ABC's Nightline Knocks 'Disingenuous' Claims in Dinesh D'Souza's 'Conspiracy' Film
Nightline reporter David Wright on Wednesday night profiled the new conservative documentary 2016: Obama's America, but warned that the film was a "conspiracy" movie that included "disingenuous" ideas.
D'Souza asserted that he takes Obama and his words seriously, prompting him to believe that the President is pushing an anti-American agenda. Wright scolded, "That's a little disingenuous though."
The ABC reporter knocked the film as unreliable, downplaying, "D'Souza spins out the conspiracy theory that, by 2016, the U.S. economy will collapse and there will be a United States of Islam led by a nuclear armed Iran and that Obama wants it."
At one point, Wright proclaimed D'Souza is "fast becoming the Michael Moore of the right."
D'Souza insisted that Moore is "fat and out of control," where he is
"lean and nimble." Wright mocked, "Or, as some would say, lean and
Yet, when Nightline profiled the actual Michael Moore for the September 22, 2009 edition of Nightline, journalist Terry Moran fawned over the liberal filmmaker. He touted, "[Moore is] an American populist in the grand tradition, a provocateur, a comic, a rhetorical bomb thrower."
Moran even closed by gushing, "Well, love him or loathe him, you've got to give it to Michael Moore. He gets involved. He's a real citizen."
At no time did the reporter dismiss Moore's ideas as "disingenuous" or as "conspiracy" theories.
On July 27, 2004, then-Nightline anchor Ted Koppel interviewed Moore. He, too, did not use the word "conspiracy" to describe Fahrenheit 9/11.
Talking to him at the Democratic National Convention, Koppel enthused, "...Michael Moore, the populist filmmaker with the $100 million hit and the low budget wardrobe is, to the Democratic delegates here, like a mobile pot of honey to a family of ravenous bears."
D'Souza recently attacked the host of MSNBC as "cowards" for ignoring his movie.
A transcript of the August 30th segment, which aired at 12:02am EDT, follows:
TERRY MORAN: Now, the controversial, conservative film, a surprise box office smash that makes the shocking charge that President Obama has a secret, un-American agenda, as the filmmaker told ABC's David Wright.
2016 TRAILER: What is Obama's real dream for America?
WRIGHT: 2016: Obama's America is already so successful--
2016 TRAILER: The movie the White House doesn't want you to see and the story the media refuses to tell.
WRIGHT: -that author Dinesh D'Souza is fast becoming the Michael Moore of the right. Are you surprised by the success of the film?
DINESH D'SOUZA: I'm overwhelmed. This is my first venture into film territory.
WRIGHT: D'Souza's controversial film makes the case that President Obama has a secret agenda.
D'SOUZA [2016 CLIP]: Obama has a dream. A dream from his father, that the sins of colonialism be set right and America be downsized.
WRIGHT: In the movie, D'Souza stalks his way through Obama's life story, as told in the President's best-selling memoir, Dreams From My Father.
D'SOUZA: My way of putting it was to ask what is Obama's dream?
WRIGHT: But D'Souza takes a totally different spin through Hawaii and Indonesia and Kenya. He argues Obama is motivated by an effort to please the radical father he barely knew, a man who has been dead for nearly 25 years. You take his personal narrative on which he built his political career and you turn it against him.
D'SOUZA: I'm doing Obama the credit of taking him seriously as a thinker and as someone who is a man of ideas.
WRIGHT: That's a little disingenuous though. No?
D'SOUZA: I say he's not getting results opposite to what he intends. He intends the results he's getting.
WRIGHT: D'Souza interviews Obama's half brother, George, whom the President has met only twice. Years ago.
D'SOUZA: You are his brother? Has he been your keeper?
GEORGE OBAMA: Go ask him. He's got other issues to deal with.
WRIGHT: He looks so much like Obama.
D'SOUZA: He looks a lot like Obama. He talks like Obama. He has some of Obama's, you know, street smartsness [sic] and native intelligence.
WRIGHT: But George Obama turns out not to be a radical lefty and D'Souza suggests for that reason, the President turned his back on him. But I bet that if I went to Mumbai, I could find a Marxist D'Souza.
D'SOUZA: Oh, you absolutely could and he would probably be teaching at the local university.
WRIGHT: Do you really believe that Barack Obama really wants to destroy America?
D'SOUZA: No, I don't think he wants to destroy America, but he wants to downsize America. I think he would like to see America have a smaller economy, use less energy. He'd like to see money redistributed away from America and towards the rest of the world.
WRIGHT: D'Souza spins out the conspiracy theory that, by 2016, the U.S. economy will collapse and there will be a United States of Islam led by a nuclear armed Iran and that Obama wants it.
D'SOUZA: If you seriously think that it's a threat, you've got to do stuff that has the real prospect of stopping the Mullahs from having a bomb.
WRIGHT: Maybe he thinks that we can't afford a war with Iran right now.
D'SOUZA: Yes and–
WRIGHT: Which is a reasonable thing.
D'SOUZA: It's a reasonable thing and yet for a country, America, which is, in a way, the sole projector of Israel in the world, that would be a very scary thing for a lot of Jews to discover.
WRIGHT: 2016 was produced by Steven Spielberg's producer from Jurassic Park and Schindler's List, Oscar winner Gerry Molen.
GERALD MOLEN: I just new we were doing something that was righteous and right and I think we've been proven right there.
WRIGHT: Certainly people have voted with their, with their box office tickets.
MOLEN: They have. They have.
BARACK OBAMA: Change has come to America.
WRIGHT: This weekend, 2016 is set to surpass Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth in total box office revenues, putting it right behind the most successful documentary of all time. Is that your hope for this film, that it will be the Fahrenheit 9/11 of 2012?
D'SOUZA: Um, there's a bit of a scary comparison, because, to me, Michael Moore is a bit like the federal government. He's, you know, big, fat and out of control. I'm more like the private sector: Lean and nimble.
WRIGHT: Or, as some would say, lean and mean.