October 5, 2009


I interviewed Michael Moore for a few minutes in between his media stops about his new movie called Capitalism, A Love Story which I reviewed here. As we discussed his film, the topic of conservatism, hate speech and FOX News came up and I asked him if he would consider going back on FOX News again. His responses were interesting and I think FOX News will go scrambling to book him after they hear what Michael had to say. I also think Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck will not be happy campers.

Amato: Would you ever go back on FOX again?

Moore: Yes,I would go back on FOX again. I would not go on Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck because they use far too much hate speech and calls for violence and I cannot participate with anyone that goes down that road.

I stayed off because somebody at the studio told me that whenever I go on their ratings go up and I'm not interested in helping them sell products and make money for themselves and having said that I'm ready to tee up (garbled audio, but I think he said Hannity) Hannity I think pretty soon.

Amato: That would get huge ratings and it's also really enjoyable to see you kick them around because you know the type of Democrat that go on most of the time that are just so weak and that's the way they like them so that they can serve them up and kick them around.

Moore: Then I will make a point during this tour to try and go on one of their shows and give them something-something...

Amato: Do it for the blogosphere! (laughs)

Moore: Do it for the blogosphere. This one's for you!

The attacks on President Obama by FOX News programs have been profoundly upsetting and as much as I object at times to lefties that go on FOX, I have to say that it would be very enjoyable to see Michael smack down Roger Ailes crew. Do you think Michael will go on Hannity since he won't do they Beck or O'Reilly? Sheppard Smith might be a good choice. And you can be sure that O'Reilly will whine about this. The reason I asked the question is because I've seen Moore duke it out with Bill O'Reilly before and they were very good segments to watch.

John Amato: This is John Amato from Crooks and Liars and I am joined by the great movie maker Michael Moore and he has a new movie out "Capitalism: A Love Story." Hey Michael, thanks for joining me.

Michael Moore: Thanks for having me here.

John Amato: I just want to say one thing here before we get going. How about those Lions?

Michael Moore: [laughing] It's been two years, and if they had to beat somebody it might as well have been the Washington Redskins. But I feel sorry for the Redskins as it’s going to be a trivia answer for the next few decades.

John Amato: And you have Jim Zorn on the hot seat. You know if you saw this or had a chance to check this out but you know that whole game follows along the lines of what your movie has been talking about, because I don't know if you are aware but the NFL has imposed the old black-out laws and rules for home games. So in other words, if they're not sold out local TV areas are not allowed to broadcast games to the fans. So, in Detroit and Jacksonville with Detroit 30% unemployment the` fans cannot see any home games and the NFL when asked about it completely turned their backs on the fans of Detroit. It's truly stunning to me - have you heard about that so far?

Michael Moore: Yes I have. And it might be best that the people in Detroit aren't able to watch the Lions because I think there might be riots in the streets.

John Amato: I hear you but you know it goes back to what your movie is talking about because when you talk about "Capitalism: A Love Story" obviously greed is a big part of what fuels capitalism and I was listening to a sports talk show host questioning (sic) Goodell the NFL commissioner and just pleaded with him to show the games to Detroit. I mean, they're making billions of dollars now and when they first imposed those rules and regulations they were obviously afraid that TV would undermine the NFL and Roger Goodell just said "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do."

Michael Moore: Yeah, well that's the way it is. I mean, we live in the two Americas - one America is the wealthiest 1% that have has much financial wealth as the bottom 95% combined. And that 95% is the other America that's struggling to get by.

John Amato: Did you have some idea in mind when it started? (Sic) Did it overall morph into what we have today? Because I know you started this movie a little while ago; how did it - did it stay on course from your original premise?

Michael Moore: Well after the crash, it took a slightly different turn. I started out by supporting capitalism and its immorality and its lack of democracy. But when the crash happened it revealed a third problem with it which was that it doesn't work. And Wall Street essentially handed a gift to the people by showing that all the emperors of Wall Street had no clothes on.

John Amato: In the beginning of the movie you start the Romans, the old footage. Was that from a '50s movie?

Michael Moore: Yes, that was from an Encyclopedia Britannica 1950s movie they made to show in schools.

John Amato: you have such a great sense of humor in all your movies when you see that. People don't want to admit that an empire could fail and especially the Roman Empire which ruled most of the world at that time.

Michael Moore: That's correct. But you know the comparisons between their decline and our decline are quite evident. And there's a part of me that believes that it may just be too late to turn things around, though I don't know that I'd ever really want to turn it around to what it was. Because it never really was what it claimed to be, The American Dream. It was really intended for a few, it was a pyramid scheme. It still is where just a few get sit on top and everybody else is told if they just work hard enough they can be on top too. But of course it's all a lie.

Amato: You hear the conservatives "just work hard." Especially from Bill O'Reilly " right, if you just pull up your boot straps...if you get out there, you too can be like Bill O'Reilly and make 10 billion dollars and promote lies all day."

Michael Moore: Well, that’s the rap that they give people and sadly too many millions fall for it.

Amato: Would you ever go back on Fox again?

Michael Moore: Um, yes I would go back on Fox. I would not go back on Bill O'Reilly because there is far too much hate speech and calls for violence. I cannot participate in anybody who goes down that road.

I've sort of stayed off because I realized - somebody at the studio told me every time I'm on the ratings go up and I'm not that interested in helping them sell products and make money for themselves. Having said that, I'm ready to tee up Hannity I think [can't hear/can't understand] pretty soon.

John Amato: That would get huge ratings. It's also really enjoyable to see you kick them around a little because you know the type of Democrats that go on Fox most of the time are just so weak, and that's the way they like them, so the can serve them up and kick them around.

Michael Moore: Right. Well then I will make a point during this tour to go on one of their shows and give them a little something-something.

John Amato: Do it for the blogosphere.

Michael Moore: [laughing] For the blogosphere! This one's for you!

John Amato: You know what was really fascinating about the movie also was that FDR footage that you found. Was it actually called The Second Bill of Rights?

Michael Moore: Yes. Yes, and he wanted this filmed, wanted America to be able to see him suggesting that we have a second Bill of Rights - a right to a home, a right to a job, a right to health care. And he knew that he wasn't long for this world. Unfortunately the footage got lost; nobody saw it and [can’t hear/understand] found it. The Roosevelt historian told us it didn't exist. We found it in an archive in South Carolina.

John Amato: It was fascinating; it was brilliant. The things that he talks about are exactly what you talk about in your movie. Because you talk a lot about your own family and your history. Like you, my father didn't work for one company, he didn't have much education but he finally got a union job when he was 40 years old. And through that union job he was able to support my mother and myself and my sister. And when he retired he was able to retire with dignity. And that's exactly what happened with your father.

Michael Moore: That's correct, right. I know, it's - that's why I say we may have slid too far down the slope. I'm not sure. I try to be optimistic about this but I realize that a lot has gone now, a lot of time has passed and they've gotten away literally with murder. Only a huge concerted effort, a movement by millions of people - let's just say the millions who put Barack Obama into office - if everybody got active like they were last year. We might have a chance.

John Amato: That is true. And you would have figured that the anger of what happened on Wall Street would have carried over, but instead we had this right wing CNBC reporter Rick Santelli that was used by the rich and the health insurance (sic) to start these tea parties. They took this sort of anger and made a false populism out of it for the Republicans - has that surprised you as much as it has me?

Michael Moore: No, because I think that the historically the right wing in this country and other countries has always used times when working people are hurting. They seek to manipulate them with fear and scapegoating and the like. So, I'm not surprised that they tried to do it this time.

John Amato: Mike, I want to thank you for spending a few minutes.

Michael Moore: Thank you John. Thank you for all the good work that you guys do, it's so important.

John Amato: We're up 24/7 fighting the good fight. I appreciate it Michael. Go to your next location, kick it and we'll be in touch.

Michael Moore: Let's do this again.

The FDR footage that Moore found was fascinating. He actually realized that the America economic system was not being played to benefit all Americans and he wanted the entire country to be taken care of and not just the top 1% of the upper class. See the movie just for that segment alone.

(I had to edit the audio slightly because of a bad connection.)

(To the media: Please credit C&L if any part of this interview is used. Thank you)

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