Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Michael Moore on G.M.

For more details on Mike's plans for the automaker, go here.


  1. Heh. Opinion:

    Mr. Moore is a self-centered blowhard, who became quite rich by using his media skills to manipulate opinion via selective factuality in an entertaining manner, willingly trashing the city and its worker population that he shallowly claimed to be defending.

    It's embarrassing to have to admit association-by-geographic-reference with him.

    His self-enrichment efforts, it appears to me, have been a key *cause* of Flint's job shrinkage. My understanding is that objective evaluations of the deterioration of GM's reputation among east and west coast opinion formers indicate that his movies were contributively *causative* to GM's market fall.

    That's not to defend GM. They were very big in the 80s, and made commensurately big mistakes. But they needed constructive, not destructive, criticism. Toyota and Honda were quite capable competitors without Mr. Moore's help.

    It's regrettable that he seems to know so little of the manufacturing-policy issues over which he somehow has come to have some degree of influence. It's heartening, though, that his pronouncements seem to be increasingly recognized as absurdly ill-advised...for instance, his recent suggestion that GM should discard its name and market-presence, presumably discharge the tens of thousands of personnel it still employs in the manufacture of automobiles, and rebuild itself from the ground up as a manufacturer of mass transit equipment, even though it would start with no market share and thus no basis for paying for manufacturing payrolls.

    Perhaps he will fade from public attention soon, and at least will do no more harm.

  2. It's regrettable that he seems to know so little of the manufacturing-policy issues over which he somehow has come to have some degree of influence.

    Moore is no wonk, reads little and will never be accused of being a deep thinker ... although he's brilliant in his own way and a formidable opponent for his detractors, he never has been and never will be constitutionally attached to detail and nuance. He doesn't have the patience for it because he breathes his own air in a bubble of Moorean certitude.

    But, that's not necessarily a slam. Being a detailed, project-plan thinker isn't always what's required to get a job done in this media-driven world. His role is something akin to "pushy gadfly." Moore operates at a more abstract level and, as the world has seen, it frequently works.

    I'll allow that you need a Michael Moore on your team, too ... just don't hand him the ball too often.

  3. Am not a fan of Moore either. Someone once told me he was from Burton, not Flint. So am clinging to that straw in the hopes to separate myself from him.

  4. I notice that those who criticize Mike do not leave a name.

    Michael is a fine American and cares deeply about the American worker. He told them so!


  5. Cars that fall apart after three years?? Not with my experience with GM products.

  6. This blog is great. I believe the trick is, leave the shyness at the door and jump right in. Oh yes, Michael Moore is from Davison. Like many of us, he has strong opinions and tends to exaggerate his position. He was far left of center long before fame and he was ranting about the auto companies twenty+ years ago. I remember talk of a book burning at city hall in the late 80's? His opinions can't be worse and are probably far better than many that I read in this blog and elsewhere. From what I can tell, he has always looked in the morror and said, this is what and who I am; hello world. I give him credit for being true to himself.

  7. Anonymous, I couldn't agree more with you. Michael Moore is way off target with his estimate of a 3 year shelflife for a GM car. Mike was much too generous with his estimate. My 71 and 72 Vegas started to rust out within 8 months pof purchase; my 79 Citation went a whole year before the parking break fell out of the dashboard and the ignition died a week later, and my 80 Chevette was already falling apart when I picked it up from the preparation guy at Applegate. Mr. Moore was being kind.

  8. Also, regarding a previous post about giving Michael Moore a little credit for his opinions: He didn't say that GM should fire all of it's workers and then figure out how to make buses and other mass transit vehicles. He said that this country retooled in a matter of months at the start of WW2, because we had no choice. If we could do it then, we coud do it again, with our existing workforce. As far as GM having no experience with these types of products, thats just not correct. I would love to hear they are retoolng some plants for a green bus or high speed rail network. That would be lots of work for lots of people up and down the food chain.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at