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Published: Wednesday, 9/1/2004

McCain words on filmmaker hot topic with Ohio group

As Ohio's 179-member delegation gathered for breakfast yesterday morning, the room buzzed about U.S. Sen. John McCain's reference in his Monday night speech to a "disingenuous filmmaker" who just happened to be sitting in the press area inside Madison Square Garden.

State Sen. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green) acknowledged that he did some "taunting" of Michael Moore, whose film Fahrenheit 9/11 is a scorching attack on President Bush.

"I think it's great that Michael Moore wants to be the spokesman for the Kerry campaign,'' Mr. Gardner said at the breakfast.

When asked if he had seen Mr. Moore's documentary, Mr. Gardner replied with a smile: "I don't care for fiction. I haven't seen Star Wars or Close Encounters of the Third Kind either."

Secretary of State Ken Blackwell said he believed that Mr. McCain's shot at Mr. Moore - which Mr. Moore responded to by extending two fingers in the shape of an L for "loser" - connected with TV viewers.

"Senator McCain basically said, 'Hey, who do you want to believe? Those of who us have defended this country or a filmmaker who plays in the sandbox of misinformation, propaganda, and half-truths.'‚óŹ"

- James Drew

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