How do you explain the tenacity of Michael Moore? He’s never gotten much love from the right, and since Obama’s election, he’s been a convenient guy for those on the left to cast off to show that they’re not That Kind of Liberal.
Without debating the merits of his controversial documentaries, one thing is clear: Moore is a master of publicity. He’s been on a tear promoting his latest film, Capitalism: A Modern Love Story, chewing up some interviewers and even turning his purported cancellations into PR coups.
Last night, a guy Moore “love[s]” and said was right, Sean Hannity, interviewed Moore on his show. When he confronts his critics, Moore knows how to outflank from the right: he cited Jesus and the FBI, putting Hannity in a box. And he as much as accused Hannity, a Catholic, of lying about going to church every Sunday. The highlights below:
0:45-1:30: They start off really chummily! Fond memories of Moore being on Sean Hannity’s radio show in 2002 when Matt Drudge texted Hannity to say Moore’s book went to #1 on the bestseller list and Hannity congratulated Moore on his show. Yes, there is a media conspiracy.
2:00: Moore lost a bet with Hannity that Bush would be impeached, so he had to stand in front of the White House holding a sign saying “Sean Hannity was right!” Well, he had to stand in front of a green screen on Sean Hannity’s set holding that sign.
3:30: Moore’s best zing, and the exchange this interview will be most remembered for:
Moore: Did you go to Mass on Sunday?
Hannity: Every Sunday.
…Moore: You went to Mass this past Sunday?
Hannity: I did.
Moore: What was the sermon about? Do you remember the gospel?
Hannity: It was about Michael Moore and…
Moore: No, no. Come on. You didn’t go!
Hannity: I go every Sunday.
Moore: So do you remember the gospel this past Sunday?
Hannity: I don’t remember the gospel this past Sunday.
Moore: It was just two days ago!
Hannity: I don’t remember. I went Saturday night…
4:00-6:30: Good comeback by Hannity: just give to charity, don’t take the system apart. Sadly, he doesn’t really follow up with it, going down the same old “but Michael Moore, you’re rich” line, which Moore has a dozen prepackaged comebacks for (i.e. I don’t charter a private jet, but those wild cards at the studio make me fly around in one sometimes)
8:45: Great putdown by Moore. Moore: “You know that there weren’t weapons of mass destruction?”
Hannity: “None that we saw, none that we found.”
Moore: “Sean, now come on. You’re not into conspiracy theories, are you?”
10:20: Soundbite from Moore: “We’re the United States of America, man! Come on! You’re afraid of a few hundred guys on monkey bars?”
end of Part I: Moore: “Do you love your enemy?”
Hannity: “Yes, I do.”
Moore: “So you love Al-Qaeda, then.”
Hannity: “I don’t love them, I love them in the sense that I want to destroy them.”
Part II, 2:15: Moore, on charges that he worships Obama: “That would be against the Second Commandment… “What altar do you have at your house? To the dollar bill? To Jesus?”
Part III, start: After Hannity agrees that the FBI are “good guys,” Moore cites the FBI: “80% of the mortgage fraud has been caused by the banks and the lending institutions.”
Hannity: “Everybody got greedy.”
2:00: Breaking: Sean Hannity hasn’t read his health care contract with Fox.
The rest: mostly a retread. They disagree about who caused the subprime mortgage crisis; they disagree about whether capitalism is good or bad; Moore cites the FBI; Hannity says “goods and services” a lot.
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