WikiLeaks cables: US intervened in Michael Moore NZ screening
Whatever else WikiLeaks may have revealed, one fact has been repeatedly confirmed: the US government under George Bush really loathed the documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.
After a leaked cable from US diplomats in Havana falsely claimed Cuba had banned Moore's documentary Sicko – when in fact it was shown on state television – another cable reveals US officials flying into a panic after hearing a rumour that a New Zealand cabinet minister was hosting a screening of Moore's film Fahrenheit 9/11.
Labelling the event a "potential fiasco", the classified cable from the US embassy in Wellington in 2003 reads like a failed plotline for an episode of In the Loop, breathlessly reporting a series of calls to the New Zealand prime minister's office and to the minister involved, Marian Hobbs.
Michael Moore, appearing on the Rachel Maddow Show on Tuesday night, said the New Zealand cable uncovered by WikiLeaks showed the unsettling reach of US influence. "If they were micromanaging me that much, if they were that concerned about the truth in Fahrenheit 9/11 that they have to go after a screening in a place I don't even really know where it is – I know it's way too long to sit in coach for me – I want to know. Because I think it speaks to a larger issue: if they have the time for that, what else are these guys up to?"