Hypocrisy Comes To Occupy Denver

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Michael Moore at the Occupy Denver rally on Nov. 3 (credit: CBS)

Michael Moore at the Occupy Denver rally on Nov. 3 (credit: CBS)

Written by Dominic Dezzutti

Filmmaker Michael Moore came to Denver on Thursday night, primarily to sell books, but he took a break between book signings to tell the Occupy Denver protesters that he supports them and that the rest of the country is watching.

Michael Moore is already a polarizing figure, without going into his Occupy Denver stance, but examining his 20 minute appearance with the protesters can help bring to light the hypocrisy that continues to dog the entire movement.

Let’s start with Moore’s arrival. According to the Denver Post, Moore arrived one hour and twenty minutes late for his twenty minute speech. The report didn’t say if Moore was late for his book signing, but I’m wondering who Moore held as a higher priority, people who bought his book or people standing in the cold.

If we only have his arrival time to judge, I think we know who was the priority. Again, I have no way of knowing for sure, but usually only Presidents get to arrive 80 minutes late and not look like they couldn’t care less about the crowd.

When we look at Moore’s speech, first we get the offensive lunacy.

In one of his comments, Moore compared the Occupy protests to the civil rights and gay rights movements. I was never a part of those legendary movements, but if I was, I would be offended with the comparison.

People who took part in those legendary movements were focused on solving an injustice in the world, they weren’t simply camping out to protest bank bailouts. Comparing civil rights movements to a protest that is looking more like a homeless campground by the day is offensive and insulting.

Later in the speech, we get treated to height of hypocrisy. Moore criticized Corporate America, saying “they overplayed their hand” with their “five mansions.”

That would seem like a fair critique if we ignored one glaring detail. Michael Moore was in town promoting his new book. The publisher of that book is Hachette Books, whose parent company, Hachette Livre is the second largest publisher in the world and based in New York.

So are we to believe that all corporations are evil, except for the second biggest publisher in the world? If Michael Moore, an award winning filmmaker, really felt aligned and in touch with the Occupy movement, wouldn’t he pick a smaller publisher for his memoirs?

Maybe I simply just don’t get it. Maybe it’s okay to take a short break from a book tour paid for by a corporation, to speak out at a protest against Corporate America, and then leave said protest to attend a book signing to sell more books. Maybe I am the one that’s behind the times.

But then again, maybe we’re seeing a big problem with the Occupy movement and why it so desperately needs to focus if it intends to make a true difference. Without a focus, the Occupy movement is a magnet for this kind of hypocrisy.

The Occupy movement needs to know what they want and move towards that change, not simply be a group of contrarians against rich people.

Maybe a few more speeches from millionaires taking a break from their corporate sponsored book tours will get the folks with Occupy Denver focused. If it doesn’t, they are in for a very long winter.

About The Blogger

- Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.

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