Remember Phil Donahue? Well, the flaxen-haired talk-show pioneer’s been doing more than just closing on the sale of his $25 million Westport home. He’s been quietly working on an anti-war documentary. In a mediabistro exclusive, Donahue explains his fallout with MSNBC, taking on Bill O’Reilly and why he wanted to make this film:
What happened at MSNBC?
I was back on for a while at MSNBC and had a very short, unhappy life there because I was against the war. A memo was leaked to the press from the NBC management team that Donahue is not such a good idea up against all the competition waving the flag, and that my anti-war voice would not be welcome when all the other networks were supporting the war.
Most Americans seem to be in agreement with you about the war now. Maybe the time is right for you to go back on the air?
I’m not sure the door would ever be open for me again but I’m happy to do whatever I can on my own, with my own money, to be a dissenting voice. I want people to see this film and to meet a patriot — one who fought for our right to dissent. There’s no dissent, there’s no democracy, and this Administration has likened dissent to some kind of treasonous activity.
Here’s the trailer: