one. Why must all prophets eventually rise up so high as to float away into the perpetual orbit of empty promise and useless reflection. He is a politician through are through.

Anonymous said...

"Moore is a really nice guy and all, but he offers no solutions to anything short of wishful thinking and good intention." nailed it. He isn't even being genuine with the way he defines terms in his films.

Corporatism is NOT the same as Capitalism.

This kid calls him on it and he really shows his true colors.

It is a shame. He identifies the problems but draws the wrong conclusions.

The government/corporation relationship is why we are in such bad shape. The government picks the winners and losers in business...not the people. Take the power away from government...and you fix that problem.

Blank Stare said...

Moore is a nice guy?

You've obviously never met the man or worked with him.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of hypocrites, Michael Moore owns stock in Halliburton. Whoops!

Anonymous said...

"Corporatism" is more aptly named "Corporate Communism," as that is what it is. Big business in America isn't interested in free trade, competition, or capitalism.

Moore's film DOES offer some options for solutions, but it is more interested in exposing the awful extent to which our health care has been ruined by insurance company death panels, which republicans support so much.

Also, Moore does not own stock in Halliburton. That's a wingnut spew that's been well debunked.

Anonymous said...

did anyone ever see his latest debacle?

Steve Hulett said...

I saw Mike's film last night. Liked it. He makes compelling movies, but this one was 25 minutes too long.

Next time maybe he can use an IA crew.

My 2 Cents said...

(a) Michael Moore is NOT a politician. He is feature film editorialist.

(b) Opinion pieces ARE journalism. Ever hear of the op-ed page?

(c) If Moore's films stimulate public debate, they will have served their purpose. The Corporatist status quo thrives on coversion. Thrown into the light, they are forced to be accountable.

I absolutely believe that "Sicko" helped remove the politically radioactive onus from the subject of health care reform. Now, it's an imminent reality.

Anonymous said...

-He is feature film editorialist.

Yes, an info-tainer. Just like every other editorializing talking head asshole on the television 'news.' Moore just happens to be making movies - the Top Gun Jerry Bruckheimer of the left. He translates social conscience into a two hour emotional roller coaster ride for the amusement park American mentality. He makes us stand up in the theater and yell out loud, "Yes, Michael, Hallelujah! Amen!" He thinks and reads and analyzes for us, so we don't have to. And delivers it wrapped up in a neat little package called righteous indignation.

And he delivers nothing.


Anonymous said...


And just like most politicians, the American people fall for it...hook, line, and sinker.

Anonymous said...

The question everyone should be asking anyone of influence - in politics, business, in films or on television - the question they should be asking anyone with a big opinion behind their influence - the question that nobody is asking, is "Where are you investing your money now?

What has the last two years taught you about money? What are you doing differently now with your investments? Where does the bulk of the percentages you earn from your savings come from?

I would bet that you would be hard pressed to find much of a difference in the portfolios of the voices on the left vs. the voices on the right. At the very least, you would find them far closer in their investing habits than their bloated rhetoric would seem to imply.

I would even bet Moore and Hannity shared at least 80% of the exact same investment strategy. And since they pay other people to manage their accounts, I would also bet that they don't even know it.

My 2 Cents said...


And just like most politicians, the American people fall for it...hook, line, and sinker."

What planet do you guys live on? Simply dealing with political and politically charged subject matter doesn't make Moore a politician any more than being a sportscaster makes you an athlete.

Politicians are elected by the people to actively represent them and their interests in government. Michael Moore makes movies, period. He is under no obligation to act on his convictions in any way and we are under no obligation to pay any attention to him, agree with him or see his films.

I think that those who disagree with Moore are bitter because he is wresting control of the information about these topics from the wingnut spin-meisters and fear mongers.

Without Moore, the Swiftboat crowd would be in total control, spending apparently endless millions telling everybody what to think about everything.

Anonymous said...

Two wrongs do not make a right.

The emotional arguments both sides play in the arena today do nothing to stimulate proper debate. It is a political war they are participating in, filmmaker and news anchors and radio talk show hosts alike. It is foolish to believe otherwise.

These 'information' narratives obfuscate truth and fact, impeding proper cause and effect relationships that the public would ordinarily use to draw coherent conclusions from, ones they could act on with a substantial degree of reasonable information. One of the reasons a narrative like An Inconvenient Truth establishes a far better set of facts and information for the public is largely because of Al Gores ability to put his ego on the outside of the argument. He allows the facts to speak for themselves. Moore's 'interviews', although humorous, are no more authentic than Limbaughs 'EIB' network call letters. Yes, Sicko brought out debate and stirred the pot (a pot I would argue was already well stirred by the time the film came out.) But factual and concise? Did it have the type of analysis that large government policy lives and dies by? Government policy fails because of laws that are blunt and politically motivated. We wouldn't let Moore write a law, but we would let him build a narrative that enables elected policymakers to write politically motivated ones? Limbaugh has done the exact same thing for years. He invented the way to do it in modern media. Howard Stern learned everything from Limbaugh. Moore is doing the exact same thing, and it is still the same obnoxious and dangerous assault on our government.

Although I agree more with someone like Moore rather than a Limbaugh, the overwhelming presence of their public persona injected within the center of their arguments does an alarming disservice to elected public servants who are truly on the front lines of fighting for what is supposed to be our democracy.

Why are these debates not conducted on the floors of the House and Senate like in the theaters and on television? Why do the people not turn to CSPAN and pay more attention to how the debates are won or lost in Congress and in DC? Do we all just continue to throw our hands up and say, "Well, they are all just corrupt and in the pocket of the corporate lobbies, so I might as well let Nancy Grace's shrill voice of righteous indignation push the debate forward for me instead." It's easier this way, right? Like 7-11, it's just more convenient.

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