Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

Book Review: 'Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man' by David T. Hardy and Jason Clarke.

By Ben-Peter Terpstra - posted Friday, 15 October 2004

Michael Moore is a Big Fat Stupid White Man. It certainly looks like an eye-catching title.

This book attempts to introduce the world to the real Michael Moore, with some surprising revelations. Best known for his propaganda documentaries, Moore has caused a stir in recent years. Even the people he claims to care about are not necessarily impressed by his style, or lack thereof.

After filming Bowling for Columbine, Moore opened up his heart and a special screening for those scarred by the school massacre. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but how many of us were aware survivors were charged at the door?


Ann Kechter, a grieving parent, wrote, “Maybe now that he has made millions of dollars off the blood of our children he could toss a DVD or two our way...” 

Readers are given hard facts by Hardy and Clarke. They tell us, “A crime of the type that took place in Columbine (more than five dead in a mostly white suburban area) represented less than one-tenth of one per cent of murders in 1999”.

Yet the controversialist apparently milked the tragedy for the pleasure of his anti-gun audience.

Bowling contains a myriad of twisted statistics, cheap visual tricks and invented stories that can be easily disproved. For example, Moore asserts that the murderers lived in a town where there was a Lockheed Martin weapon-making plant. Nice try. A closer examination revealed that the facility makes devices for launching television satellites. At any rate, Moore’s inferences, according to the authors, only serve to muddy the waters of a larger and more important topic.

Additionally, Moore has portrayed himself as a “working class hero” who looks after the “little guy”.

It’s a comforting myth for some, but a myth just the same. After reading this book, one wonders how long it can be sustained. 


So where does the filmmaker come from? Oddly enough, he comes from the “poverty-stricken” town of Flint, Michigan. Yes odd, or odd until you discover he was really raised in the rich area of Davison. Moore is not a Flint native, in spite of what the public has been led to believe.

That argument could be won in a university debate.

Speaking of university debates, Moore knows how to bill students. The authors have compiled a list of the filmmaker’s speaking fees, assets and spending habits. Cornell University students forked out $10,000 to hear him, the University of Texas was asked to pay $25, 000, while students at Kansas University received a demand for $30,000. A recent FOX news report on George Mason University disclosed that a $35,000 speaking fee was requested.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Article edited by Darlene Taylor.
If you'd like to be a volunteer editor too, click here.

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

1 post so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Ben-Peter Terpstra has provided commentary for The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.), NewsReal Blog (Los Angeles), Quadrant (Sydney), and Menzies House (Adelaide).

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Ben-Peter Terpstra
Article Tools
Comment 1 comment
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy