Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Perhaps its just me, but I find it extraordinarily annoying when liberals spurned by major broadcasting companies complain that free speech in America is under siege. Case in point: the recent snub of Michael Moore by Disney.

Moore has produced a movie entitled "Fahrenheit 911" which, among other things, makes much of the connection between the Bush family and Saudi oil interests, including the Bin Laden family. The film was produced by Miramax, which is owned by Disney through an agreement which allows Disney to block the distribution of certain films; soon after "Fahrenheit 911" was made, Disney exercised this option and blocked its distribution.

From the NYT article linked to above:

Mr. Moore, who will present the film at the Cannes film festival this month, criticized Disney's decision in an interview on Tuesday, saying, "At some point the question has to be asked, `Should this be happening in a free and open society where the monied interests essentially call the shots regarding the information that the public is allowed to see?' "

Yes, this should be happenning.

The goverment did not censor Moore's speech. Nobody has forbidden him to make his movie. All that has happenned is that the Disney corporation, which paid for the movie, has decided to prevent its release. There is no law that says that Disney has to sponsor Moore's movies or that it has to distribute them once they are produced.

This is vaguely reminiscent of Bill Maher, who cried foul after ABC pulled the plug on his show following his statement that American pilots, rather than the terrorists, are the real cowards. The point is that ABC is a private company that has no obligation to Bill Maher. If ABC or Disney choose to disassociate from certian political views, its their right to do so.

As for whether these things should be happenning: I personally happen to think that almost everything Moore says is nonsense and if Disney sponsored his movie I just might decide to boycott Disney products in protest. I'm just like that. Disney is operating in a marketplace full of consumers like me and it better be careful because we are a fickle bunch who like boycotts.

In a free society, one in which I and other consumers are allowed to form our own views, declare them, and act on them in any way we see fit, it should be expected that these sorts of things should happen.


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