Photo Credit: ABC
Oscar-winning documentarian Michael Moore is about as liberal as they come. So it's not too surprising that while on The View on Wednesday to promote his memoir, Here Comes Trouble: Stories From My Life, he got into a heated debate with host and staunch Republican Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Their war of words, which centered on the killing of terrorist Osama bin Laden, was so vicious that Moore barely got to talk about his book -- though host Barbara Walters did call the memoir "charming" before the sparks began to fly. Watch Moore and Hasselbeck's verbal brawl below!
It all began when Moore, 57, was asked about the killing of bin Laden. Moore started to reply, "I think that we did a very smart thing putting the Nazis on trial," when Hasselbeck, 34, jumped in with, "After the war was over." An argument ensued about whether or not the United States is still at war, and at one point Hasselbeck and Moore were talking over one other with such insistence that nobody else could get a word in edgewise. Joy Behar tried to rescue Moore, asking him to continue with what he was trying to say.
Moore insisted that bin Laden should have been put on trial. "The way we show the world that we're different is that we give even the most heinous person their day in court," he said. "If we lose sight of that basic American truth... We put the Nazis on trial, we put Manson on trial..." His comments received a thunderous ovation from the audience.
Hasselbeck replied snarkily, "Why, because Casey Anthony's trial went so well, we should put Osama bin Laden on the stand?"
"If we start to say that we are afraid to hold trials because terrorists might hurt us, we look like a bunch of wusses," Moore fired back. "We're Americans, if you come here and kill us, we will hunt you down and we will take you into court and we will put you on trial and if need be you will receive the maximum punishment for what you did. What is wrong with that?"
Hasselbeck's point was that we grant those rights to American citizens, but Osama bin Laden was never an American citizen, and therefore he does not deserve those rights. The audience at The View appeared to be equally split, with some of Moore's comments getting rambunctious applause, and some of Hasselbeck's getting the same response.
As with most arguments about politics, no agreement was reached, and the entire segment was filled with bickering and cross-talk, and it's hard to hear what anyone is saying.
Hasselbeck has taken on guests' political views before and she stood her ground against Moore as best she could. Whoopi Goldberg tried to take the edge off the encounter by saying she would love to have Moore on again because he was "so much fun."
For whom, exactly?
In his final comments, Moore said that "as a Catholic," he does not believe in taking life unless it's in self-defense -- so if the Navy SEALs who killed bin Laden feared for their lives, the murder was acceptable. Hasselbeck then fired a question at him in the last second of the segment, "Are you pro-life?" Moore replied, "Yes, I'm pro-life in that I don't think you should kill people."
Hasselbeck's new CMT show Angels Among Us premieres tonight, so her feisty feud with Michael Moore should serve as a little free publicity.