Inside Move: Moore defends Ronstadt

Helmer offers to screen '9/11' free for guests, sing with thrush

Michael Moore has taken a line from “Desperado” and asked a Las Vegas casino’s management to come to its senses.

The filmmaker took umbrage at the treatment of singer Linda Ronstadt at the Aladdin in Las Vegas Saturday, firing off a letter to the casino’s president, offering to screen “Fahrenheit 9/11” free for guests and sing onstage with Ronstadt.

As she has done throughout her current tour, which stopped Tuesday at the Universal Amphitheater, Ronstadt dedicated her encore of “Desperado” to Moore and his film, encouraging the audience to see the docu. Aladdin management reported that her dedication was greeted with boos as about 1,000 patrons walked out and demanded refunds; earlier in the show, she had knocked management for advertising the show as hits-based. Management cleared out Ronstadt’s room and asked that she never return.

“For you to throw Linda Ronstadt off the premises because she dared to say a few words in support of me and my film is simply stupid and un-American,” Moore wrote in his letter to the Aladdin’s Bill Timmins. “Some people didn’t like the dedication and that’s their right. But neither they nor you have the right to remove her from your building when all she did was exercise her American right to speak her mind.

“I think you owe Ms. Ronstadt an apology. And I have an idea how you can make it up to her … invite her back and I’ll join her in singing ‘America the Beautiful’ on your stage.

“Mr. Timmins, as the song ‘Desperado’ says — ‘Come to your senses!’ How can you refuse this offer?”

Moore posted a copy of his open letter on his Web site

The Aladdin denied Tuesday that it was suppressing Ronstadt’s rights. “It’s about using our venue for political commentary vs. being an entertainer,” a hotel spokeswoman told the Associated Press. “She was hired to entertain, not to preach.”

In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal published Friday, Ronstadt commented on the reaction to her dedication. “They say the country is evenly divided, and boy is that true. One half of the audience cheers, and the other half boos,” she said.

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