A Cautious Man
July 20, 2004
 
VIVA LAS VEGAS! -or- I'm so glad I'm livin' in the USA
So I hear this story on the radio this morning, about Linda Ronstadt getting booed and causing a Republican riot in Las Vegas, because she praised Michael Moore during her performance at the Aladdin Casino. The announcer on my local news station actually noted that this is what happens in these "polarized times". Now it seems, as is usually the case, the truth is somewhat at variance with what the flacks, spinners, and publicists would have you believe. First off, what she did was to dedicate the song "Desperado" to Michael Moore (something which has been a part of her performances, as the folks at FreeRepublic.com discussed earlier this month, in their usual style). Second, it appears that the audience's unhappiness may have been due to the fact that her act consists mostly of old standards, and not her "greatest hits". By the way, that last piece of information comes from an article in the Las Vegas Sun, which has other additional details that the national wire service story has left out (yes, I know, big surprise). Then, as uncovered by Tbogg, even the right-leaning National Review site is providing information from someone who was there, debunking reports of "bedlam". Meanwhile, it seems that the Aladdin is a big, expensive failure of a casino, which is in the process of being sold. Any press may be good press, apparently.

But, of course, the Washington Post's Reliable Source is right on top of the facts:
Linda Ronstadt, why don't you come to your senses? Booed last month during her performance at Wolf Trap when she dedicated her encore "Desperado" to Bush-bashing filmmaker Michael Moore, the singer has done it again. Saturday she sparked protests and got booted from the Aladdin hotel-casino in Las Vegas. "It was a very ugly scene," Aladdin President Bill Timmins told the Associated Press. "She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke loose." Whisked off the property, Ronstadt, 58, was not allowed to return to her luxury suite. Before her show, she felt compelled to tell the Las Vegas Review-Journal: "I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back." Mission accomplished.
So, is there a moral to this story? Maybe, it's that in these "polarized times", the reputation for thuggery, enjoyed by those of a particular political persuasion, might be used by owners of failing casinos, entertainers, and lazy newsmen.

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