Unethical Quote of the Week: Michael Moore

“If a man with an assault weapon goes into the school where Harry Reid’s grandchildren go to school tomorrow and kills his grandchildren, would he stand in front of that microphone at five o’clock and say, ‘I know how Dianne [Feinstein] had to witness the mayor getting murdered, but my grandchildren just got killed today, but, you know, we can’t get it passed because we just don’t have the votes.’”

Documentary Film-Maker Michael Moore, ranting about Senate Majority Harry Reid’s decision to remove Sen. Feinstein’s assault weapons ban from the Senate gun reform package.

This is when I should not say anything at all, my mother told me.

This is when I should not say anything at all, my mother told me.

I know ad hominem attacks are uncool, but truly: what an awful, awful man Michael Moore is. He lies in his documentaries; he engages in deceit routinely; he abused Charlton Heston, knowing he was in the throes of Altzheimer’s Disease; he praised Fidel Castro; he is, for all intents and purposes a Communist, his public statements are fueled by and designed to ignite hatred more often than not, and, on top of it all, he says unethical and asinine things like this. Moore is to progressives what Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump are to conservatives: any group that can endure, indeed, applaud such people has serious, deep-rooted ethical and cognitive problems.

Moore, in his award-winning and mind-bogglingly stupid statement, is entering territory I deplored recently, and repetitively: the assumption that all public policy positions were based on personal biases held by policy-makers, and, moreover, that this is responsible, desirable and acceptable. This is an idiot’s argument, despite the fact that we hear it often. “If that serial killer were your son, you wouldn’t be in favor of the death penalty!” “If that Senator’s son were being sent to Iraq, he wouldn’t be voting for war!” And, of course, thanks to the pliable Rob Portman, “If your child were gay, you wouldn’t be against gay marriage!” These and similar declarations, like Moore’s, should be insults, but usually aren’t intended as such. What they literally mean is that a particular opinion or course of action has been reached with total disdain for many of the stakeholders in it, and thus would be instantly reversed if the individuals holding the opinion actually considered its consequences on those he or she cared about. What they are too often used to mean is that if an independent-judgment damaging event caused the opinion or conduct to be forged out of hate, fear, revenge or anger, that would be “right.”

Reid making his choices about gun policy according to his degree of grief and trauma as a result of a family tragedy would be just as irresponsible and unprofessional as Diane Feinstein reaching her position as a result of having “to witness the mayor getting murdered.” Both Reid and Feinstein have an obligation to decide their conduct regarding gun policy or any other policy based on dispassionate analysis and careful considerations of all sides of the complex issues involved, according to what is in the best interests of the nation as a whole and most consistent with its laws, mission and priorities, not through abject surrender to bias and emotion. That’s not within the comprehension of Michael Moore, however, because he is a firm believer in “the ends justifies the means,” and convincing people to agree with what he believes are the “right” policies using warped reasoning and emotional manipulation is his trademark methodology.

_______________________________

Facts: CBS

Graphic: Dustin Stockton

25 thoughts on “Unethical Quote of the Week: Michael Moore

  1. Thanks Jack.
    I wish you had your own TV network. Remember when “public television” was simply instructional programming beamed out to public (and private/parochial) schools? “TV Spanish,” etc. You could have a program (“TV Right and Wrong(?)”) that would actually enlighten people and enhance public discourse. What a concept.

  2. Oh, its worse than that. Using Mr. Moore’s logic, a better solution would be to find all mentally ill people with even a hint of violent tendencies and lock them away for life. This makes more sense because the guns are harmless by themselves, but people bent on murder have been known to use any object at their disposal to commit murder.

    So, why the fixation on guns? You can only push an armed populace so far. People with an agenda that requires trampling over the rights and wishes of a large portion of the population must make sure they are the only ones with the guns.. People like Michael Moore don’t care about stopping school shootings. In fact, the more school shooting there are, the better it is for their agenda.

    • Oh, its worse than that. Using Mr. Moore’s logic, a better solution would be to find all mentally ill people with even a hint of violent tendencies and lock them away for life

      Would not euthanasia be cheaper?

  3. And to caveat, I’m certain Reid would love to keep the AWB portion in the bill, but he’s a politician and he wants some portion of gun control to pass, so he’s compromising to try and get something more palatable to pass.

  4. “I know ad hominem attacks are uncool, but truly: what an awful, awful man Michael Moore is.”
    *************
    He disgusts me in every way.

    • Take comfort–describing someone accurately isn’t an ad hominem.

      It only becomes ad hominem when you make an irrelevent character or personal premises to undermine an argument they are making.

      In this case you weren’t trying to undermine Moore’s argument by describing him as an awful awful man.

      You were merely making an independent observation

      If you were trying to tie things together logically then you were simply using his argument as a premise to reach the conclusion that he IS an awful, awful man.

      So, I think you are in the clear on ad hominem.

      • Texagg, it pains me to disagree with you, however slightly, because i usually find your comments to be very on the money, but I feel I must here. The Ad Hominem Fallacy comes into play if it is irrelevant to the argument, per se. Sure Michael Moore is an awful, awful man. I couldn’t agree more. But he could still make an argument for or against something and be right, much as a broken clock is right twice a day.

        • I’m glad my comments are regarded so well! I really am!

          And I may have misinterpreted Finlay’s intent. You are correct in the context you described.

          But, if Finlay’s comment is standalone, and not meant to debunk Moore’s comment, then it isn’t an ad hominem.

          If it is meant to debunk Moore’s comment, in the scenario you describe, then it is an ad hominem.

        • To say the least, I’ve hopped into serious study of logic and dialectic, just to hold my own in this forum.

          Ad hominem is the hardest one to identify accurately. It’s become the catch-all accusation.

          I’m still learning it and was possibly wrong.

  5. Michael Moore’s ‘logic’ or ‘argument’ blows up in his face because it is as equally valid to say, ‘If there had been an armed person on sight, the carnage wouldn’t have been so great; therefore, gun ownership is a good thing and should not be limited or restricted’. Moore doesn’t see that. Moore buys the argument that one’s personal experience is the best basis to form an opinion on some issue (see, Senator Portman).

    The other thing that I have seen on this topic is that the Piers Morgans, Erin Burnetts, Bill Mahers of the world talk to some blithering idiot espousing completely irrational viewpoints on the topic at hand and that person is represented as the standard bearer of the position (watch Morgan’s interview with Alex Jones, for instance).

    jvb

    By the way – love the Zombies on the profile!

  6. I do not doubt that personal experiences can influence opinions on matters of general public policy. For example, Jeff Jacoby support the death penalty, and his father;’s family was murdered in Poland about seventy years ago.

    It would be preposterous to say that Jacoby must support the death penalty because of the murders of his father’s family. A person whose grandparents, aunts, and uncles were murdered in Poland seventy years ago- or in America seventy hours ago- can still oppose the death penalty on principle.

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  8. What some don’t realize is that all gun free zones, most especially, schools are the attraction for the insane shooters. Michael Moore is able to spew his left cliff hanging views because someone else finds that it will gather media attention. The sad part is he has the right under the 1st Amendment for freedom of his speech. What is ethical at this point? When a person has never been taught proper manners of speaking then there is no ethical gene left. Those who have sat silently in pain and shocked into reality by comments made by Moore then seem to lose their own generational taught “ethics”. Then the tide turns when those quite ones scream, hey, I have the 1st too! Right? Hollywood has generated a new style of promoting an agenda that actually falls into the thinking mode of “utopia” usually brought on by intense amounts of overdosing on drugs. The result being Michael Moore and his followers. I am glad that I have the 2nd Amendment that gives me the 1st. And proud to say I have a very loud voice. I am sure that I can out scream and out rant Moore. I doubt that Moore has ever served this country or even heard Uncle Sam say “take this gun and defend this country”.

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  10. What I am trying to understand is, why does the webpage say “15 Responses…” at the top of all the responses, when I could only count (and see) 13 responses before I wrote here? (Yes, I also clicked the Refresh button – no change.)

  11. Michael Moore really is Rush Limbaugh of the Left. What a vile person! Does anyone study the art of debate anymore?

    *Jack, I can’t believe you haven’t addressed the Steubenville rape case. It’s an absolute goldmine of ethical violations. I really want your opinion of what has happened to our youth, parents, schools, etc. I emailed you several links.

  12. Michael, alcohol and what I strongly suspect is teenage alcoholism in the victim’s case is the elephant in the room. Binge drinking is a huge problem, especially in the US, Great Britain, and Ireland. Things haven’t changed very much from my late 80’s, early 90’s undergraduate years when students were routinely rushed to the ER for alcohol poisoning. What is it about our culture that you must be on the edge of death from partying to have a good time? All of those in the Steubenville rape case were underage. I want to know where they obtained the alcohol and why there were no parents to be found at the series of parties. I can’t wait for Jack’s commentary. Steubenville should be studied and discussed in every home, classroom, church, etc. It’s that important.

    *Another frightening example of excessive consumption of alcohol by underage youth.

    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=L7bWMVo5-TM&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DL7bWMVo5-TM

  13. Jack:

    You say “Both Reid and Feinstein have an obligation to decide their conduct regarding gun policy or any other policy based on dispassionate analysis and careful considerations of all sides of the complex issues involved, according to what is in the best interests of the nation as a whole and most consistent with its laws, mission and priorities, not through abject surrender to bias and emotion.”

    Dream on. It’s about power, attention, money, power, attention, money, power, attention, money. The best interests of the nation as a whole is not part of their knowledge base.

    I refuse to talk about Moore. He is not worth my time and energy, and the less his name (and work) is mentioned — in ANY forum — the happier I’ll be. Clearly, I’ll remain unhappy on this one for awhile.

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