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WikiLeaks paper reveals US officials intervened to cancel New Zealand's Labour Party fundraising event for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.


A cable from July 30, 2004, reveals that the US officials put high pressure on the then Government of New Zealand to cancel a fundraising event for Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11*, under the umbrella of the Labour Party. Although the event appears to be an initiative of the then Cabinet Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, the pressure reached the highest levels of the government, up to the Prime Minister.

The annoyance of the US side for this event was so intense that the then US ambassador appeared to approve the nickname "Boo Boo" for Hobbs. Additionally, he estimated that the US pressure was eventually successful, as the "fiasco", as he describes it in the comment at the end of the cable, "may only have been averted" because of the phone calls by the US embassy.

This is another evidence for a series of US interventions against documentaries about the 9/11 attacks that were not aligned with the US official narratives.

Key parts:

Embassy Wellington learned July 30 that GNZ [Government of New Zealand] Cabinet Minister for the Environment Marian Hobbs was reportedly hosting a special screening of Michael Moore's controversial movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" as a local Labour Party fundraising event.

DCM [Deputy Chief of Mission] contacted the Prime Minister's office to ask whether it could shed some light on the matter and was told by PM office staff that they were not aware of the issue but would look into it. DCM then contacted Minister Hobbs' office but the Minister's office declined to make her available to discuss the matter. Hobbs' staff later informed Embassy that Hobbs would not be hosting the fundraiser. However, she would be attending the event.

Comment:

There's a reason this particular Minister is nicknamed "Boo Boo" Hobbs. That said, it is probable that this potential fiasco may only have been averted because of our phone calls - it is apparent to us that neither the Minister nor anyone else in the Labour government seems to have thought there was anything wrong with a senior Minister hosting such an event.

Full cable:





* Fahrenheit 9/11 is a 2004 American documentary film directed, written by, and starring filmmaker, director and political commentator Michael Moore. The film takes a critical look at the presidency of George W. Bush, the War on Terror, and its coverage in the media. In the film, Moore contends that American corporate media were "cheerleaders" for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and did not provide an accurate or objective analysis of the rationale for the war or the resulting casualties there.

The film generated intense controversy, including disputes over its accuracy. The title of the film alludes to Ray Bradbury's 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451, a dystopian view of the future United States, drawing an analogy between the autoignition temperature of paper and the date of the September 11 attacks; one of the film's taglines was "The Temperature at Which Freedom Burns".

The film debuted at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and received a 20-minute standing ovation, among the longest standing ovations in the festival's history. The film was also awarded the Palme d'Or, the festival's highest award. The film is the highest grossing documentary of all time.

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