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To read more about Episode 317, visit the main episode page.

Michael Moore [00:00:15] Hello, everyone. This is Michael Moore. This is my podcast. I want to respond to something that Joe Biden said here at the end of last week. On Thursday, he had a little 3.5 minute press conference. President Biden stepped into a room — I believe it was at the White House — and wanted to talk about the campus protests. And needless to say, it was fairly disappointing. He clearly doesn’t understand what’s going on. He’s been completely misinformed about what the protesters have been doing. Wow. This is going to be such a long six months. What do we have? About six months left to the election. And like we have this other huge job we’ve got to do, which is to keep Trump out of the White House. And yet we’ve got a president that is funding this horrific war. We’ll come up with something. Okay? You know me. I know you. We’re not letting Trump back in the Oval Office. We’re also not going to let Biden get away with this. He’s going to have to make the amends that need to be made to the people who’ve suffered the most. And a lesson needs to be taught to Democrats who consistently, very sadly, make the wrong decision, whether it’s regarding women’s rights or a whole bunch of other things, the lamo responses that we have to deal with. Roe v Wade — the Supreme Court decision was in 1973, and they had 49 years before the Supreme Court got rid of Roe v Wade, almost two years ago now. 49 years the Democrats had to make it the law of the land, to pass it in Congress. During many of those years, when the Democrats held both houses of Congress and the White House and didn’t do anything about this, the Equal Rights Amendment now having passed in 38 states, that’s what’s needed and still not officially part of the Constitution. Because the White House has to do one specific thing to make it legal. What do we have to do here? Democrats, please. Come on. You’ve got a lot of people listening to this that are more than happy to go elsewhere to third parties and all that. And I’ve talked about this before, and it’s… We have to change some things about our election laws to make it more democratic, to make sure that all voices are heard and have representation in Congress. That has to be fixed. That’s not what we’re going to do here today. I’m just going to — I’m going to actually play what President Biden said about the campus protests. And if you don’t mind, I’m going to do a little, I guess, my own version of the Political Mystery Science Theater 3000 and provide my own little, I hope it’s not too annoying, my running commentary to agree or disagree or make comments on what Joe Biden said last Thursday, hoping that he hears this, and hoping that it’s helpful to him and to those of us who stand for peace. So, we’ll turn it over to you, Mr. President. Go ahead.

President Biden [00:03:36] Before I headed North Carolina, I wanted to speak for a few moments about what’s going on on our college campuses here. We’ve all seen the images, and they put to the test two fundamental American principles. The first is the right to free speech and for people to peacefully assemble and make their voices heard. 

Michael Moore [00:03:56] That’s a good start. Yes, both of those things are really good. 

President Biden [00:04:00] The second is the rule of law. Both must be upheld. 

Michael Moore [00:04:06] Yes, but let’s make it clear that the right to free speech and for the people to peacefully assemble, to make their voices heard, is like, that’s a really important rule of law. So when he says, “then there’s the rule of law.” Well, that is the law, the right of free speech and to peacefully assemble to make sure that all of our voices can be heard. 

President Biden [00:04:25] We are not an authoritarian nation. 

Michael Moore [00:04:28] Well, not yet. 

President Biden [00:04:30] Where we silence people or squash dissent. 

Michael Moore [00:04:33] I don’t know about that. Seeing a few thousand police officers on the streets of New York this week, police called in to all these campuses — it’s kind of looking like an authoritarian nation, Joe, but continue. 

President Biden [00:04:46] The American people are heard. In fact, peaceful protest is in the best tradition of how Americans respond to consequential issues. 

Michael Moore [00:04:55] Yes. Very true. And peaceful protest is exactly what we’ve been witnessing on these campuses. Anybody who tries to tell you different, ask them to show you the photographic evidence of the organized protest beating people up, holding them, pushing them down, causing injury. That is not what’s been going on on these campuses. Anybody who tells you otherwise is lying to you. 

President Biden [00:05:22] But but neither are we a lawless country… 

Michael Moore [00:05:27] That’s not really true, because we’re in the middle of one of our biggest lawless moments in our history. We are violating our own American law that says that any country that uses weapons, that we give them to kill civilians or to interrupt humanitarian aid that needs to go to civilians, that is a violation of our law. And that is exactly what’s been happening now for these seven months. Lawlessness? Yes, that is lawlessness. 

President Biden [00:06:03] Where our civil society and order must prevail… 

Michael Moore [00:06:07] What order? Who’s orders? Sounds a little like, something you might hear from another era. “We must have order. Order must prevail.” This isn’t Pinochet’s Chile, and it’s certainly not Hitler’s Germany. It’s not Tiananmen Square. When you start talking about order must prevail, the order has to start right there in the Oval Office by you not sending money to a regime that is slaughtering innocent civilians by the tens of thousands. 

President Biden [00:06:41] Throughout our history, we’ve often faced moments like this because we are a big, diverse, freethinking and freedom-loving nation. In moments like this, there are always those who rush in to score political points. 

Michael Moore [00:06:55] Certainly not you, Mr. President. Please continue. 

President Biden [00:07:01] But this isn’t a moment for politics. It’s a moment for clarity. So let me be clear. Peaceful protests in America… Violent protest is not protected. Peaceful protest is. 

Michael Moore [00:07:13] Oh, well. Good. Then we’ve got no problem here because that’s what’s been happening on over 80 campuses across the country. Peaceful protests. No buildings are being blown up. No people are being sent to the hospital because of the actions of the protesters. It’s peaceful in and out, through and through. 

President Biden [00:07:32] It’s against the law and violence occurs. 

Michael Moore [00:07:34] Unless, of course, again, it’s the violence created by a regime that we fund and arm. 

President Biden [00:07:41] Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It’s against the law. 

Michael Moore [00:07:46] Are you, again, are you talking about Gaza, or are you saying that the protesters on campus are destroying property? Can I see some evidence of this? The buildings that have been destroyed, classrooms destroyed, a whole floor of dorm rooms destroyed, anything like that? Anybody? Go ahead, Mr. President, I will contact your press office and you can send me the photographic evidence of this.

President Biden [00:08:11] Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduations — none of this is a peaceful protest. 

Michael Moore [00:08:19] Well, let’s unpack that, Mr. President. Vandalism? Again, yeah, I’ve seen some graffiti. Not cool. Vandalism is the destruction, again, of property. I saw a little window broken when they took over that, Hamilton Hall on Columbia’s campus. Where’s the vandalism? The stakes being put in the lawn at UCLA or USC with the tents? You know, the tent stakes? Is that it? Is that the vandalism? I’m confused. Trespassing? First of all, as far as the students go at some of these colleges, especially the private ones, they’re paying $60,000-$90,000 a year to go to school there and to live there. That’s their home. How do you trespass in a home that you’re paying $90,000 a year for? It’s not trespassing, it’s your home. The police are trespassing into your home. That part I get. Is that what you’re referring to? Breaking windows? Okay. Honest to God, I think the broken windows I’ve seen on the videotape of the few students who shouldn’t be doing that —  I’ll bet you there aren’t ten windows that have been broken across America. Shutting down campuses? No campuses have been shut down by the protesters. The ones that have shut down have been shut down by the administrators who have overreacted, or who are giving in to the pro-Israel side of this by trying to make this seem a lot more awful, chaotic than it is. Forcing the cancellation of classes? Again, no protesters have demanded that classes be canceled or have taken over classrooms, or put up blockades to prevent anybody from going into their classroom. The cancellation of graduations? Again, overreaction. These kids should have their graduation. The demands of the protesters have not one of them demand that any graduation be canceled. And you say none of this is a peaceful protest? All of it is a peaceful protest. The inability of administrators to deal with students exercising their First Amendment rights — that’s been the problem, and the overreaction to it, and the making up of problems that don’t exist. 

President Biden [00:10:33] Threatening people, intimidating people, instilling fear in people — it’s not peaceful protest. It’s against the law. 

Michael Moore [00:10:43] Again, threatening people? Who’s been threatened? Who’s had a weapon pulled on them? Who has been taken into custody by the protesters? None of this has been happening. Intimidating people? Well, I think I know what you mean by that one. There are some students who feel intimidated by some of the chants and some of the signs. They don’t like the sign that says Free Palestine. They find it intimidating. They find it scary. Or they call it anti-Semitic. Calling for a place in the people to be free is anti-Semitic? Sounds pro — it sounds pro-freedom and democracy. Instilling fear in people? Again, nobody’s instilling fear in anybody. I understand why some people who support Netanyahu and this regime feel fearful that maybe the regime may fall. That maybe the theocracy will fall. Because it’s hard to explain how a theocracy can be a democracy. Any system of government that favors just one religion over the others. And if you belong to the other religions, you’re a second-class citizen, you don’t have the same rights. That’s that’s not really a democracy, is it? So I get why some people don’t like hearing that. And they get afraid — “We’re going to lose our… Whatever.” Well, no. What the protesters are asking for is either a two state or even a one state solution where they all people — Israelis, Arabs, Jews, Muslims, Christians, whoever — all live together in one country where everyone is equal. A true democracy. So if that makes people fearful… Ideas. These are ideas. You can’t say ideas threaten people or intimidate people or instill fear in people — and when I say “ideas” I’m meaning this in a philosophical way, saying that, what a white supremacist would say, “We’re going to get rid of all the black people, we’re going to kill black people,” — that is a threat to hurt people. That’s not what’s going on here. Oh, but I’m going on too long. Please, Mr. President, continue. 

President Biden [00:13:02] Dissent is essential to democracy. 

Michael Moore [00:13:03] Absolutely.

President Biden [00:13:05] But dissent must never lead to disorder or to denying the rights of others so students can finish a semester and their college education. 

Michael Moore [00:13:13] Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. The dissent must never lead to disorder? No, that’s exactly what dissent is supposed to do. That’s what it means. A group of people are going to express their feelings. They’re going to dissent, sometimes through civil disobedience — nonviolent, peaceful — but it’s going to lead to disorder. They want disorder. That’s what the Civil R–=ights demonstrations were about. Black people were not allowed into certain schools. They were not allowed into certain stores, restaurants, etc.. And so they went in there and peacefully sat down and, created disorder. We never would have changed a lot of things in this country if the disorder wasn’t created. Women thought they should have the right to vote. So they created disorder through their dissent. And the men didn’t like the disorder. They wanted women to be in a certain place, not out there picketing and blocking the entrance to the White House. So they were arrested. They were thrown in jail. They created disorder. What are the rights of the students that are being denied — that they have to walk around the demonstration? They have to walk around to the other side of the the tent city so it took an extra three minutes to get to the library? What rights have been denied to students? Students, according to you, Mr. President, who want to finish their semester. They should have been able, everybody should have been able, the only people that shut down the semester were the college administrators, because they didn’t know how to handle free speech, freedom of assembly. Nobody was calling for anybody to be denied their college education. 

President Biden [00:14:49] Look, it’s basically a matter of fairness. It’s a matter of what’s right. There’s the right to protest, but not the right to cause chaos. 

Michael Moore [00:14:59] Again, Mr. President, yes. Thank you. There is a right to protest, but that implies there will now be chaos. When people protest, they hold a large demonstration. Sometimes it spills out into the street. They decide they’re going to walk across the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan as part of a protest. Yes, there will be some chaos. And again, that’s what the public safety officers — the police — should be doing is making sure nobody gets hurt or hit by a car or whatever, nobody is opposed to that. In fact, that can be a good thing. 

President Biden [00:15:33] People have the right to get an education, right to get a degree, the right to walk across campus safely without fear of being attacked. 

Michael Moore [00:15:42] Yes, people do have the right to get an education, and I’m sorry that these colleges got in the way of students being able to go to class and get their education. Nobody’s taken the right to get a degree away from them. Now you’re over exaggerating things. The right to walk across the campus safely without fear of being attacked — I would say every American would like that, right. Not just to walk across the campus, not just to be afraid for your safety — I think that is a very common feeling, no matter where you live in this country. And frankly, if you look at any of the statistics, crime is way down in the United States. It’s not some scary place. I mean, I’m saying this knowing that people from other countries are listening to me say that and we have already had close to 150 mass shootings just since New Year’s Day. So I probably will have to withdraw that last comment because we’re all — all of us are — under some sort of fear of being attacked or being hurt because of the laws that we don’t have in this country, a culture that we don’t have in this country that says guns are not the tools of a democracy. Anyways, that’s another movie. Please continue. 

President Biden [00:16:59] Let’s be clear about this as well. There should be no place on any campus, no place in America for anti-Semitism or threats of violence against Jewish students. 

Michael Moore [00:17:11] Absolutely, 100% in agreement. Everybody I know agrees with that. Every protestor I know agrees with that. Everybody I know who is Muslim, Arab, Arab-American — they don’t participate in that. They don’t believe in it. They don’t want any threat of violence against any Jewish student. The people I know, the people that are running these protests, first of all, they’re running it with Jewish students as part of the coordinating committees. They are against all forms of bigotry, misogyny, homophobia, you name it. These are the kids we raised. Everybody is with that statement. And we will not tolerate any antisemitism or any threat of violence against not just Jewish students, against any Jewish person on this planet. 

President Biden [00:18:00] There is no place for hate speech or violence of any kind, whether it’s anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, or discrimination against Arab-Americans or Palestinian-Americans. 

Michael Moore [00:18:11] Thank you, Mr. President, for saying those words out loud. 

President Biden [00:18:15] It’s simply wrong. There’s no place for racism in America. 

Michael Moore [00:18:19] That’s right. Certainly not, considering we’re a country that was founded on racism, founded on genocide based on racism. Absolutely right. There is no longer a place for that in America. 

President Biden [00:18:34] It’s all wrong. It’s un-American. I understand people have strong feelings and deep convictions. In America. We respect the right and protect the right for them to express that. But it doesn’t mean anything goes. It needs to be done without violence, without destruction, without hate, and within the law. You know, I make no mistake. As president, I will always defend free speech, and I will always be just as strong standing up for the rule of law. 

Michael Moore [00:19:05] That means you have to stop sending weapons to a rogue regime that is using our weapons and our tax dollars to kill innocent civilians. That’s law number one right now, Joe. Are you going to stand up for the rule of law? 

President Biden [00:19:21] That’s my responsibility to you, the American people, my obligation to the Constitution, thank you very much. 

Michael Moore [00:19:28] And then as he started to walk away from the podium, a reporter shouts a question or two  at him. 

Reporter [00:19:35] Mr. President, have the protests forced you to reconsider any of the policies with regard to the region? 

President Biden [00:19:42] No. 

Michael Moore [00:19:43] Oh, great. Okay, so thanks for telling the students there’s no real need to have any protests or free speech, because I’m not going to listen to anything you’re saying about stopping this war in Gaza. You have to reconsider your policies regarding Gaza and Palestine and Israel. You have to do it because it’s morally right. You have to do it because I know I got to believe deep in your conscience, deep in your Catholic faith, you know this is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. And politically speaking, the longer you hold off from putting an end to this, the more young people you turn away from voting for you, the more you create a situation where Trump makes it back into the White House, and that is unacceptable to all of us. You have to listen to the millions of young people who do not like what you’re doing here. 

Reporter [00:20:48] Mr. President, do you think the National Guard should intervene? 

President Biden [00:20:51] No. 

Michael Moore [00:20:52] That’s the right answer. Thank you for that. Please do stop the police. Do not bring in the National Guard. Do not kill our young people for standing up for something very moral and very, very correct and right. Thank you everybody for listening to my podcast. Thank you for writing your representatives and President Biden and telling them that we want an end to this assault on the people in Gaza. Tell them that we care very deeply about those who lost their lives on October 7th. And we want all the hostages returned, and we want the political prisoners held in jails without trials in Israel to be released. There’s a way out of this. There is a way out of this. We do not have to sink into our despair that this is an unfixable problem. Thank you for listening. Thank you to Angela Vargos for being the executive producer of this podcast, and the editor. Thanks, everybody. Talk to you in a few days.