Washington Prowler

Moore the Merrier

Covering abuses -- or covering up abuses for cynical profit?

By 5.18.04

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Film auteur Michael Moore may not have worked out all the kinks for a U.S. distributor for his Bush screed, Fahrenheit 911, but that doesn't mean the film isn't going to get circulated in the United States.

The Democratic National Committee, which has seen rough cuts, is looking for some way to capitalize on the left-wing buzz over the film, either as a fundraising tool, or as a campaign weapon against President Bush.

"The film is supposed to be out in the fall, so we can't do a DVD distribution of it in time to help us," says a DNC fundraiser. "Instead they are looking at setting up big-tent showings of the film around America, kind of like old-style drive-ins or something to raise money and awareness for the film."

Before committing to any support for the film that might aid it financially, the DNC is holding off to see what the general U.S. reaction is to the movie. Already there is some nervousness.

Reports from people who have seen the film in Cannes, where it premiered on Monday, indicated that Moore's film had scenes that showed U.S. military personnel abusing Iraqi prisoners. It isn't clear when the video was shot, but might indicate that Moore had knowledge of the events currently making headlines, but chose to keep them under wraps to better promote his film.

"Or else he was using military personnel for his own purposes," says a Pentagon official. "Either way, it's despicable."

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