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JOY BEHAR SHOW
Palin Book Hits #1; Interview With Michael Moore; Interview With Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
Aired October 1, 2009 - 21:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOY BEHAR, HOST: Sarah Palin`s new book "Going Rogue" has gone to number one and it`s not even out yet. Now that she`s making all this money, will she go away? I hope not.
Oscar-winning director Michael Moore`s new movie is all about the "C" word, capitalism. And he`ll join me to talk about it.
Michael Jackson had a diverse group of friends. There was Brooke, there was Bubbles and there was Boteach. Joining me live-- not Bubbles -- in the studio is Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of "The Michael Jackson Tapes."
Plus I`ll share a couple of laughs with my good friend, comedian Jeffrey Ross.
All this and more, from the Time Warner Center in New York City tonight.
Some people hate Hollywood, not just because of their so called elitism, but also their defense of people like Roman Polanski. But there are a few celebrity types who seem to understand that sex with a 13-year- old equals rape. For reason I don`t understand, this is still a debate.
And here to help clear this up are attorney Gloria Allred; Jami Floyd, anchor of "Best Defense with In Session;" and John Farr, contributor to the Huffington Post.
Ok, let`s start with Sharon Tate`s sister, ok Debra Tate said yesterday, she said, "There is rape and then there is rape. It was determined that Roman did not forcibly have sex with this young woman."
Gloria, rape is rape, isn`t it?
GLORIA ALLRED, VICTIM`S RIGHTS ATTORNEY: Well, of course, nothing was determined, because he entered a plea. He entered a plea to unlawful sexual intercourse which is a felony, which is a crime. He admitted at that time that he understood she was 13 years old.
And he confessed to a crime and even if he hadn`t confessed to it, in the grand jury testimony, there was a lot of testimony from the victim, Joy, that, in fact, he had given her Quaaludes, that he had given her champagne.
ALLRED: There was semen in her panties. He had...
ALLRED: ...that he had engaged in the various acts, for example, sodomy. So I think that we have to understand that this was a crime.
BEHAR: Yes, but why are they saying -- why is the sister of Sharon Tate saying, that you know, there is rape and there is rape? What kind of thinking is that?
JOHN FARR, CONTRIBUTOR, HUFFINGTON POST: I think and I`m not a lawyer, first of all. I`m a movie guy.
BEHAR: But you play one on TV.
FARR: I play on TV...
BEHAR: And so do we all.
FARR: ...but I think that there is a difference between statutory rape and...
FARR: ...classic rape.
BEHAR: ...classic rape?
FARR: And I don`t mean to say classic rape...
BEHAR: When you say classic rape...
FARR: But I mean where there`s violence where somebody is...
FARR: ...is forcibly...
FARR: ...and violently pinned down and is struggling violently, et cetera. Statutory rape is with a minor.
JAMI FLOYD, ANCHOR, BEST DEFENSE WITH IN SESSION: There are -- I mean, this is what`s so hard about the law.
FLOYD: There is the emotional reaction to what we think of as stranger violent rape and then there are the classic rational classes of law. There is class D felony rape, which is what this was under the plea agreement.
FLOYD: And it was unlawful sexual relations with a minor...
FLOYD: ...is what he ultimately pled to. He was originally charged with sodomy and rape of a child. Those are very different crimes.
Either way, it`s disgusting. It`s disgusting either way.
ALLRED: Yes, right.
BEHAR: Ok, check out what Kirstie Alley wrote on Twitter yesterday. She said, "Rape is rape. This is one Hollywood star who does not celebrate or defend Polanski." It`s high time someone came on and said this in Hollywood. I mean, we haven`t heard this yet.
FLOYD: Here`s what I don`t get. I`m a criminal defense attorney. It`s my job -- and Gloria, you know this -- right because we go back a long way. It is my job to defend people like Roman Polanski.
I don`t understand why anybody else would be. I don`t understand why the A-list literati (ph) comes out and defends this guy. Either you`re silent or you`re a criminal defense attorney defending this guy.
ALLRED: Well, well maybe they`re defending...
FARR: Oh I was stupid enough to defend him. And that`s why I`m here.
FLOYD: Yes, why don`t you answer the question? You tell us.
FARR: Yes, but let me answer the question. When I wrote my thing on Huffington, I wasn`t -- I was assuming he`d be expedited, first of all.
BEHAR: Not expedited.
FARR: He could be expedited too. It could be either way.
BEHAR: Well, let`s extradite him and expedite him, let`s do both.
FARR: I`m a little nervous here.
BEHAR: All right.
FARR: No, that he would be extradited and then he would go to trial.
FARR: All I was suggesting was that given all the different factors of the case, that the trial should be handled expeditiously and that there should be some leniency shown. I think if you take a 76-year-old man, 30 years after the fact...
FARR: ...when the victim doesn`t even want this to be reopened, and put him behind bars for the rest of his life, I don`t think that serves anybody.
BEHAR: What do you say to that?
FLOYD: Yes, you`re saying when you get...
BEHAR: Ok, Gloria, what are you saying? I`ll be right with you.
FLOYD: When you get to sentencing, that the judge should consider all factors...
FLOYD: ...as they would in any case.
FLOYD: That I agree with.
BEHAR: Ok, go ahead, jump in, Gloria.
ALLRED: Well, Joy, of course, Roman Polanski has avoided the day of sentencing. But he can run, obviously, he can`t hide because now he`s in custody. And I hope that he is going to be brought back to Los Angeles for this.
And let`s remember that he has not been sentenced, which means that there are still felony charges against him pending: meaning, rape by drug, perversion, which is oral copulation, giving controlled substances to minors -- to a minor -- sodomy and other charges.
So these are very, very serious crimes. And Hollywood should not be minimizing them. If this were a day laborer instead of a famous movie director, a rich and famous one...
ALLRED: ...would they be rallying around...
ALLRED: ...and saying a day laborer from another country...
ALLRED: ...should somehow get leniency or mercy?
BEHAR: If he were Joe the Plumber, he`d be thrown into jail. But you know Peter Fonda for instance told a Zurich radio station that -- this is what Peter Fonda said -- Polanski is, quote, "not responsible for killing." And noted the victim has asked for the case to be dismissed.
Now, murder is bad, but rape is just is -- in a certain way, it`s a violation -- it kills the soul. It`s a kind of murder. So I think that that`s why people are not happy about this and they want him to be punished.
FARR: I just think the victim`s voice should be -- should be heard here. And I think it`s important. Also, I think it`s important...
ALLRED: Well, with the victim`s voice -- the victim`s voice can be heard at the victim impact sentencing. But this is not her case. It`s the case of the people versus -- people of California versus Roman Polanski.
ALLRED: And he committed a crime or crimes -- if that`s proven -- against the people of the State of California. And that is what`s important.
And by the way, the victim herself has never recanted her testimony to the grand jury about what he did to her. And that she was in fear. And that she...
FLOYD: But she had filed papers asking, Gloria, for this to be expedited. She has asked that -- this is ruining her life...
ALLRED: It can be extradited but that doesn`t mean it should be dismissed.
FLOYD: ...and she wants this to move on.
BEHAR: Ok, I want you to listen. This was shocking to me.
Listen to what former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said on the "Today Show." Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIE BROWN, FORMER SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR: The judge had already agreed what the sentence would be. When the judge became concerned as a result of having to run for election and otherwise, I think, it became clear that the judge was going to go in a different direction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Gloria, what`s up with Willie?
ALLRED: Well, Willie says that he has been friends with Roman Polanski for 30 years. So maybe he`s got, you know, maybe he`s not quite as objective as he might be if he weren`t friends with Roman Polanski for 30 years.
But all I can say is it`s easy to attack a judge who is no longer alive and cannot defend himself. Let Roman Polanski come back and then he can make his argument about judicial misconduct. My guess is that`s not going to be a successful argument. But he`s got to come back and make it and be present in the courtroom.
BEHAR: Go ahead John.
FARR: Everyone -- everyone should see the documentary "Wanted and Desired."
BEHAR: I saw it.
FARR: Now, in that documentary, you have the lead prosecutor and the defense attorney both saying that the trial was basically a sham and the lead prosecutor who is a Mormon -- imagine, you know, a straight-laced Mormon, saying I can almost understand why Mr. Polanski chose to flee.
Now, isn`t that rather unusual?
BEHAR: Well, he`s a man, he`s a man. The guy is a man. Let`s just go there for a second.
FARR: He`s also a Mormon for God`s sake.
BEHAR: He may be a Mormon, but he`s a man first.
FLOYD: Ok, ok I want to get back to what you said about Peter Fonda and with all due respect to my former Mayor Willie Brown. Rape is a crime of violence.
FLOYD: And this is something I think to this day men do not -- many men, not all men -- do not understand. It is a crime of violence.
FLOYD: And they don`t think of it -- many men do not -- and Gloria, I know you and I agree on this, in that way. And that`s part of the problem in discussing this case. I think, and I say this as a criminal defense attorney, I don`t understand why Roman Polanski just doesn`t come back and face the music.
This is hanging over his head. Let`s get on with it.
BEHAR: He doesn`t want to...
FLOYD: He`s got to come back and fight it out and clear it up once and for all.
BEHAR: Listen, if he was a priest, they would have sent him to another parish.
FLOYD: Father Polanski.
BEHAR: Thanks to my panel very much. Thank you, guys, thank you Gloria. We`ll be back in a bit.
FARR: Thank you Joy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: For the sake of those dying people and their families, I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven`t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Democratic Congress Alan Grayson shocked many when he played dirty yesterday on the House floor. But he`s not the only one. The whole Congress has become one big screaming match.
Jeffrey Ross, comedian, author of "I Only Roast the Ones I Love" is one of my guests tonight; also, S.E. Cupp, author and conservative` blogger; and Steve Kornacki, a political columnist for the New York Observer.
Welcome to the show.
Steve, does everyone in D.C. needs to a Xanax these days?
STEVE KORNACKI, NY OBSERVER: Well, if you want too take the long view, you could say 150 years ago, an angry Congressman from South Carolina burst into the Senate chamber, grabbed a cane and beat a guy names Charles Sumner from Massachusetts to within an inch of his life. 100 years later, they`re only talking about killing each other. They actually were trying to kill each other back then.
You look at like Grayson`s sort of outburst, whatever. It`s sort of understandable. Health care has been a debate on and off in Congress for 100 years. Almost nothing`s happened.
BEHAR: It never gets fixed.
KORNACKI: And a Democrat like Grayson looks at it and says every time we have the debate, the pattern`s the same. It`s a Democratic President, a Democratic Congress that instigate and then it`s Republicans that object and set the terms of the debate. We`re always answering to what the Republicans are saying.
He`s trying to throw the ball back now. Hey listen, you guys have to come up with something and it gets emotional.
BEHAR: Yes, except that he`s also running for office and he found out that Joe Wilson filled his coffers because he had an outburst. And now he`s doing it. It`s tit-for-tat, isn`t it?
KORNACKI: It`s a little strange though because if you look at his district, if you look at Grayson`s district, he`s not the kind of guy that`s supposed to this. This is a quintessential swing district. He comes from the 8th district of Florida. This is Orlando, sort of the suburbs that sprung up around Disney World 40 years ago.
This is a district where he won sort of in a fluke last year. The Republican incumbent broke a term on its pledge, he had Obama at the top of the ticket. Otherwise, it`s been a Republican district for 30 years.
This is the kind of guy who -- every other Democrat like him in Congress tries very hard to go to the right and to appease the right. It`s going to be really interesting to see what happens to him in 2010 if he pays a price or if it works.
BEHAR: You think people are getting meaner in Congress you guys? Either one.
S.E. CUPP, CO-AUTHOR, "WHY YOU`RE WRONG ABOUT THE RIGHT": It`s pretty mean. It`s like the British Parliament almost.
BEHAR: I enjoy that. Don`t you love to watch that, when they yell at each other?
CUPP: It`s a little undignified. Don`t you think?
BEHAR: I like it.
JEFFREY ROSS, AUTHOR, "I ONLY ROAST THE ONES I LOVE": I like it. I think they should have mozzarella sticks and a two drink minimum.
BEHAR: I agree with you.
But the whole debate has become a big sound bite war. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GRAYSON: If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this -- die quickly. That`s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Grayson, how about apologizing? Mr. Grayson?
GRAYSON: Well, I would like to apologize. I would like to apologize to the dead. I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven`t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.
MICHAEL STEELE, CHAIRMAN, GOP: Where do these nut jobs come from? I mean come on. Stop this.
GRAYSON: These are foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who think they can dictate policy to America by being stubborn.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: It`s great, isn`t it?
CUPP: It`s really bad.
KORNACKI: You missed the end of that interview where he said "But I`m not calling anybody names."
BEHAR: Jeffrey, what he said...
JEFFREY ROSS, AUTHOR, "I ONLY ROAST THE ONES I LOVE": It`s Harry Potter`s grown-up brother over here. I`m calling people names. Obviously, you know, roasting is in.
BEHAR: Roasting is in. Exactly. You are way ahead of your time.
ROSS: All these politicians have been channeling their inner roast master. Next we should roast Obama. It would be the greatest thing ever.
BEHAR: What -- do you think -- that`s another topic. Comedians have pretty much avoided a lot of jokes about Obama. You think it`s time now?
ROSS: I think Obama`s skin is very thick. I think he can take it. There could be a whole bunch of jokes about the size of his stimulus package. It will be a lot of fun I think. They`re going to sling jokes in Washington, might as well do it here.
BEHAR: Which do you think is better, death panels or die quickly? Who won that sort of sound bite race do you think?
S.E. CUPP, CONSERVATIVE BLOGGER: It`s pretty bad. You know, the holocaust is really generally never a safe place to go. I think, you know it would be great if...
BEHAR: I don`t think he went to The Holocaust. I think he meant a holocaust.
CUPP: I don`t really think there`s a...
BEHAR: It`s a little different.
CUPP: I don`t know -- I don`t think there`s a difference. I think he`s suggesting that Republicans are, you know, mass murdering the American population. It`s absurd. I`d like him to tell the very few lucky Jews who did manage to flee Nazi Germany that they didn`t in fact survive the Holocaust, they`re just victim, of another one by way of Republican lawmakers who don`t want a public option in health care. It`s crazy.
BEHAR: It`s a little over the top, is what you`re saying?
CUPP: It is.
BEHAR: The Republican apologized. The Democrat did not.
STEVE KORNACKI, NY OBSERVER: But it was different. What Joe Wilson did was different. That was a formal address to Congress by the President of the United States.
BEHAR: Was that worse?
KORNACKI: Yes, you have Republican Congressman in the last 30, 60 days -- I could think of six off the top of my head -- who have gone down to the house floor in a similar one-minute speech and said, you know, the Democrat`s message to senior citizens is die, they basically said the same thing.
So the one-minute speeches are always different. They`re always a lot more inflammatory. When you have a head of state, a president who comes in and talks to Congress, a little more decorum is usually expected.
You`d have an argument though, like you`re saying, maybe it should be more like Britain. Maybe they should be jeering. May they should be...
BEHAR: That seems to be like -- it seems healthy arguing in England. But there`s something going on right now -- I mean, that`s a little scarier.
I want to read something that Thomas Friedman said yesterday. "Criticism from the far right has begun tipping over into delegitimation and creating the same" -- listen to this -- "the same kind of climate here that existed in Israel on the eve of the Rabin assassination."
And Nancy Pelosi, who`s practically in tears about the meanness from the right wing and how she`s worried it`s going to create violence in the country, et cetera. There`s a blog or something that they removed, asking people if they wanted to kill Obama. I mean, is it scary or is it really not scary? Please tell me.
KORNACKI: There was another column (ph) up yesterday -- which was also removed calling for a military coup against Obama -- you know, to quote-unquote, "restore the constitution" in the most unconstitutional act possible to quote, "restore the constitution."
BEHAR: Well, they`re not...
CUBB: Where were the crocodile tears and the outrage when the left fringe was doing this against Bush? When they were calling him Hitler and they were likening him to a chimpanzee? I mean, there was the same kind of stuff happening in the previous administration.
KORNACKI: No one called for a coup.
CUPP: There wasn`t the same kind of outrage and sort of faux sympathy coming out of the journalists or...
BEHAR: Somehow he felt that he had the militia behind him or something. It wasn`t going to be as dangerous for him as it is for Obama. I don`t know why. He has the militia too. He could stop all of this, really, at the end of the day, if there`s actually violence. Right Steve?
KORNACKI: Yes, but it`s climate. You`re right though. You listen to the arguments that are being made against him. You watch that -- what was that -- the 9/12 march in Washington.
I didn`t attend but I saw videos, I read the write up. Maybe I didn`t get a good impression of it. I didn`t hear a single rationale thought come out of anybody there. What was I saw was -- if you could term it anything -- cultural anxiety.
He`s triggered an emotional reaction within people to what he represents individually or what they perceive him to represent individually. And what they perceive him to represent in terms of the people he sort of -- who elected him.
If you look at the policies of the administration, they`ve actually strained to go to the middle and not be identified as leftist. But you know it doesn`t matter. They`re just going to get called socialists anyway.
BEHAR: I want to jump to another topic before we go because we always have time. I have so many more things to say.
You know Sarah Palin`s book is already -- has already topped Ted Kennedy`s memoir.
BEHAR: It`s not even out yet.
CUPP: And Dan Brown.
BEHAR: And Dan Brown, the guy who wrote "Da Vinci."
ROSS: She finished it early?
BEHAR: She finished it early.
ROSS: Is that a surprise? That`s her specialty, quitting early, right?
400 pages. Thank you S.E., Steve. Thank you.
I`ll be right back and so will Jeff Ross for another segment.
ROSS: Oh good.
BEHAR: Yes. We`re going to just play. God help us.
We`ll be right back.
ROSS: We`ll kibbutz around?
BEHAR: Yes, kibbutz around.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Joy, you`re my best friend in the whole world. And I could not be happier than you have this show because the whole world finally gets to hear you, singularly. Good luck baby.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Joy Behar, I`m glad you have a show. You`re somebody who should have a show. Too many people have shows that shouldn`t have shows. You deserve a show. And I`m happy you`ve got one. Check it out sister.
BEHAR: I`m back with a very funny comic, Jeff Ross. His new book "I Only Roast the Ones I Love" is in stores now. And that`s it for the plug spiel.
ROSS: Joy, this is so exciting, you know?
ROSS: You`re like -- Who says all the hot chicks are on Fox News? This is so cool.
BEHAR: I know, it`s true. It`s true.
Let`s talk about your book. First of all, it took Sarah Palin four months to write her book. How long did it take you?
ROSS: It took me a year to write my book. But in all fairness, I had to use complete sentences.
BEHAR: That`s true. Is it a tell-all? What is it about?
ROSS: It is a tell-all. It`s not like Mackenzie Phillips talking about having sex with her father. I don`t think we have to tell everything, you know? I was molested by Bea Arthur. You don`t see me crying about it on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
BEHAR: You know, today we had on "Speidi". You know, those two? Spencer and what`s her name, Heidi?
ROSS: Spencer and Heidi.
BEHAR: Heidi. They call themselves "Speidi."
ROSS: So ridiculous.
BEHAR: They don`t have sex or anything, they were telling me because he doesn`t want to have kids. It`s a whole wrong thing. It`s so sordid, I can`t even go into it. But they`re getting a lot of press about it. But they like it. They`re saying there`s no such thing as bad publicity.
Do you think there`s anything bad -- anything like it`s bad publicity.
ROSS: I don`t know. Tell that to Kanye West. When the president calls you jackass, it`s hard to spin that in a positive way. He`s a guy who really likes to rain on people`s parades -- Kanye. Today he went to a little kid`s birthday party and threw the cake on the floor.
BEHAR: He did. He`s not nice. What`s the worst press you ever got?
ROSS: Ooh boy. I don`t know. Somebody said that I saved Courtney Love`s life once. I do take credit for that though.
BEHAR: How did you do that?
ROSS: I roasted her into rehab. It was really a scary, scary day. She was coming at me. I had my jokes. I was on the podium doing a roast. And she was coming towards me I didn`t know what to do. So I had to sort of shut her down with a joke.
I said, Courtney Love, you`re like the girl next door if you happen to live next door to a methadone clinic. The next morning, she checked herself into rehab. So roasting saves live, Joy.
BEHAR: It does. Some of the roast jokes are mean. They`re very mean.
BEHAR: The roast for Joan Rivers had a few mean -- it`s mean. But they`re funny.
ROSS: Well, that was a tricky one because --
BEHAR: You say you only roast the ones you love, do you really mean that?
ROSS: As far as Joan Rivers?
ROSS: I never roasted a dead person before, but I thought she was -- Joan Rivers was a good sport. I said, Joan Rivers if you Google her, you can find her on Craig`s and Schindler`s list. It all comes from a place of affection. You know that.
BEHAR: I know that.
Who would you pay to be able to roast do you think?
ROSS: The Joy Behar roast would be the greatest one ever.
BEHAR: No. I don`t like the idea because you`ll say I`m fat, I`m old. You`ll say I`m not attractive.
ROSS: I`ve had a crush on you for 20 years.
BEHAR: I don`t care. I`m sensitive and touchy about my looks.
ROSS: I think it`s great that you`re on Headline News. I think your hair should be on the Discovery Channel.
BEHAR: Instead of the Animal Planet.
ROSS: I like that.
BEHAR: Let me tell you something, the -- what`s his name, DeLay. Tom DeLay was on "Dancing with the Stars."
BEHAR: Did you see him?
ROSS: I did see him almost drop his dance partner. Did you see that?
BEHAR: I did.
ROSS: Lucky for him, she had health insurance.
BEHAR: But are you jealous he lasted longer than you did?
ROSS: It is kind of hard to believe such a right winger would have two left feet. He did do better than me and I really can`t make fun of anyone`s dancing. I got the lowest score in the show`s history.
BEHAR: I know. But he was more ridiculous than you`ll ever be.
ROSS: Heather Mills` leg flew off; she got a higher score than me.
BEHAR: The book is "I Only Roast the Ones I Love."
When we come back, another ball-buster, Michael Moore; I wasn`t sure I was reading that right.
BEHAR: Everyone`s got an opinion about my next guest, and that`s the good news. He`s the world`s most successful documentary filmmaker. And his new movie "Capitalism, a Love Story" opens Friday. I`m pleased to be joined by Oscar-winner Michael Moore. Hi, Michael.
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Hi, Joy, how are you?
BEHAR: I`m fine.
You know, you`re a very polarizing figure, Michael. Here`s a sampling of some of your critics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: A (EXPLETIVE DELETED) slimeball, and outrageous in his lies about my family.
FRED THOMPSON, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mental institution, Michael. Might be something you ought to think about.
DAN BARTLETT, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: He`s outside the mainstream. The organizations and groups that support him are very angry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Michael, do you consider it a badge of honor to be called an a-hole by Bush sr.?
MOORE: I think that`s the only time the American people heard him swear.
BEHAR: I think so. You really got to him. That`s beauty of it.
MOORE: Well, I`m sorry he feels that badly about me.
BEHAR: Oh, so what?
MOORE: Yes what can I do?
BEHAR: You can`t do anything. Just keep making your films. That aggravates the Republicans to no end, I guess, right?
MOORE: Yes, I think so.
BEHAR: It does. But before we get to your new movie, which I happen to love -- I really thought it was great -- I want to ask you about your previous movie "Sicko" for a minute, OK? The Senate Finance Committee just rejected the public option. If we don`t have the public option in health care reform, what have we really got?
BEHAR: We got nothing.
MOORE: That`s right, that`s right. It`s game over. So if that`s really what the Democrats want to do in the Senate, they really just want to thumb their nose at the two-thirds of Americans who are demanding that public option, I`d like to have them really just explain to us what their definition of democracy is.
BEHAR: Uh-huh. It really is the Democrats you`re mad at right now, isn`t it?
MOORE: Absolutely. I expect this from the Republicans. But not from the people who -- I mean, the nation went to vote last November, and they made it very clear that they wanted universal health care. The people by a vast majority voted for this. They gave the Democrats 60 seats in the Senate.
And for them to be behaving like Republicans, well, I`ll tell you. I`m going to be busy next year. Whichever one of them are for reelection next year, and the same goes for any of the members of the House of Congress standing in the way of universal health care.
BEHAR: So that`s what we`re going to do? We`re just not going to vote for these people again?
MOORE: Or we`ll get other people to run against them in the primary.
BEHAR: Maybe we have to be more active in the whole process.
MOORE: The right wing is out there with their tea parties and they do all that stuff, and we don`t get as organized, I think. I think it`s because you have to be angry against something like we were previous wars, we were out there marching against a war. And so they`re against this health care plan and that`s why they get out, do you think?
MOORE: Well, geez, if that`s the only thing that can motivate us, that`s kind of lame.
BEHAR: I know.
MOORE: We always have to be against something? I mean, listen, President Obama, and I support him, but his position on health care -- he started with the compromise. Instead of starting with everything we wanted, single payer, you know, everybody`s covered, private insurance companies goodbye.
And then if you have to compromise, then you make the compromises you have to make. But you don`t start with the compromise.
BEHAR: Do you think he`s been too wishy-washy on this topic and he`s not the decider like Bush was and just plowed his way through?
MOORE: Yes, exactly. It`s not that he has -- I don`t think he`s been wishy-washy. I think he really in his heart wanted to do this together with the Republicans. I think he really wanted to say, hey, we can do this together. Let`s be bipartisan about this.
BEHAR: Yes that worked really well.
MOORE: They had no intention of that. They could care less about his olive branch.
MOORE: They got their chainsaw out and chopped it right off. So hopefully he got the message, they don`t want to play. OK, you don`t want to play? We`ve got 60 votes Senate. Here what we`re going to do.
But if there`s no -- if there`s no requirement of Democrats to behave like Democrats, then -- then where are we?
Do you think Obama has too much on his plate? He`s been criticized that he has too much to do. He`s flying to Denmark in the middle of this whole mess. And he`s been criticized by that. What do you think about that?
MOORE: No. I think he`s the president of the United States. He does have a lot on the plate. He has more to do today than I have to do. So that`s just the way it is.
That he`s going to Denmark to try to get the Olympics in Chicago -- OK.
BEHAR: Why is he doing that? Tell me what the motivation is there.
MOORE: I think he cares about Chicago.
BEHAR: Cares about Chicago?
BEHAR: Well, it will bring jobs to Chicago, right? And it will start right now I think? They`ll start --
MOORE: The Midwest needs some help right now. So great, go for it.
BEHAR: They sure do need a lot of help.
Let`s go to your new movie "Capitalism, a Love Story." I loved the movie, but I`m a little confused, I have to say. And I really sat through the whole thing. I want to see it again, but you`re not giving out screeners. I think you should.
Anyway, you say, Michael, that capitalism is evil. OK. But aren`t we both capitalists, you and I?
BEHAR: We`re not? I mean, I own property. And --
MOORE: Well, no, there`s nothing wrong with owning property.
BEHAR: I`m a small business in and of myself.
BEHAR: Why isn`t that capitalism?
MOORE: No. Well, in countries that are -- have more socialist economy, people own property, they have businesses, there are shoe stores. If you work hard or work harder, you earn more. There`s nothing wrong with any of that.
MOORE: I`m talking -- when I say "capitalism," I`m talking about what it has become, what it is now. Not the version that used to be on "Andy of Mayberry," but what it is now, which is a legalized system of greed.
And it`s a protection system for the wealthy. They`ve got their Ponzi scheme, and it`s essentially a pyramid that`s set up so only the wealthiest 1 percent are at the top of that pyramid and the other -- they own -- they actually have as much financial wealth right now as the 95 percent under them. 1 percent equals 95 percent? I don`t think so.
So they`re --
BEHAR: Maybe it`s really corporatism you`re talking about. And maybe what it needs is more regulation. Rather than saying capitalism is evil, it`s the fact that that it doesn`t have enough regulation. It`s the systemic evils within the system.
MOORE: Right, except people have been saying for the last year since the crash, "We need more regulation." How many regulations have passed within last year? None. Why? Because capitalism isn`t going to allow those regulations to be passed because the bank lobby has made sure in the last year that they don`t have to follow the rules.
Even after they brought the system down, they think they can just continue on. And they`ve now found new ways to do derivatives and all these other crazy financial schemes. It`s a beast that cannot be tied down. And to try and reform it at this point, I think it`s too late.
BEHAR: You do? That`s rather depressing.
MOORE: No, it`s not depressing. The way I look at it is that capitalism is a 16th century economic philosophy. Socialism is a 19th century economic philosophy. Let`s quit talking about the past. These are old philosophies. We`re in the 21st century. Can`t we come up with something new, a different economic order?
BEHAR: We`ll have to think of something else.
MOORE: You and I aren`t going to do that. We`re not economists.
MOORE: But doesn`t your common sense tell you we can do better than what we`re doing right now?
BEHAR: There`s been a lot of talk about capitalism versus socialism, OK? And here`s a sample of the rhetoric we`re seeing on right. Take a look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is why everybody in this room is so ticked off. I don`t want this country turning into Russia, turning into a socialized country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Do these people even know what "socialism" means? I mean, I hear this word bandies around. And they`re calling -- they`ll call Obama a Nazi and a socialist. They go on every -- they don`t even know what these words mean. What do you say to these people?
MOORE: I don`t know what to say. I mean this is a real problem. It starts with our educational system. It continues on with a lot of our media. We have a semiliterate country now. There`s 40 million functional illiterate adults in this country now, which means they can`t read or write above a fourth grade level.
BEHAR: And that`s just on my show.
MOORE: But, no, seriously, it`s a real problem. And National Geographic did a poll a while back, and they asked young adults 18 to 25 to find Iraq or Israel on the map, and it`s like upwards to 80 percent of them couldn`t find, 60 percent couldn`t find England on the globe. And 11 percent couldn`t find the United States on the globe.
BEHAR: Well, maybe these kids should be going to school longer. Something`s being proposed right now that kids should go to school until 6:00 at night and maybe just work the school year until the middle of July and --
MOORE: I don`t know.
BEHAR: Nobody wants to do that.
MOORE: No, I don`t want to do that either.
I just read this story about how in Finland they have decided homework is a bad idea, and so they discourage homework now. They try to limit the amount of homework that kids take home because they think kids need to play. They need to get out and socialize with other people.
And part of the problem they see in societies with people not getting along and not being able to function with each other is that we`ve taken away that time after school where you learn to get along with everybody.
Instead, you`re inside -- I don`t know if you -- you know, kids are -- when my daughter was in high school, these kids are up till almost midnight doing homework.
MOORE: It`s absolutely crazy.
And so Finland is essentially reduced it quite a bit. And their test scores have gone up. And now they`re in a lot of ways they`re at or near the top of a lot of testing that goes on in this world.
BEHAR: I wonder how much ice skating they learn there too.
MOORE: Yes. Well, you know.
BEHAR: Michael, when I was a kid, I liked school because I was scared to go out in the neighborhood because a bunch of girls always wanted to beat me up. So I would have liked to have stayed in school and take more art classes and more gym classes, and I don`t really feel I`m against that sort of longer day.
MOORE: I don`t know. Did the girls beat you up?
BEHAR: No, because I was just as tough as they were.
MOORE: There you go.
BEHAR: OK. Thanks, Michael, for coming on. We`ll be back in 60 seconds.
BEHAR: Not for nothing, but all I keep hearing is that President Obama is trying to do too much, that he has too much on his plate.
Rush Limbaugh has too much on his plate.
Barack Obama is the president. He`s supposed to be busy. Sorry, but after two terms of a president who had more time to work on his tan than George Hamilton, Obama looks like a guy with hyperactivity disorder.
By the way, how you spend your time is also important, may I just add that? Obama has spent the last eight months trying to pass health care reform and negotiate a ban on nuclear weapons. Bush spent eight years just trying to pronounce the word "nuclear."
President Obama hasn`t taken on too much. He just has to work too hard to achieve anything because a lot of people in Congress fight him at every turn.
You know, it`s easy to just sit on your behind and criticize. My staff is doing that right now. I see you. I`m watching all of you.
Rather than accuse Obama of being overextended, why don`t these blowhards in Congress come up with some alternatives or solutions? All you hear is this endless stream of "No, I don`t want to. You`re going to do what?" They sound like me on my wedding night.
May I also offer up this solution? When these lazy SOBs come up for the midterm election, just tell them you would have voted for them, but you were just too busy. That`s just me.
BEHAR: My next guest hosts the award winning TLC show "Shalom in the Home," and is the best-selling author of over 20 books, including his most recent "The Michael Jackson Tapes." Please welcome Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. Shalom, Rabbi.
RABBI SHMULEY BOTEACH, AUTHOR, "THE MICHAEL JACKSON TAPES": Shalom, Joy.
BOTEACH: Congratulations on your show. Even though you took my show, I still wish you a heartfelt congratulations.
BEHAR: That was a bitter, bitter compliment.
BOTEACH: No, no, it was said with love. The truth hurts. This is going to be fantastic. I wish you great success.
BEHAR: OK, thank you.
Let`s talk about Michael Jackson. The AP is reporting today that Jackson`s autopsy shows he was fairly healthy.
BOTEACH: I can`t say that I`m not surprised. I`m very surprised. Michael was not eating well. Of course when someone dies of a drug abuse as it seemed from earlier reports his body had become almost a walking pharmacy.
And this book actually details why Michael felt so lonely and so broken. And unfortunately, for far too many people in our culture, drugs are a way of compensating for that kind of loneliness and brokenness.
BEHAR: Yes. But he also, I was reading in the book that he would go for weeks without eating until he fell into unconsciousness, and then he would get on an IV drip. That`s not a sign of mental health, I`m sorry.
BOTEACH: Well, I don`t know what they mean -- are they saying his constitution was healthy?
I think one of the things that makes this book so searingly honest is how Michael wanted to tell the public, wanted to share with the public how fame and fortune are not what we think them to be. They don`t compensate for loss of affection in your childhood, it doesn`t compensate for loss of unconditional love.
And I think some of Michael`s fans wanted him to betrayed as much more perfect. Michael never felt that he was Jesus Christ. He did not want to be martyred. He wanted to live a long, happy life. And the price you pay for celebrity sometimes is a very tragic price.
BOTEACH: I know, he may not have wanted to be Jesus Christ, but he was a little bit grandiose in some of these statements. "God gave me a mission to do something for children." He`s talking to god now? And he believed if he had an hour with Hitler, he could change him.
BOTEACH: Let`s look at that comment for a moment, because a lot of people are trying to say on the Internet that Michael was anti-Semitic in some way. Michael was a lover of the Jewish people. We were very dear friends.
BEHAR: I never got that he was anti-Semitic. Where`d they pick that up?
BOTEACH: Because of some controversies related to lyrics in the song "The Don`t Care about Us." Michael clarifies that in the book as well.
What Michael is trying to say is he believed that everybody had good in them. I was trying to respond there are those who have erase the image of god from their countenance. They have really crossed that line and they can never come back. And, of course, Hitler was one of them.
BEHAR: Exactly. Do you believe in evil, rabbi?
BOTEACH: At worst he was naive, very naive.
BOTEACH: Of course I do, theirs is good and evil.
But the Jewish version of good and evil, Joy, is very different to the Christian version. In the Christian version, the devil overtakes some people`s lives. In the Jewish view, we`re all born innocent. No one`s born good and no one`s born bad. Our actions determine what we`ll become.
And I think the predictability of Hitler`s evil nature and Usama bin Laden means that there`s no good left in them and their souls have just been on obliterated from within them.
But Michael can be forgiven for being naive. But I think when you get up in front of 200,000 people in a stadium and they`re chanting your name, "Michael, Michael!" And then later some of your friends come and say, well, that`s nice, but there are major changes you need to make in your life, it`s a very difficult message to hear.
And there is the messiah complex associated with super celebrity, and I think it`s one of the reasons why our superstars die so often.
BEHAR: A lot of times.
BOTEACH: Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Janice Joplin, they all had people who must have said to them, you need to make changes, but the didn`t want to hear it.
BEHAR: Some of the names you threw out there had very difficult childhoods, as did Michael Jackson. He gave a frightening account of his father`s beatings. He said he would make you strip nude first. He would oil you down so when the tip of the ironing cord hit you, you know, it would just be like dying.
But then, you know, Michael`s sister, Latoya, painted a very different picture on "The View," my other show. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LATOYA JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSONS` SISTER: Sometimes you get a little spanking if you do something wrong. Today, we take it totally out of context as a beating or whatever.
BARBARA WALTERS: Why was Michael so afraid?
JACKSON: You know, I think it`s more or less the facial expressions my father gives out or things of that nature.
But it really wasn`t, Barbara, as you grow older, as children we look at things quite differently as we do as adults. As a matter of fact, Michael had a wonderful relationship with my father.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: See, "a wonderful relationship with her father." According to this, he was made to strip nude, he would hit him with a cord. What`s the truth there?
BOTEACH: Michael was very open in this book especially, but in other avenues as well about what he considered to have been excessive physicality on the part of his father when he was a child. I`m not here to judge the accuracy of those statements.
What`s important is that from Michael`s perspective they were true. I don`t want to even judge Joseph Jackson. Michael does recount in the book repeatedly that amidst these kinds of very violent scenes, he loved his father deeply and he wished to be reconciled with his father.
It is my humble opinion after sitting with Michael for all these hours of conversations, that he -- what killed him more than anything else is he never reconciled with his father.
BEHAR: Sometimes when you get beaten as a child, all you want is a father`s love.
When we come back, more Jackson bombshells with Rabbi Shmuley.
BEHAR: He was a lonely kids wasn`t he, Rabbi?
BOTEACH: Isn`t that amazing.
Joy, you`re a pretty famous person in the culture, and a lot of people think that fame and celebrity brings happiness, and here you had the most famous man on earth saying -- he was walking the streets of Encino, and this was also after the "Thriller" album, begging people just to speak to him.
I think he wanted to be known as a person. That`s the whole idea of these conversations, that Michael wanted that very natural quality to be captured.
BEHAR: A lot of people blame celebrity on unhappiness, and they blame success and the media and everything.
I believe that it comes from your childhood. I believe if you are treated well when you`re a kid, you can do anything in this world. The media will not bother you, the attention, the success.
His father, in my way of thinking, was not very nice. I want to show you -- and the father denies the whole thing. Now Michael has alleged that he got beaten up by his father. Latoya glossed over it in that interview I showed. And this is what Joe Jackson said on the "Larry King Show."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KING: What do you say about all these things that have been said over the years that you harmed Michael as a child?
JACKSON: That`s a bunch of bull-s.
KING: Straighten me out.
JACKSON: That`s not true.
KING: You never physically harmed him?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BEHAR: Who are we supposed to believe, the boy who had a lot of difficulties in his life or a man who is denying it. Why should he admit it now?
BOTEACH: The tragedy I think --
BEHAR: Michael is not here to defend his position.
BOTEACH: The tragedy of family dysfunction is that often one person`s reputation needs to be purchased at the expense of someone else. Part of the rehabilitation of Michael Jackson`s image, and people`s understanding that if he did do things that seemed slightly odd that he paid a certain price as a child and people should be more understanding comes at the expense of his father`s reputation.
I don`t want that to happen. I wanted to see a reconciliation between them. Whatever happened in Michael`s life, and you`re right, you can be scarred in your childhood, you still have an obligation to heal.
BEHAR: You have an obligation to heal? How do you do that? You need psychotherapy, you need a lot of help.
BOTEACH: With Michael, a part of the healing came from being quite a religious and spiritual person. Michael was not just a devout Jehovah`s Witness, he was a missionary. He was the most famous entertainer in the world, and he would be knocking on your door and he`d say, "Can I talk to you about god?" And he would debate you.
But once he lost that spiritual foundation, I think he became a life that was largely unanchored.
BEHAR: And he never had any kind of piloting from his childhood to help him.
One more question before you go, and I now you know quite a bit about him at this point -- did he actually have sex with women, do you think?
BOTEACH: I never asked him that. Our relationship always had a certain dignity to it.
But I will say that he comes across as someone who is slightly suspicious of women, always attracted to women, but he`s suspicious I think because he said at the age of give he was going to strip clubs where he was asked to perform as part of "The Jackson 5."
So he was witnessing these images that were way too adult and I think he began to conclude that women tried to use their sexual power to gain control over men and get something from them.
So on the one hand he was attracted to women, but I think it made him suspicious of women. And it`s a very important lesson to us parents about what we allow our children to see when they`re young and tender.
BEHAR: OK. And don`t be hitting them either.
Thanks to the Rabbi Shmuley and the rest of my guests for joining me tonight. I`ll be back here tomorrow night. Goodnight everybody. It`s time for a little vino. Want to go for a drink?
BOTEACH: Absolutely. L`chaim!
BEHAR: See you tomorrow.