Moore's Pre-Election TV Special Nixed
By DAVID BAUDER
AP Television Writer
NEW YORK - The cable pay-per-view company iN DEMAND has backed away from a plan to show a three-hour election eve special with filmmaker Michael Moore that included the first television showing of his documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."
The company said Friday it would not air "The Michael Moore Pre-Election Special" due to "legitimate business and legal concerns." A spokesman would not elaborate.
Moore has just released his movie on DVD and was seeking a TV outlet for the film, which sharply criticizes President Bush, as close to the election as possible.
Earlier this week, trade publications said Moore was close to a deal with iN DEMAND for the special, which would also include interviews with politically-active celebrities and admonitions to vote. The Nov. 1 special was to be available for $9.95.
Moore was not immediately available for comment, a spokeswoman said.
The New York-based iN DEMAND, owned by the Time Warner, Cox and Comcast cable companies, makes pay-per-view programming available in 28 million homes, or about one-quarter of the nation's homes with television.
In a statement, iNDEMAND said "we regret that our decision has led Michael Moore to consider legal action against us," which it said would be "entirely baseless and groundless." The company did not say what legal action Moore was considering.
This spring, Moore did battle with the Walt Disney Co., which refused to release "Fahrenheit 9/11" through its Miramax Films because it was too politically partisan for the company's taste.
After that fight became public, Moore found other distributors. The movie, which attacks Bush's handling of the war on terrorists and war in Iraq and the Bush family's ties to Saudi royalty, earned more than $100 million at the box office.
In an interview with a Maine television station that aired this week, former President George H.W. Bush called Moore a "slimeball" and an expletive.