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December 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The U.S. deputy chief of mission in New Zealand, David Burnett, attempted to block a planned screening of Michael Moore’s anti-Iraq-war documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, when he heard that it was being hosted by a New Zealand cabinet minister, according to documents contained in the WikiLeaks papers and reported today (Wednesday) in Britain’s Guardian newspaper. In his messages to the U.S. State Department, Burnett described his efforts to contact New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Minister of Disarmament and Arms Control Marian Hobbs, who was said to be hosting the screening. Burnett wrote that the prime minister’s office told him that she knew nothing of the screening. When he phoned Hobbs’s office, he reported back, “The minister’s office declined to make her available to discuss the matter.” Nevertheless, Burnett later boasted, “It is probable that this potential fiasco may only have been averted because of our phone calls — it is apparent to us that neither the minister nor anyone else in the Labor government seems to have thought there was anything wrong with a senior minister hosting such an event.” Hobbs’s staff later told the U.S. embassy that she merely attended a screening of Moore’s film — at a political fund raiser — and did not host it.