Michael Moore Justifies Rev. Wright as Example of Black Rage

After Jimmy Carter and Joy Behar, CNN’s Larry King had a prominent liberal guest on his show for the third night in a row on Wednesday, this time Michael Moore. After King played a clip from Bill O’Reilly’s interview of Hillary Clinton which concerned the issue of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Moore pulled out the "black rage" card, as well as the stereotypical rich white liberal guilt. "[Y]ou have to ask yourself, Larry, what's it like to be black in America? And what kind of rage would you feel? And if you did feel that rage, what kind of things would you say that, at times, would be outrageous, crazy even, because you've had to live through this for so long. And I do not believe, as a white guy, that I am in any position to judge a black man who has had to live through that." [audio clip here]

Moore appeared as a guest on "Larry King Live" for the entire hour of the program. His comments on Wright came twenty minutes into the program. Besides explaining away Wright’s many polarizing and outlandish statements, he also attacked Hillary Clinton for her actions in the campaign, as well as his more usual targets of George W. Bush and John McCain.

>

MOORE: I would never refer to him as -- in the way that Senator Clinton just did. You know, I can say that I would disagree or that I wouldn't use the language that he used or whatever. But to go after him like this, I just think it's a diversionary tactic, it distracts us from the real issues. And the issue is John McCain is four more years of George W. Bush. John McCain is four years of George W. Bush. That's what we should be talking about and not what an elderly black man is saying because he's upset on how he's been treated. And let me say this, too, because I've received a number of letters from older women, especially, who support Hillary Clinton. And they support her with great passion because they've had to suffer as a second-class citizens in this country.

If you're a 50, a 60, a 70 -- I've had letters from women in their '80s and actually a 90-year-old woman who said to me, you know, I lived in a time where, as a woman, had my mother decided to go and vote, she'd be arrested -- arrested and thrown in jail because she wanted to vote in the United States of America. So women feel this -- a similar sense of trying to undo what's been wrong for so long. And women, to this day, don't -- they're not paid the same, in terms of what men are paid. They don't have a lot of the same opportunities that men have. And so I understand that anger, too, and that frustration and that outrage. And I guess what I -- I guess the difference I see here is, is that I have not heard Senator Obama try to make people afraid to vote for Senator Clinton because she's a woman. I haven't heard anything out of his mouth. But for her to try and make white, you know, working class, as they say, people vote for her and not him, to frighten them with words like Farrakhan and Hamas and things like that, I just -- I just think that that's not necessary.

King then asked Moore about McCain and his experience as a POW in Vietnam, and his subsequent service as a U.S. Senator. At one point, King hinted about McCain’s reputation for having a temper.

KING: What about what John McCain gave for his country?

MOORE: In terms of...

KING: His body.

MOORE: Well, and the torture that he went through?

KING: Yeah.

MOORE: And now he votes.

KING: He can be a little angry, too, can't he?

MOORE: Yes.

KING: And the war that ended unpopular.

MOORE: Well, I guess that's -- and we've seen him angry. And as a senior citizen, maybe he's experiencing things now, as an elderly American, where it's not the same as if you were a young person in this country. Certainly, if he wanted to go and get a job, other than U.S. senator at his age, he'd have a pretty hard time, wouldn't he?

KING: He probably couldn't get it.

MOORE: He probably couldn't get a job, even though he's able-bodied and can still work. So it's good that all these issues come up and we have...

KING: So they all can have gripes?

MOORE: Well, no, not me because...

KING: You have no gripes?

MOORE: Well, I'm not -- I can't -- no. I have no gripe about the fact that I'm a 50-year-old white guy because we've been running the show for a long time. And it's time to open it up, I think, and let some other people run this show.

Speaking of an "elderly American" who might have a "pretty hard time" finding a job, the host himself, Larry King, turns 75 this year.

Earlier in the program, reacting to another clip from the O’Reilly interview of Clinton, King brought up the issue of taxing the wealthy. Moore explained that income tax rate of 70 percent would be acceptable, and King referenced a celebrity’s experience of taxation during World War II.

KING: Are we discussing the host's [O’Reilly’s] wallet or what?
 
MOORE: Yeah, I...
 
(LAUGHTER)
 
KING: Or taxes?
 
MOORE: You know, he asked me the same question when I was on his show. He goes, how much would you -- how much would you have me pay in income tax, 50 percent? I said no, more. Sixty? I said no. No, more. Seventy? I said, yes, sounds good. You'd have me -- you'd have people -- we'd have to pay 70 percent in income tax? I said, no, no, not, we, Bill, you.
 
KING: Do you know...
 
MOORE: I'd have a law that you would pay.
 
KING: You know in World War II, Frank Sinatra paid 90 cents on a dollar.
 
MOORE: Yeah. And was a wealthy man.
 
KING: Yeah.
 
MOORE: He lived quite well, didn't he?
 
KING: He managed to struggle through.
 
MOORE: Right. And Bill O'Reilly is worrying about having to pay 39 percent.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center