Filmbrain found the following news stories a bit disconcerting.
First off, a group calling themselves Move America Forward has launched a campaign to pressure movie theater owners into not showing Michael Moore's latest film, Fahrenheit 9/11. Though the group claims to be non-partisan, it is run by Howard Kaloogian, the man behind the Recall Gray Davis committee and the Defend Reagan Committee, which was successful in intimidating CBS from airing the miniseries The Reagans. Counterpunch is reporting that the site is registered in the name of Russo Marsh & Rogers, a GOP consultation firm. Normally, these lunatic fringe groups don't worry Filmbrain much, but Kaloogian and his pals have been quite successful up to now. He considered his victory over CBS as a victory for free speech. There's something very twisted about that. On his personal blog, Kaloogian calls Fahrenheit 9/11 an "Al Qaeda training video", and goes on to feign concern about the
"handful of emails from those who support Michael Moore who are dismayed that we are speaking up. I wonder why they are so afraid of the opinion of the American public?"Once again, twisted logic. Isn't it Kaloogian who is afraid of the opinion of the American public after they've seen the film?
Then Filmbrain had a look at their Stop Michael Moore page and saw the following:
Perhaps Kaloogian is too upset to concern himself with spelling errors. Or, he might want to consider launching a campaign against this film instead.
In other censorship news, Texas congressman Lamar Smith (R) is planning to introduce a bill today that would legislate the digital filtering of indecent content in movies. He is also going to hold a hearing on the Family Movie Act on Thursday. (One can only imagine what that's going to be all about.) What's troubling about this news is that at the moment ClearPlay, makers of a DVD player that filters questionable content, is in the midst of a lawsuit filed by Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh and other members of the DGA. Smith's proposed legislation would override any court decision, and he has been threatening to introduce the bill if the two sides don't come up with a voluntary solution. Scary stuff.