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Topic: Muzzling Michael Moore

  1. #1

    Muzzling Michael Moore

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    Muzzling Michael
    Hands off the fat guy in the chicken suit, Mr. Mogul.

    by Greg Palast; >gregpalast.com; May 08, 2004

    WHEN the fattened cats at Disney put the kibosh on Michael Moore\'s new film, \'Fahrenheit 9-11,\' they did more than censor an artist. Gagging Moore is only the latest maneuver in suppressing some most uncomfortable

    facts: the Bush Administration\'s killing off investigations of Saudi Arabian funding of terror including evidence involving a few members of the bin Laden family in the USA.

    I know, because, with my investigative team at BBC television and The Guardian of Britain, I wrote and filmed the original reports on which Moore\'s new documentary are based.

    On November 11, 2001, just two months after the attack, BBC Television\'s Newsnight displayed documents indicating that FBI agents were held back from investigating two members of the bin Laden family who were fronting for a \"suspected terrorist organization\"

    out of Falls Church, Virginia - that is, until September 13, 2001. By that time, these birds had flown.

    We further reported that upper level agents in the US government informed BBC that the Bush Administration had hobbled the investigation of Pakistan\'s Khan Laboratories, which ran a flea market in atomic bomb blueprints. Why were investigators stymied? Because the money trail led back to the Saudis.

    The next day, our Guardian team reported that agents were constrained in following the money trail from an extraordinary meeting held in Paris in 1996. There, in the Hotel Monceau Royale, Saudi billionaires allegedly agreed to fund Al-Qaeda\'s \"educational\" endeavors.

    Those stories ran at the top of the nightly news in Britain and worldwide but not in the USA. Why?

    Our news teams picked up several awards including one I particularly hated getting: a Project Censored Award from California State University\'s school of journalism.

    It\'s the prize you get for a very important story that is simply locked out of the American press.

    And that hurts. I\'m an American, an L.A. kid sent into journalistic exile in England.

    What\'s going on here?

    Why the heck can\'t agents follow the money, even when it takes them to Arabia? Because, as we heard repeatedly from those muzzled inside the agencies, Saudi money trails lead back to George H.W. Bush and his very fortunate sons and retainers. We at BBC reported that too, at the top of the nightly news, everywhere but America.

    Why are Americas media barons afraid to tell this story in the USA? The BBC and Guardian stories were the ugly little dots connected by a single theme: oil contamination in American politics and money poisoning in the blood of our most powerful political family. And that is news that dare not speak its name.

    This is not the first time that Michael Moore attempted to take our BBC investigative reports past the US media border patrol. In fact, our joke in the London newsroom is that if we can\'t get our story on to American airwaves, we can just slip it to the fat guy in the chicken suit. Moore could sneak it past the censors as \'entertainment.\'

    Here\'s an example of Moore\'s underground railroad operation to bring hard news to America: In the Guardian and on BBC TV, I reported that Florida\'s then Secretary of State, Katherine Harris, removed tens of thousands of Black citizens from voter rolls just prior to the 2000 election. Her office used a list of supposed \'felons\' - a roster her office knew was baloney, filled almost exclusively with innocents.

    I printed the first installment of that story in the Guardian papers while Al Gore was still in the race. The Washington Post ran my story seven months later. By then, it could be read with a chuckle from the Bush White House.

    The Black voter purge story would have never seen the light of day in the USA, despite its front-page play over the globe, were it not for Moore opening his book, \'Stupid White Men,\' with it.

    So go ahead, Mr. Mickey Mouse mogul, censor the guy in the baseball cap, let the movie screens go dark, spread the blindness that is killing us. Instead, show us fake fly-boys giving the \"Mission Accomplished\" thumbs up.

    It\'s so much easier, with the lights off, for the sheiks, who lend their credit cards to killers, to jack up the price of oil while our politicians prepare the heist of the next election, this time by computer.

    Let\'s not kid ourselves. Tube news in the USA is now thoroughly Fox-ified and print, with few exceptions, still kow-tows to the prevaricating pronouncements of our commander in chief.

    Maybe I\'m getting too worked up. After all, it\'s just a movie.

    But choking off distribution of Moore\'s film looks suspiciously like a hunt and destroy mission on unwanted news, even when that news is hidden in a comic documentary. Why should the media moguls stop there? How about an extra large orange suit for Michael for the new Hollywood wing in Guantanamo?

  2. #2

    Re: Muzzling Michael Moore

    I do not have the info to either support or attack this guys story. If all of these stories are the headlines on the nightly news in the UK and somehow being blocked from American airwaves, then certainly we could find these stories on the net.

    But I think it\'s important to make this distinction, again.

    Disney did not censor Moore.

    They didn\'t confiscate his movie and throw it into the fire. They chose not to DISTRIBUTE it. He was and is free to release his film to whatever distributor he wants, and there\'s plenty of distributors that would love to get their hands on his film (he already found one didn\'t he?).

    I can\'t remember who linked to the UK article in the Boycott Disney thread, but that indicated that Moore knew a year ahead of time that Disney was not going to distribute it. They told him that before he even started filming, and his ranting about it was just for publicity (again, this is an account that I cannot confirm or deny). You can call Disney\'s actions vile, repulsive, un-American, wrong, a lot of things, just don\'t call it censorship, because in no way, shape or form was Michael Moore silenced.

  3. #3

    Re: Muzzling Michael Moore

    well here is Moore in his own words


  4. #4

    Re: Muzzling Michael Moore


    While I tend to agree that this is not absolute censorship, it is a double standard. They broadcast Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing-nuts every day of the week, but refuse to distribute a film from the left side of the spectrum. Oh well, it will make it out nevertheless.

    I believe that Miramax found a UK distributor, but international distribution hasn\'t been the problem - Miramax had always been free to distribute the film internationally through 3rd parties. It\'s the US distribution that\'s in question.

    With Bowling for Columbine, Regal Cinemas nearly blocked it from their theaters. It took many letters and phone calls to get them to relent. In the end they only released it on a small number of screens - and only one screen in the Portland metro area - a decidedly left-wing market of more than one million people and a near monopoly market (>90%) for Regal. The showings were sold out for days. I remember at the time that BFC blew away everything else in terms of earnings per screen. It also stayed on the charts for many more weeks than the usual blockbuster. It wasn\'t censored, but it wasn\'t exactly promoted either. Heck, Roberto Benigni\'s Pinocchio made it on about ten times as many screens, and that movie really, really sucked. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Oh well, some company with some guts will make a bunch of money distributing this film. And when President Torture Prison is out of office, they won\'t have to worry about the repercussions, for at least four years anyway.

  5. #5

    Re: Muzzling Michael Moore

    Yes Jon,
    I agree with you. I\'m not trying to defend Disney. I just think it\'s a very important distinction. If you want to make a case against somebody, then identify exactly what it is they\'re doing wrong, express it, and justify why it\'s wrong, exactly like you did. To throw \"censorship\" around insinuates that our freedom of speech is being denied, when it isn\'t.

    I think it\'s especially important to outline those distinctions presently because it might not be far down the road when our freedom of speech really is in jeapordy.

    Michael Moore seems to have his own version. I guess I can\'t honestly say who is telling the truth. I don\'t trust either entities, really. There\'s just one thing that pops into my mind. If Michael Moore is telling the truth, then he\'d have legal right to sue, but I haven\'t heard of any lawsuit. Maybe he just wants to get the info out before election day and thinks it will get tied up in court til 2005. I don\'t know.

    I strongly disagree with about 80% of everything that guys says, but I\'ll be angry if it turns out Mirimax doesn\'t distribute it because of Florida Tax incentives. I hope you will see this as a good example of why free enterprise and government need to remain as far away from each other as possible [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6

    Re: Muzzling Michael Moore

    No, the government needs to step in and allocate some airwaves to public, non-corporate, news shows. The right has taken over the media in so many ways. We can listen to Rush Limbaugh, but there is no equivalent on the other side. Any intelligent person has to concede that Greg Pallast or Noam Chomsky speaks with far more integrity and factual base than someone like Rush. Americans are pathetic and will give up all traces of democracy, so long as their team is winning and they can keep their guns and stop the babykillers!!! . Bush\'s presidency is a DISASTER. The whole world knows it. Here many think \"He\'s doing a great job.\" And these types of opinions are based on what? We are told about 1% of what is really going on. What people on the right don\'t realize is that Republicans represent the greatest threat to freedom. The proof?
    1. The Patriot Act
    2. Increased secrecy in government in the Bush presidency.
    3. Reduced access to the White House by the media.
    4. Department of Homeland security.
    5. Photographing participants in peace demonstrations.
    6. Moves to ban abortion.
    7. A concerted effort to completely mislead the American people about everything that the White House does. This is the ultimate in threats to freedom.

  7. #7

    Re: Muzzling Michael Moore

    [ QUOTE ]
    6. Moves to ban abortion.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And what\'s wrong with that?


  8. #8

    Re: Muzzling Michael Moore

    Nick, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you’re simply fooling yourself if you think the same kinds of things won’t happen under a Democratic administration.

    Oh wait, they DID happen under a Democrat’s administration – but somehow you’ve managed to convince yourself that Clinton’s poop doesn’t stink.

    Your partisan rhetoric is divisive and worsens the problem by directing our focus away from the problems themselves and toward simply having blind hatred for Republicans. I’ll be the first to say I’m utterly dissatisfied with Republicans, but the problem spans both parties. As I’ve pointed out before, both Bush’s and Clinton’s administrations participated in the cover-up and execution of terrorist attacks on American soil. The evidence cannot be ignored. The problem runs deeper than party lines. And it is with these problems that we must contend. Railing against only the Republican party is exactly what they want you to do. Because as long as you’re doing that and focusing on their shell game, you’re not looking at the real problems and their sources.

    Nick, I half-way hope Kerry wins just so people like you will finally see the truth that the same bad stuff will happen in either party’s administration because they’re both establishment puppets. But if you didn’t see that truth during Clinton, you’ll probably but your blinders on the next time around too.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bruce A. Richardson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Dallas, Texas

    Re: Muzzling Michael Moore

    [ QUOTE ]
    [ QUOTE ]
    6. Moves to ban abortion.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And what\'s wrong with that?


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Without entering debate upon a topic which has no easy answer, here\'s how I\'d answer you...

    Bush didn\'t run on that platform, in fact, he very carefully avoided making any sort of stand on it. To me, that makes it a bit deceptive that his actions once gaining office should take such a turn, towards clearly doing everything possible to overturn or dilute Roe v. Wade.

    For me, personally, on a much deeper level of consideration, this is a decision which women should make. Granted, you cannot separate men and women into separate voting blocs for issues pertaining to them.

    But, when we have an essentially patriarchal-flavored drive to \"tell these women what\'s good for them,\" I see it as a problem. If you were to put Roe v. Wade to a vote among women as to how they want to administer their own live-producing functions, they overwhelmingly poll in favor of Roe v. Wade. It only gets somewhat (not even very) close when you add men to the equation.

    I don\'t want to debate the merits of abortion. My personal take is that elective abortion is a supreme failure of responsibility...the last link in a chain of events that had many better solutions along the way. But ultimately, how do you tell a woman she must give birth, if in fact, she doesn\'t want to do that? I can\'t look a woman in the eyes, and say, \"I know better than you what it is that you should be doing with your body and your life.\"

    And, person for person, I find women to be many times over more contemplative about the consequences of abortion than men.

    So, ultimately, I think Roe v. Wade\'s conclusion that it\'s the woman\'s choice to make this decision is the least of the evils one can apply to the situation.

    And I think it\'s a colossal waste of energy and good will in America\'s present state, to drag Roe v. Wade into the political arena. We probably kill more Arab and Muslim children with bombs on given days than abortion kills. Disease that we have the power, the resources, and the duty to help eradicate kills thousands more than abortion. But you don\'t see us stepping up to the plate to make a difference there, do you? Starvation kills millions of children. Meanwhile, half-eaten Happy Meals with the nutritional value of motor oil clog entire mountain valleys of landfill space every day.

    Something is very wrong with that picture. When someone wants to get righteous about abortion, my mind can\'t help reflect upon the higher atrocities of greed that we propagate daily. Anyone who can honestly believe the USA\'s karma is not much farther out of whack over this than abortion needs to sit down and really think.

  10. #10

    Re: Muzzling Michael Moore

    [ QUOTE ]
    We probably kill more Arab and Muslim children with bombs on given days than abortion kills.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    According to this:
    http://womensissues.about.com/cs/abortionstats/a/aaabortionstats.htm ,
    the number of abortions per year in the US is 1,370,000, or around 3500-4000 a day.

    So...no you don\'t.

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