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Moore writes: "After the Oscar riot and the resulting persona-non-grata status I held as the most hated man in America, I decided to do what anyone in my position would do: make a movie suggesting the president of the United States is a war criminal."

Michael Moore. (photo: Scott McDermott/Guardian UK)
Michael Moore. (photo: Scott McDermott/Guardian UK)



Michael Moore: I Was the Most Hated Man in America

Michael Moore, The Guardian UK

08 September 11

 

In his 2003 Oscar acceptance speech, Michael Moore denounced President Bush and the invasion of Iraq. Overnight he became the most hated man in America. In an exclusive extract from his new book, "Here Comes Trouble," he tells of the bomb threats, bodyguards and how he fought back.

"'m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out [of him]. Is this wrong? I stopped wearing my 'What Would Jesus Do?' band, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, 'Yeah, I'd kill Michael Moore,' and then I'd see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I'd realise, 'Oh, you wouldn't kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn't choke him to death.' And you know, well, I'm not sure." - Glenn Beck, live on the Glenn Beck show, 17 May 2005

Wishes for my early demise seemed to be everywhere. They were certainly on the mind of CNN's Bill Hemmer one sunny July morning in 2004. Holding a microphone in front of my face on the floor of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, live on CNN, he asked me what I thought about how the American people were feeling about Michael Moore: "I've heard people say they wish Michael Moore were dead." Hemmer said it like he was simply stating the obvious, like, "of course they want to kill you!" He just assumed his audience already understood this truism, as surely as they accept that the sun rises in the east and corn comes on a cob.

To be fair to Hemmer, I was not unaware that my movies had made a lot of people mad. It was not unusual for fans to randomly come up and hug me and say, "I'm so happy you're still here!" They didn't mean in the building.

Why was I still alive? For more than a year there had been threats, intimidation, harassment and even assaults in broad daylight. It was the first year of the Iraq war, and I was told by a top security expert (who is often used by the federal government for assassination prevention) that "there is no one in America other than President Bush who is in more danger than you."

How on earth did this happen? Had I brought this on myself? Of course I had. And I remember the moment it all began.

It was the night of 23 March 2003. Four nights earlier, George Bush had invaded Iraq. This was an illegal, immoral, stupid invasion - but that was not how Americans saw it. More than 70% of the public backed the war. And on the fourth night of this very popular war, my film Bowling for Columbine was up for an Academy Award. I went to the ceremony but was not allowed, along with any of the nominees, to talk to the press while walking down the red carpet into Hollywood's Kodak Theatre. There was the fear that someone might say something - and in wartime we need everyone behind the war effort and on the same page.

The actress Diane Lane came on to the stage and read the list of nominees for best documentary. The envelope was opened, and she announced with unbridled glee that I had won the Oscar. The main floor, filled with the Oscar-nominated actors, directors and writers, leapt to its feet and gave me a very long standing ovation. I had asked the nominees from the other documentary films to join me on the stage in case I won, and they did. The ovation finally ended, and then I spoke: "I've invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us. They are here in solidarity with me because we like non-fiction. We like non-fiction, yet we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. Whether it's the fiction of duct tape or the fiction of orange alerts: we are against this war, Mr Bush. Shame on you, Mr Bush. Shame on you! And anytime you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up! Thank you very much."

About halfway through these remarks, all hell broke loose. There were boos, very loud boos, from the upper floors and from backstage. (A few - Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep - tried to cheer me on from their seats, but they were no match.) The producer of the show ordered the orchestra to start playing to drown me out. The microphone started to descend into the floor. A giant screen with huge red letters began flashing in front of me: "YOUR TIME IS UP!" It was pandemonium, to say the least, and I was whisked off the stage.

A little known fact: the first two words every Oscar winner hears right after you win the Oscar and leave the stage come from two attractive young people in evening wear hired by the Academy to immediately greet you behind the curtain. So while calamity and chaos raged on in the Kodak, this young woman in her designer gown stood there, unaware of the danger she was in, and said the following word to me: "Champagne?" And she held out a flute of champagne.

The young man in his smart tuxedo standing next to her then immediately followed up with this: "Breathmint?" And he held out a breathmint.

Champagne and breathmint are the first two words all Oscar winners hear. But, lucky me, I got to hear a third. An angry stagehand came right up to the side of my head, screaming as loud as he could in my ear: "ASSHOLE!"

Other burly, pissed-off stagehands started toward me. I clutched my Oscar like a weapon, holding it like a lone man trapped and surrounded in the woods, his only hope being the torch he is swinging madly at the approaching vampires. All I felt at that moment was alone, that I was nothing more than a profound and total disappointment.

That night I couldn't sleep, so I got up and turned on the TV. For the next hour I watched the local TV stations do their Oscar night wrap-up shows - and as I flipped between the channels, I listened to one pundit after another question my sanity, criticise my speech and say, over and over, in essence: "I don't know what got into him!"

"He sure won't have an easy time in this town after that stunt!" "Who does he think will make another movie with him now?" "Talk about career suicide!" After an hour of this, I turned off the TV and went online, where there was more of the same, only worse - from all over America. I began to get sick. I could see the writing on the wall - it was curtains for me as a film-maker. I turned off the computer and I turned off the lights and I sat there in the chair in the dark, going over and over what I had done. Good job, Mike. And good riddance.

Bombarded With Hatred

When we got back to our home in northern Michigan, the local beautification committee had dumped three truckloads of horse manure waist-high in our driveway so that we wouldn't be able to enter our property - a property which, by the way, was freshly decorated with a dozen or so signs nailed to our trees: GET OUT! MOVE TO CUBA! COMMIE SCUM! TRAITOR! LEAVE NOW OR ELSE!

I had no intention of leaving.

The hate mail after the Oscar speech was so voluminous, it almost seemed as if Hallmark had opened a new division where greeting card writers were assigned the task of penning odes to my passing. ("For a Special Motherfucker ..." "Get Well Soon from Your Mysterious Car Accident!" "Here's to a Happy Stroke!")

The phone calls to my house were actually creepier. It's a whole different fright machine when a human voice is attached to the madness and you think: "This person literally risked arrest to say this over a phone line!" You had to admire the balls - or insanity - of that.

But the worst moments were when people came on to our property. These individuals would just walk down the driveway, always looking like rejects from the cast of Night of the Living Dead, never moving very fast, but always advancing with singleminded purposefulness. Few were actual haters; most were just crazy. We kept the sheriff's deputies busy until they finally suggested we might want to get our own security, or perhaps our own police force. Which we did.

We met with the head of the top security agency in the country, an elite outfit that did not hire ex-cops, nor any "tough guys" or bouncer-types. They preferred to use only Navy Seals and other ex-Special Forces. Guys who had a cool head and who could take you out with a piece of dental floss in a matter of nanoseconds. By the end of the year, due to the alarming increase of threats and attempts on me, I had nine ex-Seals surrounding me, round-the-clock.

Fahrenheit 9/11: The Fightback

After the Oscar riot and the resulting persona-non-grata status I held as the most hated man in America, I decided to do what anyone in my position would do: make a movie suggesting the president of the United States is a war criminal.

I mean, why take the easy road? It was already over for me, anyway. The studio that had promised to fund my next film had called up after the Oscar speech and said that they were backing out of their signed contract with me - if I didn't like it, I could go fuck myself. Fortunately, another studio picked up the deal but cautioned that perhaps I should be careful not to piss off the ticket-buying public. The owner of the studio had backed the invasion of Iraq. I told him I had already pissed off the ticket-buying public, so why don't we just make the best movie possible, straight from the heart - and, well, if nobody liked that, there was always straight-to-video.

In the midst of all this turmoil I began shooting Fahrenheit 9/11. I told everyone on my crew to operate as if this was going to be the last job we were ever going to have in the movie business. This wasn't meant to be an inspirational speech - I really believed that this was going to be it. And so we spent the next 11 months putting together our cinematic indictment of an administration and a country gone mad.

The release of the film in 2004, just a little more than a year after the start of the war, came at a time when the vast majority of Americans still backed the war. We premiered it at the Cannes film festival, where we were awarded the top prize, the Palme d'Or, by an international jury headed by Quentin Tarantino. It was the first time in nearly 50 years a documentary had won the prize.

This initial overwhelming response to Fahrenheit 9/11 spooked the Bush White House, convincing those in charge of his re-election campaign that a movie could be the tipping point that might bring them down. They hired a pollster to find out the effect the film would have on voters. After screening the movie with three different audiences in three separate cities, the news Karl Rove received was not good. The movie was not only giving a much-needed boost to the Democratic base (who were wild about the film), it was, oddly, having a distinct effect also on female Republican voters.

The studio's own polling had already confirmed that an amazing one-third of Republican voters - after watching the movie - said they would recommend the film to other people. But the White House pollster reported something even more dangerous - 10% of Republican females said that after watching Fahrenheit 9/11, they had decided to either vote for John Kerry or to just stay home. In an election that could be decided by only a few percentage points, this was devastating news.

The movie would go on to open at No 1 all across North America. And, to make matters worse for the White House, it opened at No 1 in all 50 states, even in the deep south. It opened at No 1 in military towns such as Fort Bragg. Soldiers and their families were going to see it and, by many accounts, it became the top bootleg watched by the troops in Iraq. It broke the box office record long held by the Star Wars film Return of the Jedi for the largest opening weekend ever for a film that opened on 1,000 screens or less. It was, in the verbiage of Variety, major boffo, a juggernaut.

And in doing all of that, it had made me a target.

The attacks on me that followed were like mad works of fiction, crazy, madeup stuff that I refused to respond to because I didn't want to dignify the noise. On TV, on the radio, in op-eds, on the internet - everywhere - it was suggested that Michael Moore hates America, he's a liar, a conspiracy nut and a croissant-eater. The campaign against me was meant to stop too many Republicans from seeing the film.

And it worked. Of course, it also didn't help that Kerry was a lousy candidate. Bush won by one state, Ohio.

There was a residual damage from all the hate speech generated toward me by the Republican pundits. It had the sad and tragic side-effect of unhinging the already slightly unglued. And so my life went from receiving scribbly little hate notes to fullout attempted physical assaults - and worse.

Living With Bodyguards

The ex-Navy Seals moved in with us. When I walked down a public sidewalk they would have to form a circle around me. At night they wore night-vision goggles and other special equipment that I'm convinced few people outside CIA headquarters have ever seen.

The agency protecting me had a threat assessment division. Their job was to investigate anyone who had made a credible threat against me. One day, I asked to see the file. The man in charge began reading me the list of names and the threats they had made and the level of threat that the agency believed each one posed. After he went through the first dozen, he stopped and asked: "Do you really want to keep going? There are 429 more."

I could no longer go out in public without an incident happening. It started with small stuff, such as people in a restaurant asking to be moved to a different table when I was seated next to them, or a taxi driver who would stop his cab in mid-traffic to scream at me. The verbal abuse soon turned physical, and the Seals were now on high alert. For security reasons, I will not go into too much detail here, partly on the advice of the agency and partly because I don't want to give these criminals any more of the attention they were seeking:

  • In Nashville, a man with a knife leapt up on the stage and started coming toward me. The Seal grabbed him from behind by his belt loop and collar and slung him off the front of the stage to the cement floor below. Someone had to mop up the blood after the Seals took him away.


  • In Fort Lauderdale, a man in a nice suit saw me on the sidewalk and went crazy. He took the lid off his hot, scalding coffee and threw it at my face. The Seal saw this happening but did not have the extra half-second needed to grab the guy, so he put his own face in front of mine and took the hit. The coffee burned his face so badly, we had to take him to the hospital (he had second-degree burns) - but not before the Seal took the man face down to the pavement, placing his knee painfully in the man's back, and putting him in cuffs.


  • In New York City, while I was holding a press conference outside one of the cinemas showing Fahrenheit 9/11, a man walking by saw me, became inflamed, and pulled the only weapon he had on him out of his pocket - a very sharp and pointed graphite pencil. As he lunged to stab me with it, the Seal saw him and, in the last split second, put his hand up between me and the oncoming pencil. The pencil went right into the Seal's hand. You ever see a Navy Seal get stabbed? The look on their face is the one we have when we discover we're out of shampoo. The pencil-stabber probably became a convert to the paperless society that day, once the Seal was done with him and his 16th-century writing device.

The Lone Bomber

And then there was Lee James Headley. Sitting alone at home in Ohio, Lee had big plans. The world, according to his diary, was dominated and being ruined by liberals. His comments read like the talking points of any given day's episode of The Rush Limbaugh Show. And so Lee made a list. It was a short list of the people who had to go. At the top of the list was his No. 1 target: "Michael Moore." Beside my name he wrote, "MARKED" (as in "marked for death," he would later explain).

Throughout the spring of 2004, Headley accumulated a huge amount of assault weapons, a cache of thousands of rounds of ammunition, and various bomb-making materials. He bought The Anarchist's Cookbook and the race-war novel The Turner Diaries. His notebooks contained diagrams of rocket launchers and bombs, and he would write over and over: "Fight, fight, fight, kill, kill, kill!"

But one night in 2004, he accidentally fired off a round inside his home from one of his AK-47s. A neighbour heard the shot and called the police. The cops arrived and found the treasure trove of weapons, ammo and bomb-making materials. And his hit list.

I got the call some days later from the security agency.

"We need to tell you that the police have in custody a man who was planning to blow up your house. You're in no danger now."

I got very quiet. I tried to process what I just heard: I'm ... in ... no ... danger ... now. For me, it was the final straw. I broke down. My wife was already in her own state of despair over the loss of the life we used to have. I asked myself again: what had I done to deserve this? Made a movie? A movie led someone to want to blow up my home? What happened to writing a letter to the editor?

As the months wore on, even after Bush's re-election, the constant drumbeat against me only intensified. When Glenn Beck said that he was thinking of killing me, he was neither fined by the broadcasting regulator nor arrested by the NYPD. He was, essentially, making a call to have me killed, and no one in the media at that time reported it.

And then a man trespassed on our property and left something outside our bedroom window when I wasn't home. It terrorised my wife. He even videotaped himself doing this.

When the police investigated, he said he was making a "documentary." He called it Shooting Michael Moore. And when you went to his website, and the words Shooting Michael Moore came on the screen, the sound of a gunshot went off. The media ate it up, and he was asked to appear on many TV shows (such as Fox News host Sean Hannity's). "Coming up next - he's giving Michael Moore a taste of his own medicine! Moore now has somebody after him!" (Cue SFX: KA-BOOM!) He then provided video and maps of how to illegally get on to our property.

I will not share with you the impact this had, at that time, on my personal life, but suffice it to say I would not wish this on anyone. More than once I have asked myself if all this work was really worth it. And, if I had it to do over again, would I? If I could take back that Oscar speech and just walk up on the stage and thank my agent and tuxedo designer and get off without another word, would I? If it meant that my family would not have to worry about their safety and that I would not be living in constant danger - well, I ask you, what would you do? You know what you would do.

President Bush to the Rescue

For the next two and a half years, I didn't leave the house much. From January 2005 to May 2007, I did not appear on a single TV show. I stopped going on college tours. I just took myself off the map. The previous year I had spoken at more than 50 campuses. For the two years following that, I spoke at only one. I stayed close to home and worked on some local town projects in Michigan where I lived. And then to my rescue rode President Bush. He said something that helped snap me out of it. I had heard him say it before, but this time when I heard him, I felt like he was speaking directly to me. He said: "If we give in to the terrorists, the terrorists win." And he was right. His terrorists were winning! Against me! What was I doing sitting inside the house? I opened up the blinds, folded up my pity party, and went back to work. I made three films in three years, threw myself into getting Barack Obama elected, and helped toss two Republican congressmen from Michigan out of office. I set up a popular website, and I was elected to the board of governors of the same Academy Awards that had booed me.

I chose not to give up. I wanted to give up, badly. Instead I got fit. If you take a punch at me now, I can assure you three things will happen: 1) You will break your hand. That's the beauty of spending just a half hour a day on your muscular-skeletal structure - it turns into kryptonite; 2) I will fall on you. I'm still working on my core and balance issues, so after you slug me I will tip over and crush you; 3) My Seals will spray mace or their own homemade concoction of jalapeño spider spray directly into your eye sockets while you are on the ground. As a pacifist, please accept my apologies in advance - and never, ever use violence against me or anyone else again.

Eventually I found myself back on The Tonight Show for the first time in a while. As I was leaving the stage, the guy who was operating the boom microphone approached me.

"You probably don't remember me," he said nervously. "I never thought I would ever see you again or get the chance to talk to you. I can't believe I get to do this."

Do what? I thought. I braced myself for the man's soon-to-be-broken hand.

"I never thought I'd get to apologise to you," he said, as a few tears started to come into his eyes. "I'm the guy who ruined your Oscar night. I'm the guy who yelled 'ASSHOLE' into your ear right after you came off the stage. I ... I ... [he tried to compose himself]. I thought you were attacking the president - but you were right. He did lie to us. And I've had to carry this with me now all these years, and I'm so sorry ..."

By now he was starting to fall apart, and all I could think to do was to reach out and give him a huge hug.

"It's OK, man," I said, a big smile on my face. "I accept your apology. But you do not need to apologise to me. You believed your president! You're supposed to believe your president! If we can't expect that as just the minimum from whoever's in office, then, shit, we're doomed."

"Thank you," he said, relieved. "Thank you for understanding."

"Understanding?" I said. "This isn't about understanding. I've told this funny story for years now, about the first two words you hear when you're an Oscar winner - and how I got to hear a bonus word! Man, don't take that story away from me! People love it!" He laughed, and I laughed.

"Yeah," he said, "there aren't many good stories like that."


Extracted from "Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life" by Michael Moore.

 

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+161 # artful 2011-09-08 13:38
Thanks Michael. Sorry about all the shit delivered by a stupid American public, because a President lied to us. Now, we have a decent man in the White House, and a couple of hundred congresspersons lying to us daily. Oh, and the Faux News network still lies to us daily, despite what Rupert is accused of doing in the UK.
So, I guess it's true for all of us here in America--Life's a bitch and then you die. But at least you tried man.
 
 
+48 # NanFan 2011-09-09 05:30
I wonder whatever happened to First Amendment rights for ALL people, not just Glenn Beck.

Mr. Moore, sorry for the blatant stupidity of Americans in those days when we were lied to, made to be fearful of "the other," and lived with the horror of so many people dying on that beautiful fall morning of 9/11/2001.

I never bought the lies; I protested openly against the Iraq invasion; but I also cried, as I do each day, for the deaths of so many innocent people, people who died for nothing, knowing nothing, believing patriotism was about going to war, no matter what the reason.

I thank you for your constant stewardship. We are forever in your debt for your fearless honesty in the face of such danger.

N.
 
 
+21 # Adoregon 2011-09-09 09:37
As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 reaches a crescendo of quasi-patriotic hype, I am appalled by how many U.S. citizens continue to believe the party line version of events of that day.

As Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (go to YouTube) so ably elucidate, the collapse of the twin towers was due to controlled demolition, not the impact of the planes and the resultant fires.

Stumble on, somnambulists.
 
 
+3 # majorpayne 2011-09-10 06:43
And there's another opportunity for a dynamite (so to speak) movie!
 
 
+163 # fredboy 2011-09-08 13:49
I sometimes think Michael Moore is one of the only guys in his generation with balls.
 
 
+126 # babaregi 2011-09-08 13:49
Yes, this is an instructive story.
There will be a cost for all of us to bear in order to live in a healthy society. We have to pick our fights accordingly but fight we must. To sit idly by while others do the heavy lifting only increases the likelyhood that when our time comes, it will be too late to do anything about it or that the cost will be high indeed.
 
 
+123 # Lauren 2011-09-08 14:11
I remember that acceptance speech so clearly that night, because you were the first person who was brave enough to say anything sane! I stood and applauded in my living room. Thank you, thank you, thank you...
 
 
+42 # Pud_420 2011-09-08 14:48
After reading this it almost makes me wish I had actually watched the Oscars that year.
 
 
+73 # dyannne 2011-09-08 15:33
Michael, You are my hero. i adore you and all you do and stand for. i do believe you are the sanest man in America. I know for darn sure, you're one of the smartest and best men in America, Can you tell I'm a fan? :-)
 
 
+38 # Jorge 2011-09-08 15:54
Michael- Thank you very much for all you do. Any new ideas about how to help America get out of this mess of increasing fascism and endless wars? Are you interested in running for Congress (Senate would probably be best)? Will you support a challenger to Obama for the Dem 2012 nomination? If that fails will you support a third party candidate (Green Party, Peace Party, Progressive party)?
 
 
-41 # leedeegirl 2011-09-08 19:50
Quoting Jorge:
Michael- Thank you very much for all you do. Any new ideas about how to help America get out of this mess of increasing fascism and endless wars? Are you interested in running for Congress (Senate would probably be best)? Will you support a challenger to Obama for the Dem 2012 nomination? If that fails will you support a third party candidate (Green Party, Peace Party, Progressive party)?


no chance ... if you'd read the other article on Moore, you'd know that he's a Huntsman fan ... excuse me while i throw up ...
 
 
+61 # kjjoa 2011-09-08 15:57
Thank you for standing up for the TRUTH--in SO MANY WAYS! If only our country had politicians who would do the same! Democrats seem to be afraid to rebuild our country and stand up for what is RIGHT! PS...I was sick when we started bombing Iraq. My comment: "Bush better hope he finds weapons of mass destruction!" And, it didn't seem to matter that he didn't! He and his administration will always be war criminals in my mind...as well as many in the rest of the world. I hope I live long enough to see him and Cheney on trial in Nuremburg!
 
 
+54 # Torvus 2011-09-08 15:59
There should be a special name for a heroic 'intellectual SEAL' like Michael Moore (and let's not forget his heroic family). After reading this extract my admiration for him knows no bounds. He tells it like it is, no frills, yet retains his humour. How on earth does he do that? A brave brave man who will not be shut down by despots. Love to you and yours, Michael. Thanks unlimited.
 
 
+38 # sandyboy 2011-09-08 16:02
I love the USA but maybe am lucky to live in the UK where our leaders are as bad as yours (sorry Michael, but I include Obama too!) but no one gets very upset if you say so. So many of you guys still believe that to criticise government is to urinate on your country. Thank heavens for Mr Moore - and for RSN.
 
 
-9 # sandyboy 2011-09-08 16:04
Y
 
 
+43 # lneidhold 2011-09-08 16:22
Michael, You are THE American Hero.
 
 
+47 # Isar 2011-09-08 16:33
Michael....run for public office...run for Senator from Michigan...we need your brains and clear, common sense thinking in Washington D.C. You need to be INSIDE THE TENT pissing out if need be...but you should be on the floor of the Senate of House speaking out....asking the questions that need to be asked without any "pay back" to Lobbyists. You can be a Senator and still make movies on the side. Lots of Senators have "something on the side."
 
 
+50 # soularddave 2011-09-08 16:39
Michael is one of the most credible men in America. Maybe not the most popular, because the truth can be ugly and disconcerting, but you know his team has done the research. If there's a question, he'll say so, but he'll tell you why he believes as we do.

We can also avail ourselves of his pertinent thoughts on his website if we care to.
 
 
+60 # CCB5er34 2011-09-08 16:56
This shows me how sick this country really is and I am sad and sickened about what Michael Moore has had to go through. Terrible, no wonder I really cannot stand this place anymore. If I could I would go elsewhere. It would be good if he could run, but this is not a democracy anymore, it is a democrazy! A plutocracy, with an ignorant public to boot.
 
 
+35 # futhark 2011-09-08 17:21
Seems like these days anyone who has the courage to stand up and be forthright and honest about the way things are immediately gets a ton of fecal matter flung in his direction. Michael Moore is probably the most authentic American hero of my lifetime for his courageous persistence in investigating the shams perpetrated by the wealthy and well-connected to the disadvantage of just about every other living being on the planet. Mr. Moore has set new standards for documentary film making and is starting to have others following in his footsteps, such as Josh Fox in "GasLand".

As much as I'd like to see many of Mr. Moore's positions translated into political action, I think he's doing just fine as a social critic. What we need are more politicians responsive to the needs of the people, instead of taking their marching orders from the high-enders and "movers-and-sha kers" (corporate CEOs and boards of directors).
 
 
+27 # zendarunday 2011-09-08 17:44
Michael, thank you very much for showing great courage in searching for the truth. You are my hero and I pray you and your beleaguered family will always be protected by God's guardian angels.
 
 
+13 # oakes721 2011-09-08 18:16
Coincidentally, I'd accidentally picked up a DVD of "Fahrenhype 9/11" ~ A pitiful propaganda response to Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 911." In contrast to Michael's film, everyone (some of the same characters who were in both films) appeared to have gone through Hollywood make-up's powdering and primping in the former to better depict All-American Bush supporters whose truths had been 'used' against their bitter judgement in Moore's film. Iraq war vets appeared to be needy of these lies to justify the horrors they've seen in this illegal war. DENIALS of there being a serious corporate OIL interest in these ongoing invasions brought a close to the red, white and blue monotony of smirking political pundits with well-rehearsed lines from their comfortable perspective ~ where a million mass graves bring only to mind those killed by a dictator -justifying our presence there ~ and not the million we've killed to introduce democracy ~ U.S.A. style.
 
 
+44 # blah blah blah 2011-09-08 18:19
Michael: I have read your books and seen your movies and I do not understand why some people have such a visceral reaction to you. Even if someone does not agree with you, your message is always clear and delivered in a respectful manner. Thank you for continuing to fight for the America we once hoped for. You provide a much needed beacon of light in these troubling times.
 
 
+30 # mdimbi 2011-09-08 19:00
thank you michael moore. thank you for standing up and speaking out for the endless numbers of us who yell at our radios or tv's or whatever as we see the world going to hell in a handbasket. thank you for your education and encouragement. one time at an outside townhall about healthcare a while ago there were alot o those "patriots" but about half were open to offered new information on the topic. thank you for picking up the handbasket and pullin it up a little. this is so sad how vilent(sic) we are. . . the other day i was watching an interview with a british guy on youtube who kept trying to prod you like you were such a rich guy and you were sitting there being polite and biting your tongue and saying how you have a house and family etc....the guy didnt think about the navy seals or anything...i hope i can do a little to hold up my end. thanks and you know how many of us you speak for
 
 
+42 # Texas Aggie 2011-09-08 19:13
In an oral exam for my foreign language class, I had to describe to the teacher who my hero was and why. I picked Michael Moore, and she told me that in Europe he is regarded as a real American hero. People there just idolize him. So for what it's worth, this is just one more piece of evidence that Americans are, in general, stupid compared to the rest of the world.
 
 
+36 # LizR 2011-09-08 19:52
To be fair, the headline is misleading. No way was Mr Moore the most hated man in America. He might have been the most hated man by Americans, but I suspect that the most hated man in America was George W Bush, who was almost certainly hated internationally far more than any other American.

However, as often seems to happen, the Americans conveniently forgot the rest of the world...
 
 
+26 # NanFan 2011-09-09 05:21
Quoting LizR:
To be fair, the headline is misleading. No way was Mr Moore the most hated man in America. He might have been the most hated man by Americans, but I suspect that the most hated man in America was George W Bush, who was almost certainly hated internationally far more than any other American.

However, as often seems to happen, the Americans conveniently forgot the rest of the world...


But the rest of the world will NOT forget the most hated man in THE WORLD: GW Bush. And although he has been given immunity by President Obama, there is always The Hague.

And the rest of us Americans can always pray that they do something to this war criminal and all his cronies.

N.
 
 
+17 # DaveM 2011-09-08 22:00
The mental capacity of the violent opposition is shown rather well by the tools they use in expressing themselves. Glad there were some spare SEALs on hand for you, Mr. Moore. They don't do politics and they don't get excited. They just get the job done when it needs to be done. Rather like you, I would say.
 
 
+25 # Alan Sanborn 2011-09-09 00:51
Michael, for those of us who had been living in a state of horrified frustration during those first few days after the invasion of Iraq, you were the greatest American hero there was! We cheered at your Oscar speech for there was a voice of sanity amidst all the madness! I'm sorry you had to go through all you did but you gave so much hope to so many people that I truly hope that you will never regret your decision! Please keep speaking out against all the insanity! America needs your voice! Thank you!
 
 
+24 # futhark 2011-09-09 03:43
I'd put Richard Bruce Cheney a notch or two lower on the like scale than his ventriloquist puppet George W. Bush, since Bush was handicapped by a lack of intellect, whereas Cheney has been smart, but deliberately evil.
 
 
+7 # Ellisdtripp 2011-09-10 08:54
Quoting futhark:
I'd put Richard Bruce Cheney a notch or two lower on the like scale than his ventriloquist puppet George W. Bush, since Bush was handicapped by a lack of intellect, whereas Cheney has been smart, but deliberately evil.


Cheney is so reptilian that it would not surprise me to find out he has a forked tongue.
 
 
+14 # kalpal 2011-09-09 05:07
In the USA being correct about something when the majority is utterly in error is simply unforgiveable.

I learned this lesson back in high school in the 1960s. I am unlikely to forget it.

People resent being shown that faith does not trump knowledge if proof exists that debunks faith or if you can lead them to work out that their faith ignores reality in favor of blissful but costly ignorance.
 
 
+13 # TrueAmericanPatriot 2011-09-09 06:35
Michael Moore, thank you for past and ongoing service to this nation and those who TRULY love the USA. WE THE PEOPLE still have the power to TURN THIS AROUND! You have demonstrated this REPEATEDLY, and by doing so you have set an EXCELLENT example to follow. I still remember the first STAR WARS Movie, chapter 4, "A New Hope," and how the Rebel Alliance fought courageously against the Galactic Empire. They found the most effective ways within their means to defeat the empire through resiliency. Their perseverance paid off when they acquired the Death Star's blueprint and found its weakness. Let's find a way to take out anti-American THIS DEATH STAR political machine!
 
 
+16 # Lhol 2011-09-09 06:50
Oscar Wilde once said, If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you. Thanks both for telling us the truth and making us laugh. It seems some people just have no sense of humor.
 
 
+16 # km0591 2011-09-09 06:59
Inspiring but very sad. Michael Moore is a great filmmaker and a great American. We need more like him. It takes no balls to be a carny or blowheart to pimp for the system like a Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, et al. Any coward and weenie with a big mouth and ego to match can do that. It takes real courage to produce the work that Michael has done.

His story left me uneasy with real feelings of foreboding. We live in dangerous times, much more dangerous than we realize. What happened to Michael can happen to any of us if we seriously challenge power. This story has left me wondering if I have the courage to take the risks to do that.
 
 
+18 # reiverpacific 2011-09-09 07:36
I was also threatened in my area for speaking out about "Wishing that anybody but Bush was in office right now"! -But none of these threateners ever confronted me face to face (I was ready!!!), so most of them are cowards unless they are heavily-armed or in groups (or just plain ol' nut-jobs).
I also remember, at the restaurant owned by good friends of mine, a big redneck came up and started shouting and threatening some startled and alarmed French tourists for not joining in the war, at which I acted as bouncer telling him not to show face near the place again -and then took some time to speak to the visitors (as did my owner friend, who had just lost her husband) and apologize for the actions and abuse of this bonehead.
Unfortunately, I WAS NOT able to tell them that "Most Americans are not like this", which at that time was all too true and illustrates yet again how susceptible the "Average American" is to the demands of lock-step obedience at mindless aggression, fear of "the other" and military worship before reason and multi-culturali sm, which is pretty sad for such a mongrel nation (and I mean that it it's best sense), which we should be embracing rather than using as excuse for internal conflict and overseas intervention.
It takes real courage to dissent from the norm than to just "go-along" as Moore shows.
 
 
+14 # David Starr 2011-09-09 09:27
A toast to Michael Moore for having the balls to put out needed truths in the face of a very powerful status quo. His ultanationlist attackers amazingly show no apparent sign of human progression: arch conservative relics out of the 1950s; or worse, out of the Dark Ages.

I wish to hell I had the same level of resiliency and strength Moore has.
 
 
+15 # noitall 2011-09-09 09:30
I was one of those who applauded your speech. What percentage of the population was that? Whatever % it was, it ran true across the board of issues relative to actions of this country and its so-called leaders. Probably one of the skills most needed to be taught in our schools and homes today is CRITICAL THINKING. I don't know where I got it, yes I do, it wasn't from school, it was from my Dad. Schools prepare fodder for the industry. Dad was a critical thinker, looked at things and solutions outside the box. That skill has been a valuable asset to me (and to anyone else that has cultivated and uses it). What else explains it scarcity, other than the low percentage of MM supporters, as expressed by the few people who supported MM's speech. Meryl Streep? Scorsese? no surprises there. As our "mainstream media" painfully teaches, never believe what you hear without looking deeper. They haven't stopped ALL truth yet (they're still trying). Thank you MM for being the seeker. I'm thankful also for your communications savey.
 
 
+15 # ABen 2011-09-09 09:32
Please continue speaking truth to power Michael.
 
 
+8 # Paul Scott 2011-09-09 16:07
I’m an old disabled Viet Nam combat vet who’s been listening to and watching Mike’s stuff for years. I learned long ago to evaluate the message listening for the agenda of the messenger. Anyone revealing corruption in high places has, and always will, extract a high cost to self.

I do not always agree with what Mike says, but I highly doubt that Mike would agree with every point of view that I have. I certainly do not consider this great wisdom, on my part; I simply consider it common sense.

So far I’ve heard nothing from Mike that warrants him being called a communist or a devil. What I have heard and seen is Mike calling for equality, for several years, I share the same mindset about equality and I get just about everything I believe on equality from my KJV of the bible. I care less that a person gets rich, if playing by the same rules that are laid out to all; however, it didn’t take me too long past the age of 12 to learn that equality was in the bible and not many other places.
 
 
+12 # PatriotPaul 2011-09-09 20:34
50 years from now Americans will watch this film and wonder, "How in the world did they not try the President for war crimes?" and "How could regular Americans let this murder rampage of innocent Iraqis happen? Were they not aware of what was going on?" Mark my words.

Paul Harris
Author, "Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina"
 
 
+11 # Ellisdtripp 2011-09-10 08:47
Thank you, Mike for being you! You have the balls that we wish our president did. And you have the integrity that only a handful (if even that) of senators and congressmen have. I live in rural Pennsylvania and write letters to the local paper and annoy the hell out of the local redneck teabagger morons who wouldn't recognize a fact if it unzipped them and performed a lewd act on them! Something you and I both know is that it is an honor to be held in the contempt of a**holes! Good work! You are a REAL American!!
 
 
+3 # vandelay87 2011-09-11 22:32
Hey Michael, I just watched Fahrenheit 9/11 this week. Some good stuff in there most certainly. However, you strike me as a bit of a partisan hack because you look the other way when Democrat presidents do the same evil deeds that Republicans do.

For example, will we ever see any of the following in a Moore documentary?

* How Bill Clinton murdered half a million Iraqi children in the the 90s as a result of our brutal sanctions. And how Madeline Albright said "yes, it was worth it".

* How Obama has basically continued all the awful policies of Bush and then some: more war, more torture, more Gitmo, more Patriot Act, more drone strikes. Oh yeah, and more corporate bailouts.

* How whistleblowers (ie Bradley Manning and Julian Assange) are being treated by the Obama Administration?
 

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