All day today, people demanded that Rachel Maddow address the sexual assault charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and that her guest Michael Moore explain why he'd helped post bail for Assange.
Maddow opened by saying that by their very nature, leaks tend to make us believe them. We'll believe a leak almost because it was leaked, she said, because someone brought information to light that was supposed to be kept secret. And then she turned to the Assange question:
The timing could not be more suspicious. The man accused says he's being pursued for political reasons. But even if you're suspicious about the timing, there are two women who went to the police with what are essentially date-rape charges against this guy.
This doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.
Can your suspicion about the forces arrayed against Julian Assange and Wikileaks -- your suspicion about the timing and pursuit of these charges -- coexist with respect for the women making these accusations against him and with a commitment to take rape allegations seriously, even when the person accused is someone that for other reasons you like?
As you'll see from this rushed clip -- transcript's coming -- Moore said he's concerned that there's a "concerted attempt" to stop Wikileaks and others who are trying to tell the truth about what he calls America's six wars. As for the charges against Assange, Moore noted that he helped start a rape-crisis center in his hometown of Flint, Michigan, and said the charges against Assange should be fully examined.
"Every woman who claims to have been sexually assaulted or raped has to be, must be, taken seriously. Those charges have to be investigated to the fullest extent possible," Moore said. "For too long, and too many women have been abused in our society , because they were not listened to, and they just got shoved aside. . . .So I think these two alleged victims have to be taken seriously and Mr. Assange has to answer the questions."
Second half of the interview's after the jump.