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Wisconsin Stores Back Moore's Free ‘Fahrenheit' Rental Plea

18 Oct, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Frustrated by what they perceived as a “hijacking of the public airwaves” following last week's controversial decision by Sinclair Broadcasting Group to air — days before the presidential election — a documentary critical of John Kerry's post-Vietnam war activism, two Wisconsin video stores have taken up Michael Moore's call-to-arms asking independent rentailers to offer free rentals Oct. 26 of his anti-Bush doc Fahrenheit 9/11.

Sinclair, owner of 62 TV stations — many of which are in the critical swing states of Ohio, Florida, Iowa and Wisconsin — has said it would air Oct. 26, Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal without commercial interruption.

Madison-based Four Star Video Heaven and Bongo Video agreed to participate after being contacted by Moore's publicist following the filmmaker's Slacker Uprising Tour stop Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The 60-city tour to the 20 battleground states urging traditional non-voters to the polls ends Election Day in Tallahassee, Fla.

“It seemed like something we really wanted to do,” said Rick Hale, marketing manager for Four Heaven. “We had already taken a half-joking endorsement of Kerry, and it seemed like something good to do and to let people who don't necessarily agree with the politics of the film — and therefore wouldn't want to spend money viewing it — a chance to pick it up without charge.”

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