WASHINGTON – Michael Moore is an “idiot,” and so is everyone who believes his movies.
At least that's what Floyd Brown,executive director of Young America's Foundation,told 245 college students at its 27th Annual National Conservative Student Conference.
“You're free to be an idiot like Michael Moore,and you're free to be an idiot and watch the movies and believe it,” he said. “I wouldn't pay eight bucks to see it – I'd download it off the Internet before I'd do that.”
Over the course of the conference,which began Sunday and continues through Saturday at George Washington University,politically conservative students could hear syndicated columnist Robert Novak say he doesn't look good in women's clothing and former “Win Ben Stein's Money” host Ben Stein say rock stars Bono and Bob Geldof aren't going to free the world – free markets and trade will.
University of Alabama student David Ferguson,19,said he was most looking forward to “Bueller … Bueller ” a reference to Stein.
Ferguson,of Albertville,Ala.,and his classmate,fellow UA Conservative Club officer Chip Crowley,20,of Florence,Ala.,heard about the trip from a professor,a former YAF intern. The YAF gave the UA club funding last year to bring conservative speakers to campus.
Ferguson said he hopes to take what he hears at the conference back to campus with him to help him “in the struggle.”
But Crowly just laughed.
“Don't listen to him,” he said. “He's never had to struggle.”
Stein said Hollywood stars aren't the real heroes of society.
“I don't consider a man to be a star if he gets paid $20 million to stand in front of a camera and read lines and have a stunt double come in,” Stein said.
The “Ferris Bueller's Day Off” scene stealer said those who wear body armor in 100-degree weather in Iraq are the real stars.
Stein said that Hollywood stars such as Al Franken and Barbra Streisand,who are unhappy with the United States,should leave – in fact,Stein said he would pay for their U-Hauls.
Syndicated columnist Robert Novak told the students that he tends to be more of a critic of the government than a cheerleader,even though he is a conservative.
“I'm 75 years old,” he said. “I don't look good in a short skirt and pompoms.”
A reporter asked Novak how he felt about his Monday column,in which he countered reports that he had knowingly reported false information in his 2003 column that named CIA agent Valerie Plame. Novak has otherwise said little about the revelation,which has led to controversy over reporters' use of confidential sources and the jailing of a New York Times reporter.
“Well,it's almost 700 words,and it was carefully edited,” he said. “It represents how I feel right now,and I think you can get it on the Internet.”
His response was greeted which cheers and applause.
Jason Mattera,a YAF spokesman,said the conference has attracted thousands of students over the years. Past notable speakers included Sen. Trent Lott,R-Miss.; author Tom Clancy; former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan; and musician Ted Nugent.
This year's conference also features author and columnist Ann Coulter,former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Angela “Bay” Buchanan,who ran her brother's campaign.
Mattera said the group hopes students will be introduced to ideas they can't get on campus.
“We hope that they take those principles with them … and fight the left on a daily basis,” he said.