Ten Years After September 11: Recalling the Outrageousness of the Hollywood Left
Ten years after the attacks of September 11, it’s worth recalling how the immediate reaction of some on the far Left was to blame the United States foreign policy for instigating the attacks, and how various Hollywood celebrities spent the remainder of the decade trashing the War on Terror and likening the United States to some sort of Nazi regime or police state. Some even promoted wild conspiracies that the United States government had participated in the attacks themselves, or was sheltering terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.
Here, culled from the MRC’s vast archives, are 25 blood-boiling quotes showcasing the Hollywood Left’s outrageous take on the War on Terror over the past ten years, with links to several videos:
“Am I angry? You bet I am. I am an American citizen, and my leaders have taken my money to fund mass murder. And now my friends have paid the price with their lives.
“Keep crying, Mr. Bush. Keep running to Omaha or wherever it is you go while others die, just as you ran during Vietnam while claiming to be ‘on duty’ in the Air National Guard. Nine boys from my high school died in that miserable war. And now you are asking for ‘unity’ so you can start another one? Do not insult me or my country like this!
“Yes, I, too, will be in church at noon today, on this national day of mourning. I will pray for you, and us, and the children of New York, and the children of this sad and ugly world .”
— Message posted by left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore on his Web site, September 14, 2001.
“We have been the cowards. Lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away, that’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, not cowardly.”
— ABC’s Bill Maher on Politically Incorrect, September 17, 2001.
“Where is the acknowledgment that this was not a ‘cowardly’ attack on ‘civilization’ or ‘liberty’ or ‘humanity’ or ‘the free world’ but an attack on the world’s self-proclaimed superpower, undertaken as a consequence of specific American alliances and actions? How many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq? And if the word ‘cowardly’ is to be used, it might be more aptly applied to those who kill from beyond the range of retaliation, high in the sky, than to those willing to die themselves in order to kill others. In the matter of courage (a morally neutral virtue): whatever may be said of the perpetrators of Tuesday’s slaughter, they were not cowards.”
— Novelist and playwright Susan Sontag writing for the “Talk of the Town” section of the Sept. 24, 2001 New Yorker.
“I despise him [President George W. Bush]. I despise his administration and everything they stand for....There has to be a movement now to really oppose what he is proposing because it’s unconstitutional, it’s immoral and basically illegal....It is an embarrassing time to be an American. It really is. It’s humiliating.”
— Actress Jessica Lange at a September 25, 2002 press conference at an international film festival in San Sebastian, Spain where she was given a lifetime achievement award. Her remarks were shown in the U.S. on the syndicated show Inside Edition on October 4, 2002.
“This is a racist and imperialist war. The warmongers who stole the White House (you call them ‘hawks’, but I would never disparage such a fine bird) have hijacked a nation’s grief and turned it into a perpetual war on any non-white country they choose to describe as terrorist.”
— Former Cheers star Woody Harrelson in an op-ed headlined “I’m an American tired of American lies” published Oct. 17, 2002 in London’s The Guardian newspaper.
Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore: “What happened to the search for Osama bin Laden?...You don’t think they [the U.S. government] know where he is?”
Bob Costas (astonished): “You think they know where Osama bin Laden is and it’s hands off?”
Moore: “Absolutely, absolutely.”
Moore: “Because he’s funded by their friends in Saudi Arabia! He’s back living with his sponsors, his benefactors. Do you think that Osama bin Laden planned 9/11 from a cave in Afghanistan? I can’t get a cell signal from here to Queens! I mean, come on, let’s get real about this....I think the United States, I think our government knows where he is and I don’t think we’re going to be capturing him or killing him any time soon.”
— Exchange on HBO’s On the Record with Bob Costas, May 9, 2003.
“I wondered to myself during ‘Shock and Awe,’ I wondered which of the megaton bombs Jesus, our President’s personal savior, would have personally dropped on the sleeping families of Baghdad?”
— Actress Meryl Streep at a July 8, 2004 Kerry-Edwards fundraiser held at Radio City Music Hall, as quoted by the Boston Globe the next day.
“I worry that some people are entertained by the idea of this war. They don’t know anything about the Iraqis, but they’re angry and frustrated in their own lives. It’s like Germany, before Hitler took over. The economy was bad and people felt kicked around. They looked for a scapegoat. Now we’ve got a new bunch of Hitlers.”
— Singer Linda Ronstadt, as quoted by USA Today reporter Elysa Gardner in a November 17, 2004 profile.
“No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we’re here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people, millions support your revolution, support your ideas and we are expressing our solidarity with you.”
— Singer Harry Belafonte to Venezuela’s left-wing President Hugo Chavez during a televised rally on January 8, 2006 in a clip shown on FNC’s Hannity & Colmes the next day.
“Unless you are willing to accept torture as part of a normal American political lexicon, unless you are willing to accept that leaving the Geneva Convention is fine and dandy, if you accept the expression [expansion?] of wiretapping as business as usual, the only way to express this now is to embrace the difficult and perhaps embarrassing process of impeachment.”
— Actor Richard Dreyfuss in a February 16, 2006 speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“In my country, we seem to be sanctioning renditioning of innocent people without trial...put them in jail without telling anyone...and torture them out of suspicion of what we think they might do....This is exactly what [George] Orwell was talking about when he spoke of thought crimes.”
— Actor/left-wing activist Tim Robbins, who was in Athens, Greece, performing in a stage version of Orwell’s 1984, as quoted in a May 2, 2006 Agence-France Press dispatch.
“As a result of the [9/11] attack and the killing of nearly 3,000 innocent people, we invaded two countries and killed innocent people in their countries....Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America.”
— Rosie O’Donnell on ABC’s The View, September 12, 2006.
“When they say the ‘terrorists want the Democrats to win,’ you say ‘are you insane? George Bush has been a terrorist’s wet dream.’ He inflames radical hatred against America and then runs on offering to protect us from it. It’s like a guy throwing shit on you and then selling you relief from the flies.”
— Bill Maher on his HBO program Real Time with Bill Maher November 3, 2006 offering his suggested “talking points” for Democratic candidates.
“You have two choices in life, Elisabeth. Faith or fear. Faith or fear, that’s your choice. You can walk through life believing in the goodness of the world or walk through life afraid of anyone who thinks different than you and trying to convert them to your way of thinking....Get away from the fear. Don’t fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers.”
— Rosie O’Donnell to co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck on ABC’s The View, November 9, 2006.
Actor Zach Braff, NBC’s Scrubs: “You know America...my middle name is Israel. We’re both named after countries.... Do you think that you have any traits in common with the country that is your namesake?”
Actress America Ferrera, ABC’s Ugly Betty: “Well, you know, I mean, I guess I’m a free-spirited person and America’s supposedly the ‘land of the free,’ right? Or at least we will be in 2008.”
— Exchange during the “Spirit Awards” shown live on the Independent Film Channel, February 24, 2007.
“It is the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics for the World Trade Center Tower Seven, building seven, which collapsed in on itself — it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved...World Trade Center One and Two got hit by planes. Seven, miraculously, the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible.”
— Rosie O’Donnell discussing 9/11 on The View, March 29, 2007. [Watch the video on MRC-TV]
“I just want to say something: 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?...If you were in Iraq, and the other country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?”
— Co-host Rosie O’Donnell on ABC’s The View, May 17, 2007.
“Over the past six years we’ve had to add to the American picture: rendition, illegal wiretapping, voter suppression, no habeas corpus, the neglect of our great city New Orleans and the people, an attack on the Constitution and the loss of our best young men and women in a tragic war. And this is a song about things that shouldn’t happen here, happening here. And so right now we plan to do something about it — we plan to sing about it.”
— Bruce Springsteen introducing his song “Living in the Future” before a live concert on NBC’s Today, September 28, 2007.
“Let’s face it: If the mothers ruled the world, there would be no goddamned wars in the first place.”
— Actress Sally Field at the Emmy awards, September 16, 2007.
Author Laura Ingraham: “It’s a free country though, right?”
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg: “Well, it used to be. I used believe that it was, and then a lot of-”
Ingraham: “You don’t think that it’s a free country?”
Goldberg: “Not as free as it was when I was a kid.”...
Co-host Joy Behar: “Nobody was tapping into my phone when I was watching Howdy Doody.”
— Exchange on ABC’s The View, November 12, 2007.
“We’ve been redefined for seven years now as a war-mongering, far-right, intolerant nation who’s raping our own atmosphere and demonizing the poor and letting the banks rob us blind. I think if — any incremental move away from that would be a godsend. And I think Obama will, at the very least, put the brakes on this madness and in some ways heal it....I think the rest of the world, if they see that America elects a man of color, I think they’ll breathe a big sigh of relief and not think that we’re this war-mongering, rich white guy country.”
— Actor/comedian Richard Belzer on FNC’s Geraldo At Large, March 2, 2008.
“Is Cheney a goon? I don’t mean that to be like a smart ass, but he seems like he might be a goon....My feeling about Cheney — and also Bush, but especially Cheney — is that he just couldn’t care less about Americans. And the same is true of George Bush. And all they really want to do is somehow kiss up to the oil people....Is there any humanity in either of these guys?”
— CBS Late Show host David Letterman interviewing former White House press secretary Scott McClellan, June 11, 2008. [Watch the video on MRC-TV]
“The word, ‘zoo,’ is sort of elephant-speak for Guantanamo. They’re really, they are suffering and being tortured.”
— Actress Lily Tomlin at an animal-rights protest in Los Angeles, clip shown on NBC’s Today, December 4, 2008.
“We’ve lived through a nightmare...in the past eight years....We’re going through something that we haven’t gone through in my life. Foreign policy, domestic policy — driven to its breaking point. Everything got broken. And the philosophy that was at the base of the last administration has ruined many, many people’s lives. The deregulation, the idea of the unfettered, free market, the blind foreign policy. This was a very radical group of people who pushed things in a very radical direction, had great success at moving things in that direction, and we are suffering the consequences.”
— Singer Bruce Springsteen in an interview with producer Mark Hagen published January 18, 2009 in Britain’s The Observer.
“9/11? Inside job, plain and simple....I am talking about a massive neo-conservative government effort. It’s been in the works for over twenty years....One problem: How you going to put it into action? I mean, the American people are never going to go for shit like that, right? You’re damn straight. No, what you need is an event, an event that gets everyone’s heads turned around the right way. What you need is a new Pearl Harbor. That’s what they said they needed. You’re looking at a guy who went to 58 funerals in 26 days, I can tell you that is sure as shit what they got.”
— New York City firefighter “Franco Rivera,” played by Daniel Sunjata, on FX’s Rescue Me, April 14, 2009. [Watch the video on MRC-TV]