Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Michael Francis Moore (born on Friday, April 23, 1954 in Davison, Michigan) is a left-wing American film director and author known for his advocacy of his social democratic political views, laced with satire and humor.
Michael Moore's home town, Davison, a middle-class suburb of Flint, Michigan, was home to one of General Motors' factories, where his mother was a secretary, and both his father and grandfather were employed. His uncle was one of the founders of the United Automobile Workers labor union and was part of the famous sitdown strike.
Brought up a Roman Catholic, he attended a Diocesan seminary at age 14, then attended Davison High School, graduating in 1972. That same year, he ran for and won a seat on the Davison school board under a platform based on firing the high school's principal and vice principal. By the end of his term both had resigned. Also of note is that Michael Moore is an Eagle Scout, the highest rank awarded by the Boy Scouts an achievement of which he is still proud. For his Eagle Project, he filmed a documentary pointing out various safety hazards and issues within his community.
At 22 he founded the alternative weekly magazine The Flint Voice (which soon changed its name to The Michigan Voice). In 1986, when Moore became the editor of Mother Jones, a political magazine, he moved to California and the Voice was shut down. After five months at Mother Jones, he was fired when he disapproved of an article he thought unfairly critical of the Sandinista government in Nicaragua. He sued for wrongful dismissal, resulting in an out-of-court settlement for $58,000 which provided partial funding for his first film project, Roger and Me.
Roger & Me: Moore first became famous for his controversial 1989 film Roger & Me, a documentary about what happened to Flint, Michigan, near Detroit and his hometown of Davison, Michigan, after General Motors closed its factories and opened new ones in Mexico, where the workers were paid much less. Since then Moore is known as a critic of the neoliberal view of globalization. "Roger" is Roger B. Smith, former CEO and president of General Motors.
The Big One: In 1997, Moore directed The Big One, which documents the tour publicizing his book Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American, where he criticized mass layoffs despite record corporate profits. Among others, he targeted Nike for outsourcing shoe production to Indonesia.
Bowling for Columbine: Moore's 2002 film Bowling for Columbine, probes the culture of guns and violence in the United States. Bowling for Columbine received special notice at the Cannes Film Festival and won France's Cesar Award as the Best Foreign Film. In the United States, it won the 2003 Academy Award for Documentary Feature. It also enjoyed unusual commercial success for a film of its type, becoming by some measures the highest-grossing documentary of its time. It was praised by some critics for illuminating a subject slighted by the mainstream media, and condemned by others as inaccurate and misleading in its presentations and suggested interpretations of events.
Fahrenheit 9/11: Moore's latest movie, Fahrenheit 9/11, examines America in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, particularly the record of the Bush administration and alleged links between the families of George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden. Ironically, President Bush's approval rating rose on the weekend that Fahrenheit 9/11 was released. Fahrenheit was awarded the Palme d'Or, the top honor at the Cannes Film Festival; it was the first documentary film to win the prize since 1956. Moore later announced that Fahrenheit 9/11 would not be in consideration for the 2005 Academy Award for Documentary Feature, but instead for the Academy Award for Best Picture. He stated he wanted the movie to be seen by a few million more people, preferably on television, by election day. Since Nov. 2 was less than nine months after the film's release, it would be disqualified the Documentary Oscar. Moore also said he wanted to be supportive of his 'teammates in non-fiction film'. However, Fahrenheit received no Oscar nomination for Best Picture. The title alludes to the classic book Fahrenheit 451, about a future totalitary state in which books are banned
Sicko (forthcoming): Moore is currently working on a film about the American healthcare system from the viewpoint of mental healthcare, focusing particularly on the managed-care and pharmaceutical industries, under the working title Sicko. At least two major pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, have ordered their employees not to grant any interviews to Moore.  
Fahrenheit 9/11 1/2 (forthcoming): On November 11, 2004 Moore told the Hollywood trade publication Daily Variety that he is also planning a sequel to Fahrenheit 9/11. He said, "Fifty-one percent of the American people lacked information (in this election) and we want to educate and enlighten them. They weren't told the truth. We're communicators and it's up to us to start doing it now." The sequel, like the original, will concern the war in Iraq and terrorism. Moore expects to complete Fahrenheit 9/11½ in 2006 or 2007.
On June 12, 2004, certain news sources reported that Moore was planning a film centering around British Prime Minister Tony Blair. A message on Moore's website refuted the claim the following day, stating that, "It is not true. Michael made a joke in an interview and, apparently, it was taken seriously."
Moore's documentary style is an involved, essayed form, as much about Moore himself and his opinion as they are about the subject at the heart of the film. This is a potential criticism from more traditionalist documentary makers, who prefer a more observational style, the filmmaker hidden behind the camera. The feature-length essayed form was pioneered by Nick Broomfield, and adopted by documentarians such as Louis Theroux, who himself worked with Moore on Michael Moore's TV Nation.
Between 1994 and 1995 he directed and hosted the television series TV Nation, which followed the format of news magazine shows but covered topics they avoid. The series was aired on NBC in 1994 for 9 episodes and again for 8 episodes on FOX in 1995.
Another 1999 series, Michael Moore Live was aired in the UK only, though it was broadcast from New York. This show had a similar format to The Awful Truth but also incorporated phone-ins and a live stunt each week. The show was performed around midday local time, which due to the time difference made it a late-night show in the UK.
In 1999 Moore won the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award in Arts and Entertainment, for being the executive producer and host of The Awful Truth, where he was also described as "muckraker, author and documentary filmmaker."
Moore has directed several music videos, including two for Rage Against the Machine for songs from "The Battle of Los Angeles": "Sleep Now in the Fire " and "Testify ". He was threatened with arrest during the shooting of "Sleep Now in the Fire", which was filmed on Wall Street; the city of New York had denied the band permission to play there, even though the band and Moore had secured a federal permit to perform. 
Writings and political views
Moore has authored three best-selling books:
- Downsize This! (1996), about politics and corporate crime in the United States,
- Stupid White Men (2001), a critique of American domestic and foreign policy, and
- Dude, Where's My Country? (2003), an examination of the Bush family's relationships with Saudi royalty, the Bin Laden family, and the energy industry, and a call-to-action for liberals in the 2004 election.
After Moore's departure from Mother Jones, he became an employee of Ralph Nader. He left Nader's employment on bad terms, but Moore vociferously supported Nader's campaign for the United States presidency in 2000.
In exchange for jumping in the show's "traveling mosh pit," Republican Alan Keyes won the endorsement of Moore's television series The Awful Truth in 2000, although Moore does not endorse Keyes' views.
Moore became a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association after the Columbine Massacre. He has said in an interview that his intention was to run for president of the organization and dismantle it after winning. 
In the 2004 election, Moore urged Nader not to run, so as not to split the vote for ousting Bush. (Moore joined Bill Maher on the latter's television show in kneeling before Nader to plead with him to stay out of the race.) On January 14, Moore endorsed General Wesley Clark for the Democratic nomination. Moore drew attention when charging publicly that Bush was AWOL during his service in the National Guard (see George W. Bush military service controversy). Also During an October, 27 stop in Portland, OR, Moore gave out the private number of radio host Lars Larson.
Moore was a high-profile guest at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, prominently seated in a box with former President Jimmy Carter and his wife. Moore also attended the 2004 Republican National Convention and wrote a daily column chronicling his impressions of it for USA Today. Moore became involved in an altercation with Secret Service agents as they tried to prevent him speaking with the media, which led to several agents' voices being broadcast live on NPR as they attempted to remove Andrea Seabrook .
During September and October 2004, Moore spoke at universities and colleges in swing states during his "Slacker Uprising Tour". The tour gave away ramen and underwear to people who promised to vote. This provoked public denunciations from the Michigan Republican Party and attempts to convince the government that Moore should be arrested for buying votes, but district attorneys refused to get involved with what would surely have become a circus trial. The tour was a popular success. Large numbers of young adults registered to vote, and by a strong percentage voted for John Kerry (Kerry 54%, Bush 44%). Nonetheless, the generally increased turnout in the election ensured that the percentage of youth voting was little different than in 2000, albeit at a higher numerical level. John Kerry eventually won the state of Michigan.
For election day in 2004 Moore organized a volunteer core of camera operators in an attempt to film irregularities at voting centers, especially in swing states.
With the election over, Moore's website is collecting selected news items on election analysis, voting problems, and news about the war in Iraq.
Controversy and criticism
Moore's body of work has engendered a great deal of criticism, usually because of its explicit political orientation (variously described as "left-wing", "progressive", "social democratic", or, in the American sense of the term, "liberal"). Some consider his criticism of the Bush Administration to be "unpatriotic", and some challenge the factual accuracy of his books and movies, as well as criticizing the use of carefully turned ("misleading", detractors claim) visual and textual suggestions in his works; others argue that he has a tendency to self-promotion  , and that his concern for the working class is a feint  .
Accusations have been made that some scenes in Moore's documentaries were staged or scripted without being clearly labeled so, and that other scenes were edited to alter the original intent of the speaker in the video.  In Bowling for Columbine, on-screen text was allegedly altered in a Bush-Quayle campaign ad, and footage edited into it from a non-campaign ad, in order to make it seem racist. Moore denied that this was done in the film, but is said to have slightly corrected the text for the DVD release.  Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes has claimed that a conversation purportedly with him published in Moore's Weekly was in fact completely fabricated; Moore counters that Barnes didn't react to publication and news accounts of the 1988 interview until 2002 , bringing the validity of the accusation into question.
Moore has set up a "war room"  to respond to some of the criticisms of his most recent film, Fahrenheit 9/11; his website contains counterarguments to the most common arguments against him. Moore is diligent in publishing sources that back up his claims. These range from across the world and include many of the top news sources in America.
There has been criticism about the fact that since the success of his films and books, Moore has taken to living in luxury, with a $1.9 million home in New York and a $1.2 million beachfront house in Michigan, and for using a limousine and private planes for personal transportation. Detractors contend that he cannot be an ally of the working class if he lives in that manner, and that the various charges of self-serving financial dealings that he has leveled against various and sundry in the past appear to lose moral authority as a result. Supporters dismiss this allegation by noting that Moore made considerable financial sacrifices to begin his film career, such as putting up his home and numerous bingo fundraisers to finance Roger & Me, and that being wealthy is not in itself grounds for criticism.
With the success of Moore's work, there have been works attacking Moore. These include most recently the book Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man , and the film titled Michael Moore Hates America. Some groups have gone further than attacking Moore in the media. The Christian group Focus on the Family published Moore's home address  in a July 2004 newsletter.
A more recent controversy surrounds Michael Moore's public support of the Iraq insurgency in a memo released on his personal website, decribing the insurgents as "Minutemen". Detractors claim this is a show of affinity, while supporters say Moore was simply providing perspective on the Iraq situation.
Despite the controversy surrounding Moore and his work, he has had great success as a filmmaker and writer. His films Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11 debuted as the highest-grossing feature-length non-music nonfiction films of all time, the latter making over 120 million dollars and winning, among numerous other kudos, the People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture (an unprecented honor for a nonfiction film), as well as Best Picture at the Cannes Film Festival.
Oscar acceptance speech
- "Whoa. On behalf of our producers Kathleen Glynn and Michael Donovan from Canada, I'd like to thank the Academy for this. I have invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us, and we would like to — they're here in solidarity with me because we like nonfiction."
- "We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fictition (sic) of duct tape or fictition (sic) of orange alerts we are against this war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you. And any time you got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up. Thank you very much."
The televised speech appeared to be met with mostly support from the audience; while some loud boos were heard during the speech, the audience shots in the telecast only show audience members either listening, smiling or applauding. In a backstage interview with Michael Moore afterwards, Michael insisted that the majority of the audience were, in fact, cheering. Michael repeated the part of his speech that had been cut short due to the orchestra starting to play music, and gave the reason "I'm an American" in defense of his choice of acceptance speech.
Moore has also received criticism for inviting the family of the Columbine High School massacre victims to an advanced preview screening of Bowling for Columbine. One family member expressed outrage when, she claims, Moore intended to charge them admission.
Depictions of Moore
In the 2004 satire film Team America: World Police, a marionette representation of Moore surfaces as a suicide bomber who blows up Team America's headquarters inside Mount Rushmore. He is later described as a 'giant socialist weasel'. One of the makers of the film, Matt Stone, later stated that this representation was due to the cutting of an animated section of 'Bowling for Columbine' so that it appeared directly after an interview with Stone . This made many in the audience believe that Stone (and his colleague Trey Parker, who together are popular largely through being the creators of South Park) created the animation which he saw as "retarded". He later states that he does not "really hate the guy".
In the episode of the television show 'Arrested Development' 'The One Where Michael Leaves', an unnamed obese documentary film maker approaches Lucile asking if she would enlist her son in the military. Michael Moore asked the same question in 'Fahrenheit 9/11', except the responses he received were "no".
The 2004 Academy Awards opened with a satirical short film in which the host, Billy Crystal, re-enacted the most memorable scenes of 2004. Moore was depicted holding a camera amidst a battle (the Battle of the Pelennor Fields from The Return of the King movie), and shouting, "Stop this war. Shame on you hobbits, shame on you. This is a fictitious war. This war was not elected by the populace."
MADtv comedian Paul Vogt is noted for his impersonations of Moore. In a 2003 skit, entitled "Bowling for Christmas",  Vogt as Moore angrily accuses Christmas shoppers of supporting terrorism and Santa Claus of exploiting child labor. In each scene the inscription on Moore's baseball cap gets progressively more self-righteous: "Hero", "Saint", "Martyr".
His published work
List of books
- Moore, Michael (1996). Downsize This! Random Threats from an Unarmed American. Perennial (Harper Edition). ISBN 0060977337.
- Moore, Michael; & Glynn, Kathleen (1998). Adventures In A TV Nation. Perennial. ISBN 0060988096.
- Moore, Michael (2002). Stupid White Men ...and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation!. Regan Books. ISBN 0060392452.
- Moore, Michael (2003). Dude, Where's My Country?. Warner Books. ISBN 0446532231.
- Moore, Michael (2004). Will They Ever Trust Us Again?. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0743271521.
- Moore, Michael (2004). The Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Reader . Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0743272927.
List of films
- Roger & Me (1989)
- Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint (1992) (TV)
- Canadian Bacon (1995)
- The Big One (1997)
- And Justice for All (1998)
- Bowling for Columbine (2002)
- Fahrenheit 9/11 (2004) "Palme d'Or" in Cannes
- Sicko (projected for 2005)
- Fahrenheit 9/11 1/2 (projected for 2006)
List of TV series
- "Every single fact I state in 'Fahrenheit 9/11' is the absolute and irrefutable truth...Do not let anyone say this or that isn't true. If they say that, they are lying." - "My First Wild Week with 'Fahrenheit 9/11'" MichaelMoore.com, July 7, 2004
- "Our young people who go off to war and who join the service, we need to honor them because they're willing to risk their lives to protect us, to defend us, so we can have this way of life. And the agreement that they make with us is that we never send them into harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary. I think most Americans -- I just saw the latest poll today -- 54% now believe that [invading Iraq] wasn't the wisest thing to do -- it wasn't certainly in self-defense. You weren't threatened; I wasn't being threatened, and that's the only time, because ultimately if it was your child...would you give up your child to secure Fallujah?" - On the television program Late Night with Conan O'Brien, June 25, 2004
- "The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win." - "Heads Up... from Michael Moore," MichaelMoore.com, April 14, 2004
- Moore's Homepage
- Unofficial Michael Moore
- Unofficial Michael Moore forums
- Official Fahrenheit 9/11 Website - With trailer of the movie
- Internet Movie Database-Michael Moore
- Anti-Moore Website Links to Pirated F9/11
- Gary Younge, "The Capped Crusader"
- Conservatives Seized upon Faulty Report of Moore's Supposed Dual Voter Registrations
- "Fahrenheit 9/11": Yea!
- FOX Hosts Join Drudge Sidekick in Bashing Michael Moore
- "I Am So Furious Right Now, Mama"
- Michael Moore on the Daily Show
- Michael Moore Terrorizes the Bushies!
- Michael Moore's Dilemma: Israel, Saudi Arabia, and John Kerry
- Moore to Turn Guns on US Health System
- Moore Mania Hotting Up
- NY Post Pointed to Comparisons of Michael Moore to Nazi-propaganda Filmmaker
- Scarborough Lied in Attempt to Catch Michael Moore Lying
- Archived appearances of Michael Moore on Democracy Now!
- Moore's Films that are included in a list of fims to see before you vote
Sources critical of Michael Moore
- Moore Lies
- The lies of Michael Moore
- Moore Watch
- The Truth about Bowling for Columbine
- Bowling For Truth
- Michael Moore Hates America, the movie
- Allegations in the news
- Spinsanity on Michael Moore
- Moore Exposed
- Kennedy Mad At Film Maker Moore
- Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another? The commercial glories of phony "censorship"
- Moore Outsourcing Jobs Despite Criticism
- Michael Moore, Humbug
- Michael Moore Is A Big Fat Stupid White Man, Regan Books, June, 2004 (ISBN 0060763957).
- Ralph Nader criticizes Moore
- Fifty-Nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11
- Michael Moore, Ugly American
- Article including statements about past successful lawsuits against Moore
- Propaganda Tactics & Fahrenheit 9/11
- War, Lies, and Videotape: A Viewer's Guide to Fahrenheit 9/11
Michael Moore's official response to critics
- The Fahrenheit 9/11 War Room - Michael Moore's official response
- When You Wish Upon A Star - Mike's message on Friday, May 7th, 2004
- Mike's Latest News on Fahrenheit 9/11
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