Michael Moore, who has come under intense criticism for what some see as his dismissal of the rape allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, appeared on Rachel Maddow's show Tuesday to insist that nothing could be further from the case.
Last week, Moore helped pay Assange's bail. He also wrote a blog post and appeared on "Countdown" to explain why he had done so. But many feminist groups were outraged after he wrote that the allegations were "strange" and that people should "never, ever believe the 'official story.'" The group Tiger Beatdown started a Twitter campaign to get Moore to apologize. This campaign eventually led to Keith Olbermann's temporary suspension of his account, after he objected to the criticism he was receiving for having hosted Moore.
Before introducing Moore, Maddow urged people not to dismiss the allegations against Assange. "Even if you are suspicious about the timing, there are two women who went to the police with what are essentially date rape charges against this guy," Maddow said.
Moore then sat down with Maddow. He said he had posted Assange's bail because "WikiLeaks has done such an important job to get the truth out about so many things that we haven't gotten the truth about." Speaking about the rape allegations, Moore said, "I know nothing about what happened between Assange and these two women." But he stressed that he does not take rape charges lightly.
"When I was 19 years old, I helped start the first rape crisis center in Flint, Michigan, so this has been a very serious issue for me for a very long time," he said. "Every woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted or raped has to be must be taken seriously, and those charges have to be investigated to the fullest extent possible...these two alleged victims have to be treated very seriously and Mr. Assange has to answer the questions." But that, he continued, was "not what's at issue here." Rather, the issue was that "there is a concerted attempt to stop...anybody that is trying to do the job of telling us the truth."