The quality of mercy

There’s an old saying that you can’t buy really good PR… but you can make a good stab at it.

Witness Michael Moore.

One of his more strident critics is Jim Kenefick, the guy who runs Moorewatch (and is a contributor to Wizbang Pop). He’s been a pain in Moore’s voluminous buttocks for some time.

A little while ago, though, circumstances conspired in a way that must have made Mikey think God loves him.

While Mikey was working on his “documentary” about the US health care system, Jim ran into some financial difficulties revolving around his health insurance. It turned out that he needed about $12,000, or he’d be without coverage.

Well, he got a message that an anonymous donor was looking to give him the money, no strings attached.

Naturally, that made Jim’s spider-sense tingle. He smelled a rat — a bearded rat in a sweatsuit. He did some digging and, while he couldn’t come up with any conclusive proof, he was fairly certain that the “anonymous” donor was none other than Mikey himself.

He thought about it, and took the money anyway.

Jim’s reasoning was sound: he would not reveal the likely donor, and the money was presented with “no strings attached,” not even a “don’t try to find out who this is.” He was fairly certain that Moore had not done it out of the goodness of his heart, but as part of a plan to pull a “gotcha” on him, so he had no qualms about publicly expressing his suspicions even as he took the money.

If Moore had, indeed, intended it as an act of charity, then all he had to do was say nothing and let the matter fade away, content in the knowledge that he had done a decent, selfless thing. But if he was planning on “outing” Jim as a hypocrite and using Jim’s own circumstances for his own publicity, then his cannons were quite effectively spiked.

Turns out that Jim’s suspicions were pretty darned accurate. And if Mikey wants to write that $12,000 off as a “promotional expense” for Sicko, he’s more than welcome.

The lesson here is simple. To quote the words of the Bard of Avon:

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

Moore, it seems, was angling for boatload of positive publicity — with the added bonus of taking down one of his more strident critics. But instead, he’s out twelve grand and ended up looking like the asshole he is. Jim, meanwhile, has come out the winner: his wife’s insurance coverage was continued, he has fresh affirmation of the scumminess of his chosen target, and now knows just how much he’s getting under Moore’s skin.

In that vein, I have myself run into some serious financial difficulties. The Golden Oldie has given up the ghost, and if any of my regular detractors would like to help me out — “anonymously,” of course — that would be just peachy.

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