The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, May 05, 2004  

A New Low by Walt Disney and, Maybe?, the Bush Administration

This is incredible. Incredible in the sense of outrageous, not in the sense of unbelievable, because kind of dangerous lunacy is becoming par for the course in this country.

The New York Times today reports:

The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Bush, executives at both Disney and Miramax said Tuesday.

The film, “Fahrenheit 911,” links Mr. Bush and prominent Saudis -- including the family of Osama bin Laden -- and criticizes Mr. Bush’s actions before and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

See “Disney Forbidding Distribution of Film That Criticizes Bush,” by Jim Rutenberg, the New York Times.

What’s really going on here? Is it fair to at least ask whether Disney is doing someone, or something, like the Bush administration, a favor?

Or is the new climate of fear induced by the corporate captives at the Federal Communications Commission enough to cause film-industry executives to act with excessive caution and trepidation?

There is no low too low for the lowest of the low.

[Post-publication addendum: Moore’s response to Disney’s decision can be found at his web site. Excerpt: “The whole story behind this (and other attempts) to kill our movie will be told in more detail as the days and weeks go on. For nearly a year, this struggle has been a lesson in just how difficult it is in this country to create a piece of art that might upset those in charge (well, OK, sorry -- it WILL upset them...big time. Did I mention it’s a comedy?).” I’m convinced there’s more to this story than we know now.]

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