Michael Moore and Jon Stewart Get Competition: Max Blumenthal


(Max Blumenthal took this picture in the Gila National Forest, near Silver City, New Mexico. TWN used this picture during the effort to block John Bolton’s confirmation as US Ambassador to the United Nations.)
Max Blumenthal is sort of a morphed Michael Moore and Jon Stewart and has become a viral web hit master exposing the warts of the political right and left.
In my estimatiion, Blumenthal — son of Jackie and Sidney (yes, that Jackie and Sidney) — has emerged from the cesspool of contemporary political punditry as one of America’s great (subversive) video journalists. I have no doubt that if America was more like the Soviet Union, he’d be in a gulag.
(Max — watch out, America is becoming sort of gulag-ish).
As a devout secularist, I’m basically out of step with the new trends towards faith-embedded politics, but Blumenthal has a knack for sliding into anti-Enlightenment institutions like Christians United for Israel Conference and exposing them. I learn much from his video journeys and writing.
This video clip — which you must watch in full — has priceless vignettes with Senator Joe Lieberman and former House Republican Leader Tom “The Hammer” DeLay. For those that prefer it, here’s a version of the same, “Rapture Ready,” that has just gone up on YouTube.
But like any fair and balanced social chronicler, Blumenthal deploys his edginess to tease out myths on the left and right. For those who want more Max, here is a clip of Blumenthal’s video essay on the Take Back America Conference that got taken back — as well as the 2007 Conservative Political Action Committee Conference.
I organize big conferences on occasion — and just for the record — it would be a privilege to have Max Blumenthal there exposing the contradictions in my own meetings. He’s a vital part of our civil society I think — and he is making all of this more fun.
— Steve Clemons


7 comments on “Michael Moore and Jon Stewart Get Competition: Max Blumenthal

  1. Johnny says:

    What I find most amusing about Max’s transparent video is in the fact that he mentions that thousands came to see Hagee, but Blumenthal chose a very select portion of the “flock” to interview for his piece.
    Anyone who knows Blumenthal’s point of view on matters of organized religion, the Christian Right and Republicanism/Conservatism, would expect this from him, and he did not fail to be predictable.
    Maybe Max can now show you an edit of more footage, with the doctors, lawyers, small business owners, teachers, scientists and the literally thousands of others who were there who were not speaking from an uneducated perspective and who were not doing interpretive dance in the aisles, and show that there is a movement of people who do not subscribe to “the rapture” and just believe that god’s-will will be revealed one day, and until then, our lot is to work together for a common goal of survival.
    Max forgot to include Hagee’s comment while holding his friend Rabbi Aryeh Sheinbaum, an Orthodox rabbi from San Antonio when asked about eschatology, “we both know that one day when we’re dancing in the streets of Jerusalem together, one of us will have to seriously reevaluate our beliefs.”
    That said to anyone else listening, that while Hagee is indeed a Christian and holds to the belief in Christ, he does acknowledge that maybe he does not know everything and that God’s design is still truly unknown.
    Max, an honest reporter would try to stay honest, but one with an agenda will always only find the facts that support his ends.


  2. Robert Morrow says:

    Absolutely, the grassroots hates the UN. Just a bunch of anti-American, unelected bureaucrats from afar trying to tell us how to live our lives, control our land and take our guns.


  3. MP says:

    Steve: I’m a big fan of Max’s and Dad, though I thought the CUFI piece was much better than the TBA piece. He had more to work with…more substance. He had to stretch a bit to get anything on the TBAers. FE: No one bit on the Obama Girl gag.


  4. Steve Clemons says:

    AltHippo: Thanks for that context. I have no sense of what drove the decision and your narrative makes sense — though given that TBA commissioned the piece they probably should have arranged some other kind of showing. steve


  5. AltHippo says:

    I’m a big fan of Max Blumenthal (and had him speak at Drinking Liberally a couple of months back). I expect great things from him.
    That said, a word or two about the TBA video that got taken back. The final TBA luncheon (where Max was slotted to show this) included the Maria Leavey service award and a very moving presentation by Ari Lipman. I just can’t see how Max’s video would have fit with the rest of the afternoon.


  6. Sandy says:

    I love reading…seeing….anything I can by Max Blumenthal. Always exceptional. And brave.
    I never miss a Sidney Blumenthal column either. His latest, The Three Stooges (Cheney, Rove, and Gonzales) on Salon. com is another winner. He has chronicled all the crimes ….and offered invaluable insights and made important connections….for all these years of the stolen Bush “presidency”/monarchy. It’s an important historical record of the outlandish, ongoing abuses by Bush/Cheney&Co.
    It’s valuable, important work, and we are lucky to have Max and Sidney Blumenthal.


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