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November 4, 2004
Moore & Friends Despondent Over Bush Victory

Two reports this morning focus on the reaction among the entertainment elite to George Bush's re-election this week to a second term as President. As one might imagine, the mood in Hollywood has taken a steeper dive than a Bennifer film in its second release week. The Washington Times' Stephanie Mansfield takes Hollywood's emotional temperature:

For a rich and powerful demographic used to getting its way, Hollywood was downbeat yesterday as President Bush -- more heinous than a mid-February release date to so many celebrities and other bold-faced names -- made his gracious victory speech. ...

Long decried as out of touch with "the real America," Hollywood woke up to its worst nightmare on Main Street.

"This is definitely Kerry country," said Gabriel Snyder, senior writer for Variety, the industry bible.

One can only imagine the despair of the Hollywood stars over the specter of glittery state dinners and policy lunches that could have been: Barbra and Moby,, Uma Thurman and Viggo Mortensen, Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro, Bette Midler and George Clooney. Directed, perhaps, by Rob Reiner and Steven Spielberg.

Perhaps Hollywood might consider that American voters could indeed picture these policy tete-a-tetes, and such visions could have provided all the impetus needed to re-elect Bush. The last time Meryl Streep got involved in policy development, she almost put apple growers out of business with her phony Alar scare. Some of that list makes her look like a beacon of reason in comparison, and most of them generate resentment rather than sympathy when they pontificate without portfolio.

But of them all, the most outspoken and certifiably dishonest has disappeared. Michael Moore had pledged to unseat Bush by any means necessary, and after spending most of the year as the toast of the talk-show circuit and industry awards presentations, he has suddenly turned mute, according to both the Times and The Scotsman:

FOR the first time in years, Michael Moore was speechless.

The film-maker and author was keeping quiet yesterday as he digested the inconceivable: his books, films and campaigns had not even dented Mr Bushs political lead.

His book, Stupid White Men, and film Fahrenheit 9/11 have sold well in the United States as they have across the world - radicalising a young audience which had never before voted.

But yesterday the self-styled "capped crusader" was searching in vain for any evidence that the shadow he has cast over American politics for the last three years had touched the polling station.

For such an unremarkable blowhard, Moore managed to insinuate himself rather prominently into the electoral process. First he produced one of the most egregiously dishonest political propaganda films seen since Triumph of the Will in Fahrenheit 9/11, which even sympathetic journalists found detailed fact-checking necessary to perform while reviewing. He received the embrace of Democratic leadership and occupied a prominent spot during their convention; in fact, Tom Daschle may owe his retirement to a literal embrace of Moore at the film's DC premier.

Moore traveled to Florida with over a thousand cameras, salivating over documenting incidents of voter intimidation on Election Day. Having discovered that those urban legends were just that, Moore traveled to Ohio in the afternoon to stir up whatever mischief he could make. And at the end of the day, Moore found himself soundly rejected by the American electorate, either in spite or as a result of his best efforts to sway them.

So now they're quiet as church mice while they absorb their complete failure on the political stage. Their silence is as sweet music to my ears, I must admit. I advise you to enjoy it while it lasts. Hollywood and Michael Moore won't go away forever; they're too convinced of their moral superiority to leave quietly.

However, the Democrats may finally have learned to steer clear of them. Daschle learned that lesson one election too late.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 4, 2004 4:39 AM

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