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Howard Stern’s Interview with Michael Moore

Porn Valley- Granted, Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11 is competing in the boxoffice this weekend with Dodgeball, but reports indicate that Moore’s documentary which, if its title is accurate, not only will burn George Bush’s ass to KFC crisp, but will emerge as the box office champion. On Friday Howard Stern had Moore on as a guest, and is the only site that has the complete play-by-play of that interview.

Meanwhile Stern’s site, offers up some tangy Bushisms, such as:

Bush: “They said this issue wouldn’t resignate with the People. They’ve been proved wrong, it does resignate.”

Bush: “…more and more of our imports are coming from overseas.”

The United States has Yogi Berra for president.

Stern introduced Moore as the most important man in America right now. “I love this guy.” Stern gave Moore a standing ovation. “It brought me to tears,” Stern said. “I thought Freddy Kruger was scary. This is the scariest movie of the year.” Stern said he was grateful that Moore made the movie and fought to get it in movie theaters, noting the hard time that Moore’s had getting distribution of his film because the Bush people don’t want Americans seeing it. Consequently, Stern suspected that Moore was going to take a lot of heat for the film.

“As far as it being bias, you have a point of view, you back it up with facts and it’s a fabulous movie,” Stern said. Bringing the strip club Scores into it, Stern said he’s got a promotion in mind involving the movie’s ticket stubs. You have a drawing- 75 guys or whatever number we agree on- come to a party at Scores like they’ve never had before in their life.” Moore asked if he could come. Stern said only if he has a ticket stub and wins.

“I’m goddamn serious about this,” said Stern. “I’m begging people to see the movie.” Moore said he’d be willing to shake everyones hand. “On the way in, not on the way out,” he stressed. Stern agreed. Stern said he would do the promotion with Moore’s sanction and Moore did so on the spot. “I’m honored. It’s a great idea.” Stern said he’ll work out the details and put the info on his site. Stern said anyone in the country could participate.

“This movie I feel is so important,” said Stern. “This guy Bush has got to be voted out. This is a dire time we’re in. This is not a joke.” Stern said about 15% of the traffic of his site is being sent over to Moore’s site right now to promote the movie. “If anyone else has a website, link it up to,” Stern said.

Stern wondered if bin Laden won the Score’s drawing. “Do we have to take him?” Stern noted that Moore’s movie has been doing record business in the short time that it’s been out.

“The first two days it broke records at both theaters it opened in,” Moore said. “The all-time record for any movie on any day- the previous record was Men in Black. And this is a documentary. I’m completely stunned by this.Stern thought it would be entertaining even if you’re a Bush fan. “When you hear the word documentary it scares you. It’s not boring.” Moore said when he sets out to make something, he makes something you’d want to see on a Friday night. It took Moore a year and a half to complete the project. Stern wondered if Moore heard from the Republican National Committee.

“Immediately,” said Moore. “We actually wound up our funding for the movie about a year and a half ago. People in the White House- the Republican Party- found out about it and then put pressure on this company. We already had a signed deal and the money was already coming to us to start the film. According to Fox News- and they should know [Moore laughs], top Republicans, Republican friends put pressure on our funding source and they backed out even though we had a signed deal. And so we had nobody then. That’s when Miramax stepped in and said, okay, we’ll take it over; we’ll do it. They gave us the money which was essentially Disney money because Disney owns Miramax who made the film, finished the film. Then Michael Eisner sends one of his vice presidents here to New York to see the movie. And he flips out.”

Having been there, Stern said the Bush Administration will get their enemies. “Disney has theme parks in Florida; Jeb Bush is the governor of Florida. He can do legislation that will screw with Disney’s theme parks. They got scared.”

Moore agreed. “The got scared not only about Jeb Bush in Florida- and there’s a big tax problem down there- because Disney got a big tax break for this animation studio they built down there. Once they built it, they decided to close it and outsource all the jobs overseas and other states. So the state of Florida wants its money back because Disney had this huge tax break to create jobs which they then laid off all hese people.”

Having worked years for Clear Channel, Stern recounted how he came out and said Bush was the wrong guy for the job. “I started to talk against George Bush as a candidate.” Moore noted that Clear Channel was one of Bush’s biggest contributors. Stern said within a week and a half they had him off the air. “They said it was because of the FCC. I’ve had FCC problems for ten years since ther [the Cleat Channel] hire me. They even defended me up until then.”

“Here’ something that’s even more insidious about the Disney decision,” Moore continued. “And I’ve said this on other shows- and it gets edited out. I’ll say it here. I’m not allowed to say this on network television. I said it on the ABC Sunday Morning Show with George Stephanopoulos this Sunday. They cut it out. Other places I’ve been, they’ve cut it out. This is actually something more dangerous than words. This is actual information. As you know if you saw the movie, a chunk of the movie deals with the relationship between the Bush family and the Saudi royal family and how they’ve been in bed together for a long time. And there’s been a billion and a half dollars flowing in between the Saudi royals, the bin Laden family and the Bush family, thei friends, their businesses over the years.”

Stern: “It’s the goddamn truth. Who does George Bush owe more favors to, the Saudis or the people who…he had three bankrupted companies, these guys funded.”

Moore agreed that Dubya was never able to run any kind of company. “He ran them all into the ground, went bankrput.” Robin Quivers thought it particularly nervy of Bush to suggest that Moore get a real job.

Moore then referenced Prince Bandar bin Sultan, member of the Saudi royal family who is known in circles as Bandar “Bush”.

Moore: The Saudi ambassador to the US is such a close friend of the Bush’s they call him Bandar Bush.

According to Moore, the US President gets paid $400,000 a year to be in office while the Saudis pay him one and half billion dollars. “Him and his friends, Cheney, all these guys, all their businesses.”

“To be fair to Bush,” said Moore, “if you got a call from him on Sept. 12 from the Saudi ambassador saying, look, I know all these guys are Saudis that killed 3,000 people and I know bin Laden’s a Saudi and I know Saudi money financed this whole attack, could we get 24 members of the bin Laden family out of the country as soon as possible? Done deal. No problem. The White House was acting like a travel agent for the bin Laden family.”

Stern noted there were organ donors after 9/11 and planes were not allowed to fly. “People died. I would like to have seen pictures of people [in Moore’s movie] who died because planes were not allowed to fly,” Stern said. “But the bin Ladens got out of the country.” Moore noted in one instance there was a plane delivering a heart for a heart transplant. “This guy was on the operating table- he was going to die. And airforce jets went up and forced this plane to land. All it was carrying was a heart to save this guy. But if you’re name was bin Laden, on Sept. 13, you were able to fly in a private plane, be picked up around the country and then a few days later scooted out of the country.”

Stern wondered why it was so important to get them out of the country. Moore said it would be on the same level if days after Oklahoma City, the McVey family requested a free trip to Paris.

Stern said it was crazy what went on in the aftermath of 9/11, that Moore’ film is brilliant. With those interruptions, Moore went back to what he was saying about his comments on network TV being censored.

“This is what I’ve not been allowed to say on national television,” Moore stated. “The Saudi royal family owns 23% of Euro Disney.” One of the Saudi princes, according to Moore, in 1994 wrote a check to Michael Eisner and Disney for 360 million. “He stepped in to bail them out and they did. The Saudi royals saved Euro Disney and the company that hooked up the Saudi Royals with Eisner and Disney was company called the Carlyle Group which I show in the film- this is the group that where both Bushes worked for the Carlyle Group, dad and son. And the bin Ladens were heavy investors in the Carlyle Group.” Moore said it’s all available on public record that he’s not telling anything that isn’t out there.

Which prompted Stern to wonder aloud why Moore’s being accused of manipulation. “What pisses me off,” said Stern, “is I’ve watched you being interviewed by Matt Lauer and couple of other people. They’ve been so goddamned hard on you and attacking you. You make the excellent point- why the hell don’t they attack some of these public officials. Why don’t they ask the president one goddamn question that’s tough. They won’t do it.”

Moore said they’ve been hard on him because the film is also an embarrassment to the media. “What this film also points out is they didn’t do their job in the month leading up to the war,” Moore continued, “and then when the war started. They were in bed with Bush. They all got out their little flags and started cheering. They didn’t do their jobs. The job of the press in a free country is to ask the hard questions, to go after authorities.”

Moore brought up the Cuban Missile crisis during the Kennedy presidency. “He went on national TV with large photographs and a pointer. He said here’s the evidence. You could see the missiles. We didn’t get that this time and nobody in the networks demanded that someone provide some evidence to weapons of mass destruction.”

Stern said that’s because the networks are now beholding to the U.S. Government. “They can fine broadcasters and trump up indecency things, hold up licenses…”

Stern noted that Moore is travelling around with bodyguards because he’s been getting death threats. Moore said theater owners have also been receiving them, that an organized Republican group has been responsibile for harassing and intimidating the owners. Moore said theater owners in New Jersey and Illinois have so far received the threats. “That’s how the other side works,” said Moore. “The difference between us and them is they believe if they don’t like something not only should they not listen to it nobody should listen to it. Our side believes that if we don’t like something, we just turn it off. Or we don’t go to the movie. If we don’t want to see the movie we don’t go to it.” Stern said those options, of course, would extend to issues like abortion.

Moore said the classic instance of hypocrisy is the Fox Network and the FCC. Moore said the night before the Super Bowl on Fox, featured the Geraldo Rivera Show. “He was on there talking to Bill O’Reilly. They’re having a chummy chat and they’re talking about Al Franken. Bill O’Reilly says on the air- essentially- if these were the days back in the old West, or during the days of Andrew Jackson, someone would put a bullet in his head. Al Franken’s head. In other words he’s saying why doesn’t someone shoot this guy. Where’s the FCC on that?”

Moore said the night after the Super Bowl on O’Reilly’s show, O’Reilly said he was opposed to the death penalty. “But I’d like to kill Michael Moore.” Stern said when he had O’Reilly on his show, O’Reilly was whining to him about how he gets death threats and that he was scared because rap guys are trying to kill him.

Stern just hoped that women were offering themselves to Moore because of the movie. Moore said he was so married still to the same woman. Stern thought for sure after Fahrenheit 9/11 that the chicks would be flocking to him. Stern said wait until the Scores party. Moore said he’d have to bring his wife and Stern said no way.

On a serious note, Stern said he had a staff meeting the day before and the prevailing feeling was that this is the end of the Stern show. “Our time with the show is almost over- that once they fine individual broadcasters, I’m not going to risk financial ruin to stay on the air, nor will I be able to do the kind of show I want to do,” he went on to say. “In fact I can barely do the show I want. They edit the hell out of it. My feeling is this show’s over and we’re dead man walking. I’m not being dramatic. I’m being honest. I have other plans. I know that I’m going to be doing some other things. But we do live in a country that’s getting a little bit scary. Scary in that poor people are fighting a war over there. How do you vote for Bush if you know he’s planning for the draft? Here’s what you got to ask yourself. Would you send your kids to Iraq based on what you’ve now seen that there are no weapons of mass destruction, that there’s no threat…

“The fact of the matter is there’s going to be a draft,” Stern insisted. “We’re run out of troops and is this the war you support? Would I support a war to go to Afghanistan after 9/11? You bet. I don’t think anybody argued with it.”

Moore agreed. “Nobody argued with the fact let’s go and get who killed 3,000 people.”

Stern said there’s some “wild crap” going on the country. “Not only around my issue with free speech- and I swear to you I’m not against Bush because of the free speech issue- if I thought he was handling everything else well I’d say it’s time for me to go. But it’s abortion. It’s stem cell research. It’s what’s going on in the environment with the big coprorations.”

Moore’s opinion of what got Stern into trouble was not the language on the show or the sex. “After Sept. 11 you were gung ho and let’s get this guy.” Stern said he believed in the president at the time and that he disagreed with Moore’s comments at the Academy Awards. “I didn’t like that statement and I got on the air and said it. And now I feel like a jerk. You were right. I apologize.”

Moore said you shouldn’t have to apologize for committing the act of believing the president. “If we don’t have that, if you can’t simply believe in when he says we need to defend the country and he’s not telling the truth, as we find out later, don’t apologize.” Stern said he was whipped up in a frenzy of patriotism because of what happened on 9/11.

“When the president says to me I’ve got hard evidence; don’t listen to anyone. Listen to Colin Powell. Listen to me. The guy goddamned lied to us.” Stern said when he saw the recent poll that said 47% of the people were going to vote for Bush and 40% for Kerry he wanted to know what he was missing.

Moore said it’s when Stern figured out that he was being lied to and started saying it on the show is when he got in trouble. “Those of us listeners remember when the shift took place. That’s when the FCC, that’s when the hammer came down. And that is Howard Stern’s crime, that he would dare question the commander-in-chief, which of course is the most patriotic thing you could do in a free democracy.”

Stern said he didn’t vote for Bush, he voted for Gore. “The fact of the matter is I believed in giving our president a chance. Especially after 9/11. As your movie so brilliantly points out, our borders aren’t any better protected. The INS isn’t being held accountable. Nobody’s being held accountable when the government screws up. It’s business as usual. The only thing that’s being done is they passed a bill- everyone agreed that I should be getting bigger fines.”

Moore said it would make it safer in their minds if they could shut down the Howard Sterns of the country. “Because you’re speaking these truths and they don’t want people to hear them. But they can’t come after you and say he shouldn’t be able to criticize us because most Americans still kind of believe in the First Amendment. So let’s go after him on this.” Stern said the argument they’re using is that it’s going to hurt children.

Moore likened the situation to high school and the smoking rules. If you were caught with a cigarette you were suspended for the rest of the year. Moore noted that those making the rules were the ones smoking themselves but the students smoking were being the ones isolated as the troublemakers and the ones causing problems.

Stern told Moore that if he ran ino problems advertising his movie, Stern would advertise it every day free. “If I’m here, you ot it. I will talk up this film, whatever.”

Stern just hoped that the public is made aware of what’s going on.

Moore said they were all in it together. “We’re all in the same boat. And there’s millions of fans out there who are not going to sit by quiet if you go off the air.”

Moore recalled an incident at the Cannes Film Festival when Quentin Tarentino, who was the head of the jury, handed him the top prize. “He hands me the award and the next night the jury takes us out to dinner. He says I’ve got to tell you something- I’ve never voted in my life. This movie I’m going home and registering and I’m voting for the first time. I said that’s a bigger prize what you just said.”

Stern just hoped that Tarentino doesn’t vote in Florida where it won’t count, anyway.


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