One day, when he’s sick of making documentaries, Sicko filmmaker Michael Moore should start a powerhouse marketing company. Because no one does it better than he does. He’s picked public fights with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, accused the New York Stock Exchange of banning a CNBC interview with him, and milked that federal probe of his trip to Cuba for the movie. And those are just the controversies I remember. As well he should, and all documentary filmmakers should emulate his guerrilla marketing acumen if they want their pics to be seen. Here’s his latest publicity stunt to keep people talking about The Weinstein Co pic, which should pass his Oscar winning Bowling for Columbine in gross domestic receipts in the next few weeks. Moore was appearing on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews yesterday when the filmmaker proposed this:
MATTHEWS: There’s probably a half-million people watching right now at different times today. And I want you to give them advice.
MATTHEWS: If they`re right now having a problem with their HMO, and they’re not getting treatment for something they think is important, is it best to call their congressperson? What do they do to make sure the kind of thing that happened in your movie happens to them?
MOORE: Actually, what I tell people is, if you’re having trouble right now with your insurance company, and they won’t pay for something, go ahead and use my name, just say…
MATTHEWS: Say Michael Moore has been talking to me?
MOORE: Say that I’m coming, that you have talked to me personally. You have my permission to do that. In fact, at the end of this week, on my Web site, I’m going have a little like Sicko insurance card you can download, print it out, laminate it, and take it in and say that you’re now part of my team, and that we’re going to put you on the DVD if you don’t help my child. And, so, I give blanket permission to anybody who wants to do that. Carry your Sicko card with you. And, actually, I got this idea because a number of people have already gone ahead and done it.
MATTHEWS: The guy did it in the movie.
MOORE: He did it in the movie.
MATTHEWS: Yes. Without your permission.
MOORE: And he just said, ‘Michael Moore is coming’. I never met the guy. The guy just went ahead and said, ‘Michael Moore is doing this film.’ And, like a week later, the insurance company said, ‘OK, we will pay for your daughter’s ear operation.’
MATTHEWS: God, there’s nothing like a little blackmail. (LAUGHTER)