Michael Moore History Lesson: 'America is the Oldest Democracy in the World'

Something that truly scares people is the amount of misinformation emanating from media members that mistakenly carry a presumed credibility and therefore are wrongly considered disseminators of truth.

One such person is schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore who on Tuesday evening during an appearance on HLN's "The Joy Behar Show" demonstrated how little he knows about history as well as current events (video follows with transcript and commentary):

MICHAEL MOORE: And if he can build coalitions and have other people do the necessary humanitarian work that needs to happen when people are threatened, then I think we`re all behind that. We`re all for that. We all wish that.

ROSEANNE BARR: Doesn't it look like we`re all kind of really go to war against all Muslim people? It`s like five nations now. It's scary.

MOORE: I think if you live in the Muslim world, you're scared by that, too. That's why I think our involvement in this has to be of a different caliber than military. We can provide other things. I mean we're the oldest democracy in the history of the world.

Well, actually, the first instances of democracy on this planet date back to India and Mesopotamia circa 600 BC although Ancient Athens typically gets the credit in 500 BC. So, Moore was only off by about 2,300 years.

As for our current version of democracy, we shouldn't ignore the Magna Carta in 1215 or England's first elected parliament in 1265. With this in mind, any student of American history knows that our political structure was largely adopted from England's.

I guess the high and mighty Moore missed these classes.

But the history of democracy wasn't the only thing Moore got wrong Tuesday, for his next offering was just as addle-minded:

MOORE: And -- and in my state, in Michigan, they even passed a law that gives the governor the right to dissolve a city council and fire a mayor and take over a town if he believes the town isn't being run right.

BARR: Oh, my God.

(CROSS TALK)

MOORE: Now, now I`m serious yes --

BARR: How does it --

MOORE: Can you imagine if Obama proposed a law that gave him the power to dissolve the Ohio legislature just because he thought they were messing things up?

BARR: No.

MOORE: I mean, people would be, they'd be screaming, it would be -- it would be beyond socialist and Kenyan and everything else; they would have other names for him.

BARR: Absolutely.

MOORE: But they've been able to pull this off in just a matter of weeks.

What Moore was misinforming viewers about was Michigan's "Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act" which was established to assist the state in helping localities balance their budgets and avoid going bankrupt.

Unlike what Moore told Barr, this doesn't give the governor "the right to dissolve a city council and fire a mayor and take over a town if he believes the town isn't being run right." Instead, it created a procedure by which the state can assess the financial condition of a local government, and if it is determined said government is in financial trouble, provide the means to manage it through its difficulties.

As such, this is not as authoritarian as Moore and the bill's detractors have been paranoically shouting about. However, for those watching, the damage was done.

Moore sadly is considered by many as credible, and the totally errant position he espoused Tuesday will be taken by some as factual for there was no one on the set to counter the misinformation.

And Paul Krugman wonders why voters are so ill-informed.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.