My Wild First Week with “Fahrenheit 9/11”
by Michael Moore

The following is condensed from a letter Michael emailed supporters on July 4. “Fahrenheit 9/11” is currently playing at the Westcott Cinema, 479-9911, in Syracuse.

Friends,
Where do I begin? This past week has knocked me for a loop. “Fahrenheit 9/11” — the #1 movie in the country, the largest grossing documentary ever. Didn’t we just lose our distributor eight weeks ago? Did Karl Rove really fail to stop this? Is Bush packing?

How can I ever thank all of you who went to see “Fahrenheit 9/11”? These records have sent shock waves through Hollywood – and through the White House.

Surfing the dial last Sunday I landed on the FOX broadcasting network airing the NASCAR race live – and suddenly the announcers were talking about how the night before NASCAR champ Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took his crew to see “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

FOX delivered Earnhardt’s review straight out of his mouth and into the heartland of America: He said, “Hey, it’ll be a good bonding experience no matter what your political belief. It’s a good thing as an American to go see.” Whoa! NASCAR fans – you can’t go deeper into George Bush territory than that! White House moving vans – START YOUR ENGINES!

Then there was Roger Friedman from FOX News calling our film “a really brilliant piece of work, and a film that members of all political parties should see without fail.”

Richard Goldstein of the Village Voice surmised that Bush is already considered a goner so Rupert Murdoch might be starting to curry favor with the new administration.

Reports from theaters around the country really sent me over the edge. One theater manager after another phoned in to say the movie was getting standing ovations – places like Greensboro, NC and Oklahoma City. And they were having a hard time clearing the theater afterward because people were either too stunned or they wanted to sit and talk to their neighbors about what they had just seen.

The yakking pundits, before the movie opened, declared that only the hard-core “choir” would go see “Fahrenheit 9/11.” They couldn’t have been more wrong. Theaters in the Deep South and the Midwest set house records. Yes, it even sold out in Peoria. And Lubbock, Texas. And Anchorage, Alaska!

Newspaper after newspaper wrote stories in tones of breathless disbelief about people who called themselves “Independents” and “Republicans” walking out of the movie theater shaken and in tears, proclaiming that they could not, in good conscience vote for George W. Bush.

News editors told us that they were being “bombarded” with emails and calls from the White House (read: Karl Rove), trying to spin their way out of this mess by attacking it and attacking me.

Many news shows were more than eager to buy the White House spin. After all, that is a big part of what “Fahrenheit” is about – how the lazy, compliant media bought all the lies from the Bush administration about the need to invade Iraq.

Rarely, if ever, did our media ask the hard questions that needed to be asked before the war started. Who can forget their incessant, embarrassing cheerleading as the troops went off to war, as though it was all just a game?

On show after show, they have gone after me with the kind of viciousness you’d have hoped they had had for those who were lying about the necessity for invading a sovereign nation that was no threat to us. I don’t blame our well-paid celebrity journalists – they look like a bunch of ass-kissing dopes in my movie, and I guess I’d be pretty mad at me, too. After all once the NASCAR fans see “Fahrenheit,” will they ever believe a single thing they see on ABC/NBC/CBS news again?

I will be posting a full FAQ on my website soon so that you can have all the necessary backup and evidence from the film when you find yourself in heated debate with your conservative brother-in-law! For now, please know that every single fact I state in “Fahrenheit” is the absolute and irrefutable truth.

This movie is perhaps the most thoroughly researched and vetted documentary of our time. No fewer than a dozen people, including three teams of lawyers and the venerable one-time fact-checkers from the New Yorker went through this movie with a fine-tooth comb so that we can make this guarantee to you.

Do not let anyone say this or that isn’t true. If they say that, they are lying. The OPINIONS in the film are mine, and anyone certainly has a right to disagree with them. And the questions I pose in the movie, based on these irrefutable facts, are also mine….

I’m going to start blogging! Tonight! Come on over and check it out.

Michael needs no introduction. Email him at <mike@michaelmoore.com>. For the entire unedited text of this letter see <www.michaelmoore.com>.