: How We Got Alan Keyes to Dive Into Our Mosh Pit]

Max Sawicky sawicky at epinet.org
Sat Jan 29 09:45:55 PST 2000

Thanks to Michael Moore, on the way to becoming indispensable:

TVNatFans at aol.com wrote:

> January 28, 2000
> How We Got Alan Keyes to Dive Into Our Mosh Pit
> (and other scenes from our first week of shooting)
> Dear friends,
> Yes, that mosh pit — the one that has thrown a big,
> weird monkey wrench into the first week of the 2000
> Presidential campaign — was ours.
> And the marching band outside the execution of Billy
> Hughes in Texas on Monday night, complete with
> cheerleaders chanting, "George [Bush], George, he's
> our man! If he can't kill 'em, no one can!" — that was
> ours, too.
> And, yes, that was us with Rage Against the Machine
> on Wednesday as we forced the New York Stock
> Exchange to hit the panic button and slam down the
> steel gates over their doors, sealing off the entire
> building an hour before closing time, and resulting in
> my near-arrest by the men who wear the Giuliani blue.
> All this, and we are only four days into shooting our
> next season of "The Awful Truth." If this is what a
> typical week is going to be like for us this time around,
> then I guess the line item in our budget for "lawyers
> and bail money" is grossly underestimated.
> We usually don't like to discuss what we're up to
> before we air our work on Bravo and Channel 4 U.K.,
> but the Iowa Mosh Pit has become such a huge item
> in the news that I thought you might want to know just
> what the heck is going on.
> It was bizarre watching the Republican Presidential
> debate Wednesday night, with Bush and Bauer and
> Keyes all going nuts over what we did Sunday night
> at the Iowa Caucuses. New York Times columnist Gail
> Collins called it "the defining moment" of the campaign
> so far (to read her column in the Times click here
> <A
> ://www.nytimes.com/library/opinion/collins/012800coll.html</A>).
> Jay Leno devoted a chunk of his monologue to it
> Thursday night. BBC Radio woke me up this morning
> wanting an explanation.
> Here's what happened:
> As part of what will be our ongoing "coverage" of this
> year's Presidential election, we decided to go to Iowa
> to see how far these candidates will go to get an
> endorsement. We know they will take money from just
> about anyone and promise favors and legislation to the
> highest bidders. With that as our system of "democracy,"
> it leaves us, the people, with few avenues to have our
> voice heard.
> So, we announced to all the contenders for the White
> House that "The Awful Truth" will endorse any candidate
> who jumps into our mosh pit. Simple as that. No large
> sums of dirty money, no favors or back-room deal making.
> Just dive into the outstretched arms of 100 degenerate —
> but registered — youth, and you are our candidate.
> I hauled this mosh pit around Iowa in a large flatbed
> truck, crisscrossing the state and inviting the Presidential
> candidates to join the teeming and tattooed masses. The
> response from the candidates varied from a stunned and
> frightened Steve Forbes (who quickly walked by the pit
> giving it a nervous thumb up), to front-runner George W.
> Bush (who told me, "behave yourself, Michael — I see
> you're up to your old tricks — why don't you go get a
> real job?")
> Gary Bauer, on the other hand, called the Des Moines
> police — who sent five cruisers and a paddy wagon to
> arrest the pit. The police, though, could not contain
> their laughter when they arrived and saw the group of
> purple-haired, pierce-lipped, 18-year olds jumping
> wildly in place to the music of Rage Against the
> Machine.
> Next, we drove over to a town hall event being staged
> by former Reagan ambassador, Alan Keyes. As the
> mosh pit rolled into the parking lot, with Rage music
> blaring ("It has to start somewhere/ It has to start
> sometime/ What better place than here/ What better
> time than now..."), Keyes staffers came outside to
> see what all the noise was about. When informed that
> Keyes could get the endorsement of "The Awful Truth,"
> Keyes' national field director dove into the pit, hoping
> that would suffice for our support. He then brought out
> "Uncle Sam," a Keyes supporter who was dressed in
> full Uncle Sam regalia. He, too, jumped in.
> But we told the Keyes staff that it had to be Keyes
> himself. Minutes later, Alan Keyes emerged and,
> against the loud protests of his Secret Service agent,
> Keyes climbed to the top of the makeshift stage on
> the back of the truck and dove backwards into the
> screaming mosh pit. He then body-surfed the entire
> pit, carried like a wave on the outstretched hands of
> the tightly compact crowd. He did a couple of body
> slams with a spiked-hair youth from Ames High
> School and left the pit with the official endorsement
> of the show.
> "We knew Alan Keyes was insane," I told the press
> who were trying to understand the irony or the point.
> "We just didn't know HOW insane he was until that
> moment. We now feel a responsibility to test the
> remaining field of candidates."
> On Wednesday night, the five remaining Republican
> candidates held their big New Hampshire debate. And
> what did they spend their time fighting about? "The
> Awful Truth Mosh Pit!" The Reuters news agency called
> it "surreal," and Gary Bauer went into nutty overdrive
> accusing Keyes of being "anti-family" because he was
> moshing to the music of "The Machine Rages On" (!),
> calling the group "pro-terrorist" and saying that's what
> the "kids at Columbine" listened to.
> For the past three days, our phone has been ringing
> off the hook. Hundreds of papers around the country
> have covered the story. The pundits on all the blowhard
> cable shows can't shut up about it. And for some reason,
> for at least the better part of one week, we have been
> able to get the Republicans to stop talking about who will
> be best at taking away women's rights or building more
> prisons and forced them to occupy their time arguing
> about the moral merits of the Mosh Pit.
> As we head into the weekend, we are loading up the
> flatbed truck and driving off to New Hampshire with
> our portable mosh pit. We will personally attempt to
> greet John McCain — if he was tough enough for the
> Hanoi Hilton, this will be like Motel 6; Al Gore — the
> mosh pit is perhaps the only place where being stiff is
> an asset; and Bill Bradley — we are convinced this will
> be his only chance to stage a comeback (plus, he's the
> only candidate big enough to kick every one of these
> kids' butts).
> Keyes had been written off in Iowa before he jumped
> into our pit. The day after moshing, he scored an upset
> third-place finish in the double digits among those who
> actually cared about caucusing (90 percent of all Iowans
> knew better and chose not to vote). These other
> candidates would be crazy if they DIDN'T jump into
> the pit!
> "The Awful Truth" is willing to multiple-endorse, just
> like the big money people do when they write big
> checks to both the Democrats and Republicans. To be
> known as the only group to have endorsed Alan Keyes
> is something we may just never be able to live with,
> and we are hoping to rectify that in New Hampshire.
> This past Monday night, we attended the execution of
> death row inmate, Billy Hughes, in Huntsville, Texas.
> George W. Bush is now responsible for approving and
> carrying out the killing of 117 people, a record. We
> decided to show up and celebrate his achievement.
> We brought a marching band, cheerleaders and fans
> to hold a tailgate party in the prison's parking lot. How
> did the pro-death penalty crowd react? Well, they're
> threatening a lawsuit, so we'll do our best to get it on
> the air in May.
> A few weeks ago, I was asked by Rage Against the
> Machine to direct their next music video, something
> I've never done. Their song is about the evils of our
> economic system and the era of greed in which we
> live. So, like, I had a few ideas...
> On Wednesday we quickly set the band up on the
> steps where George Washington was first sworn in
> as President, on the corner of Wall and Broad Streets
> in lower Manhattan. Quite a large crowd came out of
> the brokerage houses and banks where the business
> of America is conducted on a daily basis.
> The police also came out. They ordered the makeshift
> concert to cease, but before we had a chance to stop,
> four officers jumped me and put me in one of those
> police locks like you see on that excellent and
> informative show, "COPS." One tried to break my arm,
> the other put a choke hold on my neck. In all my years
> of shooting in New York, I have never had this happen,
> and all I could think of was, well, I just hope it's a new
> plunger.
> When the band and the crowd saw this, they went nuts.
> Hundreds of them jumped two police barricades and
> tore across the street to the front door of the New York
> Stock Exchange, ground zero of American Capitalism.
> It was a sight to behold. The police were so distracted
> with carting me away they couldn't catch up to the
> band — who, by this time, had made it inside the first
> set of double doors to the Exchange.
> At that moment, someone must have hit the riot button
> inside the Stock Exchange because suddenly these
> large steel gates came crashing down in front of the
> second set of double doors. Then all the gates of the
> Exchange came down. Clank! Clank! Clank! For the
> first time anyone could recall, the New York Stock
> Exchange went into lockdown — a full hour before its
> official closing time. The police left me and rushed
> over to break up the madness. But the band and their
> fans are faster than I was and escaped the clutches
> of the police.
> You can catch the video on MTV in mid-February and
> me in court by late March.
> Well, that's my first week back at work. If you'd like
> to see footage of Alan Keyes in our mosh pit — or
> me body slamming Senator Orin Hatch — click here:
> <A
> m/moshpit.html</A>
> Or check out the Rage scene on Wall Street.
> <A
> .com/rageslide1.html</A>
> I'll be back reporting live and moshing from New
> Hampshire on "Politically Incorrect", Tuesday night,
> February 1, on ABC.
> Until then...
> Michael Moore
> MMflint at aol.com
> <A HREF="http://www.michaelmoore.com">http://www.michaelmoore.com</A>

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