Pizarro: Michael Moore rouses crowd at San Jose State

By: Sal Pizarro/Mercury News

San Jose State’s Morris Dailey Auditorium was packed with so many lefties Thursday night, it’s a surprise Tower Hall wasn’t tilting.

The reason was that provocative documentary filmmaker Michael Moore was inside to receive the prestigious John Steinbeck Award from the Center for Steinbeck Studies. The award is given to artists and activists who carry on the spirit of the great author.

Moore was at times funny, poignant and angry during a conversation with Metro Publisher Dan Pulcrano. Moore railed against corporations, but he did show a soft spot for one Silicon Valley company. “I think Apple has been a force for good,” he said.

He didn’t know at the time that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was in the audience. Moore was aware, though, that conservative celebrity Sarah Palin was sharing the city with him that day.

“I think Jesus sent her here on this day because Jesus has a sense of humor,” Moore joked.

Thomas Steinbeck, who presented the “In the Souls of People” award to Moore, predicted the filmmaker and his father would have gotten along well. He praised Moore’s courage in his work, too”Courage,” he said, “is more important than anything else in the world if you want to tell the truth.”