Meaty, Beaty, Big, and Bullying

by Mark Steyn

I’m not as big a fan of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” as John J. Miller, but I’ll always treasure Pete Townshend (who, oddly enough, was acquisitions editor at Faber & Faber when I did Broadway Babies Say Goodnight for them) for telling Michael Moore to stuff it:

Rock guitarist Pete Townshend has labelled Michael Moore a “bully” in a public spat over the use of the classic Who song Won’t get Fooled Again in Fahrenheit 9/11.The Who guitarist refused Moore permission to use the song on the end credits of the film. Afterwards, Moore claimed that Townshend did so because he was in favour of the war in Iraq.

On his website, Townshend protests that this is not the case. Instead, he says he refused permission because he was suspicious of Moore’s credentials. “When first approached I knew nothing about the content of his film Fahrenheit 9/11. I had not really been convinced by Bowling for Columbine [Moore's previous film] and had been worried about its accuracy. Once I had an idea what the film was about, I was 90% certain my song was not right for them.”

On a more general point, Jay writes today about oboe players who whisper to him that they’re closet conservatives. I can understand the nervousness of orchestra members and session players, but it is remarkable to me the number of big-time rockers (or at least British ones of a certain vintage) who feel obliged to be far more circumspect in public than they are in private. 

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