This week Michael Moore talked with Piers Morgan on CNN. The headline: "Where does Obama get his money?"
Let's count the lies.
1. He refers to the Washington Post article that I thoroughly de-bunked here and says that Obama has raised more money from Wall Street this cycle than all 8 Republicans so far. To summarize, what the article did was compare how much President Obama had raised for BOTH his own campaign and the Democratic Party to what the Republicans have raised only for themselves. Its interesting to note that even the Washington Post recognized their error and changed their original title from "Obama has more cash from financial sector than GOP hopefuls combined, data show" to "Obama still flush with cash from financial sector despite frosty relations." And of course Moore completely ignored the article in the New York Times that came out at about the same time titled "Romney Beating Obama in a Fight for Wall Street Cash," which contained more truth that either iteration of the WaPo article.
2. Next, he says that Wall Street is Obama's number one contributor. A look at Open Secrets reveals that this is a lie. The top "industry" contributors to the Obama campaign this cycle are:
1. Retired people at over $7.5 million
2. Miscellaneous business at $4.5 million
3. Lawyers/Law firms at $4 million
4. Education at $2 million
Securities and Investment comes in 5th at $1.7 million - behind teachers and professors and WAY behind retired people.
3. Then he says that Goldman Sachs was Obama's number one contributor in the 2008 election. Before we deal with that one, lets review the fact that when these numbers are thrown around, what we're talking about is how much employees in a particular company/industry contributed to a campaign. Everyone who makes a contribution has to identify their employer. And each individual is limited to $2,300 for the primary and another $2,300 in the general election. So if a receptionist at Goldman Sachs contributed $25 to the Obama campaign, his/her gift would be part of that total. Goldman Sachs - as a company - cannot make contributions (that's what Rove's American Crossroads Super Pac is for) because Obama doesn't take money from PACs.
So now lets look at what company/institution's employees had the honor of being the number one contributor to Obama's campaign in 2008. Once again, Open Secrets tells us the prize went to the University of California. I wonder if we should be scouring the Obama administration for graduates from that fine institution in order to develop a theory about how they are really a secret cabal set out to control the country.
Its true, the employees of Goldman Sachs came in as the second largest contributors to the Obama campaign in 2008. I'm not sure that's a surprise given that the Republicans had just crashed the entire economy and their candidate Sen. John McCain showed himself to be completely clueless on what to do about that.
But Michael might have also taken a moment to look at the fact that in the 2012 cycle, Mitt Romney has raised over 7 times what Obama has from Goldman Sachs employees ($367,200 to $50,124)
4. Finally, Moore says that no one from Goldman Sachs has gone to jail and Glass Steagall hasn't been passed. Of course his inference is that hasn't happened because Wall Street bought off President Obama. But we've just seen how that isn't true anymore than that the employees of the University of California have.
But when it comes to his actual claims, I guess Michael missed the fact that Goldman's CEO Lloyd Blankfein recently lawyered up in the midst of an investigation by DOJ. Or the fact that the Democrats passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Perhaps instead of busying himself with telling lies, Michael could spend some time trying to get Senate confirmation of Obama's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - Richard Cordray.
So that's 4 lies in 90 seconds. They're all whoppers, aren't they? And not one challenge from Mr. Morgan.
Folks, this is why we have to be our own gatekeepers when it comes to the news. And also why we have to continue to work so damned hard to get the truth out there.