Eagerly awaiting Moore’s arrival, the crowd at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge grew restless and began to cheer his name after the filmmaker did not appear at his scheduled time.
Chants of “Michael! Michael!” erupted as event organizers, who first shuffled the order of several other speakers, were eventually reduced to stalling by listing the names of liberal websites while Moore used the rest room before his speech.
When Moore finally arrived, well over an hour late, he wasted no time in berating the mass media.
“The obvious bad guy in [Fahrenheit 9/11] is George W. Bush. But there’s the unstated villain in the film, which is the national media,” he said. “It outs them as people who are cheerleaders to this war. It outs them as journalists who fell asleep on the job, journalists who didn’t ask the tough questions.”
Moore said members of the news media would have been patriotic to question the Bush administration, rather than succumb to pressure from the White House.
“To the members of the press in the audience: We need you to do your jobs,” Moore said, prompting an ovation. “You do us no service by hopping on a bandwagon.”
“You can ask any question you want and not get arrested,” Moore continued. “So what has prevented you from asking the questions?”
Moore said that he heard this week from a prominent talk show host who was admonished by Vice President Dick Cheney’s office for using an unfavorable tone while discussing the Iraq invasion. Moore pledged to tell the TV host’s story by the end of the week on his website if that host did not come forward.
Referring to the media’s war coverage, Moore added, “You haven’t just been embedded. You’ve been in bed with the wrong people.”
After finishing up his assault on the media, Moore said he thought high voter turnout could lead to a presidential win for Sen. John F. Kerry, D-Mass.
“I believe we will have the largest percentage of people voting in our lifetime on November 2,” Moore said.
Moore—who said the country is not in fact evenly ideologically divided, but liberal—said the increased voter turnout would help Democrats.
Moore even predicted that “good Republicans” might launch a Republicans for Kerry movement to protest Bush administration policies.
“The good news is things are going to change soon,” Moore said.
Moore said he did not blame Kerry for voting to go to war in Iraq because he said Kerry was misled by Bush to believe that Iraq posed an imminent threat.