Saturday, May 19, 2007

Michael Moore's the Bigger Man In More Ways Than One

Moore Pays For His Harshest Critic's Health Insurance:

Filmmaker Michael Moore has come to the rescue of his harshest critic.

For several years now, Jim Kenefick has been railing against the Oscar-winning director on Recently, Kenefick wrote about the difficulty he was having paying his wife's medical bills. Fellow conservatives guided him toward a cheaper health insurer, but Kenefick said he still had trouble making payments.

"Someone e-mailed me and asked if an 'anonymous' benefactor could offer to pay my first year's premiums - $12,000," Kenefick wrote on his site.

He was skeptical when the check arrived. "I opened a whole new account at my bank, waited for it to clear, checked twice with bank personnel to make sure it wasn't a scam, and waited a full 60 days before spending the money. At that time, I started drawing on it and paying the monthly premiums until it was gone."

We can now confirm to Kenefick that his secret benefactor is none other than the dreaded, detestable, loathsome Michael Moore.

Moore didn't contact us. We heard it on our own. Yesterday, his reps said they couldn't reach the director, who is in France getting ready for tomorrow's screening at Cannes of his new movie, "Sicko."

One friend of Moore's did say, "We sure are happy Jim's wife received the care she needed."

Kenefick admitted the $12,000 "was like manna from heaven at that time. ... My business was almost dead, my wife was very, very ill, and I was racking up a few little health problems of my own. That money made it possible for us to begin to turn our lives around."

Still, he doesn't sound especially grateful.

Having suspected Moore might be his secret patron, he contends that his bete noir made the gift just to publicize "Sicko," which takes aim at America's health-care system and, we've heard, touches upon Moore's covert generosity.

"I knew he was using me," said Kenefick. "Moore is going to try to make me into one of his little puppets."

Kenefick wants it known that "I'm not an idiot. I know when to say yes to something, even if the string attached is obvious. What kind of moron turns down a free 12 grand?"

Kenefick's reaction on his blog?

Apparently I’m going to be the focus of every press idiot that still fawns over Mikey’s bullshit for the next few days. Yeah, better to focus on me than him, I suppose, that way you can keep your blinders on about why he does things...

Oh my. “Doesn’t sound especially grateful?” A few years ago, Moore threatened to sue me. Add to that the fact that $12,000 is equal to his ding-dong budget for the week. Or what it costs to make one of those suits for award shows. Add to this growing list the fact that it was never altruism and every human being alive who knows anything about Moore knows that. He paid $12,000 so he could manufacture a “gotcha” moment in his film. Sounds pretty cheap to me.

What am I supposed to be grateful for? The chance to look like an ass? The chance to be in his movie? For him throwing me pocket change in order to try to humiliate me later? That’s why he did it. Period.

Jesus, what a dick.


Jim Winter said...

I do, in fact, believe Moore was manufacturing a gotcha moment for SICKO. (OTOH, can you think of a more deserving target? Health insurance is a bigger threat to civilization than al Qaeda. I'm not kidding.)

However, Keneflick deserves absolutely no sympathy since his reaction seems to be all about his ego.

This is why I tend to rail on conservatives more than liberals. The more dogmatic righties can't stand it when the world doesn't conform to their narrow view, and somehow it's always someone else's fault.

(Oh, wait. I said I wasn't going to blog politics. Then again, I never said I wouldn't comment.)

nathan said...

Here's the thing:

There is plenty to take issue with regarding Michael Moore's tactics, and perhaps even his motivations. I've heard he is a mercurial, paranoid person and a general pain in the ass to work for. HOWEVER, the bottom line is that he has, through his stunts, pranks and general shit-stirring, actively and tangibly SAVED LIVES. There are people alive and healthy today because of Moore's activism (see ep. one of The Awful Truth and the Humana stunt, which was likely the inspiration for Sicko). That makes him a hero. Period. When Rush Limbaugh (or anyone on the right) has done something comparable I'll give him/her equal props.

Keneflick and his wife are better off because of Moore. He can recognize that or he can eat shit, but the fact remains.

Celine said...

"What a dick" is exactly right. Maybe Moore did this as a PR stunt, and maybe not. But Keneflick abandoned any hope of claiming the moral high ground by his response. Sometimes the right call is just to be gracious, no matter what you think privately.

He could easily have said something on the order of, "Mr. Moore and I still have our differences, and I don't like him very much. But I don't have to like him to appreciate what he did for me and my family." He chose instead to be rude, petty and mean. On his head be the results.

Oh, and the crack about "$12,000 is just his Twinkie money for the week" pretty much says it all. Moore is making more money than he is, and HE JUST CAN'T STAND IT!

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

As someone who was once mistaken for Michael Moore by an attendant on a flight home from Atlanta, all I can say is, "Mmm...Twinkies."

Mark Terry said...

Odd truth. Mike and I come from the same town--Davison, MI. He graduated with my sister, my brother worked for him at the HotLine, a crisis intervention center Mike founded back in the '70s (maybe late-60s).

All the criticisms of Mike are probably true. And so are all the applause. He's a guy that's been making a living as a professional pain in the ass most of his life. And the world needs him.

This guy could have easily said, "I still disagree with Mike on every level, but thank you for your generosity, whatever the motive."

I'm interested in "Sicko." Will it be great? Who knows? Will it be thought-provoking? You can bet on that.

Mike's films have been a bit uneven. "Roger & Me" was hilarious, but totally slanted. "Bowling For Columbine" was brilliant and should probably be mandatory viewing for every 13-year-old in the country. And if you're a gun rights person who starts bitching about Moore and you haven't seen this film, shut up, go rent it and then decide whether to say Moore's just another gun-hating liberal. I thought "Farenheit 9/11" was interesting, but Mike probably didn't connect all the dots. Still, he raised some interesting questions that I don't feel have been answered adequately by the Bush Administration to this day. And for asking those questions publicly, I think Mike's doing his job.

Anonymous said...

Moore didn't need to pay the $12,000 to make this a gotcha moment; the sheer fact that Keneflick need money for health care was the gotcha.