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LAS VEGAS – After being booed and kicked off the property, will Linda Ronstadt return to the Aladdin Hotel here and sing on stage with “Fahrenheit 9/11” director Michael Moore?
It might be a good bet, as the resort casino on the Las Vegas Strip is likely to get a new owner soon – an owner who didn’t object to Ronstadt publicly announcing her support for the controversial filmmaker.
“Upon the assumption of ownership, and with a new management team in place, we would like to offer the use of the Theatre of Performing Arts to Linda Ronstadt for a second concert and further to take Michael Moore up on his offer to join her on stage to introduce her and sing a song,” said Planet Hollywood CEO Robert Earl, who is awaiting approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission to become Aladdin’s new owner.
“We respect artists’ creativity and support their rights to express themselves,” said Earl. “We were very sorry to hear about the unfortunate circumstances of this past Saturday night and want to make it clear that Planet Hollywood has never, in our 13-year history, restricted any artists’ right to free speech and we will continue with that policy once we take ownership.”
It was Ronstadt’s in-concert support for Moore that prompted hundreds of concertgoers to boo and leave the event in disgust.
Ronstadt dedicated her final song, The Eagles’ “Desperado,” to Moore whom she called a “great American patriot” and “someone who cares about this country deeply and is trying to help.” The singer, 58, also encouraged the audience to see Moore’s Iraq-war documentary, which is critical of President Bush.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, some of the angry fans reportedly defaced posters of Ronstadt in the lobby of the hotel, writing comments and tossing drinks on her pictures. Others are said to have cheered her remarks.
Hotel management then asked Ronstadt to leave and escorted her off the property.
Moore says Aladdin owes Ronstadt an apology, and suggests to the hotel: “Invite her back and I’ll join her in singing ‘America the Beautiful’ on your stage. Then I will show ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ free of charge to all your guests and anyone else in Las Vegas who wants to see it.”
In an open letter to Aladdin’s current president Bill Timmins, Moore blasted the way the singer was booted off the property.
“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.
“Last time I checked, Las Vegas is still in the United States. And in the United States, we have something called ‘the First Amendment.’ This constitutional right gives everyone here the right to say whatever they want to say. All Americans hold this right as sacred. Many of our young people put on a uniform and risk their lives to defend it. My film is all about asking the questions that should have been asked before those brave soldiers were sent into harm’s way.”
A spokeswoman for Timmins tells WorldNetDaily the current ownership has no intention of responding to Moore.
“What happened had nothing to do with Michael Moore, so why would we respond?” said Aladdin’s Tyri Squyres.
“We hired Linda Ronstadt to entertain our guests. She used our venue as a political platform,” she added. “We’re known for music, gaming, dining and fun, and not for political statements. That’s why people pay $80 a ticket, to hear her beautiful voice.”
Ronstadt also raised some eyebrows with recent anti-Christian and anti-Republican comments published in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
“This is an election year, and I think we’re in desperate trouble and it’s time for people to speak up and not pipe down,” Ronstadt said. “It’s a real conflict for me when I go to a concert and find out somebody in the audience is a Republican or fundamental Christian. It can cloud my enjoyment. I’d rather not know.”