Michael Moore Porky Pies

Having spent the past 30 years in the Southeast of England, married to a Londoner, it’s difficult not to absorb a little bit of rhyming Cockney slang. There’s a tradition amongst Londoners to use rhyming slang phrases for certain everyday words in English.

For example, “Barnet fair” is slang for “hair;” “dog and bone” is “phone; ” and “Berkhampsted hunt” is Cockney slang for … well, put it this way: If you’re ever in England and someone calls you a “berk,” you’ve just been called the ugly four-letter c-word which Bill Maher likes to use to describe Sarah Palin.

“Porky pie” is easy to decypher. A “porky pie” is a lie. And today, Michael Moore told a porky pie so foul even Sweeney Todd wouldn’t have touched it.

Remember this from earlier this week?

How could you forget Moore sitting in front of so persistent an interviewer as Piers Morgan, a journalist trained in fifty different ways of asking the same question, only to deny that he’s a part of the problem against which the Occupy Wall Street is protesting, a movement which Moore, with a new book to plug just before the Christmas season starts, seems hell-bent on appropriating?

Moore, the working-class stiff. Moore, the voice of the downtrodden. Moore, who called President Obama a murderer for bin Laden’s death?

That Michael Moore.

Well, folks, that Michael Moore, self-appointed patron saint of the Occupy movement ventured West today to bless the Occupy Oakland protest, which has produced some pretty lairy moments this week, courtesy of the boys in blue. And it would seem that Piers Morgan struck a sweaty nerve with Moore’s Catholic conscience, because today Moore admitted, in a blog on his website, that, yes, he was one of the one per cent.

The blog, as most of his writings are, was heavily laced with references to his Catholic upbringing and values, even going as far as alluding to (without actually naming) the Doctrine of Good Works which is drilled into every parochial schoolkid’s brain.

I feel very blessed that I have this life — and I take none of it for granted. I believe in the lessons I was taught back in Catholic school — that if you end up doing well, you have an even greater responsibility to those who don’t fare the same. “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” Kinda commie, I know, but the idea was that the human family was supposed to divide up the earth’s riches in a fair manner so that all of God’s children would have a life with less suffering.

All well and good. I’m glad Moore remembers and adheres to so much of his Catholic upbringing. It should put me, lapsed Catholic-cum-unbeliever, to mortal shame, but it doesn’t.

It doesn’t, because smack dab in the middle of that self-righteous, quasi-religious, excuse-ridden blog, was a glaring, bare-faced lie. Speaking of the time 22 years ago, when he’d sold the distribution rights of his first film, “Roger and Me” for three million dollars, he recounted how he proposed dispose of his new-found fortune and what he would do with whatever remained, once he’d spent what he had to spend of the three million.

What remained went into a simple, low-interest savings account. I made the decision that I would never buy a share of stock (I didn’t understand the casino known as the New York Stock Exchange and I did not believe in investing in a system I did not agree with).

The bold type is mine, because that’s the obvious lie. Michael Moore is lying through his teeth, and it was none other than another British journalist, who revealed that lie.

Before he gained international fame with the trivial Britain’s Got Talent and thenAmerica’s Got Talent, Piers Morgan was the boy wonder editor of The Mirror, a Leftwing daily tabloid in the UK. Around about the time he was editing that journal, Janet Street-Porter, a veteran British broadcaster and journalist was Editor-at-Large for The Independent, a Left-leaning daily broadsheet. Street-Porter, herself, is a well-heeled Liberal with a strident Cockney accented voice.

Steet-Porter is an old-school journalist, who’d put this generation’s pretenders to professional shame. Street-Porter, during her tenure editing The Independent, would never have countenanced the Johann Hari debacle, Britain’s own version of Jayson Blair journalism. In an article appearing in The Independent almost six years ago, entitled “Michael Moore: The Man, the Myth, the Millions, the Pizza”, Street-Porter uncovered some slightly whiffy facts Michael Moore is scrupulous to keep hidden from the vast army of potential and malleable recruits to his cause here in the U S (remembering his political advice to voters in the 2000 election).

Writing in 2005, the first year of Bush’s second Administration, Street-Porter wonders:-

Whatever happened to Michael Moore, the man who told us his mission in life was to stop President George Bush getting re-elected? The man who loathed Bush so much he spent millions of dollars making a film, Fahrenheit 9/11, the main purpose of which was to discredit the President. The man who went on national television and relentlessly toured the US begging people to vote the Republicans out of office. Moore never missed an opportunity to ram home the fact that he sought nothing less than total humiliation for Dubya. But since Bush was returned to the White House, Moore has been strangely silent – obviously he found the result extremely unpalatable, and Moore is not someone who likes to lose an argument. At 20 stone plus, the largest man in movies is pretty hard to miss. But, apart from launching a film festival in a remote part of Michigan a couple of months ago, he seems to have vanished into thin air. There were stories that he’d been shacked up at a Florida fat farm trying to lose weight. There were rumours that he’s toured New Orleans after Katrina, but reading his website, it’s clear that while keen to rally support for the homeless and jobless, he was not actually there in person.

Now a new book, Do As I Say (Not As I Do) – Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy, by the right-wing commentator Peter Schweizer, criticises Moore for not living up to the high moral standards he claims to espouse. The author, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, went through publicly available IRS (tax) documents to discover that Moore’s foundation bought shares in some of the companies he has spent a career in the media attacking. Not just a few shares either – don’t forget Moore has always said he doesn’t own any stock and doesn’t have a broker – but his foundation owns tens of thousands of shares in Boeing, Sonoco, Eli Lilly, and Halliburton, the same defence company that Fahrenheit 9/11 attacked for making huge profits out of rebuilding countries like Afghanistan and Iraq after American military intervention.

Even more damaging, try logging on to the Name the Hypocrite website, and read claims that Moore, who says conservatives are racist because they don’t support affirmative action, has only managed to employ three black people out of a workforce of 135 people working on his books, television shows and radio projects. Moore, who says that Americans who live in white neighbourhoods are racist, has lived for the past seven years in a waterfront home in Central Lake, Michigan, a community of 2,600 residents. The 2000 census records that the number of black people living there is zero.

OK, yes, I realise that Schweitzer is a Rightwing author and a fellow of the conservative Hoover Institute, but suck it hard, the man deals in facts. As I said, Street-Porter is abona fide journalist. Furthermore she’s old Labour, which means she isn’t and never was a follower of Tony Blair triangulation; and like any old-fashioned journo, if someone presents her with undisputable fact, she’ll take it from the source, if he or she be reliable, ne’mind the political persuasion. A lot of Schweitzer’s information comes from the IRS – can’t get more established and factual than that.

It’s also easy enough to check out the racial make-up of Moore’s workforce, as well as that of the neighbourhood in which he lives; and all of this tallies with the recent race kerfuffle in which Moore inadvertantly involved himself whilst a guest on The View.

Street-Porter was as intrigued by her discovery of Moore’s lifestyle and his investments, nonetheless than by his demeanor now that he’d found considerable success. So intrigued was she, that she actually went to the United States in 2006 and produced a film broadcast on British television later that year, entitled “Michael and Me.” Further in the same article, she describes the Frankenstein monster Moore had become (and, once again, the bold type is mine – so pay attention, peeps!):-

Fourteen months ago I wrote in this paper “he makes politics seem as exciting as a ball game, as partisan and one-dimensional as a comic. He aims so low it’s extraordinary”. Even so, I have always saluted Moore’s achievements as a communicator, putting complicated subjects across to the mass audience. I commented that denigrating Moore because he distorted the truth in his movies and books was missing the point, and if every major politician was judged on how often they got their facts right Tony Blair, George Bush and Jacques Chirac would have been impeached and removed from office years ago. Over the past year, however, Moore has not only got richer than in his wildest dreams, but his celebrity status has meant that he now mingles with the glitterati. Stories of his giant ego and huge tantrums abound – but how many were manufactured by those on the right fearful of his influence? I decided to go to America and make a documentary about how America’s champion of the underdog has morphed into one of the creatures he originally so despised.

Now Moore is more unapproachable than the Pope, more obsessed with his own security than Elton John. There’s a dangerous gap between the Moore of myth and the reality. For a moment during the presidential campaign it seemed as if he sought public office as a way of cleansing the system and achieving a fairer redistribution of wealth in his country. But many would argue by taking on Bush in such a heavy-handed way, he actually helped his arch enemy win, galvanising wavering Republicans to turn out and vote. Meanwhile, Moore alienates everyone who has to work with him (outside his small trusted team) by imposing demands that make Mariah Carey seem like a reasonable woman.

In my film I discover just how appallingly he behaved during his British tour, ordering pizzas and stuffing himself while the audience waited for him to go on stage. Refusing to meet a woman who knew his mom, who’d come from his home town and baked him an apple pie. Crowing on the phone in the interval to his mate in New York, about the fact that Vanessa Redgrave and Bianca Jagger were in the audience, while the public waited for him to entertain them. The same man who did a deal with two of the poorest people in his film Roger and Me whereby they earned a measly 100 dollars, while he made millions.

In the end, I conclude that Moore is a victim of his own success, with a lot more in common with Bush than he would care to admit.

Moore, himself, joshed nervously in the Piers Morgan interview that he was, in fact, a victim of his own success, in a sweaty and hopeful effort of getting Morgan to move onto the next audience question or Tweet and get away from the awfully embarrassing incident of a member of the public actually wanting to know if Moore were a member of the nefarious one percent.

Well, today, we know that answer is “yes.” We knew it then, but we also know that when Moore states that he had never owned shares, he’s blatantly lying, and maybe that merits a private visit to a confessional with a priest of his choice; or maybe it takes another interview with another British journalist to raise this fact for Moore to dispute and josh off.

Yes, yes, yes … I know the Moore dittoes will flounce about and point out that Street-Porter’s article was written way back in the Bush years, but the fact remains that Moore stated in his blog today that he’d never ever owned shares, and he has. Whether he does now or not is a moot point. He has owned them, when he said he had never done so.

He lied. He porky pied.

And those kids camping out in tents and having tear gas canisters lobbed at them should know that.