"I don't own a single share of stock!" filmmaker Michael
Moore proudly proclaimed.
He's right. He doesn't own a single share. He owns tens of thousands
of shares – including nearly 2,000 shares of Boeing, nearly 1,000 of Sonoco,
more than 4,000 of Best Foods, more than 3,000 of Eli Lilly, more than 8,000
of Bank One and more than 2,000 of Halliburton, the company most vilified by
Moore in "Fahrenheit 9/11."
If you want to see Moore's own signed Schedule D declaring his capital gains
and losses where his stock ownership is listed, it's emblazoned on the cover
of Peter Schweizer's new book, "Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in
And it's just one of the startling revelations by Schweizer, famous for his
previous works, "Reagan's War" and "The Bushes."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who proclaims her support for unions, yet
the luxury resort, the vineyard and the restaurants she partly owns are strictly
non-union. While she advocates tough new laws enforcing environmental regulations
on the private sector, the exclusive country club she partly owns failed to
comply with existing environmental regulations for the past eight years –
including a failure to protect endangered species.
Noam Chomsky has made a reputation for calling America a police state and branding
the Pentagon "the most hideous institution on earth," yet his entire
academic career, writes Schweizer, has been subsidized by the U.S. military.
Barbra Streisand is another proponent of environmentalism, yet she drives an
SUV, lives in a mansion and has a $22,000 annual water bill. In the past, she
has driven to appointments in Beverly Hills in a motor home because of her aversion
to using public bathrooms.
Ralph Nader plays the role of the citizen avenger – the populist uninterested
in wealth and materialism, pretending to live in a modest apartment. In fact,
he lives in fancy homes registered in the names of his siblings.
This is not just a book of "gotcha" journalism, explains Schweizer.
He says the dozens and dozens of examples of "liberal hypocrisy" he
cites in his book "are of central importance in evaluating the validity
and usefulness of liberal ideas."
"Using IRS records, court depositions, news reports, financial disclosures
and their own statements, I sought to answer a particular question: Do these
liberal leaders and activists practice what they preach?" he writes. "What
I found was a stunning record of open and shameless hypocrisy. Those who champion
the cause of organized labor had developed various methods to avoid paying union
wages or shunned unions altogether.
"Those who believe that the rich need to pay more in taxes proved especially
adept at avoiding taxes themselves. Critics of capitalism and corporate enterprise
frequently invested in the very companies they denounced. Those who espouse
strict environmental regulations worked vigorously to sidestep them when it
came to their own businesses and properties. Those who advocate steep inheritance
taxes to promote fairer income distribution hid their investments in trusts
or exotic overseas locales to reduce their own tax liability. Those who are
strong proponents of affirmative action rarely practiced it themselves, and
some had abysmal records when it came to hiring minorities. Those who proclaim
themselves champions of civil liberties when it comes to criminal or terrorist
cases went to extraordinary lengths to curtail the civil liberties of others
when they felt threatened or just inconvenienced. Advocates of gun control had
no problem making sure that an arsenal of weapons was available to protect them
from dangerous criminals."