By September, all the Bush-bashing books will be clogging up the remainder bins, but there will still be plenty of Bush-bashing media for people to watch and hear about.
The biggest event appears to be a politically orchestrated and financed documentary by Michael Moore, cleverly entitled Fahrenheit 911 (as in Ray Bradbury’s brave new worldish Fahrenheit 451, a far-left favorite, particularly after being turned into a movie).
Unlike many documentaries, which are produced on a shoestring, Moore had the good fortune to have investors, including a number of Hollywood types with ties to the Democratic Party. And — surprise! — the film, which Moore completed months ago, is slated to hit the big screen in September. Just in time for the presidential election.
The film only a month ago had the title Fahrenheit 9/11, meant to more closely highlight the content of the movie: an anti-Bush screed blaming the president for the September 11th tragedy, along with supposed new and powerful of evidence of Bush ties to the Saudi royal family and the sinister and shadowy Carlyle Group, an organization that … makes and invests money, something a Moore film has never done.
At some point in the past few weeks, Moore changed the title ever-so slightly, and without comment.
That Moore’s film is even seeing the light of day may be an interesting story. Moore, whose films generally never make more than a pittance, started producing this film soon after the terrorist attacks. His take on the tragedy appears to fall into the Bush-knew-about-the-attacks-before-they-happened story line perpetuated by a number of far-left Democrats.
Now any slack-jawed, overweight, pale-skinned, Wesley Clark supporting yokel with a beta-cam can make a film. But it’s another thing to get that film into major movie theaters where slack-jawed, overweight, pale-skinned film buffs can pay $9.50 to see it.
And it appears the Democratic National Committee is taking care of that. Longtime and big-time Bill Clinton and DNC donor Harvey Weinstein is said by a Disney insider to be a “major” investor in Fahrenheit 911, and Weinstein’s company, Miramax, a Disney subsidiary, has been talking with Moore and his production company about distributing the film in the United States. The amount Weinstein and Miramax have put into the film is said by some to be as much as $4 million, no small amount for a documentary.
A distribution deal with Disney-backed Miramax would ensure that the film would potentially get wider play across the country, and almost certainly would receive broader advertising on TV and radio.
“It’s far from a done deal,” says the Disney source. “This may be the kind of film Miramax has backed in the past, but today, with the way Disney is under scrutiny from investors and the media, it probably isn’t a film Disney should be associated with. And even if it’s Miramax’s name at the bottom of the one-sheet, Disney will inevitably be dragged into any controversy. And this film will definitely generate controversy.”
SHARPTON ON HIS TOES
By claiming last week that Al Sharpton would be a featured speaker at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry opened up a can of worms he — and his party — had been seeking to avoid.
Last week, as black and Hispanic Democratic operatives sent memos and e-mails back and forth slamming the Kerry campaign for neglecting Hispanic and African-American voters and not developing attractive policies for these groups, the Kerry camp put one of their surrogates out to calm the voices: Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina. Clyburn didn’t quite pull it off judging by the quote that got the most play in the New York Times and other papers across the country: “[Kerry] is generally surrounded by white folks, and sure that concerns me, sure.”
Kerry turned to the one man whose support he knew he could buy: Sharpton.
The Rev has for months been agitating for a role in Boston, and a high-profile one at that. Recently, he allowed to reporters that he keeps Kerry’s personal cell phone number on his cell phone, and that Kerry has his, and that both use those numbers quite often.
Kerry would not confirm such conversations take place, but as cries from the left fringes of his party’s grew last week about the Kerry campaign’s white bread image, Kerry turned to Sharpton to bail him out. And Sharpton agreed, only after hearing Kerry promise before the national press that the Rev would have a role at the convention.
If nothing else, Sharpton’s seeming close ties to Kerry have royally annoyed another segment of the Democratic Party’s African-American base: that belonging to Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Sharpton admitted as much when he told reporters last week that Kerry’s problems with minority groups probably arose, in part, from long simmering feuds between Jackson loyalists and former Michael Dukakis presidential campaign advisers who are also attached now to Kerry.
Jackson has thus far been spurned by the Kerry campaign, and is said by those who pay attention to the Rainbow warrior, to be angry that Sharpton is seemingly taken seriously by Kerry’s people.
“Let’s see how many votes Sharpton can get for Kerry,” says a Chicago Democratic operative with ties to Jackson. “If Kerry thinks Al is the man to get him votes in our community, he will be sorely disappointed.”
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