Saturday, July 24, 2004

MetroWest Daily News - Press has the first party

MetroWest Daily News - Local News Coverage: "BOSTON -- From the network television talent to the anonymous Internet scribes, thousands of reporters, pundits and hangers-on rubbed elbows at a lavish party in Boston last night to kick off the 2004 Democratic National Convention in style.

According to the DNC, there are about 15,000 members of the media with credentials to cover the convention. They came from as far away as Japan, and for the first time, 35 Internet 'bloggers' received their passes to cover the proceedings.

Reporters entered the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center near the waterfront on a red carpet guarded by a fairly heavy police presence outside. There were droves of officers, but no picketers. The event, sponsored by the Boston Globe and Verizon, among others, had a budget of $800,000 and included such extravagances as a full-size Ferris wheel, food donated by 70 different restaurants -- including celebrity chef Todd English -- and a concert by Little Richard. "

By Michael Kunzelman and Peter Reuell
News Staff Writers

Lost Remote: DNC Media Party: Journalists Behaving... Well?

Lost Remote: DNC Media Party: Journalists Behaving... Well?: "By far, the best news of the night was that the Boston Globe was springing for the drinks. This was good, as the only thing journalists hate worse than encroachments on the First Amendment is a cash bar.

Little Richard provided the entertainment, dipping into his usual terrific, classic rock repertoire. At 71 years old, he's still complaining about other people stealing his music. Still - the man can rock out.

In the Mel Brooks movie 'High Anxiety,' there's a scene where a group of idiots is holding a convention. A big sign greets them, reading 'Welcome Idiots.' It was thoughtful of the organizers of the DNC Media Bash not to post that sign. The care and feeding of the media has begun."

A community site for bloggers participating in the DNC, July 26-29

First Words From The Convention Floor

Eric Rice of made what I'm sure he'll come to see as the epic mistake of offering audioblog accounts to ten of the convention bloggers. Thanks to him, we're going inside the Convention to make history with the first words broadcast by a blogger from the convention floor.

(Click on title to hear the first audioblog from the DNC.)
(Audioblog requires Micromedia Flash)

Posted by Tom at 10:44 PM in News Comments (0) TrackBack (0)

HBO Store: Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home

HBO Store: Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home: "From Politically Incorrect to Real Time with Bill Maher, comedian and social commentator Bill Maher has been stirring the political pot for the past decade, creating some of the most interesting dialogue between conservatives and liberals alike. In Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home, Maher takes on with a vengeance his favorite topics--sex, politics, religion, and war in his Tony-nominated one-man show which he originated on Broadway. "

Bill Maher: Victory Begins at Home [VMHHV0302-DVD]
In Stock -- ships within next two business days!
Limited quantity
DVD $19.98

CNN LARRY KING LIVE: Interview with Bill Maher - Transcripts: "KING: That's, of course, from Fahrenheit 9/11. Michael Moore will be one of the guests when Bill Maher returns next Friday night at 11:00 on host -- he's the host of 'Realtime with Bill Maher.'

What do you make of that movie?

MAHER: Well, obviously, I'm partial to the cause of removing this president from office.

KING: Is it a fair movie, though?

MAHER: Well, it's a point of view movie. Of course, that's his point of view. Even the man Kerry wants to replace had nice things to say. It's funny the way people are like, you know, Michael Moore plays fast and loose with the facts. That's not okay in a filmmaker. In a president -- geez. Sorry. But, you know, he does do a service, I think, to this country by showing some things that we really need to focus on. Like that seven minutes President Bush took to get up after he was told the country was under attack. To me, this is an ultimate deal breaker in this election. And again, I would invite...

KING: It's that important to you?

MAHER: Don't you think...

KING: Maybe he was thinking, getting his thoughts together.

MAHER: Excuse me, Larry. We are living in the nuclear age. A guy didn't come up to him and say, sir, the British fleet is leaving England, they'll be here in three months. We are living in the nuclear age where ICBMs take less than an hour to travel thousands of miles.

Remember, Tony Blair said Saddam Hussein has got missiles that are 45 minutes away? Jets scramble to get in the air. This is not an age where a president can take seven minutes, and then another 20 to do photo-ops. This is unconscionable that this is not the ultimate issue in this election. This should be the issue.

And again, I would invite Republicans, independents, people who are thinking of voting for the president, to say to themselves, take President Bush out of this equation. Take him out. Just say a president is told by an aide, the country is under attack. Should that president, A, stick to what he's doing and not interrupt. Or consider that an immediate cause to get up and react?

I don't see how anyone can argue the reverse. And the excuse they gave. He didn't want to scare the children. This is the ultimate for the children, Larry. I mean, apparently 20 children in a schoolroom in Florida is more important than the fate of the country. That's how important children are in America.

Dick Cheney, who said about John Kerry, John Kerry has given us ample reason to doubt the judgment he brings to issues of national security. OK, the judgment he brings? So the aide comes in and tells the president, the country is under attack. And his judgment is, OK, country under attack. I don't know what that means. But I'm going to stay here so I don't scare the children.

Scaring 20 -- as if it would scare the children. You just say excuse me, president business, gotta run, bye. But OK, even say in your fantasy world it scares the children. That stacks up against protecting the country? It's astounding, Larry, that this is not more of an issue."

IMDb Discussion

NPR : Ex-Bush Adviser Clarke Weighs Sept. 11 Report (Audio Interview)

NPR : Ex-Bush Adviser Clarke Weighs Sept. 11 Report: SIMON : So you were--you know, this is a major point in Michael Moore's film, "Fahrenheit 9/11," you were interviewed at length for that film. ...

"Richard Clarke, a former counterterrorism adviser to President Bush who has been critical of the Bush administration's policies on terrorism and Iraq, says the Sept. 11 commission's report does not adequately address what can be done to prevent terrorist attacks. Hear Clarke and NPR's Scott Simon."

Scott Simon

'Fahrenheit 9/11' a Hit With Disney Chief

'Fahrenheit 9/11' a Hit With Disney Chief: "ASPEN, Colo. - Disney chief executive Michael Eisner has seen 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' the film that The Walt Disney Co. refused to distribute _ and he liked it.

'The reason it is a hit is it's entertaining,' Eisner said last week. 'I thought it was like going to a rock concert. I loved it, but not in a political (sense).'"

MSNBC - 'Manchurian Candidate' cast talks politics

MSNBC - 'Manchurian Candidate' cast talks politics: "Couric: "But I mean it is taken to the extreme, come on."

Washington: "Let's hope so."

Deeme: "With all this stuff going on, I kept hoping that we'd be one step ahead of the game when our picture came out, and I feel like we're just barely competing with what we're reading about in the papers nowadays. So, I don't think we're all that farfetched. I think we're a lot more fun than the real world."

But lately, it seems the worlds of Hollywood and politics have collided, due in large part to Michael Moore's controversial "Fahrenheit 9/11" and the lengthy list of luminaries who attended that recent fundraiser for Sen. John Kerry.

Streep: "Oh, I was there."

Couric: "I know you were there. And in fact, I read your quote. You said -- you talked about President Bush and his invocation of religion and you said—"

Streep: "No, of Jesus."

Couric: "Of Jesus, sorry. ‘Through the shock and awe, I wondered which of the megaton bombs Jesus, our president's personal savior, would have personally dropped on the sleeping families in Baghdad.’"

Streep: "It was a question about when you put Jesus on the campaign bus to stump for you, you have to really listen to what he says, because he says, ‘If a man smite thee on the cheek, let you turn the other that he may smite it also.’ And he says, ‘He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.’ And he says, ‘Love thine enemy.’ Jesus could have raised an army against the people that persecuted him. He didn't. So that's what I was pointing out in my speech, and I couldn't really imagine Jesus, like I couldn't imagine how Jesus would vote. Jesus was the Prince of Peace. Would the Prince of Peace vote for a war President?"

Washington: "And it's open to interpretation. Jesus also went into the temple and kicked everybody out."

Streep: "That's kicking the money-changers out of the temple."

Washington: "Well, you're right. So—"

Streep: "The money-changers should get out of Congress, I agree. And I agree, but he didn't—"

Washington: "He didn't. He didn't only say turn the other cheek though. You’ve got to read the whole book. That's not what all he said."

Streep: "Oh, I do read the whole book."

Washington: "I do too. And that's not all he said."

Streep: "What does he say that said 'pick up a stick and kill somebody?'"

By Katie Couric
Dateline NBC

DNC: Kicking Ass - Open Thread 7/23

DNC: Kicking Ass - Open Thread 7/23: "we are now doing voter registration at the biggest theater chain in town, where F-9/11 is showing. The theater chain had initially told us no, we couldn't, but a few well-placed phone calls to some higher ups were made and now we're welcomed at 15 theaters.
Posted by Lisa Z @ 7/24/04, 03:40 PM "

Rocky Mountain News: Warnings precede party conventions

Rocky Mountain News: "Law enforcement officers visited several Denver young people Thursday to warn them against committing violence at the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
'This is part of an ongoing FBI investigation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force,' Colorado FBI spokeswoman Monique Kelson said Friday. 'That's all that we can comment right now.'

Sarah Bardwell, 21, said six officers arrived about 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Denver home she shares with four other young people. Two houseguests also were there, she said.

The six officers identified themselves as four FBI agents and two Denver police officers, but declined to give their names after the young people declined to give theirs, Bardwell said.

One officer said he took the young people's refusal to give their names as "noncooperation" and said he would have to use "more intrusive efforts to get his job done," Bardwell said.

"We had really no idea what was going on," she said.

"They told us in a joking way that they were doing community outreach and getting to know the neighbors," she said.

Then the officers said they were "doing some preventative measures and investigating," she said.

She said the officers asked three questions:

Are you planning to be involved in any criminal acts at the national conventions?
Do you know anybody who is?
Are you aware that if you assist or know anybody planning any criminal acts and do not report them, it's a crime?

"We declined to answer," Bardwell said."

By Karen Abbott
Rocky Mountain News

Decatur Daily Democrat: Double-time march to war

Decatur Daily Democrat: "One aspect of Michael Moore's documentary film, 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' that you won't hear Republicans denouncing is a 2001 video clip of Colin Powell calling Saddam Hussein no threat.

Audiences react with shocked murmurs. The film doesn't explain the context, a Feb. 24, 2001, diplomatic meeting in Cairo. Pressed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak about the Iraqi people's suffering under U.S. economic sanctions, Powell reminded his audience that they existed to check Saddam's ambitions.

'And frankly,' he added, 'they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.'

Not only was Iraq no danger to the United States, it had no capacity to menace such powerhouses as Jordan and Kuwait. So why are we reading news accounts like this in July 2004: 'Saddam's army posed little threat, Senate panel says' and 'Panel describes long weakening of Hussein army.'

Almost 1,000 American and an estimated 10,000 Iraqi deaths and a strategic nightmare later, we have come full circle. But Michael Moore had to tell you. So how come nobody important in what The Nation columnist Eric Alterman calls the 'so-called liberal media' pressed the secretary of state to explain himself before the war, when it might have made some difference? Good question."

Decatur Daily Democrat

Santa Rosa Press Democrat : Ronstadt show goes on without ado

Santa Rosa Press Democrat // News for California's North Bay and Redwood Empire: "Singer Linda Ronstadt continues her four-day sweep through the Bay Area this weekend as curious audiences and anxious concert promoters wait to see if the controversy she stirred last weekend in Las Vegas recurs.

"It was anticlimactic," said Wente Vineyards executive Rick Reid of the Thursday night show, even though Ronstadt earlier in the week added fuel to the media fire through published political remarks.

Playing to a sold-out crowd of 1,700 Thursday night at the Livermore winery, Ronstadt waited until the end to dedicate her last song, "Desperado," to Moore.

"It was done very quickly -- however long it takes you to say a sentence," said Reid, who fielded dozens of e-mails, phone calls and media inquiries from around the country earlier this week.

"The applause was more prevalent, but you did get some boos. About a hundred people walked out at that point. There may have been some people who walked out because it was the last song, but undoubtedly some were leaving in protest."

"I would expect her comments would be well received in Marin," said Jim Farley, Marin Center director of cultural services. He received about a dozen calls earlier this week -- most of them negative. "But regardless of that, I can't tell you how many times we've had artists express their political views from the stage. That's what you want an artist to do in their music or their songs or lyrics. That's what it's all about -- free expression.""

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Spike Lee Joins Anti-Bush Rant "LOS ANGELES ( -- Director Spike Lee sees his film 'She Hate Me,' (coming out next week) about corporate corruption as an indictment of the present Bush Administration.
'If you are indicting big business, automatically, it's indicting George Bush,' Lee says. 'George Bush, he has more CEOs in his administration than any other president in the history of the United States of America.'

In the opening credits of his film, Lee put the president's photo on a three-dollar bill with an Enron logo.

He doesn't see his film as changing the election, like Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11." "I know some African Americans who voted for Bush, but they're not going to do it this time," Lee tells .

"I'm very nervous about this election, because we're all going to go to hell if George Bush wins," Lee says, pointing out recent job losses suffered by Whoopi Goldberg and Linda Ronstadt when speaking up against Bush.

"That happened earlier with the Dixie Chicks," Lee says. "The guy that owns Clear Channel, who's one of Bush's buddies, he pulled them off the playlist.""

By Mike Szymanski

DNC Blog Aggregators

The three DNC blog aggregators currently set-up and ready to go includes up-to-the-minute posts from delegates and credentialed bloggers that can be viewed on a single page:

The aggregators can be added to LiveJournal friends lists and pages.

Friday, July 23, 2004

News 8 Austin | Fahrenheit 9/11 opens in Poland, Waco

Fahrenheit 9/11 opens in Poland, Waco: "WARSAW, Poland -- Michael Moore's film 'Fahrenheit 9/11'' has opened in Poland Friday, where some praise it -- but where others say it reminds them of totalitarian propaganda.

And one left-leaning newspaper complained that Poland's political leaders haven't been more critical of the U.S., saying that even criticism of Washington has to be imported.

A month after its nationwide release, "Fahrenheit 9/11'' opened today at a theater in Waco, about 20 miles west of Bush's Crawford spread." Voters Seen Little Swayed by 'Fahrenheit 9/11'

Politics News Article | "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If Michael Moore had hoped that his biting documentary critique of the Bush administration might turn the tide of the upcoming U.S. presidential race, he may have to settle instead for the film's box-office success.
A Los Angeles Times poll of likely voters published on Friday showed that 'Fahrenheit' is drawing an overwhelmingly Democratic audience and that few Republicans who have seen the movie appear to have been swayed.
The findings support the contention of conservative critics that in terms of its political influence, 'Fahrenheit 9/11' is unlikely to go beyond preaching to the Democratic faithful. Just 9 percent of 1,529 registered voters surveyed nationwide July 17-21 had seen the film, which lambastes President Bush for his response to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on America and his reasons for going to war in Iraq, the Times said. "


CATWOMAN / * (PG-13): "'Catwoman' is a movie about Halle Berry's beauty, sex appeal, figure, eyes, lips and costume design. It gets those right. Everything else is secondary, except for the plot, which is tertiary. What a letdown. The filmmakers have given great thought to photographing Berry, who looks fabulous, and little thought to providing her with a strong character, story, supporting characters or action sequences. In a summer when 'Spider-Man 2' represents the state of the art, 'Catwoman' is tired and dated.
Although the movie's faults are many, the crucial one is that we never get any sense of what it feels like to turn into a catwoman. The strength of 'Spider-Man 2' is in the ambivalence that Peter Parker has about being part nerdy student, part superhero. In 'Catwoman,' where are the scenes where a woman comes to grip with the fact that her entire nature and even her species seems to have changed?"


Guardian Unlimited Film | From hit to miss

Guardian Unlimited Film | From hit to miss: "First Disney dropped Michael Moore's anti-Bush blockbuster Fahrenheit 9/11. Now it's got a huge patriotic flop on its hands. One is a film that celebrates the wholesome things in American life: men on horseback, women weaving tapestries, oil well firefighters in Texas. The other is a film that highlights the strength and resilience of the American people even when its government is conspiring against it: mothers of teenage war veterans, hopeless youths stuck in middle America, trusting border guards patrolling remote frontiers for no apparent reason.
One is the sort of film that Disney would like to be involved with. The other is the sort of film that Disney would go to great lengths not to be involved with.
America's Heart and Soul, a patchwork of moving and heartwarming vignettes of regular American eccentrics, was released in the US by Disney on July 2, just one week after Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 had been put out by an independent group set up by the Disney employee and Miramax chairman Harvey Weinstein.
Disney had famously passed up the opportunity to release Moore's film, even though the studio had helped to finance it. The ensuing ruckus, revealed by the film's director just a few days before its Cannes premiere, gave an undreamed-of boost to the fortunes of Fahrenheit 9/11. The rest is now part of movie lore: the documentary took the Palme d'Or and, despite a restrictive rating in the US, is very close to being the first documentary to break $100m at US box offices. Its success in the US has been mirrored around the world. "

Dan Glaister

'Fahrenheit 911': Most Democrats and Independents Give Michael Moore's Movie Good Marks and Think it Treats President Fairly (Press Release)

'Fahrenheit 911': "Michael Moore's movie, Fahrenheit 911, seems to be adding to the political polarization in this already highly polarized election year. It may also be having some political impact. These are some of the conclusions to be drawn from a new Harris Poll, conducted online with 2,242 adults between July 12 and 16, 2004.
Many more Democrats (17%) than Republicans (7%) have seen the movie. And many more Democrats (30%) than Republicans (10%) think it very likely that they will see it. When they see it their reactions are very different. Democrats overwhelmingly (89%) give it positive ratings; most Republicans (56%) give it negative ratings. Almost all Democrats (85%) think it treats President Bush fairly; most Republicans (58%) think it treats him unfairly.
The political impact?

In terms of its possible impact on November's election, the most interesting results are the replies given by independents. In most recent presidential elections, the candidate who received the most independent votes won. The bad news for the White House in this survey is that independent voters are behaving more like Democrats than Republicans. They are as likely as Democrats to have seen "Fahrenheit 911" (18% compared to 17%) and are much likely than Republicans to expect to see it (20% compared to 10%). And when independent voters see the movie they mostly give it good marks (70% positive) and think it is fair (56%).

Also bad news for the president is that significant minorities of Republican viewers of the movie give it positive ratings (44%) and think it treats the president fairly (30%). The best news for the White House may be that, notwithstanding its box office success, most voters (and almost all Republicans) will not see the film." Moore Speech at Dem Convention Getting All the Attention Inside Cover Story: "Filmmaker Michael Moore will join fellow liberals Howard Dean and Jesse Jackson in Boston next week for three days of events designed to rally the Democratic Party's left, members of whom will be in town for the nomination of John Kerry as the party's standard bearer in this year's presidential race.

The Campaign for America's Future is organizing the 'Take Back America' events. The group held a conference in Washington last month that brought together more than 2,500 attendees who vowed to defeat President Bush on Nov. 2.

But it's the invitation of Moore that has created a buzz in Boston. A spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Democratic Party told the Boston Herald that having Moore in town "adds a lot of excitement to everything else going on."

Moore's anti-war film has generated nearly $100 million at the box office, and has also served as a rallying cry for Democrats. He has become a favorite of liberals, even though he has been accused of distorting some facts in the documentary.

Hickey said he was unconcerned about Moore's appearance becoming a possible liability for Kerry, who has distanced himself from controversial liberals, including Moore and billionaire financier George Soros.

"Michael Moore has gotten the mass media to ask questions that they were never asking about Iraq before his film," Hickey said in defending Moore's invitation." Bill Clinton sounds off on the current state of politics "Have you seen 'Fahrenheit 9/11'?
I have.
What did you think?
I think every American ought to see it. As far as I know, there are no factual errors in it, but it may connect the dots a little too close -- about the Saudis and the Bushes, and the terror and all. I'd like to see it again before making a judgment about whether I think it's totally fair.
As somebody who's been in the business of making decisions, to me the most powerful question presented was whether it was appropriate to send the bin Ladens [out of the country] -- and the other Saudis -- without interrogating them first. There's no question that most of [Bin Laden's] family deplores what he did. But, on the other hand, it's highly likely that somebody knew something that could be of value.
Do you think it moves the meter on the election?
Yeah, I think it has some effect on it. I think it just shows that we've got the intensity on our side this year."


The San Diego Union-Tribune: Joan Baez Interview (June 17, 2004)

Oh, it's cryin' time again ... | The San Diego Union-Tribune: "Baez - once a symbol of tireless, hopeful work for leftist social causes - is considering a move out of the country due to a growing sense of political alienation. She lays blame with the Bush administration for her state of mind, but a sense of disappointment and disillusion also creeps into her tone when discussing America.

'My mother is 90 and I'm going to take care of her until she goes,' says Baez. 'After that, I'm going to rethink things, maybe I'll move to Mexico. This country is overprivileged and poverty-stricken. I think the ground was long ago set for an evil administration to get in there without much difficulty and do their evil work.

'In the end, if we manage to get out of this without either World War III happening or whatever other scenarios this administration has for us, it'll be because people kept doing things like making statements, signing petitions. It'll be because the Michael Moores out there didn't quit.'
In the 1960s - Baez's halcyon days - music was a prime catalyst for social change, and she was a big part of the movement that made that come to pass. "

Buddy Blue

Ronstadt criticism of Bush provokes mixed audience reaction - 2004-07-23 - San Francisco Business Times

Ronstadt criticism of Bush provokes mixed audience reaction - 2004-07-23 - San Francisco Business Times: "Cheers drowned out boos Thursday night when singer Linda Ronstadt appeared in Livermore, the first of three Bay Area performances, and supported anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore.

About 100-200 people walked out from the 1,750-person audience at the Wente Vineyards after Ronstadt dedicated her finale, 'Desperado,' to Moore, whom she called 'a great American patriot.'
His film, 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' criticizes President George W. Bush's administration for its handling of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the run-up to the war against Iraq.

Her Bay Area appearance followed an incident July 17 at the Aladdin casino in Las Vegas in which many in that audience tossed cocktails and tore down posters, protesting her sending a political message at a concert. Casino managers escorted her from the casino and said she'd never be invited to perform there again.

Earlier in the Livermore concert, Ronstadt joked that her finale would be 'Viva Las Vegas.' "

Robert Mullins
San Francisco Business Times

Marin Independent Journal - New film shines light on approach at Fox News

Marin Independent Journal - Lifestyles: "Robert Greenwald, the best-known documentary filmmaker who isn't Michael Moore, was on hand the other night at the Victoria Theatre in San Francisco's Mission District for the West Coast premiere of his latest grassroots sensation, 'Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism.'
It was only the second time that he had seen his film with an audience, and it was a predictably positive experience for him. As he stepped on stage after the Friday night screening, he was rewarded with a standing ovation.
'Oh, God, I love San Francisco,' he said as the crowd of hip, young activists who filled the proletarian, gray-walled movie house laughed and cheered in appreciation.
Greenwald is as neat as Moore is sloppy. A compact man, he had on a dark suit and a burgundy dress shirt open at the neck, a nod to Hollywood casualness. His glasses were perched on top of his head. "

By Paul Liberatore
IJ columnist

Magic City Morning Star: Selling War to a Willing Public

Magic City Morning Star: Selling War to a Willing Public: "Welcome to 21st Century America. We’re pursuing two active wars, with another one - possibly more - brewing in the background. We’ve declared every soldier a hero (with the possible exception of those photogenic few from Abu Ghraib). A heavily distributed e-mail attack on John Kerry’s wife claims she "supports numerous antiwar groups" as if this, in itself, is a reprehensible thing. Our two top contenders for the November presidential election both support the Iraq war - although both draw distinctions on the tactics of the other - for to do otherwise would be political suicide.
To be antiwar is generally perceived to be weak, naïve or blatantly un-American.

And the perception is not unfounded. Considering the number of military conflicts we’ve fought in the last hundred years, it would be difficult to argue that "peace" is an American value.

The current issue is Iraq. Blaming George W. Bush and his administration of militarists only goes so far. America is still enough of a democracy that the people can have an impact on governmental policy. If sixty percent of constituents had contacted their national representatives to express outrage at Mr. Bush’s rush to war, over 900 of their fellow citizens might still be alive today.

There is a self-serving inconsistency here, just as we saw with Lila Lipscomb - the woman featured in Michael Moore’s documentary Fahrenheit 9/11. She supported the war - putting blind faith in the government - until her son was killed in Iraq. Now she blames Mr. Bush, and his deception, for the death of her son. Up to a point, she’s right. But the unquestioning patriotism she instilled in her son was a contributing factor as well; that, and the blank check of trust she wrote out to Mr. Bush. Her grief is understandable; but didn’t she realize that her son’s job would be to kill other mother’s sons (and daughters)? Watching the pain of her loss, it’s easy to sympathize emotionally - but not morally."

By Charles Cutter
Magic City Morning Star

Thursday, July 22, 2004

The real deal | The San Diego Union-Tribune : Linda Ronstadt (July 15 Feature)

The real deal | The San Diego Union-Tribune: "Linda Ronstadt says audience reaction to her nightly, on-stage tribute to filmaker Michael Moore is 'very interesting and very intense.'

Other singers may have a greater passion for music than Linda Ronstadt. But few have a greater passion for more types of music, or the willingness to perform them, even at the risk of falling on her face.

'I've done that a couple of times,' acknowledged Ronstadt with a knowing chuckle. 'But my motto in life is: You don't have to be original, you have to be authentic. "

By George Varga
The San Diego Union-Tribune

Sifry's Alerts: Technorati and CNN Get Ready To Blog DNC

Sifry's Alerts: Technorati and CNN: "A few minutes ago CNN announced that Technorati will be providing real-time analysis of the political blogosphere at next week's Democratic National Convention. I will be on-site in CNN's convention broadcast center, along with Mary Hodder, and I'll be providing regular on-air commentary on what bloggers are saying about politics and the convention. And on Sunday, July 25, we'll launch a new section of our site for political coverage:

This site will make it easy for bloggers,  journalists, and anyone interested in politics to see the postings of the most linked-to political bloggers, to track the ideas with the fastest-growing buzz, and to monitor conversations in thousands of other political blogs. will link to this site, and we'll be updating the CNN site with the latest from the blogosphere.

This is a very exciting development for us at Technorati, and a great acknowledgement of the importance that blogging has achieved in political discourse. We're incredibly humbled by this opportunity. It provides us with a great way to serve all of you who make this amazing new medium possible. We take this responsibility very seriously and hope to make you proud."

AP: 9/11 Panel Urges Intelligence Overhaul

Yahoo! News - Top Stories Photos - AP: "Ed Krug of Potomac, Md., reads the just-released government published report on the findings of the Sept. 11 Commission, titled 'The 9/11 Commission Report' at Borders book store in Washington Thursday, July 22, 2004, prior to purchasing it. Krug said he had seen the movie 'Fahrenheit 9/11' and wanted to 'get this perspective as well'. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf) "

AP White House Correspondent

Heating up politics - Film -

Heating up politics - Film - "Republicans initially dismissed the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 as a cinematic screed that would play mostly to inveterate Bush bashers.
Four weeks and $A132 million ($US94 million) later, it is still pulling in moviegoers at 2000 theatres around the country, making Republicans nervous as it settles into the American mainstream.
'I'm not sure if it moves voters,' Republican party consultant Scott Reed said, 'but if it moves three or four per cent it's been a success.'
Two senior Republicans closely tied to President George Bush's White House said the movie from director Michael Moore is seen as a political headache because it has reached beyond the Democratic base.

Still, Fahrenheit 9/11 is likely to gain an even wider audience when it's released on home video in the weeks before election day.

The Gallup survey found that nearly half of the Republicans and independents who expect to see the film said they were likely to view it on video."

Associate Press

San Mateo County Times : If you think Fahrenheit 9/11 is unfair, you'd better brace yourself

San Mateo County Times Online - Local & Regional News: "CONSERVATIVE Republicans are going bonkers over the success of 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' It is grossing more money at the box office than any movie in the history of documentaries. And, of course, there is now a dispute over whether it is a documentary because, its critics claim, it is not objective.
I've been going to documentaries for more than half a century, and most of them have always presented a point of view. Very few documentaries are produced by people disinterested in investing time and money for the sake of being objective.
That's because documentaries normally do not wind up being among the top box-office draws on the week they open. Moore's film is an anomaly that has caused Republicans to insist that advertising for 'Fahrenheit' end when the political campaign for president begins after the conventions. "

Adelante On Line - Culture: Fahrenheit 9/11 Opens in Cuba

Adelante On Line - Culture: Fahrenheit 9/11 Opens in Cuba: "Havana, Jul 22 (Prensa Latina) Michael Moore�s controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11, in which the US moviemaker delivers a critical image of President George W. Bush, will open in Cuba on Thursday.

Many Cubans are tingling with anticipation at the screening of the film, having heard much about it since its US release, and the refusal by movie moguls at Disney to distribute it nationwide.

The film will open simultaneously at Havana's Cuba Cinematheque, to be followed tomorrow by shows in 120 movie theaters throughout the country."

Cinema Criticised For No Fahrenheit 911 (from Bucks Free Press)

Cinema Criticised For No Fahrenheit 911 (from Bucks Free Press): "CINEMA goers have criticised the Filmworks cinema in High Wycombe after managers opted not to show controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.
Michael Moore's latest movie which hones in on the Bush regime has won rave reviews from critics and enjoyed huge box office success nationwide.
Elsa Woodward, of The Haystacks, in High Wycombe, said: 'This is a very topical film and many people want to see it. I can't understand why the cinema doesn't want to show it. It's making money everywhere. The nearest cinema to Wycombe where you can see the film is Maidenhead. The cinema told me it was down to a shortage of copies.'"

Corvallis woman buys 110 Fahrenheit 9/11 tickets -

Corvallis woman buys 110 Fahrenheit 9/11 tickets - "MISSOULA (AP) -- A Corvallis woman has bought 110 tickets to 'Fahrenheit 9/11' in hopes of boosting attendance of the controversial documentary in Hamilton.
The tickets were given away Thursday at the Pharaohplex, where Michael Moore's film has drawn just 30 viewers per showing 'on a good night,' manager Dave Sylvester said.
After seeing a newspaper story about the film's struggle, the woman wrote a check for $500 and bought the tickets at a slightly discounted price. She insisted on remaining anonymous. "

E! Online News - Ronstadt's Vegas Comeback?

E! Online News - Ronstadt's Vegas Comeback?: "Forget Cirque du Soleil, Celine Dion or Wayne Newton, Linda Ronstadt--and her new duet partner, Michael Moore--could soon be the biggest thing on the Vegas strip. "

by Charlie Amter : Cho 'Disinvited' To Gay Dems Bash

Gay News From "(Washington) Margaret Cho has been pulled as the headliner at a gay event scheduled to coincide with the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
Unity 2004 is the biggest gathering of gay organizations and their supporters at any convention in US political history. Sponsored by 10 LGBT civil rights groups, it will be held Monday night in a cavernous gay club near the convention site and is expected to attract hundreds of delegates.
'I am not surprised at the reversal in light of how the Kerry campaign distanced itself from Whoopi's routine in response to the unrelenting media hype and Republican criticism,' said Margaret's manager, Karen Taussig.
'It's Whoopi's job as a comedian to say things that are sometimes shocking. I wish they could have backed her up. Dennis Miller can make gay jokes about Senators Kerry and Edwards at a recent Bush rally in Wisconsin to a complete absence of media scrutiny. No one demanded a tape of that event or alleged that his comments as a comedian might reflect poorly on Bush.'
Sponsors of the event say, despite allegations by Taussig, there was no pressure from either the Kerry campaign or the DNC."

by Doreen Brandt Newscenter
Washington Bureau

Ottawa Citizen: In Greendale, Neil Young searches for new perspectives

Ottawa Citizen - network: "Some people pick up a camera because they have a need to record what they see. Others take photographs to show us the things we can't see.
Neil Young is one of the few who seems to do both. He records the images in his own head, and offers them to us as pictures of everyday life.
He's done it musically for decades as a rockin' folk music troubadour, but he's been experimenting with film for almost as long.
In 1972, he made a personal, low-budget odyssey under his nom-de-celluloid-plume, Bernard Shakey, called Journey Through the Past, which intercut live concert footage featuring Crosby, Stills and Nash with surreal images of Klansmen on horseback and talking-head politicians. A few years later, he followed it up with Rust Never Sleeps, the 1979 concert film with Crazy Horse, which he also directed.
Then in 1982, he made The Human Highway, a quasi-narrative adventure that fused the low-tech, verite heart of the French New Wave with the quivering soul of Young's songs.
Now, there is Greendale -- a new film that will make its way across North America one city at a time.
Greendale is called a 'companion piece to the album of the same name,'' but even those unfamiliar with Young's music will be able to understand it as a multi-narrative tale, because Young is a natural storyteller.
He writes songs in images. Think of any Young song, from Powderfinger ('I held my rifle to my eye, never stopped to wonder why, then I saw black and my face splashed in the sky ...'') to Wrecking Ball ('The restless line of cars goes stretchin' down the road but I won't telephone 'cause you might say hello'')-- and his talent for conjuring mental pictures with an emotional edge comes through."

Katherine Monk
The Ottawa Citizen


Crosby Nash - 2004: "Shelburne, VT, July 21, 2004: David Crosby and Graham Nash have thrown their respective hats into the ring for the Presidency of the United States, entering an already crowded and diverse field with their bid on the Party Party ticket. What distinguishes the Crosby/Nash candidacy is that theirs is a campaign for a "Joint Presidency," where the two will share responsibilities on an alternate day basis. When asked who would be named their Vice President, Graham Nash replied there was no need for one. "We'll have two presidents, and between us we have vice covered."
Crosby and Nash caught members of the media off guard at a press event earlier this month that was expected to be an official announcement of the release of their first album together as a duo in almost three decades. Instead, the spotlight turned to their run for Joint Presidency 2004. Among other things, the co-candidates discussed the imminent launch of their barn-storming tour across America in the official Crosby-Nash campaign airstream trailer, and their national television advertising campaign scheduled to begin airing July 26." | Las Vegas flap makes Ronstadt a hotter ticket : Las Vegas flap makes Ronstadt a hotter ticket: "Singer Linda Ronstadt's performance tonight at Livermore's Wente Vineyards sold out Wednesday, although her praise of filmmaker Michael Moore and his 'Fahrenheit 9/11' documentary prompted more than a dozen people to drop plans to attend.
While Wente does not provide refunds, it allowed tickets to be exchanged for other concerts planned this season.
Rick Reid, Wente's vice president of retail operations, said about 15 tickets were exchanged by Wednesday afternoon, and many more phone calls were received by angry members of the public.
But available tickets were snatched up by others who heard about the controversy and want to see Ronstadt, said Reid. The outdoor venue, which holds 1,750 people, had already been 95 percent sold out Tuesday."

By Bonita Brewer
CONTRA COSTA TIMES - DNC Convention Coverage: Fahrenheit 7/26: Michael Moore: I will crash Kerry's party - DNC Convention Coverage: Fahrenheit 7/26: Michael Moore: I will crash Kerry's party: "Democrats were abuzz and Republicans aghast yesterday as Bush-hating filmmaker Michael Moore unveiled plans to descend upon, and steal some thunder from, John F. Kerry's hometown nominating party.

Moore will team up with the Democratic presidential primary's chief Bush critic, Howard Dean, for one of his three Hub appearances in the first two days of the convention.

Republicans said the ``Fahrenheit 9/11'' creator will reflect poorly as a surrogate for Kerry.

``It's just another example of the pessimism and the conspiracy theories coming from John Kerry and John Kerry surrogates,'' said Kevin Madden, spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

``We're seeing a lot of hate and vitriol from this John Kerry celebrity set - Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg. It shows that their intent is to frame anger as an agenda.''

Democrats, though careful to say Moore won't outshine Kerry, brimmed with excitement."

By Dave Wedge

BBC NEWS | Bonnie Raitt Dedicates Song To Bush/Ronstadt casino ban may be lifted

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Ronstadt casino ban may be lifted: "Meanwhile, blues singer Bonnie Raitt dedicated a classic soul song, Your Good Thing (Is About to End) to the US president at the Stockholm Jazz Festival on Wednesday.
'We're gonna sing this for George Bush because he's out of here, people!' she said before launching into the song, which was written by soul legend Isaac Hayes.
Raitt's dedication drew cheers and whistles from some of the 3,000-strong crowd. " Linda Ronstadt Performance In LA

Entertainment: Reviews Article | "LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Pretty much beaming under the flood of publicity she'd been getting in the preceding few days, Linda Ronstadt got a big laugh with the first words out of her mouth: 'Seen any good movies lately?' she asked the satisfactory thousands who had come out to hear her sing.
This brought her a standing ovation. Everybody knew she was talking about the furor that ensued when she said a few kind words about Michael Moore and his new movie at a show in Las Vegas and was 86'd by the management, not to mention half that audience.
Not tonight. They were all ears as she made her plain vanilla way through the Great American Songbook, uttering a few triple forte notes when she felt the song was supposed to be exciting. She wasn't always right about this.
When the person in 'Lush Life' sings, for instance, about how wrong he or she was about the departed lover's smile being tinged with the sadness of a great love, it is not necessary to start blasting. This composition by Billy Strayhorn is one of the best songs in the history of the sport, and all you have to do is sing it nicely.
When Ronstadt left the bower of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which is touring with her, and began to serve up her more popular fare, this loud and soft strategy paid off. 'It's Too Soon to Know' and 'Say You Will Be Mine,' products of the music industry boom of the 1960s and after, took shape clearly and compellingly under the power of the Ronstadt pipes.
For this flimsy material, she nestled right in with her good solid rhythm section, led by versatile guitarist Bob Mann, and a doo-wop trio of remarkable deftness, and let it all boom out. This was fun.

A bright little bouquet was presented to Ronstadt as she prepared to bow off, and when she coyly asked the audience to guess who it was from, everybody shouted, "Michael Moore!"

Whereupon she launched into "Desperado," the song that got her the boot in Vegas. This time, no walkouts were evident."

By Tony Gieske
Hollywood Reporter

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Michael : Mike's Message : Mike's Latest News: "Filmmaker and author Michael Moore will be traveling to Boston early next week on the invitation of the Congressional Black Caucus and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).
While in Boston, Mr. Moore will be honored by the Congressional Black Caucus and plans to address its membership. This event will take place at 4:00 in the afternoon on Monday, July 26th at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston.
Mr. Moore will also be on hand for a private screening of 'Fahrenheit 9/11' for the members of AFSCME the following day. He will lead the group in a discussion on the important issues raised in the film. This event will take place at noon on Tuesday the 27th at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, Massachusetts.
Mr. Moore will also be addressing a rally held under the banner Take Back America. Moore will speak to the group of five hundred or so progressive activists following an address by former Vermont Governor and Presidential hopeful Howard Dean. This event will take place at 3:00 in the afternoon on Tuesday the 27th at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge, Massachusetts. " - Celebrities declare own war on Bush - Celebrities declare own war on Bush: "In what's shaping up as one of the nastiest presidential races in decades, Bush-bashing is turning into an en vogue celebrity sport.

But unsolicited anti-Bush rhetoric, which appears to be spinning out of control, is alienating both Republicans and Democrats.
Recent examples:
- At a John Kerry fundraiser July 8, Whoopi Goldberg delivered several crude puns on Bush's name. Complaints led to Goldberg's firing as a Slim-Fast spokeswoman and admonishments from both parties.
- At a concert July 14, rocker Ozzy Osbourne sang War Pigs while projecting an image of a protester holding a sign with the images of Bush and Adolph Hitler. The image was part of a montage depicting war and protest over the past 100 years. After complaints, it was dropped from future shows."

By William Keck

billboard: Ronstadt May Return To Vegas Stage

Ronstadt May Return To Vegas Stage: "Thanks to negotiations today (July 21) between the Recording Artists Coalition (RAC) and the prospective new owners of Las Vegas's Alladin Theater, expect to see RAC member Linda Ronstadt back at the venue this fall -- with filmmaker Michael Moore on backup vocals.

The singer was the recipient of heavy-handed treatment Saturday (July 17) when she dedicated the Eagles' 'Desperado' (co-written by RAC co-founder Don Henley) to Moore, the director of the anti-President Bush documentary, 'Fahrenheit 9/11.'

After a day of negotiations, the prospective new owner of the venue, Robert Earl, Chairman and CEO of Planet Hollywood International, Inc., issued the following statement:

"We hope to be approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission to become the new owners of the Aladdin Resort in Las Vegas as early as September 1, 2004. Upon the assumption of ownership, and with a new management team in place, we would like to offer the use of the Theatre of Performing Arts to Linda Ronstadt for a second concert and further to take Michael Moore up on his offer to join her on stage to introduce her and sing a song."

"We respect artists' creativity and support their rights to express themselves," said Earl. "We were very sorry to hear about the unfortunate circumstances of this past Saturday night and want to make it clear that Planet Hollywood has never, in our 13 year history, restricted any artists' right to free speech and we will continue with that policy once we take ownership."

-- Bill Holland, Washington, D.C.

The Vegas Notion: Papers Weigh in on Ronstadt Casino Flap

The Vegas Notion: Papers Weigh in on Ronstadt Casino Flap: "The New York Times, in an editorial this morning, knocked those who believe that Ronstadt 'had no right to express a political opinion from the stage.' As for those causing the ruckus, it noted that 'if their intemperate behavior began to worry the management, then they were the ones who should have been thrown out...'"

Michael Moore Defends Ronstadt's Actions (Video Report/Poll)

Michael Moore Defends Ronstadt's Actions: "Fahrenheit 9/11 producer Michael Moore is speaking out in support of Linda Ronstadt... following the singer's eviction from the Aladdin Hotel-Casino. But, as News 3's Steve Crupi reports, some concert-goers still think the Aladdin did the right thing.
Rita and Jim Bonilla have been huge fans of Linda Ronstadt for decades. 'I love the way she sings.' And they sat in the second row at the Aladdin for Saturday's infamous concert. But when Ronstadt began praising filmmaker Michael Moore they weren't happy. 'I was kinda stunned. People started booing, including myself and my husband.' And minutes after that, Ronstadt was kicked off the property by hotel management. In response, Michael Moore published a letter on his website attacking the Aladdin's actions. "

Steve Crupi Reporting DVD: Outfoxed - Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism : Review DVD: Outfoxed - Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism: "The content of this expos?, revealing the bias permeating Rupert Murdoch's media empire, should come as no surprise to anyone. Murdoch's Fox News channel is essentially bereft of any journalistic integrity. It is interesting to see the leaked memos written by Fox News chieftan John Moody that not-too-subtlely 'guided' the staff on how to cover the news. For example, on intense fighting in Fallujah: 'It won't be long before some people start to decry the use of 'excessive force.' We won't be among that group. . .'

Unfortunately, Fox News is popular despite (or perhaps because of) its intense bias. Unfortunately, too, is the fact that other organizations (MSNBC w/Scarborough, CNBC w/Dennis Miller) seem to be trying their own hand at replicating Fox's successful strategy.

Most troubling of all are the incidents in which 'facts' are simply made up out of thin air. Many of these (which, not surprisingly, are mostly seen on Fox), are now being caught at It is frightening, though, that totally unsubstantiated claims make their way onto the air.

If Fox wants to be biased 24/7, that's Rupert Murdoch's prerogative. However, he should then refrain from improperly claiming Fox is in any way 'Fair and Balanced,' when it is anything but. "

A Long Overdue Critical Look at Fox News, July 21, 2004
Reviewer: J Frankel "josh1107" (New York, NY)

Guardian Unlimited Film | Fox News documentary tops Amazon sales chart

Guardian Unlimited Film | News | Fox News documentary tops Amazon sales chart: "The controversial US documentary, Outfoxed, which claims to uncover the Republican bias of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, has become the top-selling DVD on, as the liberal political campaign behind the film gathers pace in the US.
The number one ratings come as the liberal campaigning group, which contributed - 43,000 to Outfoxed's - 163,000 budget, took out a full-page advert in the New York Times, declaring: 'The Communists had Pravda. Republicans Have Fox'.
Film-maker Robert Greenwald's documentary, which does not yet have a theatrical release deal and is only available to buy via the internet, has outsold movies including The Passion of the Christ, Cold Mountain and Starsky & Hutch since going on sale last week.
Amazon has ordered more than 6,200 copies of Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, which has shot to the number one spot in the online retailer's DVD sales list, according to Variety."

Going BackPacking for 4 Days. Seeking F911 Contributors

Fahrenheit 911Tomorrow, I begin a four day backpacking trip in the Olympic national forest. In order to keep the information flow going, I'm seeking an individual(s) to log Fahrenheit 911 news reports in my absence. Post a comment to this thread if you are interested.

CNEWS - Weird News: Ben & Jerry's co-founder on road, saying Bush's pants 'getting a little warm'

CNEWS - Weird News: Ben & Jerry's co-founder on road, saying Bush's pants 'getting a little warm': "SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Call it the burning Bush.
The co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream is on the road, towing a 3.7-metre-tall effigy of U.S. President George W. Bush with fake flames shooting out of the pants. Ben Cohen says it's an acceptable way to point out what he calls the president's lies. 'In a polite society, you don't go up to a person and look at them in the face and say, 'You're a liar,'' Cohen said in a telephone interview before arriving in Spokane, the next stop on the Pants on Fire Tour.
'We think it's a lot more dignified and there's a lot more decorum to say, 'Excuse me sir, your pants are getting a little warm, don't you think?'' Cohen said.
The 'PantsOnFire-Mobile' is a trailer pulled behind a car. The Bush character wears a flight suit with the words 'Mission Accomplished' emblazoned on the back, a reference to the president's declaration aboard the deck of an aircraft carrier that major hostilities had ended in Iraq. An electronic ticker on the front displays what Cohen says are Bush's lies."

'PantsOnFire-Mobile' Journal

01.06.04 - Hi. We have been overwhelmed by the number of folks interested in the PantsOnFire (POF) campaign and the volunteers who want to drive the PantsOnFire-mobile. We're going to do our best through this online journal to keep everyone posted on where POF will be from day to day.

The POF-mobile tour began in Vermont and then moved to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. The POF-mobile has spent the last few weeks in Decatur and Atlanta, Georgia. We were lucky to have some great folks helping us out in the area. The POF-mobile attracted a great deal of attention just being parked on the street. People passing by would stop to take a look and ask what was going on. Others came by specifically to see the POF-mobile after hearing about it from a friend. All in all, "George's" trip to Atlanta was a huge success!

Today, the POF-mobile traveled to Orlando to meet Ben and a new crew of volunteers. We'll keep you posted on how things are going!

Michael Moore, GLW have the political ear of youth

Michael Moore, GLW have the political ear of youth: "If you were listening to the Australia Talks Back program on ABC Radio National on July 7, you would have heard Tessa Court, from the web monitoring company Hitwise, say: "If you look at the top websites that Australians visited just last week, Michael Moore was the number one, you know, global site that they went to. The second one was the Green Left Weekly which has a huge proportion of 18- to 24-year-olds."

A feature article by Jacqueline Maley in the July 2 Sydney Morning Herald noted GLW's lead. After claiming that “Australia's next government could be decided in cyberspace, where more Australians are heading for their fix of politics”, Maley observed: “Last week, the most visited Australian political website was that of Green Left Weekly, the sister site to the far-left newspaper. For such small, alternative opinion-makers, the internet represents a level playing field...”

Maley went on to identify the internet as the place where an increasing proportion of young people get their politics. She wrote: “John Croll, the chief executive officer of the media analysts Media Monitors, believes these renegade sites could represent a threat to politics' big players. `They are a great risk for political parties because they don't know what's being said about them, unless they have internet monitoring', he says."

Peter Boyle

Arizona Daily Sun: Who's afraid of Michael Moore? GOP should be

Arizona Daily Sun: "PHOENIX -- If Republicans think Michael Moore's new movie is pure Democratic propaganda, they might have some reason to worry, according to a pollster.
A new statewide survey shows that one out of every seven people questioned said they had not yet made up their minds about who to support. And two thirds of those people said they intend to see 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' Moore's film that is highly critical of the president's handling of the war on terror.
'The fact that they're undecided means they're still looking for information,' said pollster Earl de Berge of the Behavior Research Center of the race between George W. Bush and John Kerry. 'If you're looking at an election where you may be talking about 1 or 2 percent difference between the winning and losing candidate, all of a sudden a small shift may actually be fairly relevant.' "

Capitol Media Services Linda Ronstadt back in Los Angeles (Video Report) Linda Ronstadt back in Los Angeles: "Ronstadt will take the stage in Los Angeles tonight after being booted out of Las Vegas.
The singer was booed off stage and then escorted out of the Aladdin hotel after dedicating her song 'Desperado' to filmmaker Michael Moore, calling him 'a great American Patriot.'
She also encouraged the audience to see 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' his documentary critical of President Bush.
Management of the Aladdin hotel said Ronstadt 'spoiled a wonderful evening for our guests,' and will not be invited back. Online, and on the street, her fans are split over her the incident.
"It's unbelievable that this poor woman was escorted out of a hotel and embarrassed. If anything I think the hotel owes her an apology," said one fan."

By abc News/abc12

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

America sings a new song of celebrity censorship

News: "Hard though it is to imagine a diminutive middle-aged woman with a bob haircut and a honey-sweet voice starting a riot in America's very own Sin City, the Ronstadt Affair seems destined to go down as the latest surreal episode to mark this contentious, jumpily hostile election season.
Ms Ronstadt's fellow liberal entertainers were quick to cry foul yesterday about suppression of free speech and what they see as a climate of fear fostered by the Bush administration. (Ms Ronstadt herself has chosen not to comment.) The blow-hard opinion makers on the other side, meanwhile, were equally quick to accuse her of woefully misreading her audience and turning what was meant to be a pleasant piece of musical entertainment into a wholly inappropriate piece of political grandstanding.

Besides her music, Ms Ronstadt's political views are probably the best-known thing about her. In the 1970s she had a much-publicised romance with Jerry Brown, the liberal governor of California who went on to make two unsuccessful runs for the presidency. In a show in San Diego on Sunday night, she made overt references to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent attacks on "girlie men" in the state legislature. Her dedication to Michael Moore - which she clearly has no intention of dropping - split her audience in two but caused no undue ructions, according to an account in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Earlier this month, the comedian and actress Whoopi Goldberg became a target for Republican Party operatives after she made genitalia jokes about the President's name at a celebrity-studded fundraiser for Democratic candidate John Kerry. Not only did the Republicans denounce the whole affair, at New York's Radio City Music Hall, as a "hate fest" revealing the true colours of both Mr Kerry and the Hollywood establishment. Ms Goldberg also lost her job as a pitch woman for the diet-food company Slimfast, which is based in the electorally sensitive state of Florida where President Bush's brother Jeb is governor.

The issue has been further stirred up by Sir Elton John, who said in an interview with New York magazine this month that he saw an "atmosphere of fear" in the United States like nothing else since the McCarthy red-baiting era of the early 1950s. He said artists were afraid to speak out and had shied away from the kind of anti-government criticism that marked the protest songs and political theatre of the Vietnam War era. "Everyone is too career-conscious. They're all too scared," he said."

By Andrew Gumbel

Linda Ronstandt Sides With Michael Moore, Gets Booted Out Of Vegas Casino

Linda Ronstandt Sides With Michael Moore, Gets Booted Out Of Vegas Casino: "The Dixie Chicks were shunned for saying they were ashamed to share their home state with George W. Bush. Pearl Jam had to defend themselves for questioning the president's reasons for going to war. And Eminem was investigated by the Secret Service for a rap lyric that said he would 'rather see the president dead.'
Now, add Linda Ronstadt to the list of musicians who have been taken to task for exercising their freedom of speech. According to the Associated Press, the 58-year-old country legend was kicked out of a Las Vegas casino on Saturday for dedicating a song to anti-Bush filmmaker Michael Moore.

Meanwhile, Ronstadt doesn't seem too phased by the incident. The next night, she performed an equally political concert in San Diego and, according to a newspaper report there, again heard a mix of boos when she dedicated "Desperado" to Moore. She also reportedly dedicated a version of Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up And Fly Right," to "the good folks at Enron, who brought you the California energy crisis.""

Stephen Petrick

Ronstadt Has No Regrets for Concert Comments

Ronstadt Has No Regrets for Concert Comments: "Three days after the dust-up in the desert, Linda Ronstadt said she had no regrets about using her concert microphone to amplify the politics of filmmaker Michael Moore and his big-screen polemic 'Fahrenheit 9/11.'

'I think it was a modest thing I did,' the 58-year-old singer said today as she reflected on a Saturday night show at the Aladdin Casino and Resort in Las Vegas that ended with a portion of the audience reacting angrily to her comments. The fans weren't the only ones riled up � the casino president was in attendance and has since banned her from the venue.

There have been about 100 calls for refunds but Ronstadt, who is in Los Angeles preparing for her show at the Universal Amphitheatre, said she will continue to give fans some food for thought from the stage.

'This is an election year. I want people to get their head up out of their mashed potatoes and learn something about the issues and go and vote,' she said by phone. 'I'm not telling them how to vote. I'm saying, get information about the issues.'

Ronstadt's scrap in Vegas comes within days of Elton John complaining that singers are pressured to eschew political commentary. A few weeks ago, Neil Youg bemoaned the music industry's impulse to neuter political songs.

Ronstadt said her career zenith in the 1970s is long gone and that in a quasi-retirement mode she has the success and boldness to say what she thinks. "Clear Channel can't threaten to not play my records because they are not going to play them anyway," she said of the radio conglomerate that has been frequently criticized for muting criticism of the Bush Administration."

By Geoff Boucher and Robert Hilburn
Times Staff Writers

MSNBC - Defining Love of Country

MSNBC - Defining Love of Country: "July 19 - September 11 either made me love this country or it made me realize how much I already did. I think it's the latter. Seeing 'Fahrenheit 9/11' made me think deeply about love of country how it molds us, drives and emboldens us and how it can sometimes make us so angry we want to shout out to the world: 'No, this is wrong.' Many things have been said about the movie, and of course about its director, Michael Moore. But I don't think I've heard anyone comment on Moore's love for America. It seemed evident to me that the film was born from that love.

To anyone who would respond that, no, the film was motivated by rage at the Bush administration, might I point out that when you feel betrayed, when you believe that something or someone you love has been wounded and cheated and lied to, the fury that floods the heart is unstoppable."

By Patti Davis