Michael Moore and Rachel Maddow discuss sexual assault, Julian Assange and Wikileaks

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In a special episode of The Rachel Maddow Show filmed at the 92Y in NYC, Rachel Maddow sat down with Michael Moore to discuss his rationale for posting bail for Julian Assange. In response to the rape accusations against Assange, Moore does not rescind his prior comments that falsely described the rape charges, but does acknowledge the extent to which rape charges are ignored and the seriousness with which they should be dealt. Is that good enough?

Related: Check out Maya’s piece on Olbermann’s terrible response to #mooreandme

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  • http://feministing.com/members/laraemily/ Lara Emily Foley

    Is it good enough not really, it is all we are go0ing to get4 from him probably. That being said is it amazing that a Twitter protest forced an issue to be raised on national TV hell yeah, does this make me love Rachel Maddow even more then I did before you betcha. She heard us and gave us a voice on TV and then directly acknowledged us on her blog , amazing. We may never get an apology but we did some amazing things. I think you’ll find #mooreandme might continue on as an anti-rape culture hash tag, cause the end goal as Sady said is the end of rape culture and we’ve proven that we can change things. It’s going to be a long road but it started here.

    • honeybee

      Your optimism is inspiring but hard to agree with. I don’t see that anything has been proved or changed. Seems to be business as usual to me.

  • http://feministing.com/members/kaelin/ Matt

    When there are advocates for issues people care about, it is tempting for them to be distrustful of allegations posed against such advocates, especially if such advocates are “targets” and would be very susceptible to facing trumped up or fabricated charges — in order to discredit the target (and painting someone as a sex criminal is pretty effective towards that end) or to get the person extradited to face charges related to their point of advocacy. It is plausible possibility.

    On the other hand, confronting rape is rigged against the victim, as going public as a rape victim is a particularly unpleasant and often dangerous experience, and the rates of success are pretty low. It is plausible for Assange to be guilty and still avoid conviction, especially with the possibility of a conspiracy being plausible.

    We’re stuck in this odd limbo between two underdogs: Assange (who is under fire for airing out the US’s and friends’ dirty laundry) and a rape accuser (who generally faces an uphill battle). A common fallacy people make is to root for an “underdog” when we don’t know all the relative facts. However, this mistake stands out more when someone sees an equal or greater “underdog” being rooted against. Moore may care about the problems with rape justice, but from Moore’s perspective, that issue does not compete with what Assange has done with Wikileaks.

    I think it would be a mistake to make the reverse mistake, or to even pass judgment even when there is just one underdog but when we don’t have enough information. I don’t think there is much we can do until Assange’s case plays itself out… other than criticize people who jump the gun.

  • http://feministing.com/members/saraswati27/ Jennifer

    I haven’t heard Moore’s prior comments on the charges, so I can’t say if this is enough. But taken just on their own, the comments he made on the Maddow interview were exactly right as I see it. I want the charges to be taken very seriously, but I also don’t want the charges to be used as an excuse to crush a worthy cause like wikileaks. If Assange gets justly punished for rape, but the attention Moore brought saves wikileaks itself, I’ll be satisfied.

    It’s an old right-wing / gov tactic to turn the different factions of the left against each other. The charges against Assange set feminist supporters against free information supporters. So far it feels to me as though Naomi Wolf has approached this problem by siding with free information to the detriment of feminism. But I’ve also been disturbed by feminists who fail to separate the issues and feel that any defense of the importance of wikileaks is a betrayal of the cause.

    If Moore has previously made disparaging comments against the women charging rape against Assange then I don’t want to give him too much credit. But I do agree with the way he described the importance of separating the two issues on Maddow’s show last night.

  • http://feministing.com/members/laraemily/ Lara Emily Foley

    But you see honeybee the reason Moore talked about it, the reason Maddow asked about it was because of the #mooreandme movement. We got very public people to talk about rape and believing women when they say they’ve been raped on National TV, all with a simple twitter tag, that’s something.