Michael Moore Speaks to Overflow Crowd
He is outside, addressing those members of the audience who are unable to enter the packed auditorium.Please welcome differentstrings to the League of Liberals. and update your blogrolls naturally!
"I can only hope that my book will make a small contribution toward that day when we'll see one long perp walk of administration officials in handcuffs being led out of the White House and into a waiting paddy wagon. Like I said, I'm not asking for much. 'Dude, Where's My Country?' is also my humble attempt to violate the Patriot Act on every single page of the book."
Asked about the mood on college campuses and now it compares to the '60s era of radicalism, where Moore came of age, he replies, "There is no difference. I think it's a baby boomer myth that colleges are necessarily bastions of progressive thinking. Back then, just like now, there was a small group of people who were working towards change, and they got all the attention."
"Maybe it's a sick fantasy of mine, but I am really looking forward to a debate between a general and a deserter. (President Bush served in a reserve national guard unit during the Vietnam War, and his attendance has been called in to question more than once.) Plus, I really want to hear President Bush have to say, "Yes, General, No, General," he laughs. Moore explains, "I just think it's pretty unique that we have a United States general who is pro-choice, supports the environment, and is against what we are doing in Iraq."
"I think what was so significant about the recall elections was that for the first time ever, the Republicans had to move to the left in order to get elected! Republicans don't want another Democrat acting like a Republican, they have their own wack jobs for that. "Actually, Californians don't want a conservative Republican leading their country, which is why they elected someone like Gray Davis. Even he is better than an extreme right-wing Republican!
The American political populace has shifted to the left. "The fact is that most Americans are pro-choice, they want the environment protected, they want health care," he explains. "They just don't want the government taking their money."
He bristles visibly when a campus reporter asks him about a story in the Wall Street Journal which criticized his research and fact checking. "That is not a critic that is the Wall Street Journal and someone who writes for a conservative think tank, who is writing for a right wing newspaper, on their editorial page." "I have a team of fact checkers who work for me and do research. When they are done, another team of fact-checkers checks their work. I have probably spent about $60,000 through my last four books on research alone. And do you know how many lawsuits have been initiated against me for libel or slander? Zero." "You should understand the difference between a critic and someone who just disagrees with me," he continues. "A critic can offer his take on something I've said and offer his own response. But most of them don't want to argue the facts, they would rather spread slander and libel."
Americans are easily duped by the media, who are guilty of imposing an "enforced ignorance" on a "population that is so easily manipulated by lies and fear." "Lies and fear," says Moore, "And here is a good example: 'There is no terrorist threat.'" The audience roars. "There may be someone out there planning something, but we are not living under the current threat of a terrorist act taking place in Los Angeles tonight."
In fact, Moore saves much if his lighthearted venom for recently admitted drug addict/political commentator Rush Limbaugh. "Here is a guy who has spent the last ten years just spewing hate, and much of that hate has been directed at drug addicts." He gets wound up again. "There are two million people in jail in America, and 1 million are in there for drugs, and I say let them out!" The auditorium shakes. "I can't find one iota of sympathy for Rush Limbaugh... One (illegal use) of OxyContin is a felony. And 100 is 100 felonies!" The friendly audience roars with laughter and approval. Limbaugh is a miserable failure.
Moore makes the natural connection from Limbaugh to the power of the American media and the conservative stronghold on talk radio and television. "Here's what I don't understand. They have every talk radio station, they have two major cable networks. What are the Republicans so mad about? They own EVERYTHING!"
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