On Today: Spike Lee Attacks NRA, Calls USA 'Most Violent Country In History of Civilization'

Director Spike Lee, along with his wife Tonya, came on Wednesday's Today show to promote their new children's book, but he couldn't leave without blaming the NRA for the Gabrielle Giffords shooting and slamming the United States of America for being "the most violent country in the history of civilization."

Initially both Lees just talked about their new book, Giant Steps to Change the World, but Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira couldn't let the controversial director of such films like Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X go, without pressing him to comment on the Tucson massacre as seen in the following January 12 exchange:

(audio here)

(video after the jump)

MEREDITH VIEIRA: I want to talk a little bit about what happened in Arizona last week-

SPIKE LEE: Right.

VIEIRA: -because there's been so much discussion about discord in this country-

LEE: Right.

VIEIRA: -and the level of rhetoric. And not saying that it was responsible for what happened, but that it just adds to negativity, in general.

LEE: Here's my, my take in it. I think that, as film makers, as politicians, as artists, we have to understand that all, whatever we do goes out in the universe. And you should be aware of what you're doing. And you cannot just say "Well I just did this and, and my - had nothing to do with what happened." That's, that's not, that's not the case. Also the United States of America is the most violent country in the history of civilization. And this NRA thing. We gotta turn this around. You know these, these guns are out of hand. And I know they have a very powerful lobby but something has to be done about the gun control in this country. That's my opinion.

TONYA LEWIS LEE, WIFE: And I think words are powerful but I will tell you I was really inspired by listening to the parents of the nine-year-old girl, who unfortunately passed away.

MEREDITH VIEIRA: Christina Green.

SPIKE LEE: Christina Green.

TONYA LEE: Yeah her, I mean I was so moved by them. Because I was, I was inspired by what they said about her, just in how much she thought about other people. And we, and we need to focus more on thinking about the good in other people as opposed to just ginning people up for our own political gain.

—Geoffrey Dickens is the Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.