Disney vs. Bush

May 07, 2004

LIKE SNACK food dropped on the theater floor, something rather unpleasant has been left behind by the dust-up between the Walt Disney Co. and filmmaker Michael Moore. And whether they want the job or not, it's up to the Bush family to attend to this ugliness - if only because it's their honor that's been besmirched by Disney's censorship.

Disney decided to block its Miramax division from distributing Mr. Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, a documentary that suggests the Bush family has financial ties to Saudi elite, including Osama bin Laden's family. So much for the "liberal media." But here's where things got interesting: Mr. Moore's agent told The New York Times that top mouse Michael Eisner was worried the film would jeopardize tax breaks granted their Florida-based ventures. Mr. Eisner says he just doesn't want to get political in an election year. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has stayed mum.

Now we know that Mr. Moore's films tend to benefit from controversy. And neither Hollywood agents nor executives are the most credible sources. But the fact is, a major U.S. corporation has acted in a manner that implies that the Bushes might misuse the power of elected office for speech-chilling, Nixon-like purposes. The brothers Bush, George W. and Jeb, need to stand up now and deny this outrageous allegation - unless, of course, it's true.

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