Linda Ronstadt went bust in Las Vegas Saturday night after she praised Fahrenheit 9/11 filmmaker Michael Moore to her 4,500-strong audience in the showroom of the Aladdin Hotel.
The crowd quickly expressed its disapproval to the singer’s remarks – delivered during her encore – as she said that Moore is a “great American patriot” and “someone who is spreading the truth” and told them go see his documentary, which takes a harsh view of President Bush.
Some of the crowd booed, others stormed out, tearing down Ronstadt posters and tossing their drinks in the air, reports the Associated Press. “It was a very ugly scene,” said Aladdin president Bill Timmins. “She praised him, and all of a sudden all bedlam broke loose.”
Ronstadt, 58, was escorted off the premises and not permitted to return to her suite, Timmons confirmed.
While Ronstadt has made no public comment about the incident, Moore has spoken up, making public a letter he sent to Timmons. It said: “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.
Ronstadt joins a growing list of performers – from the Dixie Chicks (whose songs were dropped from radio play) to Whoopi Goldberg (fired by Slim-Fast) – who are taking heat for criticizing the president.
On Saturday, the same day as the Vegas brouhaha, Britain’s Telegraph newspaper reprinted a lengthy interview with Elton John in which he blasted censorship in America.
“There’s an atmosphere of fear in America right now that is deadly. Everyone is too career-conscious. They’re all too scared,” said the 57-year-old rocker.
“I don’t know if there’s been a time when the fear factor played such an important role in America since McCarthyism in the 1950s as it does now,” he opined, referring to the black list era in which the House Committee on Un-American Activities destroyed Hollywood careers in the name of weeding out Communism.