Tuesday, July 27, 2004

The Lowdown and The Showdown

Tom Tomorrow recaps the first day of the DNC and hanging out with Michael Moore. First, the Lowdown:
Wander into the Fleet Center, just to scope out the lay of the land. There's nothing going on--the convention doesn't start until evening--but Michael Moore is on the floor, surrounded by a mob of reporters. (I learn later that he is pissed--some jackass anchor on CNN has just asked him how he feels that "some people want to see you dead.") He invites me to tag along to his next event, a meeting with a group of antiwar activists--recently returned vets and family members of vets. I end up spending much of the day trailing in Michael's wake, observing the media circus and the crazy hassles of being famous on that level, where everyone recognizes you everywhere you go. When we are around media events--in the Fleet Center and at a Congressional Black Caucus event--the behavior of the pack of camera crews and reporters is just appalling. I keep thinking of scenes in A Hard Day's Night, where the Beatles are running wildly from hordes of fans--it's that level of craziness, with genuine violent aggression thrown in. The camera guys will use their equipment to literally whack you out of their way, the reporters will trample right over you if they get the chance. You've certainly heard celebrities complaining about the media, and probably thought, oh ya whiner, get over it. But it is a strange and somewhat frightening thing when you are in the middle of it.

Now, The Showdown:
We head back to the Fleet Center and as we are getting out of the Town Car, Bill O'Reilly is across the street getting out of his limo. "Hey Moore, when ya gonna come on my show?" he shouts. Michael responds, "When you see the rest of my movie." (O'Reilly walked out of the premiere halfway through.) He claims to have gone back and seen the whole thing, but when pressed for specifics, hems and haws. Nonetheless, Michael takes him at his word and they stand there out on the street negotiating the terms of the appearance as various Guardsmen and law enforcement types gawk and snap photos. They finally settle on a format: they will take turns asking each other questions. O'Reilly agrees not to edit the segment, and to explain in the intro that Michael has only been boycotting him because he walked out of the premiere. (It should air tonight. We'll see if he keeps the last part of that promise.)

YT wonders if Bill's head will explode -- hey, a girl can dream! -- going head-to-head with Michael Moore. Will definitely be worth watching!


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