Michael Moore lectures on campus
Michael Moore, filmmaker and author, came to Carnegie Mellon University on Tuesday to address a crowd of students and faculty in Wiegand Gymnasium.
Moore?s speech was preceded by two guest speakers. Dante Zappala, whose brother was killed in Iraq, opened the afternoon?s event. Zappala?s brother, Sergeant Sherwood Baker, was killed in Iraq exactly six months before Tuesday?s speech. Zappala explained that he was wary of his brother?s deployment to Iraq, but Baker insisted he would be fine. Unfortunately, Baker was one of two soldiers killed when a building exploded in Baghdad. Zappala claimed that ?my brother died trying to make an honest man out of George Bush.?
Nancy Lession, founder of the Military Families Speak Out organization, followed Zappala?s speech. Lession, whose stepson was also killed in Iraq, protested her stepson?s deployment to Kosovo and later to Iraq. She declared that ?my husband and I saw no good reason to be in Iraq? as she feels that the war in Iraq is ?a war of aggression ... a war about oil markets and empire building.? The Military Families Speak Out organization has grown since its formation in November 2002 and currently has 1800 families involved.
After Lession?s speech, Michael Moore took the stage. Moore, author of Will They Ever Trust Us Again? Letters from the War Zone and Dude, Where?s My Country?, began by addressing the Republicans in the crowd. Moore praised Republicans as hardworking and industrious before asserting that they have to work hard, since ?America is no longer a country that subscribes to their beliefs.? However, Moore assured Republicans that ?we will not treat minorities the way [you]?ve treated minorities the last three years.? Moore said that he appreciated the Republicans? presence at his speech, as ?democracy is not a spectator sport.? He said that people of all beliefs and backgrounds should participate in government affairs.
Moore?s next target was Bill O?Reilly, host of ?The O?Reilly Factor? on the Fox News Channel. Moore read passages from O?Reilly?s book O?Reilly Factor for Kids and joked about a chapter in the book in which O?Reilly discussed how not to be a bully. Moore waved the copy of O?Reilly?s book as he described O?Reilly as an ?angry white man ... [who] sounds like a dying dinosaur.?
Moore then showed a dozen 30-second commercials parodying the Republican Party and President Bush. Moore explained that he intended to send the commercials to the Republican Party for them to run prior to Tuesday?s election.
Although many students laughed at the satirical clips, not everyone was amused by Moore?s speech. First-year music major Elizabeth Hounshell felt that ?Moore had valid points but I hate his tactics. He was repetitive and obnoxious.? Hounshell continued, ?He says what everyone already knows.?
Moore than turned his attention to the health care industry. He read a ?secret? memo distributed at the Pfizer Company in which employees were warned that if they saw ?a bearded, heavy-set man, wearing rumpled clothing and holding a microphone,? they should dial a hotline. Moore, the man referred to in the memo, then gave the hotline number to the audience and encouraged them to call.
Before introducing musical guest Anti-Flag, Moore concluded by telling the audience that he wanted Pennsylvania to be blue on Tuesday.