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Publisher to Swap Pro-Bush Book for ‘Fahrenheit' DVD

20 Sep, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

An editor of a book supportive of President Bush's foreign and domestic policies, together with a Los Angeles-based publisher, has launched a campaign whereby consumers of Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment's Oct. 5 video release of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 can trade in the controversial DVD for Thank You President Bush: Reflections on the War on Terror, Defense of the Family, and the Revival of the Economy.

Released in August by World Ahead Publishing, Thank You features essays and opinions from 24 conservative and libertarian policy leaders, including Vice President Dick Cheney, Attorney General John Ashcroft, former Secretary of State George Shultz, Secretary of Education Bill Bennett, economist Art Laffer and Florida governor Jeb Bush, among others.

Hailed as the highest-grossing documentary in history, Fahrenheit offers a less-than-glowing account of Bush's actions prior, during and after the Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade terrorist attacks and allegations of ties between Bush's father and Saudi Arabia royalty, including the Bin Laden family.

Interested consumers must send the DVD and proof of purchase to an address listed on the publisher's Web site at www.worldaheadpublishing.com.

Calling Fahrenheit “dangerous propaganda” and a “weapon that shouldn't be left lying around the house,” Aman Verjee, co-editor of Thank You, said he is looking to set the record straight.

“Michael Moore has made a number of errors in both content and context, and delivered a piece of propaganda that left in the hands of little children could be dangerous,” Verjee said. “It's misleading, it's uninformative and it's malicious towards President Bush.”

Notwithstanding the reality that children can't vote, Verjee denies any political motivation and said the campaign's intent is that of public service and promotion of the book.

Verjee argues that a third of the movie is an erroneous assertion that Saudi Arabian interests spent lavishly on a defense contractor whose board of directors included Bush's father.

“At the time that most of the money was given in the mid-'90s, Bush senior was not on the board of the Carlyle Group,” Verjee said. “The connection that Moore is drawing is tenuous and omits information when the money was [actually] being distributed.”

Verjee said the film's peaceful images of Iraq prior to the U.S. attack fail to represent the oppressive dictatorship under Saddam Hussein.

“Nowhere in the movie is there the suggestion that Saddam is a brutal dictator who murdered his own people, and used chemical weapons on the Kurds, Iranians and political dissidents,” Verjee said. “You could have shown the same kinds of images of people living in peace about Hitler's Germany.”

When asked about the film's allegations that members of the Saudi royalty and Bin Laden family were secretly flown out of the U.S. despite a ban on all domestic air travel after Sept. 11, Verjee didn't see anything improper.

“If my yahoo brother, who I haven't seen in 10 years, goes out and bombs a building and there is a potential lynch mob mentality against towards me or my family, I would appreciate any government support in bringing me to safety,” he said. “I actually thought Moore was irresponsible for suggesting that the Bin Laden family was complicit with the 9/11 events.”

A Columbia TriStar spokesperson declined comment.

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