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US right-wingers hack into Michael Moore webchat

US right-wingers hack into Michael Moore webchat

An exclusive Channel 4 webchat hosted by Michael Moore, the director, writer and producer of 'Fahrenheit 9/11', was almost sabotaged in a planned attack by an American right-wing organisation trying to prevent Moore speaking to fans about his film. The webchat, the only one Moore has agreed to do in the last year, was launched to celebrate the UK TV premiere of the documentary film, a controversial expose of the Bush administration, on Channel 4 but was held up for an hour while IT technicians battled to get the chat back online. Moore agreed to answer some of the thousands of pre-submitted questions that had been short-listed in preparation of an attack. Between 12.30am, when Internet links were restored, and 2am, when the chat ended, more than 1m hits to the website had been recorded, more than 17,000 fans had joined the chat and 4,163 questions had been posted. According to Moore: "Channel 4 innocently thought 'Wouldn't it be nice if we had a film-maker do a webchat?' but unfortunately you don't live here. Certain Americans, when they learned of this webchat, did not see it as a webchat with a film-maker but as an interview with the devil himself. And they discussed throughout the week how and what they could do to stop it." He added: "So my apologies to the British audience who logged on Thursday night to have this chat, only to be prohibited from having this discussion with me thanks to the lunatic right wing in the United States." Moore, who revealed he spends thousands of dollars a week on security to keep his own website online, had been warned that a well-known group had been planning an attack since the film and webchat were first promoted. The group brought about a simultaneous shutdown of the websites and servers as well as the Internet connections between the UK and the US. "Although we were prepared for the attack, it wasn't something we could control and it is highly unlikely it would happen again. The webchat was so popular that even when it went offline for an hour and we had no way of letting users know it would be restored, 10,000 people patiently waited to speak to him," Becky Oxley, Channel 4 group publicity manager, said. The film, which began at 9pm, attracted a peak audience of 4m, giving it an 18% audience share at 9.30pm. A transcript from the webchat, along with Michael Moore speaking, is available on the Channel 4 website. UKFast is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

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