Michael Moore, stiffing the little guy?
Leftist film director Michael Moore, who made a fortune on portraying corporate America as heartless, capitalism as thievery, and Castrocare as the cat's meow, has been credibly accused in a lawsuit of stiffing the little guy. Yes, that's the same Michael Moore who makes movies loudly proclaiming he champions common people – the single mother, the assembly line worker, the common stiff in Ohio. He is, after all, from Flint, Michigan, where he once edited an alternative media publication, and supposedly knows all the Detroit rivetheads.
Film festivals are not immune to disputes and lawsuits – the Sundance Film Festival has had a few, but its disputes are generally over content and copyright issues, not about paying bills. Moore's Traverse City Film Festival, by contrast, is all about a film fest that's falling apart, apparently from being unable to attract sufficient fat cat support – or a crowd. Instead of cutting back or trying a new approach, Moore's group – which he's the founder and public face of – is responding by turning mean on its vendors: stiffing them for six-figure sums and then smearing them as lousy providers when they try to recoup their costs. Apparently, they went after the wrong one, because first a famed film critic made a video defending the poor stiffed vendors, and now the left-wing Daily Beast has noticed that something is off:
Apparently, Michael Moore is struggling to reconcile his revolutionary brand with his status as a famous, wealthy filmmaker. Simultaneously, critics of the documentarian are calling hypocrisy, insisting that Moore's conduct is at odds with his reputation as a champion of the people.
In early June, Boston Light & Sound, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Moore's Traverse City Film Festival. In the claim, BL&S stated that a total payment of $256,500 had been due by September 30, 2017, for their work on the 2017 film festival. "TCFF paid a $100,0000 deposit towards the Contract Amount on July 12, 2017," legal docs claimed. "BL&S performed all of its obligations pursuant to the contract. However, since the 2017 film festival, TCFF has only paid an additional $2,000 toward the outstanding balance owed." That brings the alleged balance down to $159,055.
What's notable here is that a lot of left-wing operations do this. Hillary Clinton certainly had been caught doing it during her 2008 campaign, running out on her campaign tabs. Earlier in her career, she even stiffed a waitress for a tip. President Obama did this, too, with his 2012 campaign still in big debt. If you want to take a baroque example of leftists not paying their bills, well, there are Venezuela and Cuba. Why it happens so often on the left is worth looking at: it likely has a lot to do with leftists' perceptions of capitalism, as empires of "greed," instead of arrangements of fair deals by willing buyers and willing sellers. Capitalism to them is just about stealing all you can. And when you think of all business in that way, it certainly becomes easy to steal from the little guy and insult him afterward.
The Weekly Standard's Jim Swift dug up a quote from Moore that perfectly illustrates this attitude:
"This is capitalism. A system of taking and giving... mostly taking." –Michael Moore, as narrator in his documentary, Capitalism: a Love Story
Moore, being a Hollywood guy, is well known for being an egotist. Therefore, as he denounces capitalism and runs out on his tab, what he's really doing is talking about himself, using his own life behavior in capitalism as his artistic muse – and not in a good way, given his hideously dishonorable behavior. Everything he does is about himself; there is no other. That's why it makes perfect sense to him to cheat his vendors and denounce capitalism as wrong. As he denounces, he does so convincingly, but it's because the only thing he sees is himself.