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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  October 2, 2011 12:00pm-3:00pm EDT

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>> that was "after words," booktv signature program in which authors at least nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policymakers, legislators and others familiar with the material. "after words" airs every week and a booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday, and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also launched "after words" online. go to ..
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>> my mother had brought us down here on vacation. i was 11, summer after 5th grade. and, my mother, she... other kids got to know up north to the lake, you know? you know, do fun, you know, go to scout camp and things like that. our mom wanted to take us down to washington, d.c. every other summer. because she so believed in this country and everything about it and loved history and we spent our summers going to the national archives reading the documents of the founding fathers and traveling through the smithsonian institute and
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we'd meet our senator from michigan, and our congressman and i was in the capitol building and i looked at the statues in the statuary hall and rotunda and reading the inscriptions and, i got separated from my mom and sisters, and cousin, pat, and, felt like ours, it was probably 20 minutes, and i'm like, wandering all over the capitol building, looking for it, my family, can't find them, and i start to cry, and, these elevator doors open and i walk into the elevator and i don't see the sign on it and walk in, and they close, and there's only -- one man, back of the elevator, reading the newspaper, and in front of his face an hears the little boy sniffling and crying and puts the paper down and, it is bobby kennedy. and of course, even at 11 i know it is him, because being raised
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in an irish-catholic household you are schooled in everything that is irish and catholic and, kennedy. and, he says, what is wrong, little man? young man? he says. and i lost my mommy. and he says, well i'll help you find her and he does. takes me by the hand, doors open on the next floor and we find a capitol police officer and he says senator we'll take care of it, you have important business to do and he says i'll stay with him for a little bit until he finds his mom and he stayed there and talked to mend we had a great conversation which i recount in the book and i came across the police radio, they found my mother and he said it is time for me to go and his final words were, to me, were, you know, something to the effect of never lose sight of your mom. and, it was -- 11, it stayed with me for some time.
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>> did your mother vote for j.f.k. in 1960? >> she did not. almost... my father was an fdr democrat and irish catholic and you have to remember, at that time we never had a catholic president and had been a country for almost 200 years. and though there were probably catholics, if you divide up all the process instants with the catholics have the largest percentage of the population, in the country and yet, never a catholic president and that was a really big deal to vote for kennedy. the nuns were for it and priests and everybody was for it but my mom, whose father was one of the leaders of the republican party, in our town, could not bring herself to vote for him because he was a democrat and she was a
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hard-core old-school republican, you know, the old style republicans that believed in the abraham lincoln, teddy roosevelt version of the republican party, where to be conservative meant you conserve your money and didn't have money you didn't have and these are gifts from god, planet earth and the first argument i remember, my parents didn't argue and i remember, i was in first grade, and, before the 1960 election, and they were in the garage, doing cleaning or whatever and got into this big, my dad saying, how can you not vote for kennedy? and, we were all on my dad's side, it was the catholic thing to do. >> didn't you have a nixon sign on your door. >> when i was 14 and a freshman
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in high school i was very much against the war from the beginning and, i said, i was against the war, and the war started, the vietnam war for americans and, started when i was in 5th grade, and, so, i -- as a kd i thought it wid i thou idea and when bobby kennedy was running in 1968 and i was in 8th grade, it was really a hopeful moment that this was going to turn around, and johnson had said he wasn't going to run again. that was great news. hubert humphrey decided at the last minute to get in to the race and i think, oh, now, you have supported the war, you are part of johnson, and, i mean, this is a 14-year-old's thinking and nixon said that he had a secret plan to end the war and he was going toned it in 6 months or whatever. and that sounded good to me. he was also for 18-year-olds having the right to vote.
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he wanted to start something called the environmental protection agency. he believed the girls in school should have the same rights as boys and so he was going to institute -- did institute title 9. this is what a republican used to look like. i mean, and he's like the worst. so kind of shows you how far we have come, but nonetheless, because he said he'd end the war, i decided to go and campaign for him. and as a freshman that is what i did and please don't strike me. >> mr. moore, when is this first time you remember causing trouble? >> wow, that i remember causing trouble. wow. i think, honestly, i think the first trouble i got into was
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when i stole something from the five and dime, used to be stores, called the five and dimes because lots of things cost a nickel and a dime back then! and i had stolen a pack of gum or tootsie roll or something from mcintyre's five and dime on main street in davison, michigan. and i don't know how my parents found out, i don't know that i -- i might have told them and said, look, look what i've got and i'm four years old and literally not in kindergarten yet. my god. i mean, it hit the fan. they were very upset. i had to take the gum back to the five and dime, i had to apologize, i had to do extra chores, i had to say a rosary or
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two... it was pretty bad! but that is actually the first thing i remember happening. >> where is davison, michigan, and what was your childhood like? >> davison, michigan, is about 5 or 6 miles east of flint. which is about 60 miles north of detroit. and davison was a village back in the old days, before it later became a sort of a suburb of flint, but, my family, my mom's family, settled there back in the 1830s and my family was one of the first, i guess you could say founding families of the area of davison and there is a little village near there, alba, and that is where they settled and they and six other catholic families got the first catholic
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thing going there. and in the alba, lapeer county on the border of genesee and lapeer county and will be there 175 years, this year, before, i think, maybe the year before michigan was a state. so, been there very, very, very long, a long time, and my mother was always proud of the fact that her family helped to found the area. i should say, when i said found, native americans were there. they were the first white sutz lers, and actually, i recount a story in the book where i talk about my great, great-grandfather who became friends with the indians, much to the dismay of some of the other white settlers. >> what was your childhood like in the late 1950s, early '60s? >> it was great.
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we had... it was great to grow up there in our neighborhood. elived on a dirt street. was a two-dead-end street. each end of the street had a dead end and you are showing home movies. there is my sister and i, cowboy mike and there is me getting early exercise, something i soon stopped doing. and me with my guns, and that is one of my first -- nra... i was an expert marks man, won the nra award when i was in about scouts. it was a great time and kids of the neighborhood were great and i write about this and, we used to play war all the time and i could play either the german or the american. if i was the german, the nazi soldier, i would make sure i died a horrific death, because i wanted the german to go out that
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way. if i played the american i tried to do the hero thing and get as many germans as i could. but, you know, played baseball sun-up to sundown and, you mow the field and create your baseball diamond and kids next-door had guns and we shot guns, 10, 11, 12 years old, shooting rifles, no parental supervision, whatsoever. bird guns. so it was really, really a good time. and there was a lot of hope and all of that. and my dad worked in the factory, a.c. spark plug and made spark plugs, and it was a division of general motors. >> in the union. >> yes. he was in the u.a.w. my uncle, his sister's husband, laverne whitney was in the sit-down strike in 1936-37, which will have the 75th
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anniversary this year, that essentially founded the u.a.w. the u.a.w. existed before that but it was the very first contract they were able to get with a major industrial corporation. and the workers took over the factories in flint for 44 days in the middle of winter, gm turned heat, water, everything off and froze there and a lot of battles with the police, and finally, franklin roosevelt told the governor of michigan to send in the national guard and protect the workers and that was really a turning point, that helped the union get their first contract and so my dad and his brothers and the whole family, everybody worked in the factories and was very grateful for the fact that we had the union, because this union did a lot of things in terms of raising everyone's standards of living. we lived a middle class existence as a result of having just one income in the family
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and he... i mean, had full medical coverage, full dental and four weeks paid vacation, every summer. so, it was really, you know, has... he worked an 8-hour day back then, he went to work 6:00 a.m. and he was home by 3:00. and it... it was a sane way to live. and, everybody knew. even though they were strong union men and women, they knew, accepted the compact with the corporation, which was that if you worked hard, and the company prospers, you prosper. real easy deal. you know? of course, not that way anymore. >> how did you get into catholic
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seminary? >> how did i get in? >> tell us the story about catholic seminary. >> well, i think starting around, probably 6th or 7th grade i was really enamored with these priests who were very much involved in the antiwar movement and marched with martin luther king and worked with cesar chavez on hispanic issues and i thought those were heros to me because they were like, they were... did things and the berrigan brothers, would commit these acts of civil disobedience and poured their blood on draft records to try and stop the war and priests were arrested with martin luther king and they were like action heros. wow, so it was like you could do good with this and honor good, and preach the gospel, and be an
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action hero. so, it was really, looked like a good deal to me and by the time i was in 8th grade i asked my parents if i could go to the seminary in high school so i could study to be a catholic priest. they were not in favor of this, though they were very, very, very strong catholics, they wanted me at hope and did not their son at 14 years old leaving home but, you know, i told them that i had a calling and, that is all you have to say, you don't want to get in the way of the calling. and so they let me go. i had to go down for an interview with the priests and told them what i was thinking and probably done played the radical priest part a little, so they one be too frightened of a tyke like me. but, they not only let me in, it was really, really one of the best years i had in terms of an education and, they were great
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and there were a few jesuits there and there was powerful learning, they believed that we should all be bilingual or trilingual and we spent a half a semester tearing apart shakespeare's romeo and juliett, line by line by line so we'd all... truly understand how shakespeare works and the language and the syntax and everything and it was just, you know, 9th grade and is one of those things i had for the rest of my life because it made going to shakespeare plays or reading it something that that was enjoyable and i really appreciated the education i got there and i was only there one year. >> why is that? >> well i was 14 years old and maybe i was... maybe puberty set in late and somehow it kicked in. in that freshman year in high
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school, and, you know, normal, i guess hormonal changes or whatever, you know, i read the rule book and i thought girls were a good idea, and so i went in, the last day of my freshman year to tell them i wasn't going to come back and the priest, before i get a word out of my mouth he says to me, michael, we have decided that you should not return next year. and i'm like, wait a minute! i came here to resign. you can't kick me out! good, we're in agreement. i said why don't you want me back here? well, we think you ask too many questions. not big on people asking a lot of questions in the institution of the catholic church. so that was the end of my seminary days, but not the end of my faith or my beliefs and values and morals and ethical
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being in terms of what... the way i was raised by the good nuns and priests who educated me as a young person. >> what was your involvement with the elks club? >> well every year, i think this is true in most states, you mentioned you were from indiana, right? so in most states they have girl's state and boy state and each year pick two students from every high school in the state to go to the state capitol, in this case, lansing, to play government and i was picked from my high school. to go there, and then you have all of these boys, in our case, boys state and we were to elect a governor, lieutenant governor, state legislature, supreme court, and supposed to run for offices and do campaigns and i'm didn't want -- i wasn't that kind of kid.
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at that point i had not run for student council, it was, for me, those kind of kids and i don't know why i was selected and as soon as i got there i was around all of these little politicians and... i didn't want anything to do with it and i went to my dorm room, held on the campus of michigan state university. let's see... hat. beat ohio state, yesterday, first time since the civil war! but, i just locked myself in the dorm and locked the door and didn't come out for the whole week. and it was two days left in the week there, and i decided to go to the machine to get waffles, a new potato chip -- ruffles, they had ridges in them and i got more per chip and i go down and get the chips and there's a
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poster by the snack machine that says speech contest on the life of abraham lincoln, for boy-staters, sponsored by the elks club. and i'm looking at that and going, the elks club sponsoring a contest on abe lincoln, the guy who freed the slaves? i know about the elks club because the previous month my dad went to join and at the top of the application were the two words, caucasians only and of course my dad wouldn't join and i thought, wow, there is irony for you! this racist organization is sponsoring a contest on abe lincoln and i thought, i'm going to go write me a speech and went back and wrote the speech and entered the contest and show up and give the speech, 12 boys are in the room and i thought there would be someone from the elks club there and there is not, just a speech teacher from a public high school in lansing, who is the judge. and i -- the boys give the
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speeches, abe lincoln and the civil war and i stand up there and go, how dare the elks club besmirch the reputation of lincoln by holding the speech contest and should be removed from boys state and going on and on and the kids in the room are, w.h.o.! except for the one black room is covering his mouth and is laughing. he can't believe he's hearing this. and we're all done. the speech teacher stands up and he says, well, the winner of the contest is... michael moore. wow! and he says, now, tomorrow, at the final assembly, where all 2,000 boys will be gathered you have to give the speech, oh, no, no, no, no. i can't do that. >> no, no, that is the rules, you have to give the speech and i'm going, my god. don't worry, i won't tell them the content until you give it. gee, thanks. next day i show up.
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they take me on the stand and i walk past the real governor and lieutenant garden and dignitaries and last guy, last chair, walking by him, the guy wearing a hat with antlers. the chief elk. and so oh, no. i give the speech and, how dare the elks club do this! and i turn around and i see him, the chief elk and he's like, you know, face is all red, gritting his teeth. and holding the trophy that he is going to hand me and made up the last line and went, and i don't want your stinking trophy! the whole place erupted, cheers, i'm like, i have to get out of here and run off the stage and get back to my room, and before i got out of the building an ap reporter was there and stopped me, who are you? why are you here and why did you
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give the speech? i gotta go! two hours later, a knock on the door. phone call for you. go down and take the call. pick up the phone. pay phone, how does anybody know i'm here, voice on the other end of the phone, i'm a producer with the "cbs evening news" with walter cronkite here in new york and we read the story on the wire and would like to interview you for our newscast. i'm going, no! no! i'm like, really, i'm not like a political activist, i'm really just a kid that was in search or a bag of ruffles potato chips and i'm thinking there is not enough clearacil in the world to get me to go on tv and i hung up the phone and ran back to my room but it didn't stop, the next two days, the phone rang, i went home, the phone rang, newspapers, n.a.a.c.p., congressmen, wanting me to come and testify, they'll introduce
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bills because back then people forget, but this is the early '70s, it was still legal to discriminate on the basis of race in private organizations. public, no, that was taken care of in the civil rights act of 1964. private you could still discriminate. and so people tried to get laws passed and just the floodgates opened on the issue and more people covered it and other people started doing other things and a year later, the elks club lost their tax exempt status and liquor licenses and finally changed their policy and rescinded the caucasians-only policy and the lesson to that we too long story, at least for me at 16, 17 years old, and probably a dangerous lesson for me for the rest of my life. that lesson was that you actually, you, an average citizen, a 17-year-old kid in the middle of nowhere can bring
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about change by doing actually not a lot. not even organized mass demonstrations or cbs even news or whatever. but by doing a little bit. making a little speech. things can happen. you never know what will happen or how. and, it was like, wow. what if everybody knew the secret? that you are sitting at home now and thinking, i'd like to change this or that. how could i do that? i need a big organization, money, need... sometimes it is about, if everybody did a little bit, instead of waiting for one or two people to do a lot, everybody did just a little bit, good things could happen in this country. that is what i learned. >> welcome to book t.v. this is our monthly in-depth program with one author and his or her body of work and this month is author and filmmaker michael moore.
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we'll put the numbers up on the screen if you want to dial in and talk with him, 202-737-0001 for those of you in the east and central time zones, 737-0002 or those of you in mountain and pacific time zones and you can send him a tweet, twitter.c or and we'll take those in a minute, there was another time you received an award and we'll show a little video and if you will talk about the circumstances surrounding this video. >> i'd like to thank the academy for the -- i've invited my fellow documentary nominees on the stage with us. [applause]. >> and we'd like to -- they are here in solidarity with me, because we like nonfiction. we like nonfiction and live in
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fictitious times. we live in a time where we have fictitious election results. that elect a fictitious president. [cheers and applause]. >> we live in a time... >> where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons. whether it is the fiction of duct tape or the fictitious... we are against this war, mr. bush. shame on you, mr. bush. shame on you. and, any time you have the... your time is up. thank you so much. ♪ ♪ >> yeah. it didn't go over as well as the elks club. the elks club speech, at least at the time. that night, it was... look, it
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was the fourth or fifth day of the war. >> march 23rd, 2003. >> that is correct and here we were, all dressed up, going to the academy awards. and there was just a huge disconnect it felt like to me and when we won i didn't really have a speech prepared and so i had asked my fellow documentary filmmakers nominated with me during the commercial break before the award, listen, if i win i'd like to welcome you up on the stage if you would come and probably have to say something about what is going on and if you want to join with me it would be great and they all came up with me. but it descended into chaos. as soon as i started to say what i thought was a fairly-on
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poetic, eloquent thing to say, i wasn't starting... even going to mention mr. bush's name. i wanted to say we like nonfiction and that is why we make nonfiction and yet we live in fictitious times and have been led to war for fictitious reasons and nobody wanted to hear that on the 5th day. 70% plus of the country supported the war and i was in that small, small minority that was speaking out against it at the time. and so i took quite a beating for it. and... but good news is, within three or four years, majority of americans came around to actually cheer that position that i took and... >> what happened as you walked off stage. >> as i walked off stage i heard the first two words, all oscar winners hear, they don't talk about this, you never get to see
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this because it is behind the curtain but any time you win the oscar, any time, like... if you get it once and i was so lucky that night, i walked off the stage, and there was a well-dressed young man and well-dressed young lady there, in evening wear. and the young lady says to you, champagne in and the boy goes, breath mint? and it is like okay. in my mind it is like, whoa, there is still a lot going on in the kodak theatre there and i heard a third word. a stand hand, a number of them were angry at me for what i said and he ran over and got right into the side of my head an screams, i won't say on c-span, a-hole, right in my ear. and security like, we have to get him out of here. there will be a riot back stage and that is what they did. >> what happened to you after
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that oscar speech? >> well, i mean, i was crucified in the press, all this entertainment pundits and oscar shows were, why would he do that, say such a thing, this is the oscars, you know? we need a little escape. people thought, too, that the war was going to be over in a few weeks and we'd go in there and roll into baghdad as we did. and, that would be the end of that. and, i think people were afraid to say anything, and if you notice on that tape, the booing was not happening on the main floor. from the actors and directors and writers who were nominated. it was coming, i don't know where it was coming from, they said later from the balcony or from where the people that are -- agents and the advertising people who run the ads on the show and have free tickets and that's where a lot of it was
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coming from. it got... we got home to michigan and it was pretty, pretty rough. not only were there a lot of threats, there were attempted assaults on me constantly, physical assaults. i had to hire a security firm from los angeles which -- made up essentially of a lot of ex-navy s.e.a.l.s and army rangers and green berets, special forces types who wanted to take this detail to protect me. and i'm grateful to them because they prevented a lot of things from happening. but it was... literally there wasn't a day where i couldn't walk down the street without somebody wanting to punch me, one guy in fort lauderdale took the... came out of starbucks or whatever and took the lid off and goes berserk and the limbaugh chip in his head went
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off and he throws hot, scalding coffee in my face and one of the security guys saw it happening and didn't have time to stop him but put his head in front of my face and he took the hit of the hot coffee, got second degree burns from it. that kind of thing. that went on for your or two or three and it was quite debilitating and it was egged on, as i point out in the book, i quote, glenn beck. and bill o'reilly. people who said some horrific things. i can't believe could be said across or airwaves, glenn beck saying, you know, one day, i'm thinking of killing michael moore. i think i could kill him myself or maybe i could hire -- if he was here i think i could choke the life right out of him and, what would jesus do, i don't care about that, and he's going on, ripping on the fantasy of this and you put that out there
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on hate radio, the unhinged hear that, too, and i don't know. i mean, just... it struck me as just a crazy making stuff and could i go on radio or tv and say, i'm thinking of killing, you know, fill in the blank. you know? the head of goldman sachs? or whatever? i mean, if i said that, i think i would get a knock on the door from the police, you know? if i talk of how i'm think of hiring somebody to kill somebody? not to glenn beck, though. not to anybody on these hate talk shows. they just fueled it and fueled it and i became the poster boy for that and i'm thinking what was my crime? what did i do? i said, that i think we're being led to war for false reasons, i don't think there are any weapons of mass destruction, that was my crime? i mean, i'm a guy who loves this country, an eagle scout. i go to church.
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i, you know, i'm like... i couldn't believe how i became this target for the things i was saying. to me, didn't seem that radical or out on a limb. it seemed basic stuff. making movies and i was trying to tell people, franor instancey first film, hey, general motors, i think they are doing something wrong and they will go down the toilet and will take us with them. you know, that was one film and another film, i don't like it when kids can get access to assault weapons and take them into schools. i think we should oppose that. that was my radical thought in ""bowling for columbine"" and "sicko", you know, having 50 million americans not able to see a doctor when they get sick doesn't make us a strong country. wow. you know? like, yes. let's call out the forces and
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attack this man. just has never made sense to me. >> 202-624-1111 for those of you in the eastern and central time zone, 202-624-1115 or those of you in mountain and pacific time zone, michael moore, well-known film maker and author of 8 books, here's the 8 books, beginning in 19 th 1996, "down this", adventures in a tv nation", "stupid white men", "dude, where's my country", and "will they ever trust us again". >> and fahrenheit 911 reader" and, his most recent, stories from his life, which we have been discussing this morning, or this afternoon, on in-depth, here comes trouble, first all up, for mr. moore comes from bellview, nebraska. go ahead, ronald. >> do you believe the media as a whole oversensationalizes
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stories they find or create to get figures... causing our political system to deteriorate. >> can you give us an example of what you mean, ronald? >> caller: like the casey anthony trial as an oversensationalism, the media constantly did it for money and, the money for advertising... >> yes. yes. it's not just the money, though. it is also because it is easy. and it is because a lot of ways they are no different than a lot of people and a lot of jobs where they are just, you know, trying to get by with doing as little as they can. and so it is easy to cover those kinds of stories or the michael jackson doctor on trial story or whatever. or, yesterday, you know, we
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had... i don't know, somewhere, "time" magazine said there were up to 1,000 people arrested in the wall street protests yesterday but to really do the stories i think need to be done, to go after goldman sachs and investigate what happened with the crash of '08, to do those kinds of things, that takes a lot of work, a lot of brains, also takes money, and, you know, our media, we don't have a state-owned media. we have a corporate-owned media. and it would probably be naive to think that these entities don't feel some compunction to be beholden to the corporations they invest in or invested in the. i mean, one of the examples recently was the cnn tea party express debate. cnn/tea party express and wolf
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blitzer said he was warning with the tea party express to put on this republican party debate. and i thought, wow. i mean, on one hand i thought, okay. that's not a bad idea to partner up with a citizens group but i will never see the day where there will be the cnn teachers union debate. or the cnn nurses union debate or the cnn/michael moore debate with the republican party. that is not going to happen. but when groups -- on the other side of the political fence, not because they necessarily agree with them, i think it is because a lot of the media are still gun shy about being called liberal or being acaused of that and overcompensate a lot the other way to try and pretend or show that they are not, and so they go to bed with the tea party and hold a debate which didn't make
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any sense to me. >> from victor in palmdale, california, an e-mail, several along this line: mr. moore, why is it that people like you don't run for higher office? there are so many excellent people like you on the left. yet they never run for office, and we always suffer the consequences of such narrow, limited options. >> i think that is an excellent question. not so much for me but i think that first of all, i already ran for office when i was 18 and i won and i served my four years. >> did you cause any trouble on the board of education. >> a little bit. too many stories to go into. they're in the book and, the first 18-year-old elected in the country after 18-year-olds got the right to vote and i served on the board of education four years here in michigan and he's right, though. our side, we need leaders to step up. because i think there are so many good people that could or should run, and people could get
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behind we don't, because we don't suffer fools very well, i guess, don't want to... al fr k frarfrank en, it is such a good thing, that he did that and certainly people will come out and voter you. the republicans have certainly shown that, that is -- when they run beloved figures or people that will stand up and really communicate with the public, like ronald reagan or arnold schwarzenegger, fred thompson, they have -- for as much as they say they hate hollywood, they run hollywood all the time and love it, and, they love it because americans love hollywood and actors are great communicators and so that is why they do well with that. our side, we don't do that. i know somehow we think that harry reid is the way to go.
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that is who should be our leader in the senate and i don't mean that with any major disrespect. but i think that the democratic party needs a bit of a backbone and need not to be in the same money pot that the republicans are in and so i don't know if that adequately answered his question. >> margie in pratt, west virginia, you're on with author and filmmaker michael moore. please go ahead with your question. >> caller: hi, a pleasure to speak to you, michael. i wonder if you would consider examining the results of the investigation that occurred here for the upper big branch coal mine disaster that occurred a year ago where 29 miners died. ... used to work for... has completed the investigation and you can find all the information
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on the university web site, but it is criminal what happened to these men and our coal miners here, michael or good, working people who want to tear care of their families but are trapped in an industry now that is trying to take away union rights and so if these people need to be treated with respect, and the media... >> thank you. we got the point. mr. moore? >> right. yes. i mean, that was a real tragedy, one that could have prevented and i mean, there are so many ideas i have and others have of films that should be made. i'm only one person and i webber i had five clones. so i wish somebody would make that film. i think it would be a great one to make. >> rich brown e-mails in to you: what is your next documentary you are currently working on? >> well, my policy not to
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discuss the films that i'm making while i'm making them. for all the obvious reasons. >> are you currently working on one? >> maybe. i just don't talk about it. they just appear when they appear. it is not in the best interest of the film to give a heads up. you know? before i made "sicko" i made the mistake of saying i was making a film about the health care industry and the health care industry went on high alert and the pharmaceutical companies went on real high alert and even though the film wasn't going to be about them, it was about health insurance, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars preparing for me and i would give all of these internal memos sent to me from people at work -- that work at different pharmaceutical companies, saying
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we had an inservice today and they hired a michael moore actor to come in and do role playing with us, if he shows up at the building, this is how you handle him and pfizer had a michael moore hotline and it says in the memo. and if i show up at a regional office around the country, call this number in new york and they went to... an executive at cigna health insurance company and he talked about hundreds -- millions of dollars they spent hoping to discredit me and attack me and if necessary figuratively, not literally, i hope, push me off a cliff. so i learned my lesson there. it is not a good idea to give them advanced notice what i'm working on. >> and book tv interviewed wendell potter on his book, if you want to see that go to and use the search
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function in the upper left-hand corner. this question: as an iran-american, i am worried about worries you may be planning a trip to iran and the press said you were invited to come to iran and you have accepted and they would consider that a coup if it happens. >> i have been in invited for many years and "bowling for columbine" won the top prize at a film festival in iran and the prize was a beautiful persian rug they sent me. no. i'm not going to iran to the film festival. i don't know if it is really... you know, the thing is, with iran, i have been active in the last year or two, they've had a couple of filmmakers, essentially have been under house arrest, and i have been
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active with other filmmakers in the country to convince them iranian government to leave them alone and let them make their films and iranian filmmakers, they have the greatest filmmakers, if you have a chance to see an iranian film, they are really, really good and it is definitely a country that loves the movies and i think we saw through the green movement here a year or two ago, there are huge -- a huge sentiment in the country to be free of the dictates of those who would want to run the country. iran is a democracy on a certain level. they actually do have free elections, anyone can run, and there have been a couple documentaries i've seen that are incredible things and they're not -- i try to avoid any sort of evil act, axis of evil discussion because i know that
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there are people in our government, now that we've had our way with iraq, want to move on to the next bogeyman and iran seems to be it. and there are certain forces that want us to now go to war or bomb iran, things like that. and i try to avoid any kind of -- i don't want to be associated with anything to do with my government attacking anybody else again on this planet. so i think we leave to it iranian people and i think they are going to stand up and get the country they want. and i'm hopeful for that. >> this is michael moore's most recent book, "here comes trouble." stories from my life. john in portland, oregon. you're on the air. >> caller: hey, michael. i've seen a few of your propaganda films over the years, and, i've noticed that you try to edit things so people think something happened when it didn't. and i wanted to specifically ask about fahrenheit 911. you have a section where you are
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asking congressmen to send their kids to iraq and one congressman, republican congressman said he had two nephews in afghanistan and you edited it so it doesn't respond and looks like he has no response and walks off. and, that is not what happened and i want to know why you didn't include his actual response if you are supposed to be a documentarian. >> thank you for that question. first of all, in that particular scene i had him a specific question and, i asked it of every congressman i ran into, republican or democrat. would you send your son, your son or daughter, to iraq and he wouldn't answer the question and instead, he tried to -- and a number of others did, too, oh, i have a nephew, i have an uncle or a cousin or... i have somebody down the block, that is in iraq right now. and no, i don't think you understand my question.
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would you send your son or your daughter, not your sister's son or daughter, your son or your daughter, and he wouldn't answer the question. they don't want to answer that question, because at the time when i made the film, "fahrenheit 911" there was only one member of congress who actually had a son or daughter in iraq. and i just thought, wow that is interesting, there are 535 members of congress. majority of them voted for the war. but they don't seem to want to be willing to sacrifice someone from their own family. send kids from the other family, those who live on the other side of the tracks, let them go do it. that was the point of that and he was giving me a dodge answer, and saying he had a relative over there and that wasn't my question. and i still think it is a relevant question. if you are going to vote for
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war, would you be willing to send your son and daughter and, i will tell you, i was over... i had not seen a world war ii memorial until yesterday and i went over there, and when you walk in, on the first stone as you walk into the memorial, it says, world war ii memorial, big letters and big letter under it it says, george bush and it shocked me for a second and i think, oh, because he was president when it opened but i'm thinking, i don't see that on the washington monument, who was president when that opened and a plaque on the jefferson memorial. you know, who was president when it opened. what is his name -- his name, specifically, doing on world war ii? here's the guy who supported the vietnam war, but wouldn't go. i mean, at least with clinton, he dodged it, too but he was opposed to the war and that is a consistent position. he didn't like the war and didn't want to go. i get that.
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okay. but, bush, he was for the war back then, and thought other people should go, not him. so he gets -- strings are pulled and he's in the national guard and his name is on the very first stone as you enter the world war ii memorial? a war my uncle died in, 405,000 americans died in, and your name is on this? i'm like, you know, it took me back to the question about, you know, yes, they are really good at supporting war, getting us into wars, but if they had to die or their kid had to die, no, i don't know about that. but, somebody else's kid... just abhorrent to me. >> there's a story in "here comes trouble" about your father and his world war ii experience and there's a story in there about you taking a trial run to canada. >> my dad was in the first
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marine division, world war ii. and he was in many of those island battles right on the beaches, horrific stuff and i tell one story about christmas day, 1943 where he was in a battle in new britain, part of new guinea, and it was an incident where -- a friendly fire incident and he and his unit had taken a hill and the american plane is coming in and -- american planes coming in thought they were japanese on the hill and strafed the hill and every guy in my dad's unit was shot, one was killed and 13 were wounded and everyone was shot but my dad, only one who wasn't shot by the low-flying american planes coming in thinking they were japanese. and he told me, you know, growing up, every christmas day, he remembers, he's grateful, was grateful for being alive, somehow he survived that
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incident. and i until the longer story in the book. my incident with -- of course i was opposed to the vietnam war as i said earlier and as i became near draft age i think what will i do? i'm not going to kill vietnamese and i and buddies decided, we were like i don't know 16, 17 years old, we weren't going to go to jail. we weren't going to go do service in some other service, you could do that for the government. we decided we were going to move to canada if we had to and so we knew nothing about canada and one day took a car and boat over to port huron, michigan to do a dry run and see how we'd escape to canada and we got over there and forgot the motor to the boat. so we couldn't take it and wee we decided to try and cake the
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car acro -- take the car across the bridge and, the other guys were smoking a joints so they could relax and i didn't do drugs and i was the designated driver and tell the story about getting across the blue water bridge and into canada and our great escape and of course the next year there was a draft lottery and i number came up like 273 and i wasn't drafted. >> richard, richmond, virginia. thanks for holding, our on with author michael moore. >> caller: mr. moore, an absolute pleasure to speak with you today. how are you doing, sir. >> thank you, sir. i'm doing well. >> caller: i have a question to ask. i contacted my local american cancer society concerning an event they'll be holding and i suffer from a brain injury and other illness and i'm -- your
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piece on "sicko" was absolutely beautiful. i loved it. beautiful. my question, sir, is how do i approach or how would i go about approaching the american cancer society concerning a study they did in 1974 with thc shrinking tumors in mice and them not wanting to go that direction? >> i do have memory of something about that. i can't speak to it. i will say this. thc which is an active ingredient in marijuana, you know, our drug laws in this country, i mean, this is another whole show. are just out of whack and things
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like that, where medical marijuana and things -- people have been trying to use to help people and years from now, historians will look back at this era and wonder why we did so many of the things that we do. i would say, for you and i get questions like this all the time actually from people, you know, have seen my movie and need help. because of the medical problem. or their hmo will not pay for them to see a specialist and remember, these insurance companies want to provide as little care as possible because that is how they make a profit. and so i would say to you, sir, definitely, get behind -- there's organizations that are trying to free up the studies, use these drugs, there are people who have been fighting, the fda for a long time because
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they take so long when treatments that are being used in europe and other places are not being used here. but, remember, the fda, of course is controlled by the lobbyists of the pharmaceutical companies and others who have a vested interest in making a profit and in "sicko" i told the story of jonas salk and, i told the story in my last film, "capitalism, a love story" and he invented the polio vaccine and people were shocked that he didn't want to trademark it or copyright it. that he decided to just give it away for free to the american people, to the world and he said he thought it would be immoral if he were to own that or make a profit off it. he said, you know what? i'm a doctor, i'm a researcher, i get a great salary, i live in a big house. what more do i need?
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i did this for the people. where is that? where is that sense of -- talk about patriotism, right? not just for america but for the world. we don't have that much these days. and i sure would like to see more of it. >> this tweet for you, mr. moore from keith... 238. i have otherwise intelligence friends who will not watch your films because they, quoted, heard what they were about, end quote. what do you say to them? >> i know. this is a problem. i run into people on the street and i know you and, you know, your films and i say to them, have you seen one of my films? and, they're like, no. and, i'm like, just watch one of 0 them, just watch it. i swear to god that you will
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think differently, and, you have been told by am radio, by, you know, fox news, by republican politicians, the reason they told -- i actually recount a story in the book of someone who had been hired by the bush administration, to do some polling around "fahrenheit 911" because they were afraid of the film affecting the 2004 election and wanted to know how people would respond to it and in their polling, they found that a third of republicans who saw the movie said that they would recommend it to other people. after they saw the movie. and, i think it was something like 10% of republican women said after seeing fahrenheit they may not vote for george w. bush. and may not vote for kerry, either and may not vote at all, and this is going to be a close election and they got very, very worried about this. and, so, whoever the operatives
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were in the campaign, decided and put out the talking points to all of their people, our goal is to make sure that nobody sees this movie. make sure they do not see this film. because if they see this film, the majority of them will not like it and they'll still vote for us but a small percentage will go, whoa, wait, i had no idea. and so they went about, basically really started with fahrenheit and really started the attack on me and attacking me personally. so that people would never even go near the film because if they go near the film they'll go, wow. you know, mike, i don't necessarily agree with everything he's saying here but clearly loves his country and he has a heart and, the movie is kind of funny. actually entertaining. that's the last thing they want so i know, this is a... to the person who sent the tweet in, this is the big problem i have, and, i've tried to do everything
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i can to encourage republicans and conservatives to please give it a shot. you don't have to come way and still vote republican after you watch it but just i'm giving you information that i think you... you want to know all kiesides y don't you? we should all have open minds and listen to everything being discussed, that is what i say to them. :
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>> and huge bonuses and huge salarie salaries. >> guest: that's right. i mean, pension funds that were decimated back especially in 2000 in that crash -- they have played with people's money here in their casino in a very risky way. i think illegal.
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i don't know why this isn't being investigated. i don't understand why no one has been arrested from the crash of '08. and -- but i know there's a lot of anger percolating out there. i know a lot of senior citizens now don't have the security that they thought they would once have. i know a lot of workers don't have that. people certainly don't have job security. they don't know whether they're going to have a job next year or the year after that. so part of this is -- it keeps the population tightly wound, living on the edge, being in fear. and when people are afraid, they oftentimes don't make the right decisions or the best decisions for themselves. so i think there's a larger purpose to all of this which is sad, but i think there's -- there's a protest that's again about ready to boil over and it's going to come from all quarters, it's going to come
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from auto workers. it's going to -- the subway conductors and bus drivers in new york city just voted to join the protests on wall street, richard trump came, the head of the afl-cio gave his backing to those protests here on c-span. so i think you're going to see -- it's going to grow into a much larger thing because there's so many millions of people out here who have lost their pensions, their health care and who have lost their homes because of no health care because the insurance company wouldn't pay the medical bills and it's one of the top reasons people go bankrupt because of medical bills. we've had so much suffering with so many millions of people. honestly, i don't know why the rich have overplayed their hand like this. why they've made life so difficult for so many of millions of middle class people who used to support them. they used to vote for the candidates and didn't have a problem with them being rich. figuring, like, yes, you
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invented that and you started and built that factory. i don't have a problem with that. i get to have my car, my vacation, my kids have health care. they're going to college. i've got a good life. you got your yacht going down the potomac, okay, fine, that's the way it used to be. when you and i were growing up the wealthy were paying 50, 60, 70, 90% in income tax and i seem to remember the ones -- you know, in my state if you lived in blueville hills or grosse pointe, it was a pretty good life even though you're paying all those taxes and you made sure that the working people had a good life, too. it was your best protection so that you could still have your yacht and your mansion and your jet and nobody bothered you with that because everybody else got to live. have a good life and had health care and had these things.
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i have for the life of me no idea why they would upset that apple cart, the rich, why they would allow the middle class to be exterminated and to be shoved down back into the place not from month-to-month whether they're going to be able to pay the mortgage or be able to get by. it's going to end up being their ruin, their ruin for the wealthy class for wall street, for these banks. they're going to go why did we have to get so greedy. why weren't we happy making 5 billion a year for our company. why did we have to make 8 billion and now they're all out on the street and they're electing democrats or worse. if anybody has the answer i would ask them phone it. >> host: retirement highs booktv had it last week and you can watch it on in case you're interested. in 1996, michael moore wrote
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downsize this random threats from an unarmed american and part of what he wrote to protect ourselves -- this is in 1996, we should prohibit corporations from closing a profitable factory and business and moving it overseas, prohibit companies from pitting one city or state against another. institute a 100% tax on any profits gained by shareholders when the company stock goes up due to an announcement of firings, prohibit executive salaries from being more than 30 times greater than the average employee's pay and required boards of directors of publicly owned corporations to have representation from both workers and consumers. next call for michael moore comes from toni, orange county california, go ahead, tony? >> caller: mr. moore it's an honor to speak to you. you're a genuine person. you don't sugarcoat anything.
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basically i like to get your opinion or a brief commentary and as for as american foreign policy in reference to iran and how that's shaping up the arab spring and, you know, libya and syria you got embassies that the u.s. is trying to open and the iranians are trying to open up as well, you know, to have in the near future influence. and by the way, you're right. iran is a democracy. it is parallel with islam. the email that the gentleman read that it would be a coup if you went there, that's not true. the iranians are very hospitable people and they will welcome you with very open arms. thank you, mr. moore. you have a good one. >> guest: yes.
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what's happened in the middle east this past year has been incredible, absolutely incredible and, of course, you know -- i don't know why it is we're always, you know, seemingly on the wrong side or actually on the wrong side. but it took us a while to get behind -- what was going on in egypt and then we got behind it. they were doing it peacefully. when they were doing it with arms and weapons and bombs in libya we were right there right away but we do it in companies in bahrain where our fifth fleet is based people out in the streets practically every day, people being shot, you know, one phone call from the president, this little country could be funded where we base our fleet could take care of this problem.
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i don't know why we don't do it. i think all people really want to live in peace. i think dictators are a bad idea. i think countries where they are based on a religion and it's a theocracy i think that those -- i just think that doesn't allow for the people who aren't part of those faiths. and so -- in the case of iran, yes, you have democratic elections and all that. and that's why when -- in that last election with mahmoud ahmadinejad, when there was questioning about how the votes were counted, no one questioned the fact that he had been elected in previous elections. there's been no dispute about that but there was a dispute about this election and people took to the streets about it. and again, you know, the kind of -- there's a lot of moral help. i was actually in a cab the other day in new york city.
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i had an egyptian cab driver and he says to me i want to thank america and canada. i said, okay, you're welcome. [laughter] >> guest: why would you like to thank us. he goes because of this and he holds up the iphone. because of this -- because you invent twitter because we had a revolution because of this technology you gave us, thank you for that. yeah, well, you know, see we do actually -- there's a lot of good things about us and we can be a force for good and the ideas we have are great sometimes and we can do good things with them and i would like to see more good things done in our name. >> host: speaking of twitter, mr. moore, this tweet from venezuela. what are your thoughts on the administration of hugo chavez in venezuela? is usa invading venezuela or the oil? >> guest: well, usa is very concerned about any place that's got oil 'cause we use 25% of the
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world's oil even though we're like 5% of the population. so, yeah, if you've got oil, we're coming, in one form or another. in all seriousness, i hope that's not the case with venezuela. but i think that there is a lot of attention on venezuela as opposed to other countries in south america because of that. >> host: next call for michael moore comes from andrew in albany, new york. good morning, andrew. >> caller: i'm originally from detroit. my grandparents were immigrant auto workers. i used to ride the bus in inner city detroit with my grandma in the summertime when she was laid off and go to the unemployment office with her and stand in line and the buses were still segregated in detroit at that time. and for those people that, you
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know, don't resonate well with michael moore i think if they go to michigan and visit michigan and see the perspective that people like michael moore calf from, they can appreciate better the work that he does. i had some friends who were on vacation in michigan last year and when they came home, they said the entire state of michigan was for sale. all of the people had their stuff out on their front lawns for sale. and they said if they had some money they could have bought some really good stuff from these down and out people in michigan. so the people that don't understand where michael moore comes from, i would encourage them to take a visit to michigan and -- i live on the east coast now. i first read mike's books, stupid white men and in that book he gave instructions to go
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to democratic committee meeting in your town because nobody else was. >> guest: yes. i did. i think that people need to get involved on even the smallest level of running for precinct delegate and if you go to your county democratic party meeting there might only be 10 people there. you could bring 10 friends and you could become your county's democratic party. he's right about michigan. most people don't go to michigan. you never pass through it because we're on a peninsula. so you don't drive across lake huron or lake michigan on your way east or west. so the only time you might be in michigan is if you're from there or you have relatives there or you're changing planes in detroit. that's most people's encounter with michigan. we are in a depression. we have been in a depression for years. not a recession. we've essentially had a
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one-state depression. it is brutal. up in northern michigan, where i live, rural areas in this last year or so, the official unemployment rate in some counties has been 16, 18, 20%. officially. so you know it's higher. you know it's much higher than that. and there's an elementary school near where i live where 79% of the school children are eligible for the federal school lunch program, meaning their family lives in poverty. 79%. this is not in downtown detroit or flint. this is up in the woods of northern michigan. it is rough. it is difficult. there are many reasons for it. i wouldn't live any place else. i love where i grew up. i love the people there. there's a real grit and
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determination. it is sad if we were to go down there today and just drive the street. it is yard sale after yard sale after yard sale after yard sale. people trying to scrape together whatever few dollars they can to get by. and it is heartbreaking for me. i do what i can there. i do a lot of community work. i do a lot of things, support a lot of projects, but there's not the sense of giving up. and what we do know, though, is that the cavalry is not riding to the rescue and so we have to -- we have to find our way out of this. and we will find our way out of this because i'll tell you who we are. we are the state that put the world on wheels. we figured out how to do that. it was our people that did that. the wheel was invented 200,000
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years ago. we figured out how to put everybody on those wheels. we also had the guy who invented the light bulb, mr. edison and many other inventions. we're the people that gave you breakfast from battle creek. we're motown. we are -- there are so many -- we're the republican party. the first statewide republican party was found in jackson, michigan, underneath a big oak tree in 1854, i think -- 1854, 1856, somewhere around in there because we were such an antislavery state. we're the first english-speaking government in the world that abolished capital punishment back in the 1840s. that's who we are. we have been forward thinkers. we value education. that's why we have the great university of michigan, michigan state, many of other colleges. we are inventors, we are
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artists. we are filmmakers. we are francis ford coppola from detroit, was born in detroit. and as i said, all -- not just motown but so much of music. i don't know how much you follow the different forms of music. you know, madonna, i goy pop, the white stripes, bob seger -- you know, i could go on and on. aretha franklin. all the great music from southeastern michigan that we gave the world. we're all still there. all those kind of people are still there and we'll find our way out of this and we created the union movement. we created the middle class. there was no middle class before there were unions. and so don't count us out yet. >> host: and michael moore talks about motown music and he tells a story about motown music and a neighbor in his newest book here
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comes trouble, this email from william hanks -- or tweet for you, mr. moore, from william hanks. could you make the source materials as in citibank memo in capitalism on your website. >> guest: it is. for my last four films now, what i've done i list all the sources -- you go to my website and you can click on there. and every fact that's in se sicko or fahrenheit 9/11 or whatever, i have all the sources for that so that you can take and that use it when you're having that argument with your brother-in-law over thanksgiving dinner. >> host: and your website is? >> guest: >> host: and you have a twitter account as well, but it's not michael moore. >> guest: no it's mmflint that's my handle. mmflint and i'm pushing -- i'm getting near a million twitter followers now. so i'm on twitter now a lot.
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if you want to follow me, it's a lot of fun. i hope it's fun. and facebook, too. i've got half a million very close and personal friends on facebook and there's pictures and we talk to each other every night so -- >> host: your father still lives in flint; correct? >> guest: yes, until this past month. and this is kind of -- it's kind of bittersweet because he now has moved out to where my sister is in san diego. and he is the last member of our family that was connected to my mom's family that's been there for 175 years. and with him gone this past month out in california, there's no one from my mother's side that's now there in the davidson area. >> host: veronica or ann. >> guest: he's with my sister very ronnie.
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my sister ann lives up in northern california. >> host: and next call from michael moore comes from robert from minnesota. please go ahead and thank you for holding. >> caller: hello, mr. moore. i was interested in talking to you and i appreciate you over the years. i'm reading -- [inaudible] >> caller: because the people promote hate speech and anger and violence against other americans voice their opinions. it goes against the sound nation of a republic one that was founded on the other person's opinion even to your own death because that was what is important is the free dissemination of information and that's the one comment i have and the only question i have for you, i voted for ross perot in
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'92 because i believed his opinion that the unfair trade policy was as a result in many, many industries closing in the united states and once those jobs were out they would be virtually impossible to get back in the united states. >> guest: well, he was right about that and a number other things. i didn't vote for him 'cause of the other things that i didn't agree with. but you make a good point. as far as the sort of hate speech that exists in politics these days, i agree with you on that. i don't subscribe to it. my friends don't subscribe to it. as much as i despise the policies of george w. bush and oppose the wars, i've never uttered the words "i hate george w. bush." i would never say that, first of
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all, i don't believe it. i don't hate him. second of all, i wouldn't lower myself to that level that the other side is at. i don't want to be in that gutter. i would rather have a debate on the issues. i would rather debate the george w. bushes and the mccains and the others on the issues. let's have that great debate and let's have it out. you present your side, i'll present my side and then let's let the people decide. i think that was the original concept of our democracy. i wish we could get there. when i have an angry conservative come up to me, i always say to him, usually a him -- i always say, you know, we're all americans. and we're all in the same boat and we're going to -- and we're going to sink or swim together. and we better figure that out. we can have our opposing viewpoints or whatever, but it
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might be good to spend a little bit of time poach especially if i get stuck next to one of these guys on an airplane, i'll say if we took out a piece of paper right now and drew a line down the middle and said, okay, let's put on this side -- hear all the things you and i agree on and on this things we disagree on, the side that has the things we agree on will be a much longer list. i'm absolutely convinced of that. conservatives watching this show right now -- you and i believe in many of the same things. we believe that women should be paid the same as men if they're doing the same job. we believe that we should be drinking clean water and breathing clean air. we believe that we should not be the policemen of the world. we believe that kids shouldn't have access to assault weapons and take them to school. i mean, there's a whole long list of things that we agree on. and the things that we don't agree on, maybe we just need to agree to disagree or let's have the great debate and we'll let the people decide. so if i don't want to own a gun
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and you do, buy your gun. i will get one. if you don't want to have an abortion, don't have one. you probably won't feel good about it. if you don't want to have sex with another man, don't do it. i think you'll hate it. but if those two guys want to and they're in love, what's it to us? what's it really to us? i think we've got to try to get to that place. >> host: in dude, where's my country michael moore wrote a few things that liberals have been wrong about. one, drugs are bad. men and women are different. it's really a bad idea to have sex before you're 18. mtv sucks. granola is bad for you, the sun is good for you. people who commit violent crimes should be locked up. your children do not have a right to privacy and you better pay attention to what they're up
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to, not all unions are good and, in fact, many of them are just plain lousy. i want to come back to that. and there's a few things michael moore liberals have been wrong about. bill o'reilly makes a good points. he's against a death penalty and he's a advocate for kids and he opposed nafta. too many of us hold a hoyty toilety view of religion and thing the religious are superstitious fifteenth century i go ramuses. animals don't have right and yes they should be treated humanely but freeling from the factory arms and nixon was more liberal than the last six presidents we had. we could go back to the not all unions are good. >> guest: wow, i'd forgot about that list and i'm glad you read that. there are many things that i agree with conservatives on. and you just listed a number of them. drugs are bad for you.
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i think it's -- especially for young people not to use them. i think if someone is a violent criminal, i would prefer that they are removed from society and kept away from the rest of us. i think that's -- i think that's a good idea. the thing about unions, i wrote that in 1996 and at that time a lot of unions, unfortunately, were not as strong as they should have been, not coming out as strongly in favor of the things they should have been doing. i think that part has changed in the last 15 years. i'm really happy with who's running the afl-cio now. i think a lot of -- boy, there's some great unions. the ue is a wonderful union. the teamsters, james hoffa, is a great union leader. i'm quite impressed actually now 15 years later with the direction that unions have gone.
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and they understand that they have got to organize, organize, organize or they're going to have to die and they have got to quit as they now said just depending on the democrats, you know, do the job because the job hasn't been done. the other thing i disagree with that i've changed my mind on i do think the chickens should be freed from the factory farm. i've read enough and seen enough. i gave up red meat this year and i have not had any red meat for the better part of this year. i pretty much teacher chicken and turkey as a conned mint as opposed to a big main course. so i've had some different thinking about that since i wrote that. >> host: this email for you, mr. moore, from dennis millner from lakeland florida. thank you for speaking truth to power would you please speak to us about your spiritual journey and where you currently stand
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with respect to your personal religious spiritual positions and understanding. >> guest: as i said before, i was raised an irish catholic. i always put the word "irish" before it because irish catholic -- you know, we have a healthy disrespect for authority, if i could put it that way and we also have a very dark sense of humor. and so that helps us get through a lot of things that the spiritual stuff maybe can't help us with. but i grew up with some very basic lessons from my parents and from the nuns and priests that i've had that i carry with me today we will be judged how we treat the least among us. that you are to love your neighbor as yourself. that you're to love your enemy and you're to do good to those
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who persecute you, thus, my complimenting bill o'reilly in the book and listing the things that i think that he's done that are good. i don't do that to get a reciprocation on his show. i don't expect it. but i believe it's my responsibility to be that way. you know, when i left the seminary and, you know, the institution of the catholic church is another -- another whole topic because i disagree with so much of what the authorities have had to say about their interpretation of what jesus had to say. you know, you read the new testament, jesus -- not once does he mention homosexually. not once does he mention abortion. and he doesn't say the priests have to be celibate and single. these are all things that came later. in fact, priests married for the
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first thousand years in the catholic church and i don't know some pope had a bad dating experience or something, i don't know what happened. [laughter] >> guest: it just in the eleventh century he said that's the end of that and priests couldn't matter. i think it's been a really bad idea. priests should be live a normal life. they're human beings. and women have a second class role in the church. and they're not second class people. they too are god's creatures and they're equal. maybe more equal because we would have a rough go it without them. women could do without us now. now that we've -- we've invented ways to in vitro controvertization. they only need a few of us around. they only need things of getting things off the top shelf but the portable aluminum stepladder was invented and the new rubber grip thing where you can get the lid
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off the pickle jar and that's been invented and so our use has been reduced, the need for us so actually you need women to keep the species going. all right. that's a long way to get to saying i actually have very strong spiritual and religious beliefs. i still go to mass. i try to find church and priests that are more in sync with the way i see the gospel and the teachings of jesus. and i don't think jesus or the catholic church is the only way to do it. i mean, we sit here today talking on gandhi's birthday. he was another great teacher. and had some incredible things to offer the world, as do muslims, jews and buddhists and atheists, because you want the other side having their say. you want to be challenged.
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you want them to question these things because by questioning, you maybe find new answers. you find out that adam eve didn't ride on dinosaurs 6,000 years ago. and then you wonder when you watch the republican debate and the moderator asks how many of you believe in science and only one guy raises his hand, it's like, wow! that seems pretty basic. i was waiting for the next question, how many believe in mathematics? maybe. [laughter] >> guest: how about home ec. wood shop, cut all the subjects in school make no sense. >> host: hour and a half to go in this "in depth" our guest and author michael moore. here is the cover of his most recent book. it just came out this year. here comes trouble: stories from my life. here's a few of michael moore's favorite things and we'll be right back.
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>> host: michael moore, we just showed some of your favorite authors, what you're reading now and some of your greatest personal influences. i want to let you talk about any on this list that you want but i want to start with kevin rafferty who is somebody you talk about in here comes trouble. >> guest: yes. he really -- kevin was my film school. i did not go to film school. i barely -- i went to a year and a half of college at the university of michigan in flint, the flint branch. and avenuhe was a documentary filmmaker and he made a brilliant, i think, groundbreaking film along with his brother pierce by the name of jane loader called the atomic cafe, in 1982. it was a hilarious look at the nuclear scare of the 1950s, the duck and cover era. they got this great footage and
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put it together. the first time i'd seen a documentary that combined humor with a very serious subject and i thought that was -- it was pretty cool and it got me thinking that eventually led to me making my first film but when i wanted to make that film, i didn't know how to make a movie and i didn't know anything about it and kevin had come to flint the year before with his friends who were making another documentary in michigan. and i had a newspaper there, an alternative newspaper. and they knew about it. >> host: flint voice. >> guest: flint voice. they asked if i would come and help them with their film 'cause i knew the local people, and i said sure. and i went with them and i went on the shoot and i was like, wow, this is really -- this is cool and i paid a lot of attention how they were making this movie. a year later, i came up with the idea of making roger & me, my first film, general motors in flint. but i didn't know what i was going to do 'cause i didn't know
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anything about it and i just called him up and went to see in him new york and if he could help me like load the camera. he said i'll do more. i'll come to flint and i'll teach you to do everything and he did and he shot probably the first shir of the film. and he taught me how to edit. he showed me his edit room and he edited the first 15 minutes of the film for me. he was just an incredible, incredible mentor and without him -- i don't know if i would have been a filmmaker if it wasn't to be kevin rafferty and i don't want to give away the punch line here on the show. >> host: i do. >> guest: let me just say this that it was revealed to me after a while who kevin really was. and in your wildest imagination -- who he really was who he presented himself to me
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but he had a certain family connection that was mine blowing. and so i'll just -- i'll let people read it but it was -- it was just one of those things in my life where i'm like -- am i just like living a forrest gump life? do i end up in these places whether i'm 11 years old and i'm in the elevator with bobby kennedy and i have this experience with him and all through i'm having this encounter with ronald reagan and another one with nixon and i'm nobody really. i'm just this guy from michigan. i find myself caught in a terrorist incident in vienna in the 1980s with abu nidal, the osama bin laden of his time. and, you know, one day i get a call from john lennon. these are all stories that are in this book and again this was all before i'm a filmmaker. i'm just a kid. and there's this forrest
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gump-like thing where no one person from the midwest who doesn't have any connection to anything should really be in this many encounters with these many people. right up until the very guy who teaches me how to be a filmmaker, then brings me into another whole, you know, mish-gosh since we're in the big way. >> host: roger & me came out and here's a little part of it. >> guest: we filmed a family being evicted from their home the day before christmas eve. would you be willing come up with us and see what the situation is like in flint. >> i've been to flint and i'm sorry about it. >> guest: families being convicted from the film. >> i'm sure general motors -- >> they used to work for general
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motors and now they don't work there anymore. >> could you come up to flint -- >> i cannot come up to flint, i'm sorry. ♪ >> host: mr. moore, was that your only time you got chance to talk with roger smith? >> guest: no, actually there was another time. i went to the board of directors meeting the annual meeting of stockholders and i got up to the microphone to ask him a question. the microphone was cut off. there it is right there. i didn't get to ask him that. i went to a car show in the waldorf where they were announcing the car of the year or something and i got him there. but i never got my sitdown interview with him that i was trying to get through the whole film. i never had a chance to really have that moment with him. what i really wanted -- it wasn't so much the interview. the mission of the film was to get roger smith the head of gm to come to flint, michigan, and let me drive him around and show
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him what the human results were of the decisions that he was making on the 14th floor of the gm building. and, no, unfortunately, that didn't happen. >> host: is it ever uncomfortable to you to confront somebody like that? >> guest: always, frankly. yes. i don't know fished reveal that. i actually hate it. i'm in 1,000 knots while i'm doing it. i dread it before we go in to do something like that. i'm dreading it and i wish i didn't have to do it. it's like my agony in the garden. i'm going please take this away from me. let someone else come in and do this. and it's like, okay -- i didn't make my first film until i was 35 years old. so i waited a long time hoping somebody would make one of these films and do something like this. it's really one of the reasons i probably decided to make that first film because i just thought, no one is going to do
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it, i'm going to have to do this. i don't know what i'm doing but i'm just going to go ahead and do it. and that's how it goes. >> host: this is booktv's in-depth our monthly program with one author and his or her body of work. michael moore is our guest this month. we're going to put the phone numbers on the screen if you'd like to participate. jeff from readington. you're live with michael moore. >> caller: roger moore. >> guest: i'm michael, roger was the bad guy. common mistake. >> caller: fahrenheit 9/11 was controversial and all that stuff and that's why americans were so against it and shameful. the downsize me was great. that's a step in the right direction. the main reason why i'm calling is, i watched a documentary called money masters and it was very informative. i think i learned a lot. i just want to know how much
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truth there is to that. and thomas jefferson was a great man and his principles were put forward to create a great country and we've totally lost that so i just want your take on that whole thing. >> guest: i've not seen that documentary but i can't create on that. thomas jefferson was a great man. and there's still much we can learn from him. >> host: i want to go back because i promised the chance if you wanted to talk about any of your favorite authors, bury my heart, a wounded knee, kurt vonigan, fit for life, victoria moran, spencer novels, anything you want to talk about, time bends. >> guest: wounded knee is an incredible book of the native americans and i read it as a young american it deeply affected me and changed my mind with a lot of things and i encourage people to read this
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book. time bends by author arthur miller he was not only a great playwright he was a great citizen and he spoke out for freedom of speech during the mccarthy era. and i had the good fortune of meeting him a couple times. i actually hope to do something with that some day, in a future project. kurt vonnegut -- i talk a lot about him in this book. he was not only an incredible author, slaughterhouse fight, cat's cradle he started writing nonfiction in his final years, man without a country, essays that were just incredible. and he was a source of not only inspiration to me but also personally -- after fahrenheit and after that oscar speech, he
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befriended me, he and his wife. and had a number of dinners with them and it was just very -- it was very helpful for me during a difficult time when i was going through an enormous amount of attack, and he knew that and helped me full through that at times. some of the other books, spike lee. >> host: spike lee, ann lamont, julian -- >> guest: yes, spike lee -- spike lee wrote a book about how he made his first book spike lee's got to have it i read and studied that book line by line. and followed a lot of what spike did to get his first film made, to help me get my first film made. the bird by bird and the right to write, these are two really, really good books.
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if you're interested in writing, you are just waiting to unleash that creative thing in your mind to go for that. these books will really help you with that. i just -- i hand them out to people constantly because they're just -- it's just -- when people say they want to read, read this. this will help you get started. it's hard to start. writing is full of self-loathing and your critical voice in your head is constantly telling you it sucks and you have to really push through it. victoria moran is a wonderful author and writes some very good books about how to take care of yourself and i've been thinking a lot about this lately and just wanting to take better care of myself as i'm getting older. i've waited too long to, you know, sort of be fit and be healthy and respect this gift that god and nature and my parents gave me. and so as i mentioned earlier,
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so i'm -- you know, i'm like an 80%, you know, eating vegetarian now and, you know, going to the gym or going out for a walk or doing things like that so i can live longer and make more of these movies and upset all the people. so victoria's books are great. there's a book i just read in galleys that's coming out -- it was the kitchen -- kitchen counter cooking school. and it was actually -- it was actually written by someone who went to my high school. and she's written this wonderful book about -- just taking people who never cook, which is a lot of us these days, and getting back to that concept of how, you know, you really need to touch and feel and be part of the food, this thing you're putting into to keep your life going. and so i think that's a book that's coming out here in the next -- next couple of weeks.
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so i've been reading some of those. and then -- for funny read the spencer novels by robert b. parker and the mystery novels as kid the adventure of sherlock holmes. i read those books over and over again. and, you know, so i read a healthy dose of, you know, fiction and there's the invisible man of ralph ellison. i've been saying recently the iranians have been treating like he's the invisible president. freedom, this book that came out last year this is a novel by jonathan franzen, unbelievable book. i mean, i did not want this book to end. it was such a rich powerful novel. and if you haven't read it, sometimes i worry don't read things or go to movies because they become so popular that maybe the cool thing is not maybe go see the movie or read the book but i would encouraged people to read freedom.
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i think they'll have a great experience doing that. >> host: next call for michael moore comes from cape coral, florida, richard, you're on the line. >> caller: good afternoon. i have booktv is one of my favorite programs. and i would like to ask mr. moore about what he's hoping about what i see the coming control of 95% of the united states economy by the top 5%, i'm really concerned, learious, a bit about soil of green as my main course and what does mr. moore think about the criminal 50-year-old located against a little island from cuba from then a man change -- change while so many things need
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to be changed desperately right now. >> host: all right. thank you. >> guest: the blockade is wrong, i'm opposed to it. the cuban people are wonderful people. all governments have problems that need to be fixed. people need to resist anything going on in any government that is bad for the people. as an american i'm not into finger-pointing like i was saying about iran. we've done some things in the last decade that are so outrageous, invading sovereign countries especially one that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 or attacking us or whatever. it was run by a bad guy but there's lots of countries run by bad guys and i don't think it's our job to be invading into our countries. i'm not into finger-pointing. i think as the bible says, before you cast a speck out of somebody else's eye take the log out of your own eye. so, yeah, and by the way, i
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think it's more like -- the upper 1% now are controlling pretty much -- i mean, the top 400 wealthiest americans, 400 wealthiest americans now have more combined wealth than 150 million americans combined. 400 versus 150 million. and you can look that up. it's in forbes of all the people verified these numbers. it's actually absolutely incredible statistic that we've allowed just the upper, upper few to call the shots, buy the politicians, buy the lobbyists, buy the laws, they buy everything. we've got to get money out of politics. i support this rad begun thing to get a constitutional amendment to get all the money out of politics. we'll be better for it. >> host: you dedicate here comes trouble to your mother. you also list her as one of your grateful influences, my parents, my cousin pat and my sisters ann
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and veronica. if i read this book correctly, you never used your mom's name in there. am i correct about that? >> guest: you might be correct, yeah, that's right. yeah. >> host: was that on purpose at all? >> guest: you just don't call your mother by her first name. [laughter] >> guest: her name was also veronica. veronica was her middle name. her actual name was helen veronica but she went by veronica as a child and so that stuck with her. and, yes, that was her name. >> host: and you dedicate it to her because she taught to you read at 4 years old. >> guest: well, that and many other reasons. my mother passed away in 2002 and i'm grateful for having had her as my mother. and i did dedicate this to her because she did make the huge mistake of teaching me how to read and write before i went to kindergarten, which that -- that was probably after the theft of
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the bubblegum from the five and dime store, you can't send a kid into school and already reading books and not have it cause some trouble and first of all, the kid is going to be bored and i was, you know -- the nuns to their credit saw it. the first grade nuns told me i'm moving to second grade and all of a sudden i was in second grade and i was so excited and came home and told my parents i'm in second grade now. and they're like no you're not. we want you with kids your own age and they called the mother superior and i was put back in first grade. i was kind of wound up from that point now. >> host: didn't see kathleen on your greatest personally influences list. >> guest: those two two other names i don't mention because of just the privacy issues my wife and my daughter. i try to keep them out of this as much as possible. in large part because they've
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had to suffer through all the things i don't want to go in the air and i talk about the book terms of the attacks, the physical attacks and things like that. and if i have any regret over the work i've done in the last decade or so, it's the fact that it has put family members also in danger. and i have a difficult time dealing with that. i will say this, my wife, who i've known since she was 17 years old, and i was 21 -- she has produced practically all of my movies, tv shows. she's been the boss of a lot of -- a lot of that work, the
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hiring of the crews and helping with every -- but beyond that, for whatever books you put up there on the screen that i was reading, she reads ten times the books i read. i mean, she's one of these people that does read a book or two a week. and i don't know how she does it, but she has a great mind and has been a great source of support. and our daughter is just a wonderful kid. and that but i don't -- i don't -- like a lot of people in my situation try to talk too much about that especially over the airwaves for all the bad and obvious reasons. >> host: dude, where's my country came out in 2003. in that book, mr. moore, you had this list. how do bring rinos republicans in names only, bring them ensure their conservatives and friends
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that you do not want their money and second every political argument you make must be for them and about them. three, journey into the mind of a conservative, four, respect them the way you would like to be respected. tell them what you like about conservatives and admit that the left has made mistakes. that's your list from dude, where's my country. ann coulter who was our guest in "in depth" in august of this year she had a list how to talk to a liberal and here's her list. number 1 don't surrender out of the gate. don't be defensive. number three, outrage the enemy, number four, never apologize, number 5, never compliment the democrat. sixth never show graciousness to a democrat, 7, never flatter a democrat. 8, do not succumb to liberal bribery, and 9, prepare for your deepest, darkest secrets become liberal talking points. >> guest: well, that is a very
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interesting juxtaposition, isn't it? the other side does seem to be a little more aggressive. [laughter] >> guest: and a little less wanting to come together. i don't agree with that way of living. and i think actually that -- and i don't agree with that as the way to win your argument. i think, in my list, admitting the fact that sometimes we on my side of the political fence make mistakes is a decent thing to do. it gives you integrity to do that. to acknowledge that some of their ideas actually might be pretty decent ideas or at least worth exploring. you know, my one knock that i make at them you do have to talk about them because there is a lot of -- if you are talking to your conservative brother-in-law over thanksgiving dinner, if he
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doesn't hear the first person singular a lot, it's always about i and me and, you know, because they like to make money. and they like to keep as much of their money as possible. that is really -- i know a lot of conservatives that are actually quite liberal on social issues, and when they say -- i so you call yourselves a conservative because you don't like to be taxed? yeah, that's right but that means you don't like to work and play well with others. and that was one of the first things you were graded on in first grade because -- i mean, we don't function as a society unless we work and play well with others. and one of the things you have to do is put some money into the pot so that we can afford all of this. and if you're a christian, if you call yourself a christian or jewish or muslim or really any of the -- any of the great faiths and even agnostics and
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that we are all part of each other. you know, we all -- we all will survive if we have that attitude. so i know people on the other side like to take that rigid position of never give in, never give an inch, never flatter the other. never say anything nice to the other side, that just doesn't seem american. i don't think most people want to live that way and i think that's why in the last three elections we've had the presidential election in 2004, 2008, the majority of americans have voted for the liberal, majority of americans popular vote was al gore, 2008, it went to barack obama. in two of the last three elections americans wanted the liberal. and americans are liberal. we live in a liberal country. that's why conservatives are, you know, upset a lot. i understand why they're upset. if you're in the minority, you'd be upset, too.
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and it's why they're passing a lot of these voter suppression laws this year to make it harder for people to register to vote and to vote. you wouldn't be doing that if you thought the country was with you, wouldn't you? you wouldn't make it try to make people to vote if you thought the majority of americans are on their side. they know they are not. they know -- even though most americans would never use the word "liberal" or call themselves are liberal most americans are liberal on all the issues, whether it's equal pay for women, women's rights. you know, every poll shows americans want strong environmental laws. every poll wants majority are against these wars. every poll shows, you know, that americans believe in some form of universal health care. other than the death penalty, and some gun laws, those are the two things where americans skew to the conservative side. even with gay marriage, the poll last month, 54% of the american public now support gay marriage should be legal across the land.
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54%. so americans are actually quite liberal on the issues and two of the last three popular vote election they voted for the liberal. so that's the country conservatives live in. difficult for them. that's why liberals, we should be nice to them. we should listen to them. let them know that the door is open. we're all americans. they're angry. a lot of the time we might be angry, too, if we were in the minority position. we're not. we have some faith in ourselves and have some backbone and some spine and go out there and realize you're in the company of a majority of americans when it comes to liberal issues and our only problem is we do have a hard time electing democratic leaders 'cause those democratic leaders are afraid of being liberal. >> host: this is "in depth" on booktv on c-span2. michael moore is our guest. joseph in vancouver, thanks for holding. you're on the air with
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mr. moore. >> caller: it's a pleasure to speak with you, michael. i don't know how i got the information about this. from web master, i don't know if it's because i have you on -- you send me your emails or read your supported news. >> host: are you in vancouver, canada, are vancouver. >> caller: british columbia, canada. caller: and they said i should talk about one topic but i have 15 topics. >> host: we'll let one canadian topic in. >> caller: where you have the two-party system we have the three-party or multiple party system up here in canada, michael. >> guest: yeah. >> caller: and finally, our prime minister got a majority
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and now all of a sudden, michael, we're getting this legislation about 201 marijuana plants you're going to get a mandatory sentence, greater than pedophiles. we are getting things where they're looking at doing the same thing -- >> host: joseph, what would you like mr. moore to respond to. >> caller: pardon me? >> host: what would you like michael moore to respond to. >> caller: i'm talking about your incarceration rate in the united states which is 7, 8 times more than any other democratic country in the world. >> host: thank you, sir. >> guest: right. i think his concern is that canadians are afraid with the new conservative government they have which has a majority up there that they're going to become more like us because the conservatives in canada want to start taking away the social
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safety net and that is frightening to a lot of canadians because as much as they like us and they like us and they certainly like us as people, boy, there's a lot of things about the way we do things, they don't want to do it that way. so that is a-up there in candidate. but there's many things they do right and there's many things we should take a look at in how they do things the most important is health care. all these ads ran during the health care debate a year or two ago about how canadians have it so bad up there and they're standing in lines and actually canadians have an incredible health care system. it covers everyone. they live three years longer than we live. why do the canadians get to live three years longer than us. i don't think that's right. and they do because in part they have a better health care system. yes, they have to wait in line
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for sometimes. but for a knee replacement or hip replacement and they have to wait a little longer than if they are in american and that's why they have to wait in the line and we take 50 million people out of the line and the line is shorter and you have less wait time but that doesn't really seem to be the right thing to do, does it? if you believe in your country and your fellow americans why would you let 50 million of them suffer with no health insurance? so i hope canada doesn't go our way on issues like this. >> host: heidi, good afternoon, from sacramento, california. please go ahead with your question or comment for michael moore. caller: it's such a personal honor speaking to you. i was one of the people sitting at home after that oscar speech and i jumped up and applauding. >> guest: well, why weren't you in the kodak theatre to support me. caller: i wish i were there to support you. >> i own all your movies.
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sicko is one i want to ask you about today. it was absolutely brilliant. but that was, what, four or five years ago and nothing has really changed. in fact, the health insurance industry seems to be getting worse in my opinion. so you give me and other consumers any specific advice about how we can hold insurers accountable? you know, accountable to their extremely poor practices, their processes that are put into place to really frustrate and deter us to go any further with our appeals process. >> guest: actually, i can't give you any good news about that. these insurance companies are calling the shots. they run the show. they were not going to allow the real health care bill that we needed, a single payer system, a health care system that would not be based on profit but would be based on what is best for taking care of people. because that kind of system actually costs less money.
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it would cost all of us is hell of a lot less money and it would help us and actually our -- it would help our health, too. we don't have that. obama's bill did not do that. it had some good things in it. a lot of good things don't take place until 2014. the democrats lose next year, trust me they won't take place in 2014. so i'm -- i feel bad that we didn't get the bill that we needed. and we're going to just have to keep pushing for that. we can't give up. we can't give up. when all those states pass their bans on gay marriage back in 2004, i thought that was the end of that issue. here we are seven years later, now state after state including places like iowa are passing gay marriage laws are making it legal and now the majority of the country supports it. so i think, you know -- i think
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something good will come eventually with health care in this country. i think we will get that eventually but right now insurance companies are in charge. >> host: michael moore is the author of eight books, beginning in 1996, downsize this came out, ran dom threats: from an unarmed threats, stupid white men in '02, dude, where's my country, 2003. will they ever trust us again in 2004. fahrenheit 9/11, reader in '04 as well. mike's election guide, 2008. and here comes trouble, his autobiography or stories from his life just came out a couple of weeks ago. mr. moore, will you talk about will they ever trust us again. >> guest: yes. that is a book that i had put out back in 2004 in the first year of the war. i started to get an inorderant
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amount of letters from soldiers who were in iraq wanting me to tell them what was really going on in iraq, what they were seeing, what they were experiencing. heartbreaking letters of young people who signed up to be part of our all-volunteer army and they'd signed up in part they needed a job, perhaps. they needed income. and they wanted training but they also were willing to give their lives so you and i wouldn't have to, if that day ever had happened. they were willing to fight and die so that we would be free. is there a greater gift really a human can give, i will die for you so you don't to have die. that's how i look at our all-volunteer army back in 2003 and 2004. those young people had signed up after 11 or maybe before 9/11. they signed up for that reason. and now here we were in march of
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2003, breaking that bond, that trust because the quid pro quo, all the soldiers asked for us in return the civilian is that we never send them into harm's way unless it's absolutely necessary. if it has to do with the defense of this country. invading iraq had nothing to do with the risk of the country and we risked their lives for what? and so i just got bags of letters and tons of emails from these soldiers and i just thought i've got to -- i've got to find a way to get these out there and so i thought, you know, why don't i put them in a book? this won't be a book that i write. this will be a book that i write. i'll give them voice through my publisher. and so that's what i did. the first week it was on the "new york times" bestseller list. and i was very happy that millions of americans were going to hear from the soldiers
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themselves. remember, again, this is the -- the war is only a year's old at this point. you weren't hearing from the soldiers. you weren't hearing this sort of -- they hadn't stood up to ask don rumsfeld why can't we get arm r for these humvees that are being blown up and rhythmsfeld gave them the army you go with the army you got and not the one you want. i can't remember the exact words and so they turned to me and i've been an advocate for these soldiers and for our veterans coming back from this war. i have a film festival that i started in the town i live in, in northern michigan, and i restored an old movie palace along with the help of hundreds of people in town. and we have a policy -- we have an affirmative action policy in our theater that we will give preference to any returning iraq
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or afghanistan veterans. we also have a policy that if you are in the service, you never pay. you come to the movies for free wherever you want and bring your family and you do not pay. that's my personal values. that's how i'm wired and i have -- i think all of us really hold out our hands to these returning vets that are coming back. >> host: allen emails you, mr. moore, why did you say that a mosque could be built on ground zero? doe you actually want to honor the 9/11 terrorists for blowing up the twin towers? >> guest: that question, you know, is just like -- where do you go with that. first of all, we're not building a mosque on ground zero. they're building a mosque and community center a few blocks away. yes. we're americans. we have freedom of religion. yes, i can't think of any better way to stand up to the terrorists than to say, yes, this is how we are in this
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country. you can put a church, a mosque, synagogue and stand on the corner and say god doesn't exist. we don't care. we're going to defend your right to build it and that's who we are. to conflate the terrorists with people of the muslim faith i just -- that would be like, you know, saying you got to be afraid of all white guys because timothy mcveigh blew up the building in oklahoma city. or that he was a catholic. we put that on catholics? timothy mcveigh was a catholic. does that say something about all catholics? i mean, really, how do you answer a question like that? i'm sorry you're wired to think that way. but, yes, i support that. i support them doing that in lower manhattan. as does the jewish senator in manhattan, and the rabbi of that
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senator is on the board of directors of the ground zero mosque. so that's a good thing for the country. >> host: next call for michael moore -- we have about 40 minutes left in this month's "in depth." kelly in river falls, wisconsin. you're on the air. >> caller: good afternoon, michael. it is my great pleasure to speak to you. i'll preface my remarks by saying i own all your films except american slackers and five of your books and i try to disseminate that information to as many friends and family as i can and it's opened a lot of eyes. >> guest: thank you. >> caller: we had a little protest here in wisconsin back in february because governor walker and the republican legislature tried to steal the collective bargaining rights and there are over 100,000 people out there and we had some great leaders like bernie sanders and dennis kucinich come and support us but where was barack obama? and, you know, i've been a supporter of the democratic
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party but when i look at the wall street bailout, it couldn't have happened without democrats. most of the people wanted single payer but we didn't get that. and it couldn't -- this bill couldn't have passed without democrats. pat tillman's disgraceful thing couldn't have been pulled off and swept under the rug without the helps of democrats. and so i just -- i think blind faith to the democratic party is a mistake. >> guest: i agree with that. and yes, the majority of the democrats backed president bush in the war and it was a democratic senate and a lot of liberals supported that war, too, so-called liberals. including the man who became the editor of the "new york times." 'd column at the time. and others. we need new leadership. and the democratic party needs to change. needs to get in sync with the
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majority of americans are at. all those issues that i went over a few minutes ago with the majority of americans -- they want environmental laws. they want an end to these wars. the majority of americans -- there was a surprising poll when they found the majority of americans not only support public employee unions but they support our right to strike. that's where most americans are at. 72% in the last poll here last week wants to tax the rich. raise the taxes, 72%. where are the so-called leaders of the people who support these positions? it may be time for a new party or it may be time for a new democratic party. that's actually one of the four or five major parties that they have in canada, you need a lot of parties if you're really going to represent the broad spectrum of political thought in a large nation of 33 million people, that they have in candidate. we have two parties. they both eat from the same
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trough of money and one is a little nicer kinder and gentler and appoints better supreme court justices and that's about it. that has to change. and i'll tell you what, they're not going to do the change. we're going to do the change. you're going to have to get involved in your local democratic party in your city, your county, your village. you're going to have to take it over with your friends and you're going to have to turn it into a new democratic party. we need a party for the 99%. the 99% who don't control what's going on anymore. the upper 1% has their party. they're americans too, they should have their voice. let them have the republican party. that could be the 1% party and the 99% of us -- we need our party. or we need more than one party. but i agree with you. many of the democrats, most of the democrats have been a huge disappointment. and, you know, it's good to see barack obama get a spine
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recently and start to say that he's, you know, going to tax the rich and he's not going to touch social security and he's going to stop the at&t-t-mobile merger. when was the last time you heard the justice department stop a corporate merger. i can see he's coming alive and it's like that football team that just runs the wrong way for the first three-quarters, you know, he kept -- obama kept running toward the republicans trying to pass the bills they wanted or put language in the bills they wanted or always holding out the olive branch and they smack it out of his hand and he doesn't get anything done. and now in the last quarter of the game, he's decided run the right way, i guess. maybe, i hope. 'cause i think a lot of people want to vote for him. a lot of people saw that as a historic day when he got elected. >> host: michael moore i want to combine an email and a tweet that have come in for you. >> guest: is that legal? [laughter] >> host: well, it is today. >> guest: okay. >> host: we're on cable tv. >> guest: okay. >> host: christopher in l.a. emails in, why is america worth
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saving given its sketchy inception and history? and this tweet is from bxdusa what is your take on american exceptionalism? >> guest: america is worth saving. it's us. america -- i mean, it's the 310 million people. that's who it is. when i think of.when the republicans and conservatives, you know, the government is evil, the government is bad, well, actually the government is us. it's right there on the first words of our document are we the people. our founding document. in fact, our very first american word is "we," not me, we. and we've forgotten that.
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it's all worth saving. sketchy beginnings i'm sure he's referring to the fact that only white male property owners could vote, et cetera, et cetera. yeah, well, you know, we fix things. we've fixed a lot of the bad things that we started with. and there are more to fix. but it seems like we've got a pretty good track record of fixing them. we might be a little slow on the uptake on some of these things but eventually we get there. so i'm an optimist when it comes to that. as far as america exceptionalism. i hate that term. i think the exceptional way to behave as an american is to start thinking that we are part of the same world as everybody else. not that we're better than anybody else. and, in fact, we really got to quit saying that because we're not number 1 anymore. we're number 1 in a lot of the things. like most people in prison worst health care. there's nothing exceptional about any of that. we're part of a greater world now and the sooner we get with
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that, i think the better. i think, again, that is the -- to go back to the spiritual part of this. that's the christian thing to do. to realize that we're all one human family. when i was a teenager, i remember you have to say the pledge of allegiance every day in class. and i was very proud -- as proud americans still am. i was an eagle scout. you know, believed very much in all of this. and -- but i remember when i had to say the pledge of allegiance, i would change some of the words just under my breath so i wouldn't get in too much trouble. but i changed it. i changed it so that when i said it, the way i said it was, i pledge allegiance to the people of the united states of america. and to the republic for which we stand, one nation indivisible, part of one world, liberty and justice for all. and that's really what i believe
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since i was a kid. that pledge right there. and that's the real -- that's the real america i care about. those 310 million i share the country with and the 6 billion i share the planet with. >> host: for a while you had a television show called tv nation. i want to show just a little video from that show. >> guest: oh, wow! ♪ >> hi michael moore and this is tv nation. and you know there's a lot of hate groups in this country, right? >> that's true. >> the clan. >> that's terrible. >> horrible. >> yeah, but a lot of people just filled with hate. >> that's right. too much hate. >> way too much hate. that's what we thought so tonight we decided to love those who hate. >> excellent. >> are you with me on this. >> i think it's wonderful. >> well, we went down to georgia recently to a ku klux klan rally and we brought our own tv nation love mariachi band. >> i can't believe it that's
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what they need. a little more love you. never know. >> that's what they got. ♪ >> those folks in washington, dc, hate our white race and they want to see our white race wiped off the face of the earth. ♪ >> one, two, three, four. we just want to love you more. five, six, seven, eight even when you're filled with hate. >> host: michael moore, how was that experience? >> guest: very -- tv nation was a comedy to show that i invented to do comedy and politics. this is back -- i came up with this idea back in 1992, quite some time ago. and nbc remarkably enough allowed me on the air with it in
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1994. and it won the emmy that year for the top reality show or whatever. but it was -- we did a lot of things like that where we took serious political issues and used humor and in that case, you know, we went after -- we were going after these hate groups, which were -- at that time there was a real rise again in the neo-nazi movement and all that but it was -- but that was -- that was also starting the am hate radio so it was starting the clan and nazis went away, am hate radio started to thrive in the early to mid-'90s. >> host: michael moore is our guest. we have about 20 minutes left with him. tim from boston. you're on the air. >> caller: hello, peter. >> host: hi. >> caller: i would like to tuto c-span in general this is the second time you've allowed me the great honor the greatest american -- or living american in my estimation, ralph nader
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and now michael moore. thank you again. mike, are you there, brother? >> guest: i'm right here. >> caller: i think we were either separated at birth or our sinus cavities are simetcally aligned because our telepathic wavelength -- you're scaring me. you know when you were talking about when you were a kid with the pledge, when i'm at the union meeting and we pledge, i don't pledge to the flag. i pledge to the constitution. ..
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>> caller: do you ever find yourself in this area, i want to take you out. god, you know idea how much we have in common. i grew up between the fleetwood plant and that vacation paradise known as doug ireland. >> guest: that's in the detroit river. well, thank you. thank you for being my doppelgänger. i appreciate it. you know, i think when it comes, i just had this one thought, whether it was wha what you were thinking, but in terms of who the justice system goes after,
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it amazes me that three years later that we still have not arrested a single bank or or wall street executive for creating the mortgage fraud scam to begin with. creating these crazy casino devices of mortgage, of credit default swaps, derivatives and things like this. and it just plays in people's money, lost people's money, no regulation. why we don't we execute glass-steagall. this worked for so many years from roosevelt on. we need to get the reins back on wall street. we need to arrest those who stole money. and we need to start, we need to consider the real big picture, which is the economic system we have now, what they call capitalism now in the 21st century, it is unjust, unfair, undemocratic system. you and i have no control over this.
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over the economy. and i'm telling you, you can't call this democracy just because we get to vote for politicians. it has to be a real democracy across the board and that means with economy, too. that means there's a pie on the table, and american pie. you've got essentially the upper 1% taking nine slices of the pie and leaving the last slice for everybody to fight over. that has to change. we can't continue with this system any longer. >> host: mary tweets into the tv, michael moore, shame. would you like to follow-up and tell us what you think that is. we would be glad to look at it. jeff in tucson, arizona, -- geving tucson, arizona. please go ahead with your question. >> caller: michael, i've never been a fan, but after listening to you for this last hour or so, i have more of an appreciation for you. and i, too, believe we have a
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lot more in common than separates us. i told specifically for one question. i have a parent who died of alzheimer's. and when i saw your movie, "bowling for columbine," i saw it twice. i felt that if you knew -- here's my question. if you knew charlton heston had dementia at that time, would you have spoken to him? >> guest: no. in fact, he didn't have at the time. i filmed that scene a good almost year and a half before the movie came out, and he did not have alzheimer's at the time. and, of course, if i'd known that, as i found out later, i certainly never would've put that in the movie. i'm not, i wasn't raised to be that kind of a person. but no, he was, i thought he handled himself very well. he was moving a little slow because he just had hip replacement surgery a couple weeks before the interview.
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so the slowness you see there is because he was really still recovering from that surgery. but he was very gracious to me. we had what i thought was a very recent debate. there was no yelling or any name calling or anything. he held his position very well. i gave my position. and then, and then he slipped and he said something of a racial context about when i asked the question, why do we have all the gun murders and say that canadians don't, even though the canadians have more guns per capita in their homes that we do. they don't use them on each other like we used them on each other. why is that? then he made his famous line about well, we have this ethnic problem in this country. that canadians don't have. and he said something about the dead old white guys who found this great country. and i think that he regretted, he heard what he was saying. he regretted it. he got up in into the -- ended
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the interview abruptly. he was the head of the national rifle association when i interviewed him. i had not seen anything on a newscast of people going and interviewing him the way i was going to interview him. and i don't know why because they are considered one of the common if not the strongest lobby in this town, and washington, d.c. so i think he was certainly fair game for that and he was certainly up for it and wanted to do it. and i was very saddened a year and a half later to hear that he had come down with alzheimer's, and i have a great deal of respect for him, for his movie work. he was in some incredible films. he's from michigan. not born there but grew up there. that's how i feel about that. >> host: michael moore, in your book, here comes trouble, you recall what happened on your street when the detroit riots started in 1967.
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>> guest: i lived again near flat and to some people in my neighborhood who were packing a car to run, to leave. the neighborhood kid said to me, they're coming, they're coming up here. i said who is them? them down there. i will use the language use, the inward and all that. but there coming appeared to flint. they are coming to flip. and literally families were packing up and heading north, and it was just such a shock. just didn't seem, everyone was so, they were so afraid. but i read a lot and some of these stories. the racial climate of the times is still a number of these stories. i talk about the only black teacher in a school that we had, we had this teacher and was a wonderful, wonderful teacher. and then she just disappeared one day.
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and what happened to me when i was on the board of education and i just made a motion to rename a school that needed a name martin luther king elementary school, and they started a recall election to get rid of me. all the kids in the school, 99% of the kids in the school white. i thought if, why is it just black schools new martin luther king? we could name a white school of martin luther king. didn't go over very well. we lived with us for a long time in this country. it is one of our two great mortal sins, as i call, or original since better on our sell. the genocide of the native people, that happen before, as we are building this country. and the economy, we began a great nation very fast because we didn't have to pay for labor, and we don't, to be part of this
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country on the backs of slaves. and i don't think we've ever really made the necessary amends for those two original sins committed. in our name, to help make this a great country. >> host: uniontown pennsylvania, steve, you're on the air with michael moore on booktv. >> caller: thank you and thank c-span for all you do and keep doing. keep it up. michael, nice to meet you. >> guest: nice to meet you. >> caller: you are an important force today on this american scene and i'm glad to see you mention chris hedges in your influential books. he is an influence on me, too. i really like reading them. i think c-span should take note of that, including on "in depth" in the future. >> guest: i would watch that. >> caller: i would, too.
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2006 midterm elections basically were seen as a referendum on the iraq war, i thought. and i think a lot of people were led to think that. the democrats promised to draw down the war. and when they swarmed into congress, they actually increase funding of the war. and in light of that, what you did against ralph nader, with all due respect, in '04, coming out and campaigning against him, asking him not to run in giving reasons for him not be voted for. do you have any regrets about that now? thank you very much. >> guest: oh, no, none. i supported ralph nader in 2000 i supported him and what his original plan was. when he told those of us who were his supporters that he was not going to campaign in the swing states and that he was going to campaign in those
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states, like texas and new york, where everybody knew what the vote was going to be but it would not affect al gore's chances of winning. but we could make a strong statement from the left by showing how many millions of people supported ralph nader. so i very much a part of that. and when the democrats prohibited ralph nader from being in the debates in 2000, which was wrong, ralph decided to start campaigning in the swing states, and he was very upset of the core and the democrats. there were a number of us in this campaign that encouraged him not to do that, and he went ahead and did it anyway. i spent some days in the final week before the 2000 election in florida on my own holding rallies and press conferences saying i'm a nader supporter and
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i'm asking you to please vote or al gore, because i did not want what i saw was going to happen. i thought would happen. the damage that would happen. so i went to florida on my own dime, and and tried to undo that. but apparently it was too late. so in 2004 came around, i really wanted nothing to do with ralph nader for his campaign. i had always admired john kerry from his early antiwar days, but sadly he to voted to back bush into going to the war. so it was kind of a hold your nose sort of thing. but we had to stop what bush was doing. it was just the way around it. even if we had to get someone who was everything we want them to be. so that's what i did that trend when can you address the rumor of you having stock in halliburton? >> guest: it's a big talking
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point on other channels. i have never owned a share of stock in anything in my entire life. i've not owned a single share, nor have i ever owned a single share of stock. for a number of reasons. number one, i don't believe in it. i don't believe in the stock market. number two, i don't believe in vegas. sorry to the people who live there but i don't believe in gambling. so i never put my money in the casino. so i figured out where this rumor came from. and it was because i started a foundation many years ago, and i'm one of the board members of the foundation. there's a time in the late 90s where the board decided to turn, that we were giving away too much of the principal. interest rates were down or whatever. their fiduciary responsibility
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of the 501(c)(3) organization, and invest the money appropriate the. and so these people decide to go along, and i personally don't believe in it but i don't put my, if you own stock, i don't think getting less of the. if you own stock i think that's great but it's just a personal thing, but i'm part of a larger group. i'm part of this addition effort. so, they turned it over to the money manager, and the money manager was given very specific instruction on what he could and couldn't investing. he went against those instructions and he put the money into things like halliburton and ge and pharmaceutical companies. and when i found this out, i was stunned that he had done this. and i eventually fired him. he turned out to be, he is now in prison. i would just skip ahead, there's a longer story there, but the man is in prison now.
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so, i now, when i lend my name to something or if i'm on a foundation or if i start something i remain a lot more, much more involved in a. but myself i've never owned any stock in anything. and i never will. i don't believe in it. i don't support the system, economic system that we have. it's not good for the people and so i don't participate in it. >> host: c-span junkie tweets in, don't you usually travel on your own dime to political events? >> guest: yes. well, yes, of course it do. i mean i was on the nader dime or the gore dime. i did that as a citizen going to florida. and when i'm on this tour, 50% i donate in every city, the books that are sold. iq to the local libraries.
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i get 50% of my share to the local libraries all across the country. and you know, i do that all the time. >> host: we have about 10 minutes left with our guest, michael moore. tony in sacramento, california, thanks for holding. you were on the air. >> caller: thank you. mr. moore, it's a pleasure watching you on tv. i just want to say that i think you're a great american and a great patriot. my question is, i'm out here in california, and i know there's something going on regarding protests in new york city at wall street. and since we don't get much coverage by the national media, the only way i heard about was from link tv. could you tell me what's going on regarding the protests in wall street, new york? >> guest: distorted two weeks
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ago. there's no organization behind it. there's no one leader. it's really, it's a conglomeration of americans of all ages and backgrounds. i've been down there for three days this past week. went down there, visited, participated in it. there's hippies, there's ron paul supporters, there is housewives, there's grandma's, all kinds of people. and this movement i'm telling you is going to spread. there were thousands that showed up yesterday. nearly a thousand were arrested by the new york city police. peaceful, nonviolent demonstrators. they are now in over 70 cities across the country. look for the name of your city and the word occupy in front of it. the main group, the main event was called occupy wall street. in sacramento there was a protest yesterday. if you look up occupied sacramento, or occupy stack, i
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think it's called, you will find people with like-minded and these are people, all kinds of people. people who lost their mortgages. people that are foreclosed on, people of lost their health care, lost their jobs, afraid of losing their jobs, afraid of losing their homes, upset with the lack of response of the democratic party, et cetera, all kinds of people. this has been percolating for some time, and it is now in the process of boiling over. this is a movement that will spread across the country. and please be part of it. please, don't sit back on the couch. this is not going to be fixed with you doing nothing and the politicians are certain not going to fix it. you yourself, your friends, your neighbors, we will be the ones to have to fix it. i think the website now call occupied go there and see me what some of the other cities are now doing things. you can go to my website the idaho list of a whole list of things that michael and show you what's going on and
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what here's the back of "here comes trouble." where was this photograph taken? >> guest: that's me at age 35. i'm staying on west 55th street in manhattan and i've just completed in the interim, my untrained roger and me. i took it to the film laboratory to turn in and turned into it into a film print. we walked out of there. my wife took this picture. we better get a shot of this. just taking my first film into the lab. and the book actually, the source of the book takes place between, the picture on the cover, me as a baby, and the picture on the back, me as a person who is just about have his first movie released. >> host: have you thought about a follow-up yet to this book? >> guest: oh, yes.
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the book ends as the light goes down in a very first screening of "roger and me." my sisters are there, they are on each side of me, thanking the crowd is going to not like it and everything will go south for me. so that's, there's another volume, my years here as a film maker, making the tv shows, the books i've written. and the peak behind the curtain that i've been given in hollywood, in a different things i've done, so i will write another volume of these short stories. i had written in as short stories. it's not a typical autobiography. i love short stories and i love to read short stories. and i've never really seen a book of nonfiction short stories. they are usually fiction. so i thought why don't i write these stories for my wife. i fashioned them.
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they read as short stories. you can go to the book, read one here, read another one. >> host: where do you do your writing and how much editing has been done? >> guest: i wrote this book in my apartment in new york city. actually i live in michigan but i went, i am very involved with everyone with my live, and very public in that way. so i actually go to new york to get peace and quiet. i wrote this in my little office, and my apartment in new york. what was the other part of your question? >> host: how much editing was done to this? >> guest: every story probably went through a dozen dress. i love the process of writing. i love to write. i love we writing. i love the rewrite and rewrite because it just gets better.
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you think of other things. you remember this book is also, you know, have humor in it. so find yourself laughing in one place and crying in another. i felt all that while writing this. i poured more of myself into this book than i have anything else i've written. i'm the proudest of this book. i don't want to jinx it or anything by saying it's, i think person i think it's the best damn thing i've ever written your but others may think otherwise but i just, i have been very appreciative of the reviews received, and so, there you go. >> host: john in wyoming. we have a few minutes left with michael moore. >> caller: michael, i appreciate you having me on. i have a brief question about your opinion on barack obama. number one, he was investing the bush administration for war crimes.
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and he chose to go -- [inaudible] fails to launch an investigation. also, he chose not to prosecute folks engaged, even though murder trials proved they were just following orders. i were just like your opinion on that. >> guest: well, i wish the administration would have investigated by a special prosecutor. i think war crimes were committed. i think we were like you. i think that was the worst lie you can do when you're in public office. to tell a lie that lead the country to were. i don't know what was at stake. i think they wanted to do this. i think everything we've read and heard from people like richard clarke and their administration, they were talking about iraq the day after 9/11. that's why they couldn't find or get bin laden, so we will give
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obama credit for that. but i have been disappointed that president obama has not done that, but he's a different kind of guy. i wish either something else. he's not. we are lucky we got him. we are lucky he putting into the eight years we had. some things like the new air pollution standards he propose, he rejected his own vp and now we'll of air pollution standards worse than what george w. bush's war. i don't understand that. i wish he would stop that because he's depressed his base. the people voted for them. they're not as excited for voting for in the next time around i don't understand why he doesn't understand that, yes, people like me and others, people will vote for him but they would not bring two people -- 10 people to the polls like last time. he should be worried about that. the weight to incite people is be the person you are elected to
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be. what part, mr. obama of the 10 million vote margin that you won by, don't you understand? you had a mandate. why not do them? you have a year left. there is time to do it, but, you know, i'm proud that i voted for him. i want to vote for him again. i think a lot of people do. and we have his back. we want him to be the president reelected. i want to say this. i walked in the voting booth that day, and it was an emotional moment when i saw his name on the ballot. when i saw his name on the ballot, i couldn't leave not one that i was going to vote for someone who is also african-american which i never thought i would see my lifetime, that the fact on that ballot was the word hussein. he put his name, middle name on the ballot. hussein. hussein. how many hundreds in this town told him not to do that, right? but he said no, that's my name, that's my name. it stands for china's.
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hussein, put it on the ballot. he didn't care. he didn't care. he had the guts to do that. i want that guy back. i want that president, that's why voted for, that's who we all voted for. the man who had the guts to put hussein as his middle name right there on the ballot. as what i want to see happen. >> host: and from "mike's election guide 2008", six modest proposals to fix a broken election, one, hold on elections on the weekend. number two, every citizen is automatically a registered voter. >> host: 30 seconds. sorry, we're running out of time. >> caller: that's all i need. i compliment you, c-span, for
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bringing us people like michael moore to us. as a mother, mother in quotes, i believe that who you are, michael, was what you also experienced growing up in the family god chose for you. and my last thing is, god bless you, michael. and i pray that you are protected by the god of all people. if you ever need a gray-haired nanny to stand with you, please call me. thank you. thank you sounds like a sunday dinner coming up. thank you. tran one michael moore has been our guest on "in depth" here for the past three hours. he is the author of eight books, "downsize this!" came out in 96. "adventures in a tv nation," "stupid white men," "dude,
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where's my country?," "will they ever trust us again?," "fahrenheit 9/11", "mike's election guide 2008", and his latest stories from his life, "here comes trouble" is the name of the book. it just came out about a year ago. mr. moore is also a filmmaker as everyone knows. "roger and me" was his first in 89, canadian bacon. the big one in 97, "bowling for columbine" in 2002. that won the academy. "fahrenheit 9/11" in '04. slacker an uprising came out in 2007. originally called captain mike across america, citgo in 2007. and "capitalism: a love story," 2009. and he won't tell us if he is


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