- The Washington Times - Monday, December 27, 2004

Moore alerts

Pharmaceutical companies are telling their employees to look out for the scruffy guy in the baseball cap.

The Los Angeles Times reports that at least six drug companies have released internal communications telling employees to be wary of filmmaker Michael Moore.

Mr. Moore’s targets have included General Motors (“Roger & Me”), the gun lobby (the Oscar-winning “Bowling for Columbine”) and President Bush (“Fahrenheit 9/11”).

Mr. Moore, normally seen sporting a beard and a ball cap, has now set his sights on the health-care industry, including insurance companies, HMOs, the Food and Drug Administration and drug companies.

“We ran a story in our online newspaper saying Moore is embarking on a documentary and if you see a scruffy guy in a baseball cap, you’ll know who it is,” said Stephen Lederer, a spokesman for Pfizer Global Research and Development.

In September and October, Wyeth, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline, the second-largest in retail sales, sent out Moore alerts, instructing employees that questions posed by the media or filmmakers should be handled by corporate communications.

Heavyweights Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals and Synthelabo sent similar memos before their recent merger.

Turning Texan

The “Motor City Madman” is officially turning Texan.

Michigan rocker and hunting activist Ted Nugent says he plans to get a Texas driver’s license soon. He’ll officially become a Texas resident in 2005, after moving his family to Crawford, Texas, about 18 months ago, he told Associated Press.

The hunting in Crawford, he said, is superb. “Right behind [son] Rocco’s school is game. It’s a barbecue dream,” he said.

Mr. Nugent — who said he supports President Bush “100 percent” — said his new home is “right around the corner” from Mr. Bush’s ranch. Mr. Nugent said he’s working with the Texas fish and game department, where he writes for a state publication on bowhunting.

The “Cat Scratch Fever” guitarist said he’ll keep his property in Concord, Mich., and rebuild the house next spring, returning for hunting and family events.

Sikh-ing justice

British author Salman Rushdie, who went into hiding for years after an Iranian theocrat ordered him killed, assailed Britain on Sunday for allowing angry Sikh groups to force the cancellation of a Sikh play last week.

A theater in Birmingham canceled the play “Behzti” (Dishonor) after Sikh demonstrators turned violent on Dec. 18. They were protesting the play, which depicts sex abuse in a Sikh temple.

The play’s author, Gupreet Kaur Bhatti, herself a Sikh, has gone into hiding after receiving death threats, according to Reuters News Agency.

Many have drawn a parallel with Indian-born novelist Mr. Rushdie, 57, who was declared a blasphemer and ordered killed for his novel “The Satanic Verses” by Iran’s late supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1989.

“It is pretty terrible to hear government ministers expressing approval of the ban and failing to condemn the violence, when they should be supporting freedom of expression,” Mr. Rushdie told London’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

“If being upset is the only requirement to banning something, there will be nothing on in the theaters.”

Kill’ Warren

David Carradine says he inspired the title role in the “Kill Bill” movies, but the part was originally written for Warren Beatty.

Mr. Carradine told the Chicago Tribune that Mr. Beatty initially landed the role but director Quentin Tarantino kept instructing him to act like Mr. Carradine.

“Then the part comes to me and it fits like a glove because it’s actually written about me,” Mr. Carradine said. “All I had to do was show up and learn the lines.”

Mr. Carradine, however, dismissed rumors that Mr. Beatty was fired from the movie or walked off its set.

“He just understood the true destiny of the movie and what it would do for me. I mean, he’s already gotten his Lifetime Achievement Award,” Mr. Carradine said.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from Web and wire reports.

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