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CNN Larry King Live

Encore: Interview with Michael Moore

Aired September 26, 2009 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight...


MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: This is Michael Moore. I am here to make a citizens arrest of the board of directors of AIG.


KING: Michael Moore -- he's back and asking where your money went.


MOORE: We're here to get the money back for the American people. I've got more bags. $10 billion probably won't fit in here. And just drop it from a -- from the window.


KING: Why is big business getting billions from the government when ordinary folks are losing their homes?


MOORE: But that's OK. If you can't repay it, we'll just take your house.


KING: Their health.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twenty years of our lives have been spent fighting.


KING: Their hope.



KING: Is capitalism the cause of an American nightmare, not key to the American dream?


MOORE: If one job doesn't pay all the bills, don't worry. You can get another one and another one and another one.


KING: Michael Moore -- whether he's right on or dead wrong, he's next for the hour on LARRY KING LIVE.

It has been 20 years since Michael Moore took on General Motors in "Roger and Me." He's still sticking it to big business for what he sees as the deliberate shafting of the little guy.

Just take a look at "Capitalism: A Love Story".


MOORE: We're here to get the money back for the American people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I understand, sir. But you can't come in the back.

MOORE: You can just take the bag?


MOORE: Take it up there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, absolutely not.

MOORE: Fill it up. I've got more bags. $10 billion probably won't fit in here.

We want our money back.


Have you seen this guy?


MOORE: OK. We're -- we're here to make a citizen's arrest, actually.

And just drop it from a -- from the window.

And everywhere I went...

I'm going to take it back to the U.S. Treasury right in this car. It's safe. You can trust me.


KING: Here he is, Michael Moore.

You've described this movie -- and I've seen this movie. And I'll tell you, whether people agree or disagree with it. Maybe we'll get people who disagree with it -- and there will be people who disagree -- this is a brilliant documentary. You are our number one propagandist, in the good sense that a propagandist presents their viewpoint very well. Maybe no one does it better.

You describe this movie as the culmination of all the films you've made.

Does that mean this is it?

MOORE: No. I hope not. It means that, for 20 years, as you said, I've been doing this. I started out by showing people what General Motors was up to and how this was a company that was making a lot of bad decisions and it wasn't good for the company nor for the country. That was 20 years ago.

And since then, I've covered a number of issues and different things. But it all seems to come back to this one issue of follow the money.

Who's got the money?

And whoever has the money has the power. And right now, in America, tonight, Larry, the richest 1 percent have more financial wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined.

KING: You're in that 1 percent, though?

MOORE: Well, I don't know if I'm in -- I don't think I'm in that 1 percent, but I...

KING: No, 1 percent...

MOORE: But I...


MOORE: I mean listen (INAUDIBLE) I make documentary films. But I mean, obviously, I do well because my films have done well. But, you know, I -- look, even if I were, I think it's my responsibility -- my moral duty that if I've done well, that I have to make sure that everybody else...

KING: Does well too or has a chance?

MOORE: Well, has at least a chance but that -- and that the pie is divided fairly amongst the people and not just a few people get the majority of the loot and everybody else has to struggle for the crumbs.

KING: Are you saying capitalism is a failure?

MOORE: Yes. Capitalism. Yes. Well, I don't have to say it. Capitalism, in the last year, has proven that it's failed. All the basic tenets of what we've talked about the free market, about free enterprise and competition just completely fell apart. As soon as they lost, essentially, our money, they came running to the federal government for a bailout -- for welfare, for socialism. And it -- it -- I thought the basic principle of capitalism was that it's about a -- it's a sink or swim situation. And those who do well, the cream rises to the top and, you know, those who invest their money wrongly or, you know, don't run their business the right way, then they don't do well.

And if you run your business the wrong way, where does it say that you or I or anybody watching this has to bail them out?

I understand -- I understand why everybody seemed to get behind it, because a lot of people were afraid, because these people down on Wall Street had taken our money and made bets with it. I mean, they essentially created this invisible virtual casino with people's money -- people's pension funds, people's 401(k)s. They took this money and they made bets. And then they made bets on the bets. And then they took out insurance policies on the bets. And then they took out insurance against the insurance -- the credit default swaps.

KING: You started...


KING: You started filming before Lehman Brothers went belly up.


KING: The stock market tanked.

Now, how did the events as it occurred affect the movie?

MOORE: Well, obviously...

KING: Did it change gears?

MOORE: It didn't change in terms of what I was looking at, but it did -- it did, obviously, offer probably the best example of why this is a system that is really corrupt at its core -- corrupt because it doesn't, it isn't run with democratic -- small "d" democratic principles. There's no democracy in our economy. You and I and the people watching have no say in how this economy is run. The upper 1 percent, the people down on Wall Street, the corporate executives, they're the people that control this economy.

KING: And they don't want to see the economy do well?

They don't want to see people...

MOORE: Oh, they sure do. They want (INAUDIBLE).

KING: Don't they want people to make money so they can buy the products?

I mean it's silly if they...


KING: They want people unemployed?

MOORE: Oddly enough, yes.

KING: Why?

MOORE: It's crazy, isn't it?

I'll tell you why. Because your employees are your biggest success. And, as you've noticed in the last few months, as the unemployment rate has gone up, so has the Dow Jones. Now, you'd think, you know, that Wall Street would respond with oh, my God, unemployment is going up, you know, this is bad for business. But the reality is, is that Wall Street likes that. They like it when companies fire people because immediately the bottom line is going to show a larger profit.

KING: Are you saying the investor is more important than the employee?

MOORE: Yes. The investor -- and the investor, these days, they want the short-term, quick profit and they want it now. But in the long-term, here's what happened. When I was on this show 20 years ago -- 20 years ago this week, I was here with "Roger and Me".

KING: I remember.

MOORE: And General Motors, that year, made a profit of $4 billion. And yet they had just laid off another 30,000 people.

Now, why would you lay people off when you're making a record profit of $4 billion?

I mean that was totally insane. But they thought, well, you know, we can make a bigger profit. Maybe we can make $4.2 billion if we move those jobs to Mexico. And so they're always, you know, we can make a little bit more money if we do this. By firing those workers, Larry, they got rid of the very people who buy their cars.

KING: The movie opened today in New York and Los Angeles and opens wide next week, right?

MOORE: A week from Friday, on October 2nd.

KING: The movie is "Capitalism: A Love Story".

We'll be right back.


KING: Agree or disagree, "Capitalism: A Love Story" is one heck of a documentary. We saw it. You should see it -- again, whether you agree or disagree, you should -- you should see it.

You talk about legalized greed in connection with what's happened to this economy.

Are people hard-wired to be greedy?

Is it inert?


KING: Are we naturally greedy?

MOORE: I think so. I think it's part of our human nature.

KING: So if you're greedy, I'm greedy, we're all...

MOORE: I think it's -- well, I think it's -- yes, I think it's -- there's this dark side to us as a species -- greed, violence.

KING: So how would you weed that out?

MOORE: Well, what we've learned to do as a society over hundreds or thousands of years is to create certain structures that sort of keep these bad impulses in check. And up until the late '90s, we had regulations and rules to keep the greed down on Wall Street in check. But starting in the final years of the Clinton administration...

KING: And you take them on, too.

MOORE: Absolutely.

KING: Yes.

MOORE: They -- they began cutting away these regulations. And when George W. Bush came in -- there's actually an actual photograph of -- of two of Bush's administrative -- two of the employees in the administration with a chain saw and these hedge clippers cutting the regulations when they finally got rid of all the regulations and the banks and the financial institutions could run wild.


KING: Do you think they made the inmates run the asylum...


KING: They let...

MOORE: Yes, I -- yes, absolutely. I mean it -- there was nobody in charge and so they just ran wild with the money. KING: However, your opposition to government bailouts, which you've discussed on this show before, sounds a lot of the stuff that hard core conservatives say. They were opposed to the bailouts.


KING: So are you conservative in some aspects?

MOORE: Well, I'm conservative, actually, in a lot of aspects of my -- of my life. But...

KING: But you were opposed to the bailout.

MOORE: Yes. And I...

KING: So were they, right?

MOORE: Yes. And I think I -- well, then I think that there's common ground that people can find. Now, how I would go about fixing this and how they would go about fixing it, you know, is different, because a lot of them are opposed to the bailout because the bailout was going to protect the teacher's pension fund in California and they don't want to do that so they are against the bailout.

And the reason why good Democrats were in favor of the bailout is because there was a -- there was a real fear that what if those pension funds just evaporate?

What if we do nothing and then suddenly, all these teachers, all these cops, everybody is -- is out of money?

Well, you know what, they got the bailout and people are still out of money. People who lost their 401(k)s or part of their 401(k)s are gone, the -- you showed the clip there where I'm down on Wall Street. And I saw the cops coming up to me there. And I'm thinking oh, you know, they're going to arrest me, I'm -- and I tried to say officers, you know, I'm just doing this for some comedy here. And one of the cops said to me, that's OK, Mike. The guys inside this building, they lost a billion dollars of the New York City police pension fund. You just stay here as long as you want.

KING: We've got another clip of "Capitalism: A Love Story." It's an explanation of the housing market and the mortgage meltdown.



MOORE: The scam to swindle people out of the homes they already owned was masterful. Here's how it worked.

First, tell these homeowners that they own a bank and that bank is your home. You're sitting on a gold mine. You own your own bank -- the bank of you. And you could use your bank to get more money -- just refinance. Everyone's doing it. Of course, hidden in the dozens or hundreds of pages of fine print are tricky clauses that allow the bank to raise your interest rate to a number you didn't know about, perhaps so high that you won't be able to repay your loan. But that's OK, if you can't repay it, we'll just take your house.


KING: Now, you dramatically show foreclosures in this movie. At times, you will cry when you watch it.

But does the bank want to do foreclosure?

I mean what does a bank want to do with your foreclosed house?

It don't make sense.

Why would they want to foreclose?

MOORE: It's...

KING: Why would they make the situation so bad that they foreclose?

MOORE: They would prefer that you pay the outrageous interest rates. They would prefer to keep ballooning your -- your payments up and up and -- and take that money from you.

But if you can't do it, then suddenly the bank owns property. And, as you know, there's really nothing better to own than property, because it's a...

KING: The bank wants to own the house?

MOORE: The bank -- the bank, on some level, wants to own the house, because suddenly the bank now owns land. And the more land it can accumulate, the more powerful it is. I know, I mean it's crazy. But it -- these -- these banks set this up. They structured this. And this was -- and the FBI issued this report. They said that 80 percent of this mortgage fraud has been caused by the banks and the lending institutions, not the people taking out a loan.

You know, when we -- when the crash first happened we heard how people were taking out these loans, they shouldn't have been buying these houses they couldn't afford and all that.

That's a very small piece of this. The vast majority of the fraud was committed by the banks and the financial institutions. And there's no real investigation done by the Justice Department as to who did this, how they did it and why they got away with it.

KING: So you're saying crimes occurred here?

MOORE: I believe crimes may have occurred here and I think I...

KING: But you were making citizen's arrests on Wall Street?

MOORE: Well, yes. Right. I'm not convicting them. But you if suspect someone has committed a crime, usually the police will come by and pay you a visit. You know, if they suspected you. I suspect that these crimes have been committed. You know, people's money was taken and -- and used recklessly and lost.

Where did it go?

What happened to all these mortgages that got chopped up, bundled and shipped to China or wherever else they went?

KING: Yes. One of the top news stories this week is health care reform. Of course, Michael's film, "Sicko," focused on house care -- health care, rather.

We'll get his take on the president's plan and we'll be back in 60 seconds.


KING: Michael Moore's 2007 film, "Sicko," is credited with helping push health care reform front and center of the political agenda.

Here's a little of that Oscar-nominated documentary.

You'll remember it.


MOORE: Yes, there are nearly 50 million Americans with no health insurance. They pray every day they don't get sick, because 18,000 of them will die this year, simply because they're uninsured. And by the end of the week, over 25,000 people have sent me their health care horror stories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were investigating whether or not this was a pre-existing condition.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's not medically necessary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They claim that it's experimental.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't consider that life-threatening.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We've given the entire health care system over to the insurance industry.

MOORE: Eight hundred billion of our tax dollars to the drug and health insurance industry, by letting the drug companies charge whatever they wanted. Here's what it cost to buy these men. And this woman, this guy and this guy and him, too. And the biggest check we'll save for last. And many Americans knew they were never going to see universal health care. And that's why some of them decided to look elsewhere for help.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which way to Guantanamo Bay?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Detainees representing a threat to our national security are given access to top notch medical facilities.

MOORE: Wow! So there was actually one place on American soil that had free universal health care. That's all I needed to know.


KING: Lest you think Michael Moore lets Democrats off the hook, wait until you see what's next.

Don't go away.


KING: Before you think liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, before you see this movie, be open.

Michael Moore's movie includes an interview with Robert Feinberg, a former official with Countrywide Financial. He handled what that company termed VIP loans. Senator Dodd financed two mortgages through that VIP program and he gets a rap in this movie.

We asked the senator to comment on the allegations of impropriety. His office issued a statement to us today and it says, in part: "Mr. Feinberg's charges have been repeatedly and definitively discredited by those who've taken the time to look at all the facts. The Republicans and the Democrats of the Senate Ethics Committee, multiple media outlets nationally and in Connecticut that have closely followed the story and independent third parties. There was no sweetheart deal. The Dodds got the same mortgages anyone else could have gotten. Mr. Moore does his reputation for accuracy a considerable disservice by uncritically repeating these false allegations.

You may comment.

MOORE: I didn't repeat them. Senator Dodd's loan officer at Countrywide, on camera and with the documents present -- we show them right in the film -- these -- these sweetheart loans that the senator got. Now, when I say a sweetheart loan, what I mean is, in the Ethics Committee...


MOORE: ...even though they've cleared him, which, of course, what they mean -- when the senators clear each other, they mean to say we don't think he did anything we wouldn't do.

So -- but they did stay in their report that it does appear that he got these loans quicker than the average person would have got them and that there may have been some discounts and maybe some things that got waived -- you know, moved -- we don't need this paperwork, we can move this thing along.

The question here is, is that Countrywide, which was really known for these subprime loans -- these really kind of crap loans that they gave to people whose credit wasn't very good and charged these high interest rates -- were charging really low. They were really kind of the lowest interest rates anybody could get -- to Senator Dodd. And he would call up Robert Feinberg in person and -- and do these -- get these loans, to get these loans refinanced through him.

Now, I think Chris Dodd has been a great senator. I think he's really -- in the presidential debates, he said something I thought was absolutely right on. Most people probably watching this don't know that if you make over $110,000 a year -- those who make over $110,000 a year pay zero Social Security tax on anything over $110,000. So all the rest of Americans pay a flat tax on their entire income, but you and I, Larry, and other people who make over $110,000 a year, we pay zero percent after $110,000. We don't pay a flat 7 percent on all of our salary.

KING: Well, are you saying Chris Dodd shouldn't have taken those loans?

MOORE: No, no, no. He -- yes, well (INAUDIBLE). I'm just trying to say something, you know, good about the man.

KING: You're also very critical...

MOORE: But -- yes, but I -- but I think that -- listen, here's -- here's the bottom line. He's the head of the Banking Committee. It's his job to be the watchdog of these banks and these lending institutions. He shouldn't do anything that even has the appearance of favoritism or impropriety.

KING: You're also very critical of the secretary of the Treasury.


MOORE: Well, I interview one of the top bank regulators from the savings and loan scandal. He's one of the guys who really caught -- caught these guys back in the '80s. And he says on camera, when I ask him, you know, tell me about Tim Geithner, he says, well, here's an individual who essentially has failed. He failed as the head of the New York Fed. It was his job to be the watchdog over what was going on down on Wall Street these last few years.

So all of these derivatives, credit default swaps, all this stuff during his term as the head of the New York Fed, the whole thing falls apart under his watch and he's rewarded by being made secretary of the Treasury. It's a classic example of -- as this regulator, Bill Black, says in the film, of -- of how you rise to the top in Washington, DC.

KING: You also have a hysterical -- an hysterical time trying to get a definition of derivatives.

Do you know what a derivative is now?

MOORE: It's a bet. It's essentially a bet. It's -- you're taking a bet out on a stock option and then you can do derivatives off those derivatives. So you can take a bet then out on the bet.

KING: What am I betting?

MOORE: You're -- you're -- you're betting whether or not that particular stock is going to go a certain way or not. Instead of -- in other words, you're already betting when you buy a share of stock...

KING: That's true. Right.

MOORE: So you're taking the risk. You're saying I think this company will do well, but that's -- that's my bet.

But now -- but then they started creating these crazy schemes. And I -- I go down to the Stock Exchange in the movie and I -- I ask all the traders as they're coming out of work, can anybody explain what a derivative is to me because I'm completely lost here. And then finally one guy says he do it, a guy from Lehman Brothers. And then he can't do it. I mean he tries over and over and over again.

KING: So I'm betting that a stock could lose and I could make money by betting on the loss?

MOORE: Yes. Yes.

KING: So a derivative is a bet that's different from the bet of buying a stock?

MOORE: That's correct. Right. Right. And then you can take out credit default insurance. So you can take out insurance on it in case -- just in case your bet is wrong, you can take insurance out on that.

KING: It's like insurance at Black Jack.

MOORE: Exactly. Right.

KING: All right.

Michael will be taking your phone calls.

Stick around.



MICHAEL MOORE, PRODUCER: Congressman? Congressman? Governor Bush, it's Michael Moore?


MOORE: Hello!

I have one question.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Motion adjourn. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Michael Moore is the guest. The film is "Capitalism: A Love Story." He tells me that it opened two places today, New York and Los Angeles, and did three times what "Slumdog Millionaire" did, per theater, per capita, on its opening day, and that opened on a Friday. And it doubled "Sicko," right?

MOORE: Yes, the studio just told me before I cam in. Apparently the first day has done quite well.

KING: Let's take a call for Michael Moore. Tulsa, Oklahoma, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I'm 15 years old. I was wondering what you think my generation is going to have to do to come back from these economic times?

KING: Good question.

MOORE: Yes. First of all, you're owed an apology from my generation. And your children -- your future children are owed an apology. This is -- Larry, we are throwing this debt, this incredible debt, both from the two wars that we're in right now and from the bailout of Wall Street on to this next generation.

I would tell you, in terms of just as you think about as you get ready, get close to adulthood, on that first day of college in three years, you're going to see a lot of tables when you go to sign up on the first day. And they're going to be all the credit card companies. And they're going to try to get you to sign up for a credit card, even though you don't have a job. They'll give you a 5,000 dollar credit limit. They're going to get you in hock so deep. Right now, I believe is average is, by the time a student graduates from college, they've got 6,000 dollars of credit card debt, and 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 50,000 dollars -- I know people that have 80,000 dollars of student loan debt.

When I went to school, Larry, you didn't go to a private bank to get a loan for 20 years. You went to the financial aid office. And in that office, you got a grant, or a scholarship, or work study. Maybe you had to work at the library ten hours a week. Or maybe there was a low-interest loan for one or two percent from the college. You pay it back when you can.

That's the way it was. If you lived in New York or California, at many of the colleges, you went to school for free. Now this young man, what he has ahead of him is if is going to have to -- if he has to get a student loan, for instance, for four years of college, 20,000 dollars a year, 80,000 dollars, that means that by the time he actually pays it off in 20 to 30 years, he will have paid that bank at least a half a million dollars just to go to school.

You know, we improve our society by having our children go to school and better themselves. That's how the society grows. That's how we make things better. KING: Hopefully.

MOORE: But -- so I would just encourage you to, you know, watch your money. There's lots of hands that want to get in your wallet. And be conservative with it.

KING: You are very rough on Goldman Sachs, concluding they run the country almost. Both administrations. You backed Obama. He supported bail outs. He took a lot of campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs employees work for him. Do you feel let down?

MOORE: No, I think he's part of the system. It's a broke system. It's a system where money calls the shots. We have to get money out of our political system. We need publicly financed elections. We need the candidates to be given air time. But that's it.

We got to do this like the other western countries do it. They don't allow this kind of money inside of their politics. You're right, President Obama, Goldman Sachs employees were his number one private contributors. I say that in the film, even though I support the man, and I'm wishing him the best, and I'm all behind him. But I think the people have the right to know that he, too, took this money. And now we're waiting to see whether or not he's going to be on our side or on Wall Street's side.

KING: Is he going to get health care reform?

MOORE: Well, I certainly hope so; 75 percent of the American people are expecting it. That's what the polls show. The majority of this country voted for him in large part because they want universal health care. The majority actually want single-payer health care. So we're so far away from that right now.

President Obama's, I think, problem or mistake here is that he started out with a compromise position with this public option. He should have started with what he said in 2003, when he was first thinking of running for the U.S. Senate, when he said he supported a single-payer system. Start with that. If you have to compromise, fine, that's the art of politics. But to start with a compromised position --

He had his base, nobody out there backing him up. You didn't see millions of people out there supporting him. But you did see people on the other side being very vocal. They ruled the day with it.

KING: One extraordinary thing in this movie, and you'll flip when you see it, is Michael Moore discovered an old film done by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, shortly before he died, about a new Bill of Rights. We'll ask about it when we come back.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was kind of a strange child. My parents knew earlier on that something must have been wrong with me. I crawled backwards until I was two. But I had Kennedy's Inaugural Address memorized by the time I was six.

It all began when my mother didn't show up for my first birthday party because she was off having my sister. My dad tried to cheer me up by letting me eat the whole cake. I knew then there had to be more to life than this.


MOORE: Cake was a bad idea.

KING: Beautiful. My kid crawled backwards. Never crawled forwards, not until he was two.

MOORE: I'm so glad to hear that. All my life, I've been thinking, what was wrong with me?

KING: Chance crawled backwards. Now he's an all-star little league ballplayer.

MOORE: That didn't happen to me.

KING: There's hope for you. Before we take another call, tell me about this extraordinary Roosevelt film that we see near the end of your movie. A never before seen film.

MOORE: Just a little over a year before he died, he had the flu. He was sick. He knew he was near death. He was in the White House. And he wanted to tell the American people what he would like to see the United States be after the war would end and after his death.

So he proposed a second Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. And that bill of rights was to guarantee Americans a decent job, universal health care, a pension in their old age, the right to have a decent home, all of these -- the basics.

KING: That was a socialist in concept, to guarantee that?

MOORE: Well, I think what it was, it was the humane thing to do. It was -- he wasn't promising a home for everyone. But he was saying that we had a right to have a home.

KING: It would shock people. Why was it never seen?

MOORE: And no one ever saw this. He called these news reel cameras in. He wanted to film this one piece.

KING: What happened to it?

MOORE: Nobody knows. It was lost.

KING: Where did you find it?

MOORE: My great team of archivists found it at the University of South Carolina. They had some old Fox movie tone news reels.

KING: Was it ironic?

MOORE: It was not marked as anything other than the just a date on it. They went through it and they found it. And I am so honored to have this in my film, because the American people, Larry, next week, starting today, here in New York, are going to be able to see this for the first time, the way Roosevelt had hoped they would be able to see this.

KING: Let's take a call. Richmond, Ohio. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Hi, Larry. Hi, Michael.


CALLER: Hey, I've got an issue. And I'm just wondering, you know, what Michael might think of it. Would Michael be willing to file a class action suit or some type of petition that all of us could jump on the way the federal government is double-dipping, basically, like Congress and such. They take money from special interest groups and they're not doing the government by the people, for the people.

MOORE: You know, I don't think we need to sue anybody. I think we need to start electing people who have, at the top of their platform, the removal of money from our political system. I want to hear candidates -- that's right, I want to hear candidates next year say that we should have, like all other western democracies, a form of publicly financed elections. Shorten the election season. Provide free time over the airwaves for the candidates. This would greatly reduce the attack ads. Of course, it would also reduce the income of CNN, but that's a separate story.

But this is crazy the way we do this now, because right now, for instance, on this health care thing, Larry, the health care industry is spending 1.4 million dollars a day on lobbyists, lobbying against universal health care. A day they're spending this. How does this guy calling in, or you or I or anybody out there have a snowball's chance to have our voices heard?

I mean, how else you can explain the fact that 75 percent of this country wants universal health care, and yet, we can't get it? Because we done have the money to give to these Congressmen.

KING: Get a break and come back. Michael Moore has been a moviemaker for 20 years now. We'll take a look at the film that started it all in 60 seconds.


KING: We're back with Michael Moore. "Capitalism: A Love Story" is being released on the 20th anniversary of "Roger and Me," the documentary about GM that made Michael Moore famous, or notorious, depending on your point of view. Trouble in the auto industry, massive economic fallout. Sound familiar? Take a look.


MOORE: So this was GM Chairman, Roger Smith. He appeared to have a brilliant plan. First, close 11 factories in the U.S. Then open 11 in Mexico, where you pay the workers 70 cents an hour. Then use the money you save by building cars in Mexico to take over other companies, preferably high-tech firms and weapons manufacturers.

Next, tell the union you're broke. And they happily agree to give back a couple billion dollars in wage cuts. You then take that money from the workers and eliminate their jobs by building more foreign factories. Roger Smith was a true genius.

DAN RATHER, FMR CBS NEWS ANCHOR: General Motors confirmed it today. It is going to close plants employing almost 30,000 workers.

ROGER SMITH, FMR. CHAIRMAN, GM: Today, we are announcing the closing of 11 of our older plants.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: While Detroit and Pontiac will certainly be hurt by the shutdowns, the effect on Flint is absolutely devastating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Best thing they can do and General Motors can do is get rid of Roger Smith and them other son of a bitches.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm sick and tired of these damn fat cats.

MOORE: As soon as I could, I headed down to Detroit to Roger's office.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you have an appointment?

MOORE: No, we're going to try to see Roger Smith.

Mr. Smith, we just came down from Flint, where we filmed a family being evicted from their home the day before Christmas eve, a family that used to work in the factory. Would you be willing to come up with us, to see what the situation is like in Flint?

SMITH: I've been to Flint. I'm sorry for those people. I don't know anything about it.

MOORE: Maybe I got this wrong. I thought companies lay off people when they've hit hard times. GM was the richest company in the world. It was closing factories when it was making profits in the billions.


KING: What can you add to that? We'll be right back.



KING: The young film makers who triggered a firestorm against Acorn, they did undercover videos. Was that OK by your standards? MOORE: I haven't seen the videos.

KING: Acorn has now filed a suit against them in connection with hidden camera videos shot in their Baltimore office. Acorn contending the audio portion was illegally obtained, because Maryland law requires a two-party consent for sound recordings. Do you do a lot of undercover?

MOORE: No, I don't. Actually, I -- my rule is that we don't do hidden camera.

No, in very few exceptions in these 20 years have I done that, because I think it's better to have the camera right there present. I think, actually, the camera becomes a character in the scene because people realize they're being filmed. And they're going to say or do something as a result of that.

KING: What do you make of the tea party protests?

MOORE: I think everybody has a right to get involved. Of course, I don't know how much that's being funded by certain interests associated with the health care industry. But nonetheless, these are people standing up for what they believe in. And liberals should quit complaining about that and say hey, we're the majority. Where are we? Why aren't we going to the town hall meetings? Why aren't we standing up for these things?

KING: What do you think of President Carter's claim about racism being the underlying factor here?

MOORE: Well, I think President Carter, having grown up in the segregated south, knows it when he sees it. And it was a courageous thing I think for him to say. I think that's a part of it. I think that's there. You would have to be crazy not to know that it's there. And I give him a lot of credit for stating what I think a lot of people were thinking but nobody wants to say.

KING: We have a question Tweeted via Kings Things, please ask Mr. Moore to disclose his income and what he does to give back or pay it forward.

MOORE: Well, I do a lot of things. My wife and I just helped to pay for redoing the addition to the library in the town which we live in Michigan. We just bought a huge piece of land to give to the Land Conservatory to protect it for environmental reasons. We do a lot of things.

And I treat my employees quite well. They're paid really good wages. They have full health care and dental. My employees, there's no deductible in your health care. No deductible, absolutely not. You get paid sick days, as many as you need, personal days.

KING: Vacation in the south of France? I'm just asking.


KING: What do you spend money on wildly, go to Vegas?

MOORE: No, I'm on iTunes too much, buying too many songs.

KING: Do you buy cars?

MOORE: No, I have one car. It's a Chrysler minivan, about five years old, got about 100,000 miles on it. I do have a little fishing boat in Michigan. We have lots of lakes.

KING: Money in Switzerland?

MOORE: No money in Switzerland. I don't own a share of stock. I have no money in the stock market. My money is in pretty much a savings account and savings bonds, those kinds of things. But --

KING: Another question Tweeted via Kings Things, gun control, health care, the war and now the economy. OK, you've done that. When is Michael Moore going to make a movie about climate change?

MOORE: Well, I think that movie's been made. Thank you, Al Gore. And other movies have been made since then. The topic is out there. And I think I need to, perhaps, you know, focus my attention on the things not receiving much attention.

KING: And you will now get a thrill when we come back. Michael Moore, the singer. You don't want to miss this.

MOORE: Don't make me sing here.



MOORE: Members of Congress, this is Michael Moore. I would like to read to you the U.S. Patriot Act.

I want the account where I can get the free gun.

There's wackos out there.

Of course, I was having a hard time finding my business card because I don't have any business cards. So I give Mr. Slaughter my discount pass at Chuck-E-Cheese.




KING: Our crack undercover team found out where you spend your money. Clothes. You are the dapper man of the year. You were runner-up for British GQ man of the year. Right?

MOORE: A few years ago, that was actually true. Of course, the Brits have a great sense of humor. KING: Obviously. You were a guest on Jay Leno's show last week and you sang. Let's watch.


JAY LENO, "THE JAY LENO SHOW": Ladies and gentlemen, the song stylings of Michael Moore.



KING: You're an Irish tenor. That's a nice voice. You can sing.

MOORE: Well, yes, I guess.

KING: Did you write that?

MOORE: No. You know, he has this new thing on the show where if they're going to show a clip from your movie, you got to sing a song or do something. So I agreed and did one Bob Dylan song. Thank you for that.

KING: Bob Dylan wrote that. I thought you wrote it. See where I am.

MOORE: No, but that's OK, though. It's kind of an obscure song from the '60s.

KING: I gather. If it's obscure, you'll find it. Another call for Michael Moore. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Hi, Michael. Mike, I think you're talking about corruption and greed. What does capitalism have to do with it?

MOORE: Capitalism is the legal system that allows this greed to take place. And in recent times, what it means is that the regulations and the rules that used to keep these people in check no longer is keeping them in check.

So, you know, I don't believe in a system where the richest one percent should own or have as much financial wealth as the bottom 95 percent combined. I think that not only is that anti-democracy, it's also against my own personal values and the values of most people. We say we live in a Judeo-Christian nation, but I don't think if Jesus were around today -- I just don't think he'd be approving of this or participating in a hedge fund or playing the stock market.

KING: He's even in your movie.

MOORE: Yes, he has a role in my movie, because I imagined what if he were here, would he act and sound like a capitalist?

KING: You end the movie by saying capitalism must be replaced by a new system. And we pause and I thought you were going to say something else. You said democracy.

MOORE: Yes, that's correct. We need to have control of our economy. I don't understand how we can call this a democracy, just because we get to vote every two to four years. Somehow I guess that's the democracy. But yet in our economy, there's no real democracy in the workplace. There's no democracy.

I mean, I want to live in a real democracy, where I don't lose my democratic rights when I go to work every morning, or when I go to the bank to cash my check. I think that if we would restructure -- here's what I want to say.

KING: Quickly.

MOORE: Yes. Let's quit having this debate of capitalism versus socialism. It's the 21st century. We are smart enough to come up with a new economic order that is fair, fair to all people, where we don't have so many people hurting. Right now, there's a foreclosure filing in America once every seven and a half seconds. That is absolutely outrageous. And it's time to start sticking up for the little guy in this country.

KING: Click in with CNN all day tomorrow. We're going to have a special guest you might be interested in. Check with us all day tomorrow. Right now -- Thanks again, Michael.

MOORE: Thanks. Next time I'll sing with you.

KING: It's that time of night.


KING: It's that time of night. Here's Anderson Cooper with "AC 360." Anderson?