July 20, 2004
Get over yourself, Mr. Moore
Following Linda Rondstadt's removal, escorted by security guards from the Aladdin Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Michael Moore wrote a letter of protest to the Aladdin President:
Aladdin Casino and Hotel
Las Vegas, NV
July 20, 2004
Dear Mr. Timmins:
I understand from the news reports I've read that, after Linda Ronstadt, one of America's greatest singers, dedicated a song to me from your stage on Saturday night, you instructed your security guards to remove her from the Aladdin, which they did.
What country do you live in? Last time I checked, Las Vegas is still in the United States.
This is correct, although the "America's greatest singers" claim is debatable. However, it's one of the few correct statements in this screed.
And in the United States, we have something called "The First Amendment." This constitutional right gives everyone here the right to say whatever they want to say.
Mr. Moore needs to brush up on his knowledge of constitutional rights. The First Amendment of the Constitution does not provide an open mike. Instead, it limits the actions of our government. It says that “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech …” This means that our federal government cannot deprive a person of their liberty, their property or their life because that person expresses an opinion that criticizes a government official or policy. It doesn't say that if you are being paid to perform for an audience of 4,500 customers who bought a ticket to hear you sing, that you have the right to use someone else's stage to express your personal political beliefs. Mr. Timmons was well within his rights to fire her.
All Americans hold this right as sacred. Many of our young people put on a uniform and risk their lives to defend it. My film is all about asking the questions that should have been asked before those brave soldiers were sent into harms way.
Wrong. While our troops have shed their blood to protect freedom of speech in this country, I don't think that Moore's movie or Rondstadt's ramble is what our founding fathers had in mind. And, it's ironic that the troops that Moore piously invokes are the same troops that he placed on the altar of sacrifice last April. In his own words: "I'm sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe -- just maybe -- God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end."
As the mother of one of those children, I understand full well that my son is not returning to Iraq next month so that God and the Iraqis will forgive us. He is fighting for freedom and democracy so that way of life that we enjoy will endure. It's a good thing for Moore that our troops - or their moms - don't get to pick and choose who they defend.
For you to throw Linda Ronstadt off the premises because she dared to say a few words in support of me and my film, is simply stupid and Un-American. Frankly, I have never heard of such a thing happening.
Mr. Timmins had every right to escort Ms. Rondstadt from the premises. It was a privately owned place of business, not a public arena. If half of his audience was booing, it wasn't a stupid move, but a smart business decision. And Mr. Moore should not be surprised. After all, he was himself booed off the Academy Award stage just over a year ago.
I read that you wouldn't even let her go back up to her room at your hotel! Are you crazy? For crying out loud, it was a song DEDICATION! To "Desperado!" Every American loves that song! Sure, some people didn't like the dedication, and that's their right. But neither they nor you have the right to remove her from your building when all she did was exercise her AMERICAN right to speak her mind.
See previous notes on the meaning of private businesses and paying customers. And when she chooses to speak, she also chooses to take whatever consequences come along with her words. My son learned that lesson at age two. I guess it's never too late - just ask the Dixie Chicks. Or Sean Penn. Or Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, and on and on.
Of all the things that go on in Las Vegas, this is what creates the need for serious action? What about the other half of the crowd at the Aladdin who, according to the Las Vegas Sun, cheered her when she made her remarks? Did you throw them out, too?
Hello? Private business. Paid performer. Paying customer. Heigh-ho.
I think you owe Ms. Ronstadt an apology. And I have an idea how you can make it up to her -- and to the millions of Americans you have offended. Invite her back and I'll join her in singing "America the Beautiful" on your stage. Then I will show "Fahrenheit 9/11" free of charge to all your guests and anyone else in Las Vegas who wants to see it.
Right. Mr Timmins owes her nothing. Not an apology and certainly not another appearance on his stage. And if Moore thinks that offering to sing with Rondstadt is an irresistable offer, he needs a serious reality check. Preferably one involving a double-wide full length mirror.
Mr. Timmins, as the song "Desperado" says -- "Come to your senses!" How can you refuse this offer? I await your reply.
Director, "Fahrenheit 9/11"
I have an idea how Mr. Timmins could refuse this offer. However, it would involve quoting Dick Cheney and I don't use that kind of language. At least not on this blog.
Posted by Deb at July 20, 2004 01:25 AM
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Here's a little piece I did for the New York Post today on the Linda Ronstadt imbroglio. More blog commentary here and here andhere and here.... [Read More]
Tracked on July 25, 2004 04:43 AM
Well said! Mr. Moore needs to brush up on his constitution. But, it never hurts to try educate those who think they know it all.
Posted by: Connie at July 20, 2004 07:22 AM
Bravo Deb. :)
For Ronstadt to call Moore "an American hero" is a slap in the face to every real hero out there.
Posted by: Lynn at July 20, 2004 10:03 AM
Ms. Ronstadt didn't learn anything. She was to give a concert at Humphrey's Bayside, here in San Diego on July 20. The ticket price was $95 per person.
She began the concert, but by halfway point, was making derogatory statements about the U.S. and GW Bush. A little further on, she launched into the glowing praise of Michael Moore. About half of the audience stood up and walked out.
Posted by: Dave H. at July 20, 2004 10:14 AM
Moore is a dumbass, true.
Ronstadt was out of line, true.
Your son is over there "fighting for freedom and democracy"? WHAT?
I'm sorry you've got to listen to dipshits like Moore while your son is over there. But I'm also sorry that you need to believe something so contrary to the facts (not opinions, not propaganda, but actual facts) in order to feel good about the situation.
Every male in my family for over 5 generations has served this country; 3 of them are serving in Iraq now. Neither they nor I have any illusions that this war is being fought for 'freedom and democracy', or that it has *anything* to do with 9/11, or that it will result in a better world.
I guess it's not just the Moore's and Ronstadt's who have their delusions... but hey, do whatever it takes to get you through the night.
Posted by: pete at July 20, 2004 05:57 PM
I read this "Republican Allegiance" on AOL's Message Board -- it wasn't even spelled right -- and got disgusted so I wrote my own....
Message 47 of 50
Subject: Re: Bush Bashers
Date: 7/20/2004 11:19 AM Pacific Standard Time
The Republican Pledge Of Allegience
I believe in my leaders without question. I believe in invading countries that have done nothing to me, my people- or country.
I believe in killing thousands of innocent people- burning many to death with firebombs. I believe in injuring men, women and children so bad their injuries will disable them for life.
I believe in sending our youth to die hideous deaths so that my cronies can make billions in inflated profits.
I believe in blowing up countries- and stealing their natural resources. I believe in kidnapping its' citizens by the thousands and then torturing them for amusement.
I am a true terrorist- not like the "terrorists" who make token attacks- but a trillion dollar financed terrorist.
I am a Republican- I am a true terrorist - and I am anyhting but a REAL AMERICAN.
HERE'S MINE FOLKS!!
The Democratic Pledge of Allegiance
I believe in my leaders without question – as long as they look good. They have to be charming liars, master manipulators, morally bankrupt and p*ssy-whipped by their power hungry wives.
I believe in allowing our leaders as many scandals while in office as possible, to seduce interns to have oral sex in the Oval Office and sex anywhere else they can get it -- after all, I believe it’s just another perk that should come with the job. I also allow them to offer time-share in the White House bedrooms and pocket the money and/or make a “donation” to their re-election campaign fund. They should also feel free to empty the White House of any piece of furniture, etc. they deem a “souvenir” upon leaving office.
I believe in generously opening my wallet and/or pocketbook and allow my tax dollars to be used for every two bit government program that can be dreamed up by fellow liberals and the thousands of unnecessary, indignant and obnoxious government employees it takes to run them.
I believe in letting our enemies harbor and finance terrorists under my nose and do nothing about it -- until we have another 9-11. (then I promise that I’ll get upset for about 6 months or so and sue and blame OUR government.)
I believe in fags and dykes having their own parade, their own rainbow, their own day at Disney, a real marriage, their own children -- and since nature didn't provide them with the “normal” way to procreate, they can get ARTIFICIALLY inseminated.
I believe in killing thousands of innocent people - starving them, beating them and then killing them by the thousands for the heck of it. I believe in raping women and children -- branding them and then torturing them for amusement – and the killing anyone who tries to discourage that fun. I believe in injuring men, women and children so bad their injuries will disable them for life -- BECAUSE I ALLOW LEADERS LIKE SADDAM TO BE IN POWER!!
I believe in raising a generation of spoiled, naive, self-absorbed, selfish, know-it-all college p*ssies who wouldn't DREAM of giving up a few years of their precious lives to serve their country. Let someone else’s kid do that.
I believe in letting our enemies dictate our foreign policies, terrorize our citizens, jack up the prices of oil, etc from refineries that WE helped them build, stockpile WMD’s and bounce them from one terrorist country to another and then to lie to us about ALL of it.
I am a true terrorist - not like those bungling "terrorists" who make token attacks and only kill a few thousand innocent victims. I believe in allowing evil to exist in this world and stand by and do nothing because it doesn't affect me.
I am a Democrat- and I am anything but a REAL AMERICAN.
Posted by: Lori at July 20, 2004 06:38 PM
Appearnantly, Tubby Riefenstahl doesn't realize that ALL American's have the right to express their opinion. Not just those of his ilk!!
Instead of whinning, Moore should be glad that the half of the public that usually doesn't exercise their First Amendment Right, is doing so now. After all, isn't the preservation of free expression the important factor here?
NOT, our hurt feelings?
I'm glad we live in "this kind of country."
Posted by: MVH at July 20, 2004 06:46 PM
While your family's service to this country is to be commended (and I can make much the same claim about my family's service to this country), it doesn't make your opinion any more or less correct solely based on that fact.
While our goals in Iraq were certainly about our global war on terror, our forces are making Iraq more safe, more free and making it more likely that there will finally be a Middle Eastern moslem country that has a democratic gov't.
On this blog alone, Deb has recorded all the numerous projects that individuals, groups, military personnel and military units are undertaking to make life better (free, democratic and with a future) for the Iraqis.
You merely have to open your eyes to see them all.
The projects aren't illusions...the desire to make Iraq a functioning democracy is not an illusion. Your family's service to country making you an expert on what is going on over there IS though.
Posted by: Carrie at July 21, 2004 03:59 PM
Go, Lori, Go!!!!
Posted by: Carrie at July 21, 2004 04:00 PM
You people are ridiculous. All she did was dedicate a song. The people who should have been "escorted" out of the hotel were the hateful people who tore down her posters.
Posted by: rick at July 22, 2004 07:42 PM
I read this because I thought it might be interesting to know how others felt, about Lind's performance. I knew I would read different views. I also knew that there would probably be someone who would stand out that would say something really ignorant! Well Pete you'd be that person!!!
If 5 generations of your family have served , don't you think for one minute those men didn't believe in what they were serving for...Democracy!
There is no way in hell that they would go into the military generation after generation without believing they were doing the right thing. I am going to assume that somehow they let you out of the loop, or you missed the point. I'm not sure what happened that you have decided to believe that we only fight for oil, and because we can. I do believe that our country stands for freedom and that the men and women dying have not died in vain. If you think that their lives were a waste ...tell their parents, wives, husbands,children,I don't we are all delusional.
I think you better go back and ask those members in your family if they feel it was a waste of their lives to have served. I do want to thank your family for serving.
I usually believe that the Apple doesn't fall from the tree...So I guess there is hope for you yet!
I too am one Proud Marine Mom, and my son did not hold his best friend in his arms and watch him die for nothing. He did that because he believed in the Country he serves. Maybe we are delusional because we believe that Our Nation stands for freedom...Maybe you should go to Iraq and ask the Iraqi people how they feel.Don't believe CNN believe those people who were losing family members on a daily basis. You say we went for the wrong reasons? I believe we may have acted hastily , but I believe we needed to act!My daddy always said.."You have to stand for something or you'll fall for anything". As for me and my family we choose to Stand for Freedom!
Posted by: cherie at July 23, 2004 12:24 PM
Where to begin? So "all she did was dedicate a song"? What about afterwards, when in an interview she stated that it "clouds" her enjoyment when she knows there are Republicans or conservative Christians in the audience? Or saying that she wanted people to get their heads "up out of their mashed potatoes" and pay attention to her rants? (Because, really, she knows what America needs and wants, and we're all too stupid, heads down in the potatoes to know what it is...I'm so pleased SOMEONE will stop all this mindless potato eating!) Comments like those expose her for what she is which is much like the other celebrities who confuse fame with wisdom: overpaid, unappreciative, spoiled elitists that look down on and disparage our country, our military, our President, marriage, ethics, politeness, appropriateness, and oh, I don't know, just about anything that even means anything to the average American.
So who's "hateful", rick? I don't think it's the people who left the concert and ripped up some posters. (Man...how much harsher can you get...ripped POSTERS!) And it's not the Alladin management who are hateful either. They can do any d*** thing they want on their private property...(gee, private property is another provincial, American notion that celebrities only notice when someone is trespassing on their own property!)
So, let's just see that most Americans who pay pretty good money to see a pretty good singer sing have every right to expect singing. And they have every right to leave and rip up (horrors!) some posters.
That's not hateful!!
Posted by: Catherine at July 25, 2004 01:13 PM
Cherie, first you have to ask whether Pete is
telling the truth about his family history. I doubt
it. Secondly he deals in innuendo, making it
unlikely that he's stating fact. Third the males in
his family are obviously fighting and dying for
something they don't believe in. I somehow doubt
Posted by: Mike H. at July 25, 2004 01:18 PM