Michael Leisner called Alan Colmes' radio show shortly before his death [AUDIO]
Three days before his death, Leisner called Colmes to defend his possibly criminal gay-marriage protest.
Last Wednesday, Micheal Leisner called Alan Colmes' radio show and gave a spirited defense of his Cheerios-burning General Mills protest. Little did he know he had just days left to live.
The Colmes interview suggests Leisner hoped to leverage his newfound celebrity into YouTube stardom. At the conclusion, Leisner makes a point of mentioning that "we've got a second video coming out real soon." He promises that the man narrating the new video "isn't going to be a nut," and will explain "why the homosexuals are attracted to Cheerios."
"I can't wait," Colmes replies.
Here's an edited transcript of the interview (the raw audio is embedded below):
Colmes: Michael, I guess you're surprised this went as viral as it went, right?
Leisner: I was.
Colmes: What were you thinking? Why did you do this? What were you trying to do?
Leisner: We were just trying to take a blowtorch to some Cheerios to demonstrate, just like somebody would burn a flag or do somebody's body, not a real body, but a likeness, like a doll or something in effigy. It was the same idea.
Colmes: What's your issue with General Mills?
Leisner: General Mills was a great company, [they] did a lot of good for Minnesota. [But lately] they've tuned for the worst. They have become bedfellows with the homosexuals, and said that 'Look, we're going to support gay marriages,' and that's to the downplaying of real marriages.
Colmes: How is it to the downplay of real marriage?
Leisner: We come from a biblical perspective. And in the Bible, it was what God has joined together, man and woman, let nobody take apart. And God never recognized homosexual marriages.
Colmes: But not everybody subscribes to your particular religion, and we live in a society that is a secular society and we're free to worship or not worship as we please. And so though we respect your religion, [there] may be others that don't particularly agree with you and [don't they] have the right to exist and live as they chose to exist too?
Leisner: I agree with that.
Colmes: I know you teach Bible class too, right? Do you think Jesus would've approved of going on the lawn of a company and burning something in effigy?
Leisner: Oh I think so. Jesus came into the temple, the Jewish temple, and knocked over tables and money was flying and all kinds of animals were scurrying and he did that because he was angry at the church.
Colmes: So do you think you have the right then to go anywhere you want that you don't agree with and knock over tables and burn things if you don't happen to agree with what a private company is doing?
Leisner: No I don't think so. I don't have that interest in just doing that at random. This was a specific act. General Mills for whatever reason has come out, they were a kid-friendly family-friendly company that had had a stellar and honorable background. Now they've turned toward the homosexual agenda and that's the protest.
[Later in the interview] Leisner: I have freedom of expression just like everybody else. I have an expression to burn some Cheerios, is that too much for you?
Colmes: No, but you could burn it on your property but you're burning it on somebody else's property and look what happened. You end up burning their property.
Leisner: Well, it's pretty hard to burn a wet lawn.
Colmes: Do you have a right to go to somebody else's property and do that?
Leisner: Well, I have a right to stand up for the Lord Jesus Christ...
Colmes: But on somebody else's property?
Leisner: Well, it is what it is.
[Later] Colmes: If you had to do it all over again, would you do it still?
Leisner: Absolutely. Keep in mind that this thing wasn't planned to have the Cheerios go to the ground, we didn't know that. I had done that here at the house and it seemed to work fine, [but] it didn't work fine there. It was a fluke, a blooper, and hence it went viral... The truth is, I didn't want to put it on [YouTube], and the kids said, 'Hey, let's go ahead.'
Here's the audio:
Will the new video Leisner promises at the end of the interview be released posthumously? If so, it'll surely make for a bizarre final testament. But considering how committed Leisner was to his anti-homosexual views, perhaps that's fitting.
THE LEISNER FILES:
-- Man tries to light Cheerios on fire [VIDEO]
-- The General Mills Cheerios-burning protester is Michael Leisner, 65
-- Michael Leisner fired from job over General Mills protest
-- Michael Leisner under criminal investigation
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.