Capitalism: A Love Story

Friday, September 25, 2009

Along with Brian, filmmaker Michael Moore is also celebrating a 20 year anniversary: 1989 saw the release of his first film, Roger and Me. His latest documentary is Capitalism: A Love Story.


Michael Moore

Comments [79]

Sean Doyle from staten Island ny

Moore calls for "democracy' at the conclusion of the film. that's the point.

Oct. 12 2009 10:53 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

I prefer not to support the Rush Limbaugh of the left - Michael Moore.

Sep. 26 2009 10:24 PM

I prefer “Stock Shock” which let’s the viewer decide about stock market corruption

Sep. 26 2009 07:46 PM
Peter from Sunset Park


So you are proud that Michael Moore does not promote truth? So weird. Maybe you should get that $10,000 from Moore.

The left and right agree that Moore lies. Word.

Sep. 26 2009 05:47 PM
Steve in Long Beach from Long Beach, CA area

'Michael Dukakis'??? You mean Gary Hart, I'm sure. Two more different politicians would be hard to imagine. The point: Peter from Sunset Park shows his visceral animus by neglecting a simple, historical fact.
Moore no doubt exaggerates: not even Canada or Germany has entirely single-payer healthcare - but at least people don't get forced into bankruptcy paying for healthcare, and that's a far, far bigger point.
So: a terrific polemicist and provocateur, with a strong grasp of facts that really matter, and that are almost entirely overlooked _in a significant way_ by most of the media. Truth in every detail? No, but something that's really more important, especially these days: overwhelmingly, truth that will provoke thought.
It may be that capitalism is the worst system except the others; but if it's not properly regulated (as FDR found out), it will keep creating catastrophes for all as well as megawealth for the very few.

Sep. 26 2009 02:09 PM
Peter from Sunset Park


I hope you also expose your grandchildren to all the information out there which expose the lies of Michael Moore. Maybe you and your grandchildren could try and collect that $10,000 from Moore.

Sep. 26 2009 08:14 AM
DAT from Nathan Straus Projects

Michael Moore's documentaries, are always
informative and interesting.
I look forward to seeing this one and taking
my grandchildren to see it as well.

Sep. 26 2009 12:41 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


I agree with you 100%. It felt like the BLS jumped the shark today. I was very disappointed in Brian Lehrer – his show felt like some uber liberal training camp today where Brian had to prove his liberal chops and nothing else. One of the worst BLS interviews ever.

Sep. 25 2009 09:41 PM
Peter from Sunset Park


You wrote, "God Bless you Michael Moore."

Are you talking about the same god that orders Obama to deny human rights to gays and lesbians?

I don't need Michael Moore, I need political commentators who tell the truth. I don't need Obama's god, I need the god that treats all people equally.

Sep. 25 2009 09:19 PM
Karen from edison nj

God Bless you Michael Moore.

We need you now, moore than ever.

A 1 hour radio show on public radio would be fantastic. You could really enable those disadvantaged [old and new poor].

Some direction, contact info, and how to organize true grass-root movements for true democracy.

Again, we're so happy to hear from you [millions of us].

Sep. 25 2009 06:48 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

As a 30+ year listener to WNYC, I have to say that, in my mind anyway, having Michael Moore as THE 20th anniversary guest of the Brian Lehrer show is the nadir of the 20 years.

Brian's unqualified endorsement of Moore and his work was his low point. It is absolutely a requirement to be gracious to any guest invited to appear on the show, but this went beyond that, and Brian left his journalistic credentials at the door.

It wasn't sycophantic, but it was borderline fawning and hardly a balanced, respectful-but-skeptical approach. Moore is controversial for several reasons, and it was Brian's job to pay at least SOME credence to those reasons, which responsible journalists have raised, in his session with Moore. He absolutely failed to do so.

Sep. 25 2009 06:33 PM
mc from Brooklyn

I wish Michael Moore would stop repeating the fiction that all other Western democracies use a single-payer health care system. It simply is not true. T.R. Reid was just on several NPR shows not even two weeks ago talking about his health tour around the world. I like Moore, he's a good provocatuer (not an investigative journalist) but this statement that he makes over and over makes him look ridiculous.

Sep. 25 2009 05:11 PM
hjs from 11211

did u note censors comment at # 59

Sep. 25 2009 04:24 PM
Peter from Sunset Park


There is nothing knit picking about posting three articles, from three different political perspectives, which all detail the lies of Michael Moore. Michael Moore invites such scrutiny by challenging people to look for his lies. Just this week Michael Moore was on the Howard Stern show challenging folks to find his lies for $10,000. It turned out to be pretty easy. I am sure that collecting the $10,000 from Michael Moore will be much harder. Michael Moore is the Rush Limbaugh of the left. He doesn't educate and he doesn't change minds, he preaches to the converted.

Sep. 25 2009 03:37 PM

anonyme--agree. i also found that mm didn't get enough credit for how incredibility informative was his movie Fahrenheit9.11

Sep. 25 2009 11:50 AM

As usual I imagine I am reading the words of complainers who take little action - give Michael Moore credit for at least doing some s*it disturbing!

Sep. 25 2009 11:21 AM
Chuck from Macon GA

Peter from Sunset Park knit picking individuals like Michael Moore is beyond pointless. It is kind of like Wall Street telling us that 'oh no don't make this problem worse by regulating us' or Ken Lewis telling us we don't want to "lose our talent". Mr Moore is a provocateur whose purpose has always been to pose difficult questions to the masses who, in turn, will hopefully pose these questions to their representatives in government. I realize you don't like his style and think he is a liar, but spending an entire morning trying to torpedo him on a small community comments board is really a perfect example of the impotent rage and inimagination (not a real word I know) of the American Conservative. TS PS

Sep. 25 2009 11:14 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


I actually thought I criticized Moore well. I provided three links to three well written articles from very different political views. I thought it would be spamming of me to actually insert big chunks of the articles. So I gave the links.

Your points on labeling are well taken – thank you for reminding me of that, it is important.

Sep. 25 2009 11:08 AM
Lance from Miami

@Peter from Sunset Park,

I might have more respect for your position if limited yourself to criticizing Moore's arguments rather than his personal credibility.

And can't you make an argument without explicitly framing everything in "liberal" vs "conservative" terms? Label something "liberal" or "socialist" and everybody is supposed to automatically condemn it without any critical analysis?

Sep. 25 2009 11:04 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

41 and 56 are still fake posts. what a low standard of discussing issues.

65, great idea.

Sep. 25 2009 11:03 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

[[Josh - We haven't edited or removed any comments from you, so perhaps there was a glitch somewhere in the system. Sorry about that. As for the fake posts, we've tried to remove them. We were too short staffed to moderate comments during the live show today, and unfortunately someone made fake posts. It's a real shame, but we've tried to clean it up. Best,
-BL Show-]]

censors: I posted a completely intelligent and serious contribution to this discussion. Instead you have allowed fake posts and nasty polemic loudmouths who attack other people. Thanks for everything, really.

Sep. 25 2009 11:02 AM
hjs from 11211

sweden is also a socialist nation. no one is call for brezhnev communist, just for a fairer game.

Sep. 25 2009 11:00 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

I will watch Michael Moore's new movie, but on a pirate internet movie site so I don't have to pay for it. I'm sure Michael won't mind losing money, or not making a profit.

Sep. 25 2009 10:58 AM
dailywackos from Nu Yawk City

brian, you've lost me with your incessant peddling of this mooron's trash passed for truth. this overweight mooron is an embarrassment to documentary film making.

Sep. 25 2009 10:54 AM

@hjs from 11211
Sweeden still has free markets.

Sep. 25 2009 10:54 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

censors: Why didn't you allow my post before #57 to go through? It was completely on topic and civil.

Sep. 25 2009 10:51 AM
Edward from NJ

Hi producers, please follow up on the European newspapers topic. Apparently, they are making money because of the internet -- not in spite of it. The newspapers themselves are increasingly becoming loss leaders.

Sep. 25 2009 10:51 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

If I can paraphrase Churchill who in effect stated that Democracy is the worst political system, except for all the others, the same can be said for Capitalism: It's the worst economic system on earth EXCEPT for all the others.

Sep. 25 2009 10:50 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

I agree with Jay at #51

Sep. 25 2009 10:48 AM
Lance from Miami

@licnyc [38],

Moore said in his interview with Brian that he is sick of the tired debate between capitalism and socialism which he called a 16th-century vs a 19th-century economic system. He argued along the lines of 'aren't we smart enough to put our heads together and come up with an alternative economic system better suited to modern needs?'.

Sep. 25 2009 10:47 AM
Anonymous from NYC

I work in finance and I am generally sympathetic to the ideas of Michael Moore.

However, we do understand what CDS (credit default swaps) are. They are, in fact, not hard to understand. I agree that their unfettered usage and the implicit leverage in them can cause tremendous problems.

A corporate credit default swap, basically, is a "synthetic" corporate bond. This is to say that it is an agreement between two parties that one party will mimic the payment stream of the underlying corporate bond to the other party. The other party, in turn, will absorb the credit loss, should there be one.

Corporate CDS are different from corporate bonds because you have to put up virtually no money to enter into them - allowing for tremendous leverage. The market value of a credit default swap is intended to mirror the change in the underlying physical corporate bond.

Asset backed CDS act in the same way, only that the underlying bond is a sub-prime bond. As most of those (at least the lower-rated ones) have been wiped out, so have the CDS issued on them. Unfortunately, it was much easier to enter into a CDS of the asset-backed bond than to buy the cash-bond. There is only one cash bond and there are theoretically infinite amounts of CDS that can be issued on the asset backed bonds. Also, you can only go "long" the cash bond, but you can go "long" or "short" the CDS - so it worked well to hedge asset backed exposure.

Often these bonds were then placed into CDOs which further leveraged them.

It is not that hard to understand, it is not that mathematically challenging.

I am happy to speak with Michael about this. I am not saying I agree with the extent/usage of CDS but there are people who understand them.


Sep. 25 2009 10:47 AM
Michael M Thomas from Brooklyn

I listened to Michael Moore with mixed feelings. He is worth hearing. On one point, however, some comment is indicated. In 1993, I wrote, on commission from Random House, a short book predicting the takeover of the channels of power by an "overclass" empowered by wealth and connections. The book was never published. On p.158 of the ms., I reprinted FDR's Economic Bill of Rights (1944). It was readily accessible then.

Sep. 25 2009 10:47 AM
Jay F. from manhattan

MM is NOT an investigating reporter as BL stated... He's a one sided leftist documentarian. Investigating reporters report facts.

Sep. 25 2009 10:45 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

Michael at #35. Do you know why people in Russia stood in line for bread? its because a select few at the top controlled output of food. Russia is not socialist or communist. its (or was) a totalitarian state. In true communism there is no government, but pure equlaity in economic means. No, I am not a communist, its impossible it could ever happen. But I do believe in equality. Capitalism as it stands doesn't work either. Here, 5% of the population owns 80% of the wealth. How is that equality? How does that contribute to economic opportunity. All the rich care about is making money. Colleges cost $50,000 a year. pell grants stop at $500 a semester. Student loans interest rates are 14%. who determines that. The market. who controls the market. The 5% at the top

Sep. 25 2009 10:44 AM
Sarah from Brooklyn

Ironically, Moore has been ahead of the curve on almost every single issue. Remember how he got booed at the Oscars for opposing the invasion of Iraq and within a couple of years public opinion swung decisively against the war? Or how he exposed the ways in which health insurance companies mistreated their customers and now we're in the middle of a major healthcare debate a large part of which is about the unfairness of refusing care for pre-existing conditions and insurance companies rationing or refusing to pay for care? I don't disagree that Moore is a provocateur, and his shambling faux-naif ("I'm just a guy from Flint etc etc")pose can get pretty tiresome. But so far, history seems to have been on his side, which is more than you can say for his opponents.

Sep. 25 2009 10:44 AM
hjs from 11211

do the swedes "wait in line for toilet paper?"

Sep. 25 2009 10:40 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


I have cited three articles/sources from a wide range of political backgrounds and opinions. Misrepresenting my postings is just silly. And of course, there are many, many articles on the topic of Michael Moore’s lies. A simple google search is all you need to do, if you have the courage.


Are you whining now about your own name calling? Wow, more troll behaviors from hjs.

Sep. 25 2009 10:39 AM
Emily from Amherst, MA

I totally agree with what Michael Moore said at the end of the segment--I wish there was a Brian Lehrer in every city in the US. Thank you so much for having him on, he was a great guest.

Sep. 25 2009 10:38 AM
Daniel from Munich

Michael Moore is not right about European papers. The newspapers in Germany are certainly not better than those in the US. They rely less on advertising, but they still have it. There is nearly no tradition of investigative journalism here, which is what really sets America's best papers apart. Also, papers here are going out of business.

Sep. 25 2009 10:38 AM
Annie from Boston

Of COURSE Michael Moore is a BL fan! Well said, Michael, that you are honored to celebrate 20 years with Brian. You both do great work. Whoo Hoo!

Sep. 25 2009 10:38 AM
Robert from NYC

Brian and MIchael 4ever!!!

Sep. 25 2009 10:37 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

Michael Moore does have his faults, inaccuracies and criticism. I have some issues with him too. He gets a fee to direct, a fee to be in the film and %50 of the gross PROFITS, which is $350 million. He refused to use unionised labor?! on his films to save money and his website and merchandise is made in Canada. I agree he has gotten a lot of his facts wrong, or bends them. He is biased and ideological, but so are the people he rails against. he's just on the other side. That said, I do think he proves a service. he exposes liars and injustices himself which are worthwhile. Every media outlet is biased, the New York Times has its own conservative (yes) bent. The Washington Post had james Dobson's protege on and stated that just because he's against equal rights for gay people doesn't mean he's a bigot.

Sep. 25 2009 10:36 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Aaahh, and now he's going to tackle the Education problem!!!

Michael Moore, the fount of wisdom!

(BTW, in addition to those cited above who have seriously questioned Moore's honesty, add Scott Simon of Weekend Edition.)

Sep. 25 2009 10:36 AM

If only we could go back to the days like in russia, waiting in line for toilet paper. Mr Moore is going to find he struck a very unpopular chord. Most people in the US are not this far left. Most people still believe, albeit flawed, still is the best system compared to the alternatives.

Sep. 25 2009 10:35 AM
Nancy from Little Silver, NJ

This is very funny but doesn't it risk being anti-intellectual? And there's way too much of that going around. The wonderful people from Planet Money did a great job of explaining derivatives. It's hard, but it's not impossible. We shouldn't be throwing up our hands at this. It's not going to all go away.

Sep. 25 2009 10:35 AM
Lance from Miami

@Peter from Sunset Park [3, 6],

You're quoting radical liberal Christopher Hitchens, who was (and remains) a rabid supporter of Cheney-Bush's war in Iraq?

Sep. 25 2009 10:34 AM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Moore has put himself up as an expert on (take your pick:)

The auto industry
International politics
Healthcare insdustry

and since those subjects were too narrow, he's broadened his scope to all of capitalism.

Heard him interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN yesterday and he's quoting the same pithy little sound bytes.

As for capitalism, sure it's got problems... what human institution hasn't. But does he think that communnist or any other form of economic system or government is immune from corruption?

Moore would rather we were all equal in poverty than unequal in prosperity. (Remember the pictures of hundreds of people in the Soviet Union standing in line to get a loaf of bread at the state bakery?)

Which is not to say that he hasn't pointed out major flaws in any subject he has "tackled." But he hasn't "discovered" any of them. His "genius" is propaganda (with a ready-to-believe audience -- the choir.) But anyone could hit the side of a barn with the problems
he has "uncovered."

Brian, you (and most of the audience) are bowing and scraping to this guy, and he's an intellectual midget. I expected more skepticism from you.

Sep. 25 2009 10:34 AM
Josh Levine

Disagree, MM.

Unlike other systems, w Capitalism the richest might get 9/10 of the pie but the pie keeps getting bigger and bigger, enough for absolutely everyone who reaches for theirs.

Sep. 25 2009 10:34 AM
Damian from NYC

Would it help to differentiate between industrial capitalism and financial capitalism?

Which leads me to ask, does industrial capitalism truly induce innovation and advances in technology?

It's safe to say that financial capitalism is dangerous.


Sep. 25 2009 10:33 AM
hjs from 11211

thanks for the input :)

Sep. 25 2009 10:33 AM
Steve from Prospect Heights

I worked as a technical writer for a Risk Management Software House which built valuation models to price exotic derivative instruments. Although I had no business experience, I had a very peculiar experience where I was asked by Bank Executives on how to run their business; it definitely is all smoke and mirrors. How to succeed in business by stealing.

Sep. 25 2009 10:33 AM
Rush sausage fest

Hello Boys! Michael Moore is FAT, etc. etc., now who's sitting on the remote? Let's get this patty statted!

Sep. 25 2009 10:32 AM
hjs from 11211

brian's audience, the ones who came to see mike moore) wants single payer. what a surprise!

Sep. 25 2009 10:31 AM
Robert from NYC

How do you explain all the Social Democratic european countries. HERE capitalism has become the political system by controlling the breeze heads in Washington; you know, the Congress!!

Sep. 25 2009 10:30 AM
William from Midtown

Peter, it has nothing to do with being a Liberal...Michael Moore gets people talking about major social issues that are never addressed by government (Libs or Cons)...

... I include Calls'em As I Sees'em & hjs in the group of posters who have no value in their comments because you are bitter and would never compromise because you only see Liberal VS Conservative.

Sep. 25 2009 10:29 AM
Robert from NYC

Maybe he's ON Neptune!!!! Bad connection at that distance.

Sep. 25 2009 10:28 AM
Robert from NYC

You should go to Michael Bloomberg's offices with that bag and tell him the millions he spent on his campaign ( I get crap from him everyday) could've been used to help the city's programs for the poor.

Sep. 25 2009 10:26 AM
hjs from 11211

peter, name calling?? oh dear. what will i do whine. no, just move on.

Sep. 25 2009 10:25 AM
Jgarbuz from Queens, NY

In every economic system that has emerged since our hunter-gatherer days, a small number have always controlled the economic engine of activity. Under feudalism, the aristocrats controlled most of the lands that serfs and small farmers labored on with the sweat of their brows. Under communism, the "vanguard of the revolution" in reality reaped the cream of what their slaves underneath them were producing, hidden behind black screens of their semi-secret dachas. And, of course, the top 1% who control our capitalist corporations naturally reap the most massive rewards as well.

The essential flaw in the Marxist thesis was that it was the workers who produce wealth, and that their bosses steal the "surplus value" of their creation. But in fact, this is not true. Workers do NOT produce wealth. Workers produce THINGS. Wealth is created only when those things are sold at a profit. That is at a price above the labor and other costs of production. In effect, profit equals wealth. A thing that cannot be sold at a profit, regardless of its usefulness, is a loss of wealth. This was the essential cause of the failure of the communist system. They produced many things that people were not interested in buying. A society cannot become wealthy producing stuff that they cannot sell at a profit.

Sep. 25 2009 10:24 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from "McLean, VA"

Can you ask the big fatso if he owns a gun? Most people in Hollywood do - including good friends of his who also hate capitalism like Oliver Stone.

Many politicians also own hand guns like Senator Chuck Schumer (another fake, phony and fraud), even if he doesn’t want the average citizen to own one.

Perhaps, Moore can do a documentary about the liberal elite hypocrisy about gun ownership. And then donate his profits to charity.


Sep. 25 2009 10:23 AM
plp from bkn

What's your take on all of the mortgage restructuring businesses that seem to be proliferating these days? It seems like predatory lending redux.

Sep. 25 2009 10:21 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


hjs in neither discussing nor supporting issues. He is just being a troll.

Sep. 25 2009 10:19 AM
Rush Limbaugh Sausage Fest

Hi, guys! Have you noticed it's just us here?!

Sep. 25 2009 10:19 AM

10/ "I don't know hjs, what is the point of you actually talking issues if you can't support them?"

Actually you DON'T support issues, you discuss them. And in this forum THAT is the point. That's what makes Brian's show different.


Sep. 25 2009 10:18 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


You called me a clown? don't worry, the WNYC censors will probably let that go. You are liberal after all.

Sep. 25 2009 10:15 AM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from "McLean, VA"

It's amazing how all these show biz types who make fortunes doing nothing hate capitalism so much.

They should turn all of their "ill gotten gains" over to our "Dear Leader" and future “King of the World” for re-distribution to poor people and minorities all over the world that have been exploited by those horrible White European men and their Zionist bankers over the millennium.

Please ask the big fatso if he will send a check to the government for all his net profits and the net value of his personal wealth.

He probably doesn't even give 10% of his profits to charity. Statistics have actually shown that conservatives are more generous then liberals.

The liberal and radical crowd are a bunch of hypocrites, fakes, fraud and phonies.

PS - How about a little coverage of the dangerous liberals and radicals who are staging a violent demonstration at the G-20 in Pittsburgh?

Sep. 25 2009 10:13 AM

Often I resent Growth for Growth's Sake as the culprit of Capitalism's worst side.

Is GROWTH NEEDED for Capitalism to work?

Sep. 25 2009 10:13 AM
William from Midtown

Cynthia, you're right! Everyone knows that his documentaries are not absolute truth, but there is always some value in them.

Peter from Sunset Park & the other usual clown posters, stop taking your bitter pills in the morning and spending your entire day posting on here.

Sep. 25 2009 10:12 AM
Tash from manhattan

The video stream is overloaded! :(

Sep. 25 2009 10:09 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


I don't know hjs, what is the point of you actually talking issues if you can't support them?

Sep. 25 2009 10:07 AM
hjs from 11211

what is the point!

Sep. 25 2009 10:02 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


Are you saying you live in a glass house? hjs, you are funny, you always derail the conversation. Shame you can't stay on point. I guess talking issues is too hard for you.

Sep. 25 2009 09:54 AM
hjs from 11211

glass houses!

Sep. 25 2009 09:49 AM
Peter from Sunset Park


Michael Moore lies and dares people to catch him. Michael Moore is the Michael Dukakis of filmmaking. Moore dares people to watch him closely, which they do. Moore offers $10,000 to those who catch his lies, but has he paid up? Is Michael Moore lying about the $10,000 that he announced once again just this week on the Howard Stern show? Again, check out the wonderful, liberal Slate article at:

There is also an interesting link from a much more conservative perspective:

Sep. 25 2009 09:40 AM
Robert from NYC

Brava Cynthia you got that right.
(or would you prefer Bravo? Being fluent in Italian I naturally come at it from that point of grammar not sexism.) But the point it you got that right, hurray!!!

Sep. 25 2009 09:35 AM
Cynthia from Long Island

No doubt Michael Moore is a provocateur. I wouldn't say everything he says is absolute truth but let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. I don't really think his films need to be parsed frame by frame.

He reveals where we are living up to our image as americans and where we are not. He shows us our weak spots.

This a valuable service. It's opportunity to hop off the treadmill for a moment and ask ourselves, "are things things really working the way they are supposed to? Are the leaders we have entrusted with our welfare as a nation doing right by us?"

Sep. 25 2009 09:27 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Liberal columnists such as Christopher Hitchens from have detailed Mr. Moore's lies. Hitchens even wrote an article titled "The Lies of Michael Moore." The link is:

Will Mr. Moore give Hitchens $10,000?

If journalists on the left and right feel strongly that Mr. Moore is a liar, and if major publications from the left and the right print these articles because they believe them to be true, why exactly is anyone taking this Rush Limbaugh of the left seriously? Or is this a Chomsky-like thing where you have Mr. Moore on to disagree with him?

Sep. 25 2009 07:32 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Oh, will Michael Moore give Fred Barnes that $10,000 he has been promising to anyone who can catch Mr. Moore in a lie?

Sep. 25 2009 07:27 AM
Peter from Sunset Park

Michael Moore has been accused of lying by Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard. The link is:

How does Mr. Moore respond to this serious allegation?

Sep. 25 2009 07:26 AM

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