I know we’ve got to post on this but I also know it’s going to degenerate quickly into a “KICK HIS ASS, FRED!” thread. So, fine. Have at it. The fact is, it’s a masterstroke of publicity from a master publicity whore, trading on Fred’s buzz as the conservative messiah to drum up free hype for his new movie. And when Fred declines, as he will, Moore can trumpet it as proof of him knowing that the facts aren’t on his side and declare victory.
I wonder, though — what would Moore do if he was in Fred’s position, invited by someone with nothing to lose to debate on a topic where he himself had plenty to lose? Actually, I don’t need to wonder. Remember what happened when the guy who made “Michael Moore Hates America” tried to wrangle an interview with him?
Some scenes showcase Wilson’s thwarted attempts, sometimes comical, to land an interview with the elusive egalitarian. Indeed, as word got out about Wilson’s work in progress, a TV journalist asks Moore why he won’t talk to Wilson. Moore replies, “I don’t appear in anybody else’s movies but my own.” Wilson then rapidly scrolls a lengthy list of other people’s movies that Moore, yes, appeared in.
How about when lefty filmmakers Rick Caine and Debbie Melnyk tried to snag him for reaction to their critique of his work, “Manufacturing Dissent”?
The pair said they attempted to interview Moore and question him about his editing practices and his views on where the line should be drawn between factual documentary and misleading propaganda.
“We had met him at a premiere of the Columbine film in Toronto, and he said, ‘Oh yes, talk to my people and they’ll set something up’,” said Caine. “We then called his people and they said he’s not doing any more interviews in Toronto. We had his e-mail, we sent a letter to his lawyers, we had his phone number in New York. But each time he said no.”
They did more than that:
The husband-and-wife directors spent over two years making the movie, which follows Moore on his college tour promoting 2004’s “Fahrenheit 9/11.” The film shows Melnyk repeatedly approaching Moore for an interview and being rejected; members of Moore’s team also kick the couple out of the audience at one of his speeches, saying they weren’t allowed to be shooting there.
The hypocrisy game is tedious, but since he wants to play it, there you go.
Exit question: Isn’t he 100% right about Fred smoking cuban cigars, though?
Update: Cute. Click the image to watch.
Update: I don’t think it’s that great a response, but it was impressively quick and media savvy: “He turned it around in under two hours, and he did it off the top of his head essentially in one take.”