AP Fact Checks Michael Moore; Does the Work ABC Wouldn’t

The Associated Press on Thursday released a fact check of Micahel Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story, the director’s socialistic new movie. And while writer Rachel Beck asserted "some of [Moore's] arguments...fall apart on closer inspection," ABC managed no such scrutiny when it offered 13 minutes to the filmmaker on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For instance, while talking to Nightline host Terry Moran on Tuesday, Moore attacked, "I believe this [Wall Street] is a crime scene. I believe that millions of Americans have had their pensions robbed from them, their jobs stolen from them." The ABC co anchor offered no real response and excitedly enthused that Moore is an "American populist in the grand tradition, a provocateur, a comic, a rhetorical bomb thrower." However, the AP’s Beck critiqued this hyperbolic assertion about robbery:

MOORE'S TAKE: Wall Street robbed taxpayers.

It's pure theater when Moore arrives in an armored bank truck at the headquarters of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Holding a white bag with a big dollar sign on it, he tells a security guard he is there to collect the $10 billion in taxpayers' funds that went to the investment bank. He doesn't get past the front door.

THE FACTS: Three months after that scene was shot, Goldman Sachs was one of 10 large banks that repaid in June some $68 billion they received from the $700 billion Troubled Assets Relief Program. Since then other large financial companies have repaid funds, too, including Chrysler Financial and American Express Co.

Moran managed to challenge Moore on only one issue discussed in the fact check. (Both he and Beck hit the obvious critique that it’s odd for Moore to decry big capitalism even as he engages in it.)

Beck closed by explaining:

Instead of laying all the blame on banks, Moore could have made the message of "Capitalism: A Love Story" even more powerful with a more nuanced approach. He does note how some individuals unwisely used their home equity like personal piggybanks, but there isn't much discussion about how some of the people facing foreclosure got to that point. That would have bolstered his arguments and shown how damaging it is when greed is everywhere.

For the entire fact check, see the AP.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org