Vol. 12, No. 2,856W - The American Reporter - March 18, 2006


Open Letter: MY OSCAR 'BACKLASH'
by Michael Moore
American Reporter Correspondent
Paris, France

PARIS -- Dear friends: It appears that the Bush administration will have succeeded in colonizing Iraq sometime in the next few days. This is a blunder of such magnitude - and we will pay for it for years to come. It was not worth the life of one single American kid in uniform, let alone the thousands of Iraqis who have died, and my condolences and prayers go out to all of them.

What I am most concerned about right now is that all of you - the majority of Americans who did not support this war in the first place - not go silent or be intimidated by what will be touted as some great military victory.

Now, more than ever, the voices of peace and truth must be heard. I have received a lot of mail from people who are feeling a profound sense of despair and believe that their voices have been drowned out by the drums and bombs of false patriotism. Some are afraid of retaliation at work or at school or in their neighborhoods because they have been vocal proponents of peace. They have been told over and over that it is not "appropriate" to protest once the country is at war, and that your only duty now is to "support the troops."

Can I share with you what it's been like for me since I used my time on the Oscar stage two weeks ago to speak out against Bush and this war? I hope that, in reading what I'm about to tell you, you'll feel a bit more emboldened to make your voice heard in whatever way or forum that is open to you.

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% (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, 8 of them at number one, 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."

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.

Well, the good news - if there can be any good news this week - is that not only have neither I nor others been silenced, we have been joined by millions of Americans who think the same way we do. Don't let the false patriots intimidate you by setting the agenda or the terms of the debate.

Yours,

Michael Moore

Visit Michael at www.michaelmoore.com, where this letter first appeared.

Copyright 2006 Joe Shea The American Reporter. All Rights Reserved.

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