Michael Moore Owned Halliburton, Defense Stocks
Friday, Nov. 4, 2005
Filmmaker Michael Moore has made a career out of trashing corporations and said he doesn't own any stocks due to moral principle.
How then did author Peter Schweizer uncover IRS documents showing that Moore's very own foundation has bought stocks in some of America's largest corporations including Halliburton, other defense contractors and some of the same companies he has attacked?
his blockbuster new book "Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy," Hoover Fellow Schweizer reveals the glaring contradictions between the public stances and real-life behavior of prominent liberals including Al Franken, Ralph Nader, Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.
But he reserves some of his sharpest barbs for Moore.
In his first documentary "Roger & Me," Moore skewered General Motors, Schweizer points out.
In "The Big One," he went after Nike and PayDay candy bars.
"Bowling for Columbine" was an attack on the American gun industry.
Oil companies played a major role in "Fahrenheit 911."
His upcoming film "Sicko" pillories drug companies and HMOs.
On his television shows "TV Nation" and "The Awful Truth," he criticized HMOs and defense contractors.
He once said that major defense contractor Halliburton was run by a bunch of "thugs," and suggested that for every American killed in the Iraq war, "I would like Halliburton to slay one mid-level executive."
Publicly, Moore has claimed he wants no part of these companies and won't own stock.
In his book "Stupid White Men," he wrote: "I don't own a single share of stock."
He repeated the claim in a 1997 letter to the online magazine Salon, saying: "I don't own any stock."
Privately, however, he tells the IRS a different story, Schweizer discloses in his book.
The year that Moore claimed in "Stupid White Men" that he didn't own any stock, he told the IRS that a foundation totally controlled by Moore and his wife had more than $280,000 in corporate stock and nearly $100,000 in corporate bonds.
Over the past five years, Moore's holdings have "included such evil pharmaceutical and medical companies as Pfizer, Merck, Genzyme, Elan PLC, Eli Lilly, Becton Dickinson and Boston Scientific," writes Schweizer, whose earlier works include "The Bushes" and "Reagan's War."
"Moore's supposedly nonexistent portfolio also includes big bad energy giants like Sunoco, Noble Energy, Schlumberger, Williams Companies, Transocean Sedco Forex and Anadarko, all firms that 'deplete irreplaceable fossil fuels in the name of profit' as he put it in Dude, Where's My Country?'
"And in perhaps the ultimate irony, he also has owned shares in Halliburton. According to IRS filings, Moore sold Halliburton for a 15 percent profit and bought shares in Noble, Ford, General Electric (another defense contractor), AOL Time Warner (evil corporate media) and McDonald's.
"Also on Moore's investment menu: defense contractors Honeywell, Boeing and Loral."
Does Moore share the stock proceeds of his "foundation" with charitable causes, you might ask?
Schweizer found that "for a man who by 2002 had a net worth in eight figures, he gave away a modest $36,000 through the foundation, much of it to his friends in the film business or tony cultural organizations that later provided him with venues to promote his books and film."
Moore's hypocrisy doesn't end with his financial holdings.
He has criticized the journalism industry and Hollywood for their lack of African-Americans in prominent positions, and in 1998 he said he personally wanted to hire minorities "who come from the working class."
In "Stupid White Men," he proclaimed his plans to "hire only black people."
But when Schweizer checked the senior credits for Moore's latest film "Fahrenheit 911," he found that of the movie's 14 producers, three editors, production manager and production coordinator, all 19 were white. So were all three cameramen and the two people who did the original music.
On "Bowling for Columbine," 13 of the 14 producers were white, as were the two executives in charge of production, the cameramen, the film editor and the music composer.
His show "TV Nation" had 13 producers, four film editors and 10 writers but not a single African-American among them.
And as for Moore's insistence on portraying himself as "working class" and an "average Joe," Schweizer recounts this anecdote:
"When Moore flew to London to visit people at the BBC or promote a film, he took the Concorde and stayed at the Ritz. But he also allegedly booked a room at a cheap hotel down the street where he could meet with journalists and pose as a man of humble circumstances.'"