Saturday, September 18, 2004

Public Opinion : Michael Moore to speak at Dickinson

Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore, who has been described as both "powerful" and "hilarious," will make an appearance next month at Dickinson College in Carlisle.

Moore, whose latest film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," has generated lots of controversy and more than $100 million in ticket sales, will speak in the college's Kline Center at 7 p.m. Oct. 6.

The lecture has already sold out, but tickets will go on sale Wednesday for an on-campus remote broadcast of the lecture.

"Fahrenheit 9/11" stirred up a storm of debate after it was released, as it focused on the ties between the Bush family and the Saudi royal family, the war in Iraq and the curbing of American civil liberties as part of the war on terror.

Opponents call the film left-wing propaganda, while supporters say it exposes truths the Bush administration would like to keep hidden. At times the movie -- and Moore himself -- has been a subplot in the presidential race between George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry.

"The upcoming election is being discussed on campuses all over the country," said Christine Dugan, a spokesperson for Dickinson. "Students should use this as an opportunity to get informed, and to get involved, and to take a stand."

The college is providing a counterpoint lecture to Moore, inviting conservative journalist Jonah Goldberg, editor of the National Review Online and writer of the "Goldberg File" column, to appear at the college on Oct. 25.

According to a release from the school, both speakers are an attempt to bring differing views to the campus, and to encourage all students to get involved in the upcoming elections.

According to Dugan, several thousand people are expected to attend the lecture by Moore, a Kerry supporter.

Dugan stressed the need for students to use both the Moore and Goldberg lectures to make judgments and to evaluate the ideas both sides are presenting.

Janet Bartels, a volunteer at Franklin County Democratic headquarters, said local Democrats are thrilled that Moore will be speaking at Dickinson. The party has been offering free showings of "Fahrenheit 9/11" on Tuesdays and Thursdays at its headquarters on North Main Street in Chambersburg.

"The movie speaks for itself," Bartels said. "Every American should see it. We should be asking a lot of questions. It's a very powerful argument for ... unseating Bush and electing a Democrat."

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