What a strange coincidence. Arts and Letters Daily links to a story on Dissent Magazine about Michael Moore. Kevin Mattson has an excellent article on Moore's confrontational style titled: "The Perils of Michael Moore: Political Criticism in an Age of Entertainment." Here's from the concluding paragraph (with some emphasis added):
None of what I've discussed here would matter if Moore's techniques didn't symbolize bigger weaknesses in the American left today. Moore is not just a quirky guy with enough talent and dough to reach a wide audience. His political criticism signals problems faced by the left more generally: marginalization, a tendency to seek the purity of confrontation rather than to work for long-term political solutions, a cynicism about the possibilities of politics today, and questionable political judgments. Moore exhibits all these weaknesses. Unfortunately, an effective left cannot draw energy or inspiration from a deeply cynical view of politics that blurs entertainment and argument. Moore takes short-cuts when it comes to politics. He entertains, but he doesn't always do much more. That speaks to the state of the left; we are angry and sometimes vocal, but we have too little to offer those looking for or needing social change. Meanwhile, the entertainment industry chugs on, denigrating serious political argument and avoiding deliberation. That is the depressing world Michael Moore has broken into.Go read the whole thing, as they say.