Tuesday, June 15, 2004

fahrenheit 9/11 is still in the news, ensuring it will be not only the most controversial film of the year, but the biggest documentary ever.

in current headlines, moore is fighting the mpaa's R rating in hopes of getting it bumped down to pg-13. anyone who knows anything about the mpaa ratings system knows it is very vague & subjective, but not having seen the movie yet i can't comment on whether it really deserves an R... maybe, but moore has a point when he says

It is sadly very possible that many 15 and 16-year-olds will be asked and recruited to serve in Iraq in the next couple of years.

If they are old enough to be recruited and capable of being in combat and risking their lives, they certainly deserve the right to see what is going on in Iraq.

by the same argument, i think anyone old enough to serve in the military is old enough to drink. but anyway...

moore also recently announced that he had footage of american GIs abusing iraqis for months before the abu ghraib scandal came out, & that he had wondered whether he did the right thing by holding onto that footage instead of releasing it publicly.

"I had it months before the story broke on '60 Minutes,' and I really struggled with what to do with it," Moore said in a telephone interview with The Chronicle. "I wanted to come out with it sooner, but I thought I'd be accused of just putting this out for publicity for my movie. That prevented me from making maybe the right decision."

The footage, eerily similar to film of the atrocities at Abu Ghraib prison, shows GIs laughing as they snap photos of each other putting hoods over Iraqi detainees.

In the same scene from "Fahrenheit 9/11," which opens Friday at Bay Area theaters, an American soldier fondles a prisoner's genitals through a blanket.

did he make the right call? i'm not sure. but at least he's man enough to publicly own up to his ethical conflicts... something that bush has never done, to be sure.

you also might have heard about a california group that is leading a boycott of the film, begging CEOs & executives at cineplex companies not to show it. not surprisingly, the group & its whole campaign is just a republican PR tactic:

The site, MoveAmericaForward.com, claims to be "non-partisan," but a glance at the "About" page of the site reveals the director and staff of Move America Forward are all diehard Republicans, anti-tax activists, and former legislative staffers. The PR firm is Russo Marsh & Rogers.

Russo Marsh & Rogers is a GOP consultation firm. In 2002, Ron Rogers teamed up with Reagan heavyweight Lyn Nofziger and Ed Rollins to work on the gubernatorial campaign of Bill Simon.

Thanks to the detective work of WhatReallyHappened.com, it was revealed that Move America Forward's web site was registered in the name of Russo Marsh & Rogers. In other words, Move America Forward is about as partisan as it gets without putting the GOP seal of approval on the web site. In short, Move America Forward's campaign is a Republican dirty trick designed to smear Moore and pressure move theater owners not to run his film.

speaking of anti-moore pr campaigns, there's also an anti-moore documentary coming out called michael moore hates america. i have no actual evidence yet, but the film just smacks of a PR damage control campaign: it has all the telltale signs of republican spin, so i have a very hard time believing that it's not at least funded (if not totally orchestrated) by gop front groups... i could be wrong, but it's incredibly suspicious.

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