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Date Posted: 14:41:06 04/22/03 Tue
Author: Pete
Subject: Something I found interesting.

Michael Moore on speaking out and the alleged post-Oscar backlash:

Well, take a look at my Oscar "backlash":
On the day after I criticized Bush and the war at the Academy Awards, attendance at "Bowling for Columbine" in theaters around the country went up 110 percent (source: Daily Variety/BoxOfficeMojo.com). The following weekend, the box office gross was up a whopping 73 percent (Variety). It is now the longest-running consecutive commercial release in America, 26 weeks in a row and still thriving. The number of theaters showing the film since the Oscars has INCREASED, and it has now bested the previous box office record for a documentary by nearly 300 percent.

Yesterday (April 6), "Stupid White Men" shot back to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. This is my book's 50th week on the list, eight of them at #1, and this marks its fourth return to the top position, something that virtually never happens.

In the week after the Oscars, my website was getting 10-20 million hits A DAY (one day we even got more hits than the White House!). The mail has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive (and the hate mail has been hilarious!).

In the two days following the Oscars, more people pre-ordered the video for "Bowling for Columbine" on Amazon.com than the video for the Oscar winner for Best Picture, "Chicago."

In the past week, I have obtained funding for my next documentary, and I have been offered a slot back on television to do an updated version of "TV Nation"/ "The Awful Truth."

I tell you all of this because I want to counteract a message that is told to us all the time – that, if you take a chance to speak out politically, you will live to regret it. It will hurt you in some way, usually financially. You could lose your job. Others may not hire you. You will lose friends. And on and on and on.

Take the Dixie Chicks. I'm sure you've all heard by now that, because their lead singer mentioned how she was ashamed that Bush was from her home state of Texas, their record sales have "plummeted" and country stations are boycotting their music. The truth is that their sales are NOT down. This week, after all the attacks, their album is still at #1 on the Billboard country charts and, according to Entertainment Weekly, on the pop charts during all the brouhaha, they ROSE from #6 to #4. In the New York Times, Frank Rich reports that he tried to find a ticket to ANY of the Dixie Chicks' upcoming concerts but he couldn't because they were all sold out.

Their song, "Travelin' Soldier" (a beautiful anti-war ballad) was the most requested song on the Internet last week. They have not been hurt at all – but that is not what the media would have you believe. Why is that? Because there is nothing more important now than to keep the voices of dissent – and those who would dare to ask a question – silent. And what better way than to try and take a few well-known entertainers down with a pack of lies so that the average Joe or Jane gets the message loud and clear: "Wow, if they would do that to the Dixie Chicks or Michael Moore, what would they do to little ol' me?" In other words, shut the f*** up.

And that, my friends, is the real point of this film that I just got an Oscar for – how those in charge use fear to manipulate the public into doing whatever they are told.

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