Liberal filmmaker Michael Moore on impeachment: 'Just getting rid of Trump, what does that do?'
NEW YORK — Michael Moore has been on the record pronouncing that he would like to help remove Donald Trump from the White House, saying shortly after the election in 2016 that “I’m going to be one of the people leading the opposition to him, that’s going to stop him. It will be a mass movement of millions that will dwarf Occupy Wall Street.”
This week, though, the liberal filmmaker was singing a different tune.
“Just getting rid of Trump, what does that do?” he said in an interview Wednesday when reminded of his remarks. “So we go back to the day before Trump, and was that that great a day? We have a lot of problems we have to fix. Yes, Trump has to go, but that shouldn’t be the main goal.”
Moore was speaking to The Washington Post after a teaser for his new show, “Michael Moore TV Nation,” played at the Turner Networks’ upfront Wednesday, as it and other new and returning shows were presented to advertisers. Originally titled “Michael Moore Live From the Apocalypse,” Moore’s new series has been rebranded to evoke his 1990s-era comedic docuseries “TV Nation” and will debut on TBS in October.
Moore told The Post there will be almost no man-on-the-street style interviews, as he has sometimes used in his movies and television work, in the series.
“It will be all satire,” Moore said of the segments, which will rely on a team of correspondents as well as Moore himself. “Basically it will take on what’s going on. I’ve been given free rein by the network.” Wall Street attitudes and environmental reform will be among the topics addressed, he said, along with “a lot of other fodder” that relate to complicated issues in this country but aren’t tied specifically to Trump. He said he hopes the first few episodes could influence November’s midterm elections.
Moore’s return to television will be greeted warmly by fans, who have long awaited it. “TV Nation” broke new ground in the mid-90s, before its star decamped to focus mainly on film. (The show was initially shepherded by a young executive at NBC named Kevin Reilly, who now serves as Turner’s chief creative officer.) The new series also will provide a more juicy bull’s eye for critics, who don’t usually have a weekly dose of new Moore material to target.
The new existence of “TV Nation” on TBS instead of sister network CNN, also under the Turner umbrella, allows it more freedom of format. The network is known mainly for apolitical scripted comedies, raising questions of audience, though “TV Nation” will serve as a kind of progressive twin of another politically oriented TBS show, the late-night “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.”
Moore’s last produced work was “Michael Moore in Trumpland,” the filming of a one-man theater performance in Ohio just before the 2016 election, which he promoted by warning that Hillary Clinton’s allegedly easy cruise to victory was mass-media miscalculation. He said he is working on another movie but called its subject matter “top secret.” His most recent full-on release, the globe-trotting social-policy documentary “Where To Invade Next,” only grossed about $4 million at the box office.
Moore said he was happy about the new show’s title change, if only because he hoped it could outlive the apocalypse.
And the current administration.
“Think of this as the first post-Trump show while Trump is still in office,” he said.