The Times goes front page today with a Michael Finnegan story on the merging of Hollywood and presidential politics in the marketing of Fahrenheit 9/11. In the piece, Michael Moore claims his anti-Bush documentary is not pro-Kerry, but he admits the movie's campaign is being run somewhat like a political race:
Moore has set up a "war room" populated by former Clinton White House operatives plotting swift counterattacks on Bush supporters who question the film's credibility. To lead the effort, Moore has hired Chris Lehane and Mark Fabiani, former political advisors to Bill Clinton and Al Gore. "Employing the Clinton strategy of '92, we will allow no attack on this film to go without a response immediately," Moore said Thursday. "And we will go after anyone who slanders me or my work, and we will do it without mercy. And when you think 'without mercy,' you think Chris Lehane."
On the right, the Daily News today picks up an AP story on Benjamin Shapiro, the 20-year-old UCLA undergrad and blogger whose book "Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth" has become a favorite of conservative talk shows and websites.
Intellectually precocious and extremely confident, Shapiro counts better-known columnist and author Ann Coulter as a friend, says he is himself far to the right of Ariel Sharon on Israeli politics, and -- in his book -- calls some of his professors "as red as overripe tomatoes." "He's fearless," said David Horowitz, a conservative intellectual who has extensively criticized colleges and universities for bias against conservatives. "Usually, there's peer group pressure when you come into a university -- you're just a student -- that would intimidate most people. He's part of a new generation that you can't intimidate."
Shapiro graduates this month.