On Tuesday, Citizens United released, “The Hope and the Change,” another film critical of Mr. Obama, on six cable channels and six broadcast networks, and plans to issue a second documentary, “Occupy Unmasked,” in limited release Friday.
Conservatives say they have one man to thank: Michael Moore, who hit it big with a string of liberal documentaries beginning in the 1990s and culminating in 2004’s “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which made more than $119 million and remains the highest-grossing political documentary of all time.
David Bossie, president of Citizens United, credits the success of “Fahrenheit 9/11” with compelling him to go into show business.
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“When I called around Washington, D.C., in 2004, I called my friends, I even called Ed Gillespie at the [Republican National Committee], and I said, ‘How do we respond to this?’ ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ was a 90-minute attack piece on George Bush,” said Mr. Bossie. “My thought was, ‘My gosh, we have to respond to this,’ but nobody I called knew how to make a movie.”
Mr. Bossie ended up connecting with a couple of Hollywood conservatives, actor Ron Silver and screenwriter Lionel Chetwynd, and released “Celsius 41.11: The Truth Behind the Lies of ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’” in 2004. The documentary did well enough that Mr. Bossie went on to make “Hillary: The Movie” in 2007 about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, which became the basis for the 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission.