Which well-known figure associated with Flint has outsourced jobs to other countries and used union-busting tactics?
Delphi chief Steve Miller? Hardly. Outside of cities with Delphi plants, most people still think he sang "Fly Like an Eagle." So who flew to Canada to produce his products and escape union scale? Who said he would fire his employees if they organized?
None other than Michael Moore, "the champion of the working class."
In "Do as I Say (Not as I Do)," Peter Schweizer exposes Moore's fake public persona. Moore does his film production in Canada to avoid paying union scale and threatened to fire half of his TV show's writing staff when they wanted to join the union. He's a proponent of affirmative action but never has hired a black person to do anything important on one of his projects.
Moore claims he owns no stock and only puts "what little I can" in "something the old-timers call a savings account" - yet Schweizer writes that he owns stock in defense contractors and Halliburton.
While Moore says he gives away 40 percent of his money, Schweizer reports that his tax returns show his foundations give the minimum necessary to stay tax exempt - and most of the donations go to festivals that feature his films or promote preservation around his home on Torch Lake.
Schweizer shows that Moore did more than just borrow his anti-American slant on foreign policy from Marxist guru Noam Chomsky and his anti-capitalist screeds from Ralph Nader; Moore learned from both how to adopt a po' boy persona while socking away millions in tax shelters.
Why does Schweizer focus on the left when there's enough hypocrisy to go around? He says it's because the media doesn't let real or imagined slips go by for conservatives. Who doesn't know about Newt Gingrich's martial problems, Rush Limbaugh's addiction to prescription pain medication or Bill Bennett's gambling?
But that's Schweizers' point. If Bennett's gambling is an issue because he wrote a book on virtues (even though it didn't touch on gambling), then why has there been no "60 Minutes" report on environmental priestess Barbara Streisand's strip mine?
Liberal commentator Alan Combes claims only conservatives can be hypocrites because they stake out moral stands, and Schweizer maintains this attitude is prevalent in today's media. But while conservatives may be absolutists about personal conduct, liberals attach moral weight to economic actions - or so their rhetoric goes.
Thus, Schweizer thinks it's important for you to know that Ralph Nader claims a Spartan lifestyle, but there's a $2 million home in his unemployed brother's name. Nader, who says he doesn't own any stock not only does, but he also sells short in companies he's about to attack and buys into companies that make things he's about to promote, such as air bags.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are well known for working the system in financially crass ways, though I didn't know just how predatory the legal part of their Whitewater scheme was until reading about it here. And it's highly ironic that Hillary is against laws requiring minors to notify their parents if they want an abortion but wouldn't allow her daughter to pierce her ears.
The best stuff exposes House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat who sponsored an effort to honor union leader Cesar Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers, with a national holiday. Schweizer notes that Pelosi owns a vineyard that uses nonunion labor exclusively to harvest its grapes. And the large resort hotel she owns is nonunion, too, despite the perennial support she gets from the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union.
In other news, Professor Cornell West chides blacks who move out of the ghetto but owns luxurious homes in two lily-white enclaves; Gloria Steinem ridicules marriage but is a hopeless romantic; and Noam Chomsky, who trashes the concept of private property and likens the United States to Nazi Germany during a trip to Cuba, has made millions from consulting with the Department of Defense, then hides it in tax shelters.
Comedian-turned-commentator Al Franken's contradictions are too many to list here, but let's just say Schweizer shows he has no room to talk about affirmative action or racist rhetoric.
But maybe Schweizer is wrong, and it's not about hypocrisy after all. Could the reason Streisand, Franken and Moore advocate for affirmative action be because they know from looking at themselves that it is necessary? After all, if these bitter enemies of racism and sexism can't be trusted to hire a diverse group of people, what hope can there be for corporate America to do so?
Perhaps Moore rails against globalization because he knows first hand about the insidious lure of cheap, foreign scab labor.
"Do as I Say" is yet another political book that might have been better suited as a series of magazine articles. On the other hand, with another Al Franken screed climbing the charts, its timing could not be better.