Thursday, July 01, 2004

Focus on the Family and Michael Moore's home address

Ted Barlow at Crooked Timber sent me yesterday evening to Non Prophet, who tells an extremely unsettling story. Allegedly, Focus on the Family (a large traditional-values Christian family-oriented group) sent out Michael Moore's home address to its email list yesterday, encouraging readers to tell Mr. Moore how they disapprove of the dishonesty in his new film, Farenheit 9/11. Ted, Non Prophet, and a number of readers at both blogs rightly feel like such an action would be utterly reprehensible. I have to say I was surprised -- although I disagree with a lot (ok, almost all) of what Focus on the Family has to say, I've never thought of them as being the type that would pull a malicious stunt like this. So I've been looking into it. Non Prophet wrote this before quoting the message that included Mr. Moore's address:
Living in Colorado Springs I've become interested in following the local mega social-political organizations that drape themselves with a veil of christianity and family values. One of the biggest is Focus on the Family, known mostly for it's nationally broadcast radio show featuring Dr. James Dobson. These people are kind enough to send me a daily e-mail titled "Citizen-Link" that keeps me up to date on what they feel are the important issues of the day. It's mostly anti-gay rights, anti-abortion, anti-welfare, anti-TV violence, anti-birth control, pro-christian supremecy news bulletins. While I find most of it to be crass they are usually fairly polite and skirt going for the jugular in favor of naming a few of the more oddball reasons why "those people" are evil and must be stopped. Today they crossed the line into pure nasty-ville. Here, have a look:
The clear implication is that the quoted email comes from the Citizen-Link email of that day (his post is from yesterday at 10:03 a.m.). I've obtained the Citizen-Link email in question, and there is no reference to Mr. Moore, his film, or his home address in it. Nor is there one anywhere to be found on the FOTF or Citizen-Link web sites. A google search for pieces of the text of the alleged email gives no hits. I'm officially suspicious. I've asked (in comments, as I couldn't find an email address) Non Prophet to offer more details as to what announcement he'd read, and to forward it to me. I've heard nothing back yet, but in fairness, I asked him yesterday evening (at around 6:00) and it's still fairly early morning now. I've also emailed FOTF, explaining what I've heard and my basis for suspicion, asking them to confirm or deny that they've sent out Michael Moore's home address to email subscribers. Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong place for corroboration. Or maybe FOTF realized their mistake and removed every trace of their indiscretion. I'd like to find out. A moral of the story is, if you have something interesting and surprising to say in the blog world, site it thoroughly, and link to it if you can. UPDATE: Ted confirms (update on the original CT post) the alleged disclosure -- he spoke to a FOTF representative, and the address WAS given out (in Tuesday's, not yesterday's, Citizen-Link). It's still not on the web, which is of course a good thing. Thanks to Ted for following up, and thanks to Non Prophet for breaking the story. Second Update (7/7/04): here.

No comments:

Post a Comment