The NY Times Declines Participation in Moore’s Controversial ‘Fahrenheit’ Book

September 15, 2004
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September 15-30, 2004 Edition

The NY Times Declines

Participation in Moore’s

Controversial ‘Fahrenheit’ Book

NEW YORK, NY/09/10/04—The forthcoming book by controversial filmmaker Michael Moore, The Official ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ Reader, will not include a May 26 2004 article which appeared in The New York Times about its journalistic shortcomings in reporting events leading to the Iraq war. The Times has denied publisher Simon & Schuster the right to reprint the 1220-word article in the book, which is scheduled for October 2004 release.

Catherine Mathis, a spokeswoman for The Times, issued a statement saying: “We strongly value The Times’s neutrality in its election coverage and we are determined not to associate ourselves with any work in film or print that attacks either candidate. Our note, ‘The Times and Iraq,’ was not intended to become part of a political battle.”

The decision to deny reprint rights apparently was made by The Times executive editor Bill Keller, and its publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

The book’s release will coincide with the DVD version of the hotly contested antiwar movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which many critics questioned as being inaccurate and poorly researched. The publication will contain a transcript of the screenplay, source materials for assertions made in the film and critical response to the documentary, including reprints of articles, reviews and editorials.

David Rosenthal, executive vice president at Simon & Schuster Inc., said the publisher received permission to publish about two dozen items from several publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rosenthal plans to print essentially blank pages where the article would have appeared.

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