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ABC Raves Over Michael Moore's 'Deeply Christian' New Movie; Lauds 'American Populist'

In less than 24 hours, ABC devoted 13 minutes to rhapsodizing over liberal Michael Moore's new, "deeply Christian" film, Capitalism: A Love Story. Featuring the director first on Tuesday's Nightline, co-anchor Terry Moran took his socialistic agenda seriously and opened the show by teasing, "Is capitalism evil?" (In 2007, the network contributed 21 minutes to Sicko, totaling 34 minutes of promotion for the two films.)

On Wednesday's Good Morning America, co-host Chris Cuomo cooed, "Many critics are calling the documentary Moore's best ever." He also raved, "You demonstrate the [capitalism] question very well in the new movie. And you do it lots of different ways. People will get where you're coming from."

On Nightline, Moran offered a few tough questions to the filmmaker, but made no effort to hide his admiration. He extolled, "He's an American populist in the grand tradition, a provocateur, a comic, a rhetorical bomb thrower." The ABC host marveled that Moore hates capitalism "with a savagely funny...and surprisingly religious passion."

Helping Moore sell his socialistic movie to Middle America, Moran continued, "At the heart of Moore's movie, at the heart of all his movies really, but this time it's overt, is a fierce Catholic faith, committed to justice for the poor and the disenfranchised, scorning a system that produces such inequality."

On his Twitter page, Moran excitedly announced on September 18, "Just saw a screening of Michael Moore's film "Capitalism: A Love Story." Funny, angry, of course. Also deeply Christian."

Cuomo allowed the director to claim that "the last three popes, actually, to some extent, have talked about the sin of capitalism." Conservative Catholics would strongly disagree with the point that Catholicism endorses socialism. Pope John Paul II certainly spoke approvingly of capitalism.

Moran's mostly frothy interview did have one question that GMA host Cuomo overlooked. Cuomo neglected to ask the obvious query: If Capitalism is "evil," as Moores has repeatedly said it is, why charge money to see this film? Why make a profit from it? Moran pressed:

TERRY MORAN: But Moore has gotten plenty himself over the years. His movies have made him rich, leaving him open to charges that he's a hypocrite and a fraud. They look at the money you make and they say, "Why isn't he more sympathetic to the system? He's benefiting from it. He should be proud of the system that's made him so much money."

(Moore piously responded by asserting that he's "embarrassed" by his success and fortune. And that he makes these films to help the poor.)

Cuomo did occasionally challenge Moore. When the director touted unions as the way to fix capitalism, Cuomo retorted that they "can also abuse their privilege" and end up hurting Americans. And while he asked Moore if he does things for "effect," Cuomo mostly contributed bland questions, such as wondering, "Is it the system? Or is it the rules of that system? Capitalism bad? Or how we allow it to perform?" He later sat by and allowed the activist movie maker to actually trash ABC:

MICHAEL MOORE: You know, I'm talking to employees. People backstage here who aren't-. They don't get to be real employees here, because they don't get benefits. So, they're freelancers. And I said, guy, "I was here two years ago. You were a freelancer. What are you doing here?" Right backstage here, at ABC. He says, "Well, we call ourselves permalancers now." You know? That's because- And they don't get to share in just the basic benefits that an employee who used to have who worked here. What's wrong with that? What is wrong with just giving people the basic things for their hard work?

This is the same thing Cuomo did when he interviewed Moore on the June 12 and 13, 2007 Good Morning America. The director came on the program and attacked ABC over its Iraq war coverage: "You might have prevented this war. You, this network, the other networks. Those 3,500 soldiers that are dead today may not have had to die had our news media done its job." On that day's Nightline, Moore appeared again for a total of 21 and a half minutes.

On the September 22, 2009 Nightline, Moran threw in a few harsh descriptions. As the segment neared its end, he pontificated, "So he shambles on. Like some angry overweight prophet of our times, either crazy or brilliant...Traitorous or patriotic, depending on your point of view, but always laughing." However, the anchor closed the piece with this glowing salute: "Well, love him or loathe him, you got to give it to Michael Moore. He gets involved. He's a real citizen."

-Scott Whitlock is a news analyst for the Media Research Center.