EXCLUSIVE: I just confirmed that Sicko documentary creator Michael Moore was barred from making a scheduled media appearance inside the New York Stock Exchange today. His publicist says it was because he and a group of nurses intended to call for Wall Street investors and Main Street consumers to divest themselves of HMO, health insurance, and drug company stocks. The Oscar-winner and representatives of the California Nurses Association were slated to do a series of interviews with financial media outlets from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange this afternoon. CNBC was featuring Moore’s appearance during its closing bell show. Now, Moore is scrambling to talk to reporters on the streets outside the Exchange building. I’m very surprised that the NYSE would interfere like this, especially given that these “on the floor” media interviews are commonplace. A Sicko rep accused the Exchange of trying to ”limit or control the flow of information to American investors”. Given that his newest project (following Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine) officially opens around the country Friday, this is yet another twist and turn in what has turned into a long PR campaign orchestrated by The Weinstein Co pic. But it’s also incredible how everyone from the Bush administration (see my previous Feds Probe Michael Moore For ‘Sicko’ Trip) to now the NYSE is helping Moore get much-needed free publicity in advance of this documentary’s release. I’m also told that, last Thursday, a special non-public screening of Sicko was held for a “Who’s Who” of Wall Street investment firms. “They contacted us and asked for it,” Sicko‘s publicist tells me. “They specifically wanted to see it to determine what kind of potential impact it could have on the market if shareholders and consumers see the movie and react against these companies by literally voting with their pocketbook. Or if it serves as a catalyst for legislative change in Washington DC or state capitols.” Among the attendees, I’m told, were Credit Suisse First Boston, Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs (which raised TWC’s equity).
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