2012 Republican Convention: 'Obama's America' Filmmaker Lashes Out at Media (Video)
"A lot of these guys have just become moral cowards," Dinesh D'Souza says about Chris Matthews, Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow and others.
TAMPA, Fla. – A frustrated Dinesh D’Souza called out a slew of reporters for bias and cowardice because they have ignored his film, 2016: Obama’s America, despite the film's ranking as the top documentary this year.
Unlike with Michael Moore's films, cable and broadcast news interviews have been few and far between -- save for one on CNN and several on the Fox News Channel, the filmmaker told The Hollywood Reporter outside Radio Row at the Republican National Convention.
"A lot of these guys have just become moral cowards," D’Souza said. "Look at MSNBC. You could watch that channel and you wouldn’t even know we have a film out. You look at Lawrence O’Donnell, You look at Rachel Maddow. You look at Chris Matthews. I mean, look at those cowards … trying to pretend that there’s no film.
"So, they’re just hoping that all of this will just go away, but it’s not going to. I would love to go on MSNBC and cross swords with those guys, but I just think they’re all hiding under their desks.”
2016: Obama’s America, based on D’Souza’s best-selling book, The Roots of Obama’s Rage, is a negative take on the president’s agenda. The film also uses Obama’s own book, Dreams From My Father, as source material. The movie, produced by Oscar-winning producer Gerald Molen (Schindler's List), surged to No. 2 at the domestic box office on Monday and is expected to expand into 2,000 theaters next week, a rare feat for a documentary.
Yet, says D’Souza, even the New York Times shows little interest.
“Tom Friedman writes a column. He’s supposed to be Mr. Know-it-All on a whole bunch of subjects, but the truth of it is he’s kind of ignoring the film because it has ideas that he’s unable to contend with,” D’Souza said. "Maureen Dowd … I don’t get that. She fulminated against my book. She called me Ann Coulter in pants. But I put out a thinking movie that addresses some of the issues that she’s raised … It’s a riveting story but it has huge political implications, and I think Maureen’s a little bit scared of what those political implications are.”
He also criticized Charlie Rose of CBS, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and HBO’s Bill Maher.
"You think of yourself as a smart guy, and you are," he said of Maher. "But I also happen to be a smart guy who knows what he’s talking about."
D’Souza’s harshest criticism, though, was directed at Matthews and the MSNBC anchor’s pronouncement in 2008 that he "felt this thrill going up my leg" after listening to Obama speak.
"You get to sort of prove that you’re not a racist by supporting Obama," said D’Souza. "Why would a hard-bitten reporter like Matthews feel a thrill up his leg? I mean, that’s abnormal behavior. Matthews is a guy who’s patting himself on the back and saying, 'I’m a morally wonderful person because I support Obama.' Well, if you’re such a morally wonderful person, why don’t you engage in some real debate?"
"Chris Matthews is always shrieking about this or that, and the evil Tea Party and so on,” said D’Souza, "but when it comes to a film of real ideas, in which we interview people who knew Obama’s dad, knew his mom and knew Obama, and interview George Obama, somehow Chris Matthews – I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t like me. Maybe I don’t send a thrill up his leg.”
Watch THR's interview with Dinesh D'Souza below.