Satirist Moore gets warm GV welcome |

Satirist Moore gets warm GV welcome

Dan BurkhartMichael Moore signs a copy of his new book for Harriet Totten (left) as his niece Molly Hardesty and sister Anne Moore watch Sunday.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Political satirist Michael Moore, his quiver of arrows not depleted despite a national reluctance to criticize government since Sept. 11, directed plenty of barbs Sunday at the political establishment, saving his sharpest for the current administration as he promoted his latest book.

Moore, whose cable television show, “The Awful Truth,” once lampooned the Nevada County Public Defender’s Office, where sister Anne Moore once worked, found plenty of supporters at Grass Valley’s Center for the Arts.

They applauded his appeal to take charge of their government and to avoid letting the media to pull the wool over their eyes.

Moore signed copies of his latest book, “Stupid White Men … and Other Sorry Excuses for the State of the Nation,” and read excerpts from it, blasting President George W. Bush and the current administration for many of America’s ills, including the complacency of Americans following the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

He blasted Enron and the slew of job layoffs after Sept. 11, saying, “How absurd to use the dead of that day to screw the American worker” – indicating that job layoffs at many American companies had less to do with terrorist attacks or a perceived slumping economy than the end of an unprecedented run of unrealistic profits and successes.

While he also dished dirt on former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay’s close ties to Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, Moore – a self-described “personal slacker at heart” who came to Grass Valley in faded jeans, a T-shirt and well-worn blazer – urged Americans to get involved in their government.

He spoke of how publisher HarperCollins, owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, told him his newest book, completed Sept. 10, was out of touch with America and needed to be reworked to fit the mood of the nation.

“It’s ironic that I’ve been able to get this book out because of this flaw of capitalism. The irony is, I’m doing and saying things against what these big companies stand for. They allow me to do this because they think that after you finish the book or turn off the TV, you will do nothing about the situation.

“They do this so I can get work. I’m tired of working. I want you to turn off the TV, put down the salsa dip and do something,” he said, as the crowd roared.

“There isn’t anything more American than questioning authority and telling the truth.”

Moore, 47, spoke to two groups, each of which snaked outside the building and onto West Main Street for an autograph.

“The book is great,” said Colfax resident Mike Bevard as he stood near an impromptu Green Party booth that claimed Moore as a supporter. “It’s really refreshing to see people who know what I feel.”

“He simply has the courage to say what’s on his mind,” said Dolores Zeiher of Citrus Heights.

Proceeds from Moore’s appearance will fund a memorial scholarship named in honor of Laura Wilcox, one of three who perished in the January 2001 shooting rampage at the county’s Behavioral Health Department, which was one of Moore’s targets.

Asked if the Public Defender’s Office, which he claimed tried as little as two cases for every lawyer in the office just two years ago, has improved, Moore was unconvinced.

“I don’t personally think it’s improved here. I think the new public defender (Thomas Anderson) has presented better reports to the county. I think they’re doing a little better to create the illusion they’re doing a lot better,” he said.

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