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Was the Bush Administration Obsessed With Me?

Was the Bush Administration Obsessed With Me?

By Michael Moore, Open Mike Blog

23 December 10

Another WikiLeaks Cable from the Bush Administration about my movies.

Twice within four days, my name has popped up in the Bush-era secret cables uncovered by WikiLeaks. Lucky me. Though nowhere near as earth-shattering as the uncovering of American misdeeds in Iraq and Afghanistan, these classified cables provide a stunning and bizarre peek into the paranoid minds of the Bush White House when it came to the subject of one Michael Francis Moore.

And considering how WikiLeaks has released only 1,826 cables of its planned drop of 251,287 - and I've already played a starring role twice - I can only say I await with bemused anticipation how the moi-storyline will play itself out.

The most recent secret cable revelation is in today's Guardian newspaper of London. It's entitled, "US Intervened in Michael Moore NZ Screening." Oh yeah, baby! New Zealand! That's where we'll stop Moore and his band of evildoers!

The date was July 30, 2004. 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was already a huge hit in the United States. Just to give you an idea how huge, it had hit #1 at the box office, the only documentary to have ever accomplished this feat, and had made more on its opening weekend than 'Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.'

But it was no easy path to get there. Disney (which owned Miramax) was apoplectic when they saw the final cut. So they pulled the film from its theatrical schedule. Then they put a permanent block on its release, insuring no one would see it. But then the New York Times, in a front page story, reported that the real reason Disney hated 'Fahrenheit' was they were worried about the tax breaks it got in Jeb Bush's Florida for Disney World. This caused some embarrassment, so Disney then sold 'Fahrenheit' to the Weinstein Bros., who said they'd spend their own money to distribute it.

The release of the film caused concern at the White House, as this was the re-election year. They hired a pollster who told them the film might tip the election. That was enough for them to swing into action. Much of July was a nonstop barrage of attacks on me and the movie. But that just resulted in more tickets being sold.

Which brings us to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand. There are few nations on earth further away from us. A local chapter of the ruling Labor Party apparently had decided to do a fundraising screening of 'Fahrenheit 9/11.' It was to be hosted by the Prime Minister's Cabinet Secretary for the Environment.

Well, when the U.S. Embassy in Wellington got word of this, it was like all heck broke loose. America was offended! Phone calls were made to the Prime Minister! Then to the Cabinet Secretary! We ... are ... not ... happy!

Apparently, the Kiwis backed down and the Cabinet Secretary withdrew as the host. A sigh of relief whiffed its way through the American embassy. Moore stopped! The cable back to Washington showed the embassy had no problem taking credit for putting the kabosh on yours truly:

"... it is probable that this potential fiasco may only have been averted because of our phone calls - it is apparent to us that neither the Minister nor anyone else in the Labour government seems to have thought there was anything wrong with a senior Minister hosting such an event."

So here's my question:

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ENDS

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