As NewsBusters reported Monday, in direct response to schlockumentary filmmaker Michael Moore's request that the pictures of the slaughtered Newtown, Connecticut, kids be released, family members of the victims have filed a petition for a law to be passed in their state to prevent this from happening.
Feeling the heat, Moore told The Hollywood Reporter hours ago, "I’m not calling for the release of these photos, for Christ's sake."
Here's the relevant portion of the interview:
The Hollywood Reporter: What is your position on the release of Sandy Hook crime scene photos?
Michael Moore: I never said that I was going to release any photos, nor do I have any intention to. And frankly, I’m opposed to anybody releasing any photos without the parents’ permission.
THR: So when they said you were advocating or launching a campaign to release these photos, that was incorrect?
Moore: That is absolutely incorrect. What I said is that when and if they do come out in this day of Internet and social media, the likelihood of that happening is reasonable. So what to do when it happens? I was just saying that that’s what will happen, and I ask that Americans not turn away from it. [...]
THR: Why do you think the parents misunderstood your intentions?
Moore: I don’t know, because here’s the odd thing. Some of the parents had contacted me directly after [the massacre]. I made no contact with them. I had no interest. I’m not doing anything with this, I’m not making a documentary. I’m not doing anything with it other than being a citizen trying to get gun legislation passed. [...]
When you read the whole thing, [you see that] I’m not calling for the release of these photos, for Christ’s sake. I’m saying when and if a parent decides to do this, or if sadly they’re leaked, I’m encouraging people not to turn away. It’s our responsibility to these children to know what our laws did to them.
Here's the relevant portions of Moore's March 13 post. You decide if he called for someone to release these pictures:
That is why now, after the children's massacre in Newtown, the absolute last thing the National Rifle Association wants out there in the public domain is ANY images of what happened that tragic day.
But I have a prediction. I believe someone in Newtown, Connecticut – a grieving parent, an upset law enforcement officer, a citizen who has seen enough of this carnage in our country – somebody, someday soon, is going to leak the crime scene photos of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. And when the American people see what bullets from an assault rifle fired at close range do to a little child's body, that's the day the jig will be up for the NRA. It will be the day the debate on gun control will come to an end. There will be nothing left to argue over. It will just be over. And every sane American will demand action.
Of course, there will be a sanctimonious hue and cry from the pundits who will decry the publication of these gruesome pictures. Those who do publish or post them will be called "shameful" and "disgraceful" and "sick." How could a media outlet be so insensitive to the families of the dead children! Someone will then start a boycott of the magazine or website that publishes them.
But this will be a false outrage. Because the real truth is this: We do not want to be confronted with what the actual results of a violent society looks like. Of what a society that starts illegal wars, that executes criminals (or supposed criminals), that strikes or beats one of its women every 15 seconds, and shoots 30 of its own citizens every single day looks like. Oh, no, please – DO NOT MAKE US LOOK AT THAT!
Because if we were to seriously look at the 20 slaughtered children – I mean really look at them, with their bodies blown apart, many of them so unrecognizable the only way their parents could identify them was by the clothes they were wearing – what would be our excuse not to act? Now. Right now. This very instant! How on earth could anyone not spring into action the very next moment after seeing the bullet-riddled bodies of these little boys and girls? [...]
The pictures showing all this exist right now, somewhere in the police and medical examiner's files in Connecticut. And as of right now, we've somehow all decided together that we don't need to look, that in some way we're okay with what's in those pictures (after all, over 2,600 Americans have been killed by guns since Newtown) – just as long as we don't have to look at the pictures ourselves.
But I am telling you now, that moment will come with the Newtown photos – and you will have to look. You will have to look at who and what we are, and what we've allowed to happen. At the end of World War II, General Eisenhower ordered that thousands of German civilians be forced to march through the concentration camps so they could witness what was happening just down the road from them during the years that they turned their gaze away, or didn't ask, or didn't do anything to stop the murder of millions.
We've done nothing since Columbine – nothing – and as a result there have been over 30 other mass shootings since then. Our inaction means that we are all, on some level, responsible – and therefore, because of our burying our heads in the sand, we must be forced to look at the 20 dead children at Sandy Hook Elementary.
The people we've voted for since Columbine – with the exception of Michael Bloomberg – almost none of them, Democrat or Republican, dared to speak out against the NRA before Newtown – and yet we, the people, continued to vote for them. And for that we are responsible, and that is why we must look at the 20 dead children.
So, did Moore on March 13 call for someone to release these pictures, or is what he told THR Monday the truth and he's really "opposed to anybody releasing any photos without the parents’ permission?"