Disney joins anti-Moore campaign


Geraldine Sealey
June 29, 2004 1:29AM (UTC)

So now Disney is collaborating with the conservative group that tried in vain to keep Fahrenheit 9/11 out of theaters and threatened CBS last year until the network agreed to drop its TV movie "The Reagans." (The leader of this group, Howard Kaloogian, was also involved in the unseating of California Gov. Gray Davis). You'll remember that Fahrenheit was originally scheduled to be released by Disney's Miramax unit, but the company dropped Michael Moore's movie because of the film's content. Now we have a better window into Disney's rationale.

Sorry we missed this press screening of Disney's film "America's Heart & Soul," which the company is touting as a cinematic antidote to Fahrenheit 9/11. On the VIP list, the invite says, were Disney reps, Howard Kaloogian and his colleagues -- and Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse!

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From the press release:

MOVE OVER MICHAEL MOORE
Disney & Move America Forward
Team Up to Show a Brighter Side of America

(SACRAMENTO) -- Move America Forward is teaming up with Walt Disney Pictures to present an exclusive screening of Disney's "America's Heart & Soul" on Monday, June 28, 2004 at the Crest Theater in Sacramento, California. The private screening takes place at 1:00 PM and members of the news media are invited to attend. "Americas Heart & Soul" opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, July 2nd.

Unlike the negative and misleading storyline of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11," Disney's "America's Heart & Soul" features a collection of upbeat storylines of real life Americans who pursue their passions in a way that underscores what makes America a great nation.

WHAT: Screening of Walt Disney Pictures' "America's Heart & Soul"
WHO: Representatives of Walt Disney Pictures
Howard Kaloogian, Chairman, Move America Forward
Melanie Morgan, Vice Chairman, Move America Forward
[Melanie is also a talk show host on KSFO 560 AM San Francisco]
Eric Hogue, KTKZ 1380 AM Sacramento
Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck
Political Leaders
Business Leaders
Invited members of the community

On its Web site, Move America Forward complains that: "Those who oppose the War on Terror have the mouthpiece of the mainstream media to disseminate their propaganda to the entire nation in an almost unchallenged effort. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week it is bash America, bash the military and bash the Bush administration." This, of course, is hardly true -- but it's even more ridiculous now that the company that owns ABC News is associated directly with Howard Kaloogian's anti-Moore efforts.

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Michael Moore's reaction to the Disney/Kaloogian alliance: "Disney joining forces with the right wing kooks who have come together to attempt to censor Fahrenheit 9/11 must mean that Dumbo is now in charge of the company's strategic decisions. First, Disney tried to stop the movie from being released and now it is aligning itself with the very people who are trying to intimidate the movie theaters from showing the movie. Even Daffy Duck would tell you this makes no sense. This latest development only further disproves what Michael Eisner had claimed about 'politics' not being behind Disney's decision not to distribute Fahrenheit 9/11."


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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