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Will Michael Moore Will Help Bush Win In 2004?

Michael Moore at the Academy Awards

Michael Moore Backstage


Moore Buys Full-Page Ad, But Still Loses (here)

Politex Vows Nationwide Spring/Summer Tour To Defeat Bush (here)

With a voter turnout in record numbers, Bush Watch turned a close race into a rout, as Michael Moore was defeated, 24%-19% at the closing of's contest for the most entertaining News And Commentary web site. While Bush Watch won in its division two years in a row, this year Bartcop beat back the Bush Watch surge to win, 35%-24%. Like last year, the Bush Watch/Bartcop category gathered more votes than all of the other categories combined. Reached at his Austin election headquarters, Politiex said of the race: "Our goal this year was to defeat Michael Moore, not Bartcop. Bartcop came in a close second to us last year and we tied the year before, so we decided to direct our guns on the man who helped Bush win the 2000 election with his backing of Nader, particularly in Florida. I'd like to thank all of our loyal Bush Watchers who made this win happen."

Politex also announced for the first time that he is planing a coast-to-coast tour of major cities starting in the Spring in a concerted effort to defeat Bush in 2004. He said, "Next, between April and early November, along with other contributors to Bush Watch, I plan to hit all the major cities in America to deliver a simple and obvious message: We can't afford four more years of Bush. I plan to begin my personal tour in April in San Francisco and slowly work my way east. I'll hit every ice cream social and gin joint I can find."

Things were less ebullient at Michael Moore's election headquarters in the green room of the David Letterman Show in New York City, where he learned that the Internet Election Ethics Committee is looking into charges that he tried to buy the election by purchasing a full page ad on the web site of, the organization that held the election. Since Daniel Kurtzman,'s political comedy editor, decided to award Michael Moore with a personal, one-man pick as the best site in the Entertainment category, independent election officials are concerned. Further, while the vote percentages in each category have been listed on's site, no actual numbers have been posted, leaving officials wondering if there are paper records to prove the validity of the elections. --Bill Brasin, 01.07.04



WE denied you the White House. WE tossed your ass out of Washington. And WE will do it again. --Michael Moore, 2001 (SWM, p.255)

The following folks have written serious and sometimes lengthy letters similar to some of those already posted. These letters review Michael Moore's comments about the 2000 Florida presidential elections in his latest book's EPILOGUE or address that topic from another perspective, explain why Michael Moore is such a neat guy, or describe why the Dems are such a bad political party. Since we have already spoken to these points in our responses to the previous letters, in the remaining letters we'd like to concentrate on the future rather than dwell on the past, a point that was made in the editorial that started the letter writing in the first place. That is, will Michael Moore support the Dems so that Bush will be defeated, or will he continue to back a third party candidate, thereby helping Bush to win again in 2004? We've personally responded to any such letters we've received, and the general theme of our response was that by writing about the Florida elections, Michael Moore's political activism, or the Dems while not addressing what Michael Moore will do in 2004, we're left to conclude that they're in agreement with us, that Michael Moore will help Bush win in 2004. Since many such writers identified themselves as Greens, it appears that the Green Party will help Bush win in 2004, as well. --Jerry Politex, 03.26.03

Thanks for your letters, Betty E., Cogitare, Susan S., Thomas R., Gabe T., Red A., and Mark A.

Once again, let me thank you for the service. I want to add to this discussion because I feel that both sides are presenting valid points in defining the events of the 2000 election. I do not agree with the predictions for the future, however, because we are leaving out an important factor.

The candidate for the Democratic Party in 2004 MUST address the concerns of the Green Party.

This is what Al Gore, in his inept approach to politics, ignored. It is as old as Politics itself-you go to the side closest to you and ask "What do you want for your vote?" Nader as head of the EPA? A compromise on issues that we do not completely agree on? There was no such dialogue as far as I know. Similar to the Perot movement in 1992, I'd say.

Our goal should be to back a candidate that is politically astute enough to negotiate the situation at the moment, not take in a pre-conceived approach or waffle between approaches as the Republicans stand in line for their only candidate.

Finally, let me state that we are not involved in a series of singular, unrelated events but rather a wave. Think of how you would negotiate a wave of water, not just a faucet flowing. There is not one answer to fundamentalism and anti-intellectualism; there must be a series of answers.

This administration, as many before it, is preying on our inaction due to fear. Fear is the vehicle for this wave; it is what we have to fear most. --Louis A.

I don't agree that the Dem candidate MUST address the concerns of the Green Party, because if he or she doesn't, we all know that Bush won't, so what's the point of the ultimatum? Your generalizations are vague enough to cut either way, but when the chips are down the Greens will say the Dems did not go far enough and the Dems will say they went too far. Please ignore both sides. The bottom line is to help defeat Bush in 2004 progressive third parties should vote for the Dem candidate and to help Bush win in 2004 progressive third parties should not vote for the Dem candidate. --Jerry, 03.27.03


On Michael Moore. He has done much to enlighten people about the corruption on the right and I hope that he continues. But I agree with you that Greens have as much chance of winning the Presidency as any of the other many non-mainstream political groups. That's sad as it indicates that Green party values, which I mostly support, values such as equality, care for the environment etc. are not being understood for some reason. Thus until such a time as a light goes on in heads nationwide we have to vote for the better of two worlds. And Clinton/Gore infinitely better than this ridiculous excuse for an administration.

Let's face it, this is a one man one vote system and with the great variety of political opinions out there any group which is not willing to compromise some is doomed to failure. That's reality and we need to grow up and face it.

Having said that, I truly hope the Left doesn't do what it always seems to do around election time and that's once again descend into a sniping and destructive mass of infighting. The Repugs, with their straightjacket lockstep thinking have benefited from a public relations point of view by closing ranks and mostly keep their squabbles private. --Dan, 03.27.03


I am blindly loyal to no political party but I identify closest with the Greens and vote Green the majority of the time. However, I believe you are right in saying that Greens should vote Democrat in 2004 and I have felt that way ever since the 2000 election. I will vote for whoever the Democrats put up in 2004. I am not very enthusiastic about the candidates but any of them will be much better than having George W. Bush in the White House for 4 more years. Unfortunately, a 3rd party candidate isn't going to be a serious challenger overnight. For the Greens out there: Vote Democrat nationally and Green and Democrat locally. -- Shane


Any source of 539 likely Democratic votes that, for whatever reason, didn't fall that way, is as logical an explanation as any other source of 539 would-be-Democratic votes. And you can find those 539 would-be-Democratic votes in a lot of places. To single out just one of those places as THE reason for Bush occupying the White House is not logical, captain. And it is especially sad to see you pick Nader from all the options, and scapegoat him. Arguably the only candidate who was only doing what we SAY we want our candidates to do (Telling it like it IS). The Florida vote was a fiasco of the first order and we are paying the price. But it wasn't Nader/Moore's fault...and 2004 won't be either. --J. Price

note: dots between "fault" and "and" are Mr. Price's punctuation marks. --ed.

I agree, ANY of the reasons given could be said to have cost Gore the election, but the fact remains, Moore was one of those reasons, as Moore, you, and I agree, and it only takes one reason of many possible reasons for Gore to have won. Again, as Moore indicates in his EPILOGUE, if he had convinced 539 folks to vote for Gore, Gore would have won, but, according to his book, he was telling his Florida audiences why he couldn't vote for Gore, rather than indicating why Gore would be a better choice than Bush, which he knew to be true. And there's no indication that Moore will back a Dem candidate in 2004 and every indication that he will not. My assertion remains, Moore will help Bush win in 2004. --Jerry


The problem with the Greens is they fail to acknowledge the mathematical impossibilities of building an effective 3rd party within the pluralistic electoral system we have here in the United States. In Europe, the Greens are being elected into Parliaments and become part of larger coalition blocks which then decide the nature of the ruling government. We have no such Parliamentary coalition system in the United States. Rather, in direct elections the candidate with the most votes is intended to be the victor (Electoral College counts or Supreme Court activism notwithstanding).

This mathematical principal can be explained simply as 'splitting the majority' or in more detail using Arrow's Theorem, developed by Stanford economist Kenneth J. Arrow.

What Arrow's Theorem shows, specifically in the phenomena of Conflicting Majorities, is that a majority of sympathetic voters can be split into two minority parties allowing the previously minority block to win. That many Greens failed to understand why their vote for Nader was stealing a vote from Gore wasn't lost on the GOP. Look for a strong Green candidate for President in 2004, with solid backing all the way through election day.

Until we go to a Parliamentary system, or universally change the way votes are counted in our elections (, these mathemetics will hold true for us in the United States. Any amount of wishing otherwise is pure fantasy, undoubtably fed and financed by a few people who understand the underlying math. --Michael Thomas

I think the Greens understand exactly what they're doing, Michael. That's why they take the ad money that the Repugs throw their way during presidential campaigns, as you imply. --Jerry


Many people have been leaving the Democratic party because of its corruption and failure to stand up for democratic ideals. These days it seems more like "Republican lite."...Your tirades against the Greens give the impression that you would rather find someone to blame rather than work towards building a political party that would enjoy more support. I think most Greens want to vote Democratic. The Democratic party needs to give them a reason to do it other than, "It's the lesser of two evils." --Jim Robinson

I'm not beating on the Greens, Jim. In fact, I supported 2000 Green candidates in Texas, where I live, and we had a pro-Nader web page at Bush Watch throughout the elections, edited by a Green partisan, although Bush Watch's editorial position was to vote for Gore. But facts are facts. Michael Moore helped to get Bush elected in 2000 and he's doing it again for 2004. How is that beating on the Greens? Should I write that a vote for the Green presidential candidate in 2004 will defeat Bush? That's simply not true. --Jerry


Sorry, Jerry, Michael has become a folk hero who has guts enough to question all those unapproachable guys in the world, and ask them questions they can't or won't answer. Measure what he said at the Oscar's by the truth or falsity of what he said, not by the fact that his physical appearance and his couth bothered anybody in the audience. --Jack Cross

This has nothing to do, Jack, with Michael Moore's Academny Award showing, which I applauded in my story. This is about defeating George W. Bush in 2004, so he can't do any more harm to this country. Michael Moore is helping Bush win in 2004. --Jerry


Just a quick correction: According to Michael Moore's book, he saw that the race in 2000 was very close and in the last weeks he begged Ralph Nader to drop out and endorse Al Gore, thereby transfering all Green votes to the Democrat. Moore voted for Gore, not Nader in 2000. --Stephen Young Stephen, I have nothing to correct. According to STUPID WHITE MEN, Moore did not vote for Gore in 2000. "I told the (Florida) crowd that I couldn't pull the lever (or punch the hole) for Gore..." (p.248) Do you have anything that refutes his statement, published in 2001? --Jerry

You're right about p. 248, and there's nothing in the book about what I said. I did read this, though, and will have to find out where and get back to you. --Steve


Bush will win in 2004 because your cowardly party can't do anything right. --Nick Ritchie

I have no party, Nick, I just want to see Bush defeated, because history indicates whomever defeats Bush will not be as bad as Bush. --Jerry>/b>

Al Gore can beat Bush, if he runs...I am a Nader supporter, and I don't appreciate the bashing; however, if Gore runs, I will vote for him and him only. --Nick Ritchie


MICHAEL MOORE WILL HELP BUSH WIN AGAIN, you write. Actually, It looks as though the Democrats are doing a much better job in that regard than Moore. As they cling to Bush's skirts (we must support the Commander in Chief during wartime!) they make it clear that they're nothing more than the wussie wing of the GOP. Moore and the Greens are minor players. The Democrats (I feel strange even calling them that) have every advantage (the economy alone ought to be lethal to Republican chances) and yet they will demur from confrontation with the opposition. I'm a lifelong Democrat and not not even *I* can stand these clowns. Forget about Moore, your target ought to be Gephardt! --Jim K.

Why don't you make Gephardt YOUR target? I'm busy enough with Bush and Moore, thank you. I notice you have not refuted my point. Moore is helping Bush win in 2004. --Jerry

Moore sure ain't helping our side so your point is taken, but.... --Jim K.


Uncle, Uncle. You are right! A third party candidate cost Al Core the election! If Bush is to be defeated in 2004 all progressive people, including the Greens and folks that quit voting a long time ago, must UNITE and VOTE for a Democratic candidate. Rehashing 2000 and critizing Michael Moore and Ralph Nader doesn't help meet that end. There has been quite a bit of Green Party and Nader bashing on your site in the past year, which is counter-productive for unity. Could please let "bygones be bygones" and take on a more conciliatory tone or just say nothing at all and do no harm. --Allen Brooks My focus is also on 2004, Allen, and I'll be happy to stop writing about Moore, Nader, and other progressive third parties when they get behind a candidate who will get enough votes to beat Bush in 2004. --Jerry Politex


I have a different take on your "Michael Moore effect" on the upcoming elections. First, let me state that my wife and I were cheering him on at the Oscars, same as you. It was very in-character for him, and very entertaining to see some people squirm. Even after taking into account the self-aggrandizement and his own vested interests, I think that his heart - and his mind - are in the right place. However, I disagree with your thesis that MM will help to get BushCo and Assoc. back into the Oval Office come 2004. It is my impression that the block of voters that might have swung Green or Dem in the last election have had ample opportunity to witness the devastation of ideological voting instead of pragmatic, realistic voting. In the next election cycle, those voters will head into the booths (and I predict in large numbers, if there's a fair accounting), fully aware of how their vote was essentially wasted last time... and faced with an oppurtunity to get the current regime out of office, they will use that opportunity to do so. So, in a way, maybe Moore and Nader were right after all. It just that the Greens won't be reaping the benefits. It will be the Republicraps getting what they're long overdue: some humility and hopefully, the loss of the White House. --John Memmer

> I'll believe it when I see it, John. To date, Moore has not said everyone should vote Dem to defeat Bush, and I don't think he will. If he doesn't, a vote for Moore's candidate is a vote for Bush. --Jerry, 03.26.03


I for one think the attack on Michael Moore must make him feel really proud that single-handedly he can decide the next election. That is more power than I can imagine. It is a sad day when people divide themselves along "Party" lines pointing their little fingers saying; Look, over there, there's our problem. Is it really a wonder to you that things don't change? If you want things to change, YOU change. We've already tried the blame game and I assure you, IT DOESN"T WORK! If you really want to live in a new world we will ALL have to work together, no parties, no boundries, no fences, each being enabled in the land of Self-government. --Joe

I never said that Moore can single-handedly decide the 2004 election, nor did I suggest we divide ourselves along party lines. --Jerry


It is always great to know that someone speaks out and the words go to a greater audience. So a 'thanks' goes out to Moore, and a hope he will keep it up. At the same time I have yet to find reason to forgive him (and Nader) for the election of 2000. Their reasoning is, in the now commonly used concept, flawed. Flawed in every respect except one, and that is it was a vehicle for very lucrative deals. Moore by his book and movie deals and Nader has yet to pick up a shovel to do any real work. I fear, as you do that there will be a repeat of 2000 with their 'help'. On another note I did pick up an article by a writer in where there is the expression of the need for the Greens to join into the Democratic party to exert a greater and more productive influence and avoid the 2000 mistake. I know some Greens and they are the kind that seem to welcome the opportunity to go down with the ship But there has to be a greater effort to move some of them to back the Demo rep in key races. I also tuned into a radio call in show where one caller was a Repub and he also expressed the feeling of being 'unheard' by his elected reps. This may be a fertile area to recruit some and lay the grounds to discourage others from voting Repub. As long as he is dinging the 'dingaling' it is hard not to appreciate Moore being Moore. --Cole


Jerry - You #@%^&. You spend your time lambasting Michael Moore of all people???? He's the ONLY mainstream person to tell it like it is, and you have the audacity, the stupidity, to waste your valuable time writing tripe about his support of Nader in the last election? Be thankful for small miracles, because the spineless democrats you worship will not deliver you. I am a life long democrat and I vigorously urged my fellow liberals to vote Gore in the last election. I voted for Gore and would do the same in a heartbeat. However, your decision to use whatever meager pulpit you think you have castigating Moore is insanity. Please tell me one single democrat who has had the balls to say what Moore said. I was on my damned feet cheering, as you should have been if you were any kind of true liberal. After seeing the performance of your weak-kneed democrats over the past week, I'd be damned if I would vote democrat again. Unfortunately, what Moore said was right. And, I hate to say it, Nader was right. There isn't a damn bit of difference between the democrats and the fraud currently in the White House. Please don't blame Moore for pointing out that sad truth. And please, if you are working for the good cause of liberalism in this country, use your energies to combat the real enemy, not the person who has the balls to go public regarding Bush's utter bankruptcy. HE'S ON YOUR SIDE, &^%$*#. KFK

No, KFK, he's on Bush's side. A vote for Moore's candidate is a vote for Bush. As for going public about Bush, we've been doing it since 1998, long before Moore thought to complain about him. --Jerry


You are absolutely correct. Moore and the Green party with their ego will in all probability lose the election for the Democrats. I can almost hear Nader yelling that their is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. There is no way Gore would have gone into Iraq the way Bush is doing. What a shame for our country. --John


In the first place, let's remember that no candidate has a claim on any citizen's vote by sole virtue of their position on the political spectrum. People vote for the candidate they feel best represents their views (and if they don't, well, that's their decision, but in my view, that's really wasting your vote.) How are we, the American people, ever going to advance beyond choosing the lesser of two evils unless we make a conscious choice to vote for what we want, not against what we don't want? So let's lay that tired old argument about how Nader cost Gore the election aside. Gore lost that election; Nader didn't lose it for him. And Michael Moore's part in all of this is miniscule. --Doug McCarty

I just have one word for you, Doug: Bush. --Jerry


Thanks for your editorial on Michael Moore. I'm wondering who the stupid white men really are. I bought the book, but it was Beavis and Butthead turn left. We need a more intelligent discourse. Our current president is surely enough evidence of shallow thinking and a smackdown political culture. --Don Hynes, 03.26.03


Shame on you, Politex, shame on you!

Michael Moore did not help Bush win the Florida election, the Supreme Court did. And what about the votes for other fringe candidates in Florida? I don't have the book in front of me, but Moore takes great pains to point out in STUPID WHITE MAN that there were a number of factors leading to the Florida results. Blame Jeb. Blame Harris. Blame the Supreme Court. Blame the ballot.

But don't blame Moore. While campaigning, he told students it would be close and he told them he would understand if they voted for Gore, but that he would continue to support Nader.

I'm a Democrat and loved the chapter "Democrats: DOA". The Dems feed from the same corporate money trough as Republicans. They abdicated their Constitutional duty to declare war. They passed a resolution to support our Commander in Thief during this illegal invasion of Iraq.

While I'll continue to vote Democrat, I understand and appreciate Moore's criticism and efforts to build a third party.

So again, shame on you for blaming Moore! You should be supporting him for getting so many previously apathetic and disenfranchised people involved.

--Frank Clark

Of course Michael Moore helped Bush win in Florida, Frank, he says it himself in his EPILOGUE (pp.248-254), because he said if only 538 of the 97,488 Floridians who voted for Nader voted Gore, Gore would have won, but he didn't ask the crowds in Florida to vote for Gore, he told them, "Do what you think best." He told those crowds who came to listen to him that "I couldn't pull the lever (or punch the hole) for Gore." Although he admits that the Greens had gotten "Gore to change his positions" and the Greens "have succeeded in a way we never thought possible," he told the crowds "Gore wanted to spend more money on the miliatry than Bush did,...wouldn't seek guaranteed health care for all our citizens immediately,...thought that Janet Reno was wrong to return Elian Gonzales to Cuba." There's little doubt that if Moore asked those Florida voters to vote for Gore, he would have gotten the votes needed to defeat Bush. But he didn't. Anyway, let's not dwell in the past. The question is, what's Moore going to do now? Unless he changes his tune in public, and I personally don't think he has the courage to do that*, he's going to help Bush win again, that's what. --Jerry, 03.25.03 *Read the entire EPILOGUE and I think you'll see what I mean.


Jerry, please stop whinning about M Moore, it's unseemly. --George Crosetti

"Whinning" is a loaded word, George, used by folks who would rather attack the messenger than the message. --Jerry


Isn't Michael Moore supporting Kucinich? A Democrat? Send your frustrations straight to Moore instead of deterring people from listening to his much needed voice at these times. Let him know of your site, and maybe you can get a direct response from him, instead of just proclaiming his nothingness. I love your site by the way. I just happen to think Michael Moore is as respectable as you are. I may be wrong. has he insulted your site at all? I would think he would support it. --Gehmans

This is not the case of a petty slight, Gehmans. Michael Moore has done nothing to Bush Watch, other than helping Bush win in 2000 and, to date, helping Bush win again in 2004. It's easy for Moore to support Kucininch, knowing he will not win the Dem nomination, thereby giving him an excuse to again bad mouth the Dems during the election, helping Bush win again. Jerry

p.s. The following is a letter from someone who wrote to Michael Moore


I wrote to Michael Moore about a week ago, mentioning how his present slamming of Bush (in his open letter to Bush, which *was* good...) is a bit disingenuous, since he was one who helped Bush get as many votes as he got by slamming Gore at every opportunity.

I attributed that to his being a white male whose reproductive rights were not threatened. (Nader was very cavalier about the possibility of Roe vs. Wade being overturned). Of course, I got no answer. --Sari


Sorry--Michael has become a folk hero who has guts enough question all those unapproachable guys in the world, and ask them questions they can't or won't answer. Measure what he said at the Oscar's by the truth or falsity of what he said, not by the fact that his physical appearance and his couth bothered anybody in the audience. --Jack Cross

I have nothing but admiration, Jack, for what Michael Moore did at the Academy Awards, but that's not my point. My point is Michael Moore is helping Bush to win in 2004, and I have nothing but disgust for that. --Jerry


The stupidest white man of all. The embodiment of what's REALLY wrong with our country: untrammeled greed, unaffiliated with any particular party. Moore cynically claims to "believe" in the Green party. He means the green of money.

I wonder if Nader cares about me working one week in one year. I wonder if he cares about our friend B, who nearly died on 9-11 and is barely able to find enough work in New York to keep his union benefits.

Does Moore REALLY think we will now cast our votes for Greens?

I know two of Moorenader's victims well: two elderly, idealistic friends who are still living in the 1960s. They say that all political parties start small. I tried to explain to them that there will be nothing left of the country to save by the time the Greens get in. Nonetheless, they voted in Mass. for Jill what's-her-name last fall, and helped Romney get in.

Unfortunately, Michael Whoore (New Joisey joke) has set himself up as an enemy of the (red) state(s). Perhaps he won't be around long enough to write another book. --Plumbird

Michael Moore Knows He Will Help Bush Win Again

Now that we all got our ya-ya's out by watching Michaele Moore take Bush over the coals with his explosive anti-Bush war protest at the Academy Awards the other night (I was standing in front of my TV, cheering him on.), let's get real. Unless Michael Moore changes his tune, he will be responsible for helping Bush win four more years to further plunder this country, destroy the environment, and take away our rights and freedoms. And I, for one, don't see Moore changing his tune, since he's made a cottage industry out of stroking those third party folks who are willing to see this country go down the drain rather than support the Dems, the only political party that will be capable of defeating Bush and his Repug thugs in 2004.

Michael Moore's STUPID WHITE MEN, published in 2001 after Gore's defeat, has become a best seller, a money maker for Moore and his publisher, but even though it is generally seen as a screed against Bush and his party on our right, the fact is that Chapter Ten, DEMOCRATS DOA explains why he does not support the Democratic Party. Indeed, in the Epilogue he describes how he campaigned for Nader in Florida, ensuring the Supreme Court selection of Bush. Nader is on record as saying he wanted Bush to win because the country would be more miserable under Bush than under Gore, thereby allowing the later election of more Green candidates. Here's Moore: "By election day [Nader polled] 1.6% of the vote. But that represented 97,488 Nader votes in Florida. Would at least 538 of those voters [have] changed their vote if they had known on November 7 that their specific votes were the ones that would make the difference? Of course they would." (p. 254) Then why didn't Moore tell that to Flordians when he campaigned for Nader? Bush Watch reported what was going on, as did the Dems, the Republicans, the pollsters, and the media. Everyone knew every vote counted. Except, Moore would have us believe, those who voted for Nader. Nonsense. And although the Greens have said otherwise, if Nader had withdrawn, enough Naderites would have voted Gore to have made the difference. But that's all water under the bridge. What does Moore plan to do in 2004? He's going to help Bush win again, that's what.

At the end of the Prologue to the book Moore shifts from mockery to rant, trying to have it both ways but ending the book on a serious note: "So yes, WE denied you the White House. WE tossed your ass out of Washington. And WE will do it again. We have over 900 campus green associations..." etc., etc. etc. This is a growing movement....There are millions of people who have had it with the Democrats and Republicans and want a real choice..." And so on. Moore knows his audience. He knows he's not going to back the Dems to save our country from four more years of Bush. And there are enough believers on the left willing to follow him away from the dirt of compromise poitics into the light of idealistic fundamentalism, secure in their knowledge that they did not compromise their values, even though they helped Bush win. Once Again.

But, hey, life goes on. And in 2005 Michael Moore will write another funny political screed that will make the New York Times bestseller list. And his agent, who happens to be Rush Limbaug's agent as well, will help to set up another tour while Bush continues doing what he's doing to our nation. --Jerry Politex, 03,25,03

Oscar's War Protest Trifecta

Liberal Hollywood has been under conservative attack from the days of Nixon and McCarthy up to the present days of Lieberman and DeLay, so it's no wonder that Oscar played PC this year, not wanting to have Hollywood and Vine turned into Freedom and Vine. Word was out a week ago that the usual progressive activists who have spoken out at past Academy Awards were being kept from the podium this year. That didn't happen, because podium tasks were carefully assigned so that speaking out would be awkward and self-defeating for the selected activists. Susan Sarandon was given the job of introducing clips of those who died this year. (Steve Martin said he would be honored to be on that list some day.) Richard Gere was selected to introduce a clip of his CHICAGO, up for a best picture award. Gere said nothing about the war, even in code. Sarandon talked about how important it is in life to learn to live with one's deeds. Even Babs kept herself on a short leash, talking about how she values living in a country where everyone, even artists, are free to speak out, but choose not to speak out. That left the war protest fireworks to the Oscar winners.

Spanish director-writer Pedro Almadovar won for Best Original Screenplay and took up most of his five minutes accepting the award for TALK TO HER on behalf of the people of the world who believe in human rights and international legality. Almadovar said his time was up and the audience applauded, perhaps finding the allusion to those who question the legality of the Bush war vague enough to ignore.

Earlier, Adrien Brody, who won Best Actor for THE PIANIST, confessed that his speech was unprepared, but interrupted the orchestra when it tried to cut him off after a few minutes, claiming that this was his only shot and he had more to say. Brody then talked of the world's sadness caused by the dehumanization of war, hoped that God and Allah would watch over mankind, and called for peace, getting a standing ovation from the audience. Supporting Actor winner Chris Cooper (ADAPTATION) also called for peace in his speech, but the most pointed peace reference came from the mexican star of Y TU, MAMA TAMBIEN, whose name I didn't catch, who introduced the original score of FRIDA, saying that Mexican painter and communist Frida Kahlo would be against the Bush war if she were alive today. But the real anti-war fireworks was reserved for the Best Full-length Documentary winner.

Progressive activist Michael Moore won the Oscar and a standing ovation for BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, and came on stage to accept his award with a large group of people, most of whom, it turned out, were the other documentary filmmakers whose films were up for the same award. Moore began by saying all of those folks were on the stage because they were in agreement with what he was going to say. He then said, "We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results that elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons." He went on to say, "Shame on you, Bush. Anytime you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against ya, your time is up," as the orchestra upped its volume and the mic sunk into the stage. Moore's speech drew both boos and applause, but most of the audience sat in nervous silence.

Not long after, host Steve Martin came back on stage and told the audience that it was really sweet backstage, the Teamsters were helping Michael Moore into the trunk of a limo. "You should see it," he told the laughing audience. Then Julia Roberts came out, stared into the camera, said, "Well." And paused. For a moment you could see her thinking. Then she blinked and went on with her duties. --Jerry Politex, 03.24.03

Filmmaker explains his motivation for fiery Oscar speech: 'I'm an American'

By Mark Caro
Tuesday, March 25, 2003

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- After an acceptance speech that jolted an otherwise staid Academy Awards ceremony, Michael Moore shook loose the cobwebs backstage, too.

The pressroom erupted in applause when Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" won for Best Documentary Feature, in large part over the prospect of the outspoken director puncturing the evening's businesslike tone.

"These 45 seconds, what's he going to say?" gushed one eager scribe.

Moore expanded on his fiery Oscar speech backstage.

Reporter: "Why did you do what you did?"

Moore: "I'm an American."

Reporter: "That's it?"

Moore: "Well, that's a lot. I'm an American, and you don't leave your citizenship when you enter the doors of the Kodak Theatre. . . . I don't stop being who I am when I come into this ceremony, and I'm extremely grateful for this response."

Moore invited the makers of the other nominated documentaries to join him on stage Sunday night. "We like nonfiction," Moore told the audience, "and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious elections, which elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons."

"We are against the war, Mr. Bush. Shame on you, Mr. Bush, shame on you," he shouted, before music chimed in signaling the end of his time on the stage. Before walking off stage, Moore said that when you've got the pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, you won't be around much longer -- a statement similar to one he'd made the day before when he won an award at the Independent Spirit Awards and wore a badge that read "Shoot movies, not Iraqis."

Moore also implored reporters backstage to stress that he received a standing ovation when his victory was announced, not that he was booed by some during his speech. "I saw the entire place stand up and applaud, applaud a film that talks about how we are manipulated by the fear that's put forth by the White House and put forth by corporate America to create a culture of violence. . . . Don't report that there was a split decision in the hall because five people booed."

Noting that his book "Stupid White Men" still sits atop the nonfiction best-seller list, Moore said: "My finger's on the pulse of where I think the majority of Americans are at, and I think it would be irresponsible of me not to say what I felt. I don't think anyone who voted for me for this award thought they'd get a speech about agents and lawyers or the lawyers of agents."

Moore, who first gained notoriety for his documentary "Roger and Me," a film about the breakdown of Flint, Mich., after auto plant closings, also worked on the television shows "The Awful Truth" and "TV Nation." His first book, "Downsize This!" was also a best seller. "Bowling for Columbine," Moore's film about America's gun culture, was a rare box office success for a documentary.

Up until Moore's victory, the backstage area was relatively sedate, as winners trickled in to discuss their artistic decisions and, for instance, to reveal that the final "Lord of the Rings" movie will be "bigger, better, more fantastic."

And in case anyone missed his overall point, Moore noted that President George W. Bush was not elected by a majority of Americans. "Our democracy was hijacked and there's a squatter on federal land at 1600 Pennsylvania," he said backstage


The views expressed are the writer's own and do not necessarily reflect those of Bush Watch.

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