Michael Moore\'s New Book Censored by HarperCollins

Filmmaker and author Michael Moore\'s new book won\'t be on the shelf to buy for that last minute holiday gift. There is nothing on the web about this (that I could find - please correct me if I\'m wrong) but in an email to the Progressive Librarians Guild listserve (PLGNet-L) Ann Sparanese reports that

[Moore] told the assembled
audience of 100+ people that his publisher HarperCollins had informed him that they will not be selling/distributing his new book \"Stupid White Men and Other Excuses for the State of the Nation\" -- already printed -- because the content is offensive. He reported that the publisher also told him that he (Moore) is being \"intellectually dishonest\" not to state that GW Bush has done a good job in the last few months. Moore said that he has been told that the book will NOT be distributed as is, will be destroyed, and that if he will rewrite AND pay for the repinting of the book HarperCollins will publish the new version!!.

Read on for the full email, published here with Ann\'s kind permission.

Michael Moore was the keynote speaker at the convention of NJ Citizen
Action which I attended this past Saturday. He told the assembled
audience of 100+ people that his publisher HarperCollins had informed
him that they will not be selling/distributing his new book \"Stupid
White Men and Other Excuses for the State of the Nation\" --already
printed -- because the content is offensive. He reported that the
publisher also told him that he (Moore) is being \"intellectually
dishonest\" not to state that GW Bush has done a good job in the last few
months. Moore said that he has been told that the book will NOT be
distributed as is, will be destroyed, and that if he will rewrite AND
pay for the repinting of the book Harpercollins will publish the new
version!!.

Moore said that, of course, he had no intention of doing so, and read
some of the offensive material (including an \"open letter\" to the
president) to the gathering. When asked by the audience what he would
like them to do about this censorship, Moore said to do nothing right
now -- that not only are his lawyers and other powers he has to bring to
bear are doing their thing, but that he feels that there are more
important things for people to be protesting and working on in this new
period that getting his book out of limbo. (In six months, the copyright
and the ability to publish reverts back to him.) He said he is not
intending to \"go public\" (in the sense of an organized public campaign
-- obviously he went \"public\" at this convention) beause he doesn\'t want
to deflect from the other, more important work people have to do.

\"Stupid white Men...\" was supposed to come out a month or two ago, but
first the book tour was canceled-- with Moore\'s concurrence because he
also didn\'t feel like going around selling books right after Sept. 11 --
but the other shoe fell, just the other night, when HC gave him this
news.

I didn\'t get an opportunity to speak to Moore afterward, but from all
that he said, this is NOT a question of the CIA or the government
demanding that a publisher stop publication for national security or
some other well-known reason. The publisher just decided to walk away
from the money -- the books ALREADY printed and sitting in a warehouse
-- because of the current war-inspired, anti-dissent atmosphere. Even
satire is biting the dust, by the publisher\'s own hand.

I understand Moore\'s position that with Ashcroft and the others running
amok with military tribunals, new survellance plans, detentions, etc.,
the censorship by HarperCollins of his book is the least of the trouble
we are in. Maybe he and his band of lawyers will succeed. But as
librarians, it seems we are obligated to follow this up, find out some
more, and make a response.

And if you ordered \"Stupid White Men...\" prepub for your library, well,
don\'t hold your breath.

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