Michael Moore concluded the Phoenix stop of his “Slacker Uprising Tour” Wednesday by exhorting his loud and often raucously supportive audience to sign on as Kerry volunteers.
“Listen my friends,” the controversial documentary filmmaker told roughly 2,000 fans at the Celebrity Theater in Phoenix, “In Arizona, it can't just be about voting on Nov. 2.”
Dozens of audience members did sign up with Move On, a political advocacy group that supports Kerry and other Democrats, after Moore's 90-minute presentation, a staff member said.
Before his speech, Moore, creator of the film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” told reporters his goal with the tour — now that the deadline to register to vote has passed — is to enlist volunteers. He also dismissed polls showing President Bush ahead in this state, adding that 450,000 new voters had registered here.
“Arizona is not a Bush state,” Moore said during his presentation. “They have made a critical mistake taking Arizona for granted.… And I'll tell you why: I think we are going to have the best (voter) turnout in our lifetimes.”
Phoenix was the 25th out of 60 cities on Moore's tour. While it had a significantly lower attendance than the 15,000 who turned out to see him Monday at the University of Arizona or the 10,000 Moore said showed up Tuesday night in San Diego, all the available seats at the Celebrity Theater were sold out, said John Felix, executive director of the event. The back third of the theater-in-the-round venue was shut off for Moore's security, which included somber men in bulky suits who quickly stepped between eager fans and the stage.
Also unlike Moore's Tucson speech, all his hecklers were supportive. The audience gave him repeated standing ovations, including when he said he is considering a documentary on the national media. Moore said the media must be held accountable for not taking a harder look at the Iraqi threat before American troops were deployed and 1,100 died.
Moore also dismissed contentions from Sean Hannity, the conservative talk show host who has been shadowing Moore's tour as a Republican counterpoint, that Moore had spied on Hannity's presentation Tuesday night in Phoenix.
“Who is Sean Hannity?” Moore said. “His books don't sell one-third what mine sell.”