By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
Even when Republicans are going to ridicule Kerry from now until the election?
But what’s his job? To not fall into that trap, and to make Bush look as stupid as possible.
The media seems to only present the Republican spin and to not present the other side of what’s going on.
I believe the media is in the pocket of the government, and they don’t do their job. They have people like Michael Moore who do it for them.
You do believe that the media is in the pocket of the government?
Yeah, I think to a certain extent. For example, I can watch TV news. If I don’t like that, I have the option of going to the Internet and picking up what may be fact, may be rumor, may be just raw footage. But at least I have the ability to seek out and get news now where I want to get it, which I never could. Unless you’re lazy, as most Americans are, you really can get any news you want. Go on the Internet and get raw footage from Iraq right now, because some guy is broadcasting what they don’t want you to see.
The FCC chairman maintains just what you were saying: that there are so many other forms of information, you’re not necessarily limited to Big Media–owned TV news.
Think of the news as a car. If you go in to buy a car, and you’re told it’s a brand-new perfect car, and then you find it’s a piece of crap and say, “Hey, I got screwed.” There’s a reason television is free. What do you get for nothing? Nothing.
But surely “Jaywalking” [Leno’s man-in-the-street segment] shows you what morons Americans are.
You get the government you deserve.
If actors or musicians came on your show, and they decided to use it as a forum to start saying anti-Bush stuff, what would you do?
Instead of saying anti-Bush stuff, why don’t you say any political stuff. It makes no difference if it’s Bush or Kerry. You try to cut the conversation short and go, “Bob’s a little partisan” or “Tell us how you really feel” or something of that nature. If you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do, which is entertain, then we’ll probably wind it up.
You mentioned Michael Moore before. Was there a feud between you two where he was banned from the show?
I never had a problem with Michael. I have no idea where all this came from. I remember a year and a half ago, he was on Bill Maher’s show, and he started to go off on me. Then I read that thing [in the Los Angeles Times] — that he holds most of his contempt for Jay Leno — and I called up. “What is this? Michael’s welcome to come on the show. No one has ever been banned from our show. That’s not what we do.” I called him on the phone, and then he called me back. We talked about 45 minutes. I just didn’t understand what he was so mad at. He more or less said what it was. That, after he had done his speech to the academy, the next day I said, “You think President Bush is keeping an eye on Moore. Can we go to Moore’s house?” You saw a shack in the desert. And then a missile blew it up. Which to me was a joke about Bush. And then I said, “Gee, I think the president’s angry at Moore.” And it got a big laugh.
And then he said he’d had some problems. His house had been vandalized. He said to me that, in his paranoia, he sort of blamed me for the things that were happening to him. And then James Woods went into a diatribe against him. And so did Dennis Miller. And I called Moore’s agent and said he’s welcome to come on and respond. He didn’t want to come on. And then it just built and built. But I knew there weren’t any real problems.
So when he and I talked on the phone, I said, “Look, I enjoyed your film.” Then when he got here, we had a long talk, and it was fine. Moore said to me at one point, “I think your audience will boo me when I walk out.” And I said to the audience in the warm-up, “You know, Michael Moore is on the show tonight.” Boos. “You know this is America, and it’s free speech. If you don’t like it, please don’t boo. Please be quiet. Or if you want to applaud, you can applaud. But the guy made a movie. Just be polite.”
What happened when he walked out?
He got applause. I didn’t hear any boos at all. But the night before, when I announced he was coming, the audience booed.
What do you think about this already heated angry election?
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