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Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Moore Ronstadt

As most know by now (a post from yesterday, if not), Linda Ronstadt was "let go" by the Alladdin Casino after dedicating Desperado to Michael Moore and encouraging the audience to see his film Fahrenheit 9/11. Then, according to the Las Vegas Sun, "Near the close of her performance, Ronstadt dedicated the Eagles hit "Desperado" to Moore, producer of "Fahrenheit 9/11," and the room erupted into equal parts boos and cheers."

Disregarding the misattribution of producer rather than director to Moore, this is the only mention of the other folks in the audience, those that cheered. In any case, as I inferred by linkage in my post yesterday, this smacks of a rising tide of McCarthyism in this country. In any case, Moore responds with an open letter to Bill Timmons, Alladin's president, who had barred Ronstadt from her suite at the hotel and had her escorted off of hotel property, saying, "As long as I'm here, she's not going to play." From Moore's response:

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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

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?

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